~ short essay on Yuuji and Rengoku, from Jujutsu Kaisen and Demon Slayer, a pair of battle shōnen anime.

What is it about Yuuji Itadori that makes us want to be better?


~ a short story

~ art by MATT ROCKEFELLER

After he fired the little knives from his string, The Archer was not one fit for standing still. He was a man of action, in his prime, and trained for such adventuring within the wilderness.

And yet, every passage frayed his memory. Every passage made him question his sanity.

Every portal contained its secret, and given time, he’d find them one by one, arrow by arrow. With a half-smile on his face, more tricks in his quiver than any foe he’d yet encountered, the archer aimed and fired with equal conviction.

But after many travails now…


~ a kind of poem

It was out here that the late-capped, fresh-faced survivors came to live their lives.
In the winding rows, on the sprawling stretches of the metropolitan run, they find their plots.
Curbs and signs, barriers and symbols, snake a journey through these pockets of stilled scape beyond the tamed cores.

The suburbs.

Everything came together in school and at church, amongst the forest of malls.
It was there that cultivated messages and collated patterns were gathered and disseminated, from the parents to the children. …


~ Do you ever feel like the world has already ended?

Like everything has already been set. Without your approval or acknowledgment. Predetermined from some estranged and impossibly far away source point in the past. Things were only ever going to play out this one way. That everything — everything since the Big Bang about 13 billion years ago got this whole show started — is just playing out now, rattling down pachinko pins and levers and slots to arrive at the only end there was ever going to be…?

Randomness and free will are illusions. Consciousness allows us apes…


~ a poem

Corky’s Little Church ~ art by Marcia Hodges

When you walk inside church, everything seems to change. Everything.

The bustle and the sound and the substance of the world outside of these walls is markedly changed from its inside. Is this the separation of the sacred? Just an old building, after all; but it’s not. That is because the people inside act and dress differently.

As a child, an awareness fast comes — whether it is from your parent’s shush or from simple observation of your surroundings — that this is a place for quiet. For calmness. And for old people.

It is a place…


~ a short story

~ art source

Adam’s first conscious memory was of the film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, watching it with his mom, who was reduced to a mess of tears awash with some mix of hope and despair at the sight of the finale playing out before them on the screen. He perched only inches away from their small Emerson, eyes affixed to Jimmy Stewart’s ragged, black and white form sifting through the manufactured letters from back home, wondering about how triumph may emerge.

Behind him on the couch, mom watched him as much as the movie. Leaning forward, eagerly…


~ essay on a contemporary philosophy paper by C. Thi Nguyen {https://objectionable.net/} on {false} clarity, conspiracy theories and bureaucratic quantifications, and the seductiveness of such systems of thought in the modern world.

https://twitter.com/add_hawk/status/1397978565619027969?s=20

Quite randomly, I came across this twitter thread yesterday, by the author of a paper with an intriguing — dare I say, seductive — title. “The Seductions of Clarity”, by a philosophy professor from the University of Utah, C. Thi Nguyen.

Now, reading contemporary philosophical research papers is not something I normally do in my free time. But reading the abstract — about our inherent cognitive limitations…


~ a short story

On the wall behind the food truck at Sixth, a half-finished face garnered the attention of a group of kids. Street art, a hand-drawn mug upon red and black brick. They poked at it with greying, cinnamon chalk, marring its minor features. From the beginnings of a smile, with eyes wide, a stretching face faded away into nothingness. The thing was a forehead without a chin. Out of the shade of his mouth came a speech bubble; within it, nothing was written. The face in its half-ness resembled a cartoon character’s head, bald like Charlie Brown’s…


~ a short story

Saint Michael the Archangel, Giulio Cesare Procaccini

The Saint Michael raced across the tracks as the sun peeked the mountains. Morning on the train had Angel Sior beginning, rattled into wakefulness from the velvet cushion. He raised himself from the cabin seat, flicked his gold-flecked suit’s vest back into order, watched dawn do its work. They moved over the land well. The clattering window frames portaled the rays with the shifting mountainside, producing a glorious painting. Sior chose to sit on this side of the train, on this particular trip, for this reason. …


~ a poem

The walls were hanging from the ceiling.
Lights spiraled around the many spines of the terse.
Manners patrolled the velvet corrals.
Scents of distant padraigs fried and popped in the else moon glow.
The yearning was Oedipal, fast-turning Narcissus.
Everyone swam, and flew their wells.
Jokes were seen.
The nirn was crisp and clear, it flowed over the scapes with gentle clemencies.
The age young, the fletching dreamed.

The Man walked onto the land, in all its strangeness, beaming unto the sights and sounds, the tastes and touches to come.

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