Featured, Poetry »

Now things are getting complicated #poem

By | May 26, 2017

Now things are getting complicated. The roots that connect my stories to the inside, the fleshy roots
at the underside of the stories, topography of land and sea and love sending sound and body from
the underside, the roots reaching to the inside
are winding and thinning as they enter, towards a center
trying to foul things up; where the threads meet is thrashing:
Minotaur again, shapeshifting or some shit.

The …

Featured, Poetry »

Been beyond a rough season #poem

By | May 19, 2017

just after sunrise at the Radcliffe CoMart lunch counter,
the day’s work already done.
Been beyond a rough season.
Emerald ash borers come up in the orchards,
gutted plums and cherries.
Acres of dent corn so stem-cankered
every granary in the state is less than half-full.
Old timers calling it an omen,
proof of half-assed faith in earthwork,
saying a field is like a woman—you have to praise her
electric grit if you …

Featured, The Takeaway »

Mitchell Duneier Explains the Invention of the Ghetto, as Place and as Idea

By | May 15, 2017

When sociologist Mitchell Duneier was growing up in the 1960s, he said, “references to the word ghetto were references in my house and in my segregated Jewish community on Long Island to the Nazi ghettos.”
A half-century later, Duneier, a Princeton University sociologist, explained to an overflow audience at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles that the word’s meaning has become vastly different. …

Featured, Poetry »

I have seen the San Gabriel river/ from the 210 West #poem

By | May 12, 2017

This wistful and luminous wet is bright;
is eye-arresting in this courtyard,
demanding notice, coated in its own
slick skin of dust that drifts on water,
lit white by sunken lamps, obscured by glass.
You stand across the brushed-clean concrete
in conversation, words too hushed to hear but still
the spill of them is bell-sweet and
brilliant, almost as if
this fountain is charged,
full and flush with fire,
as I have seen the San …

Featured, Nexus »

How Western Democracies, In the Kremlin’s Crosshair, Can Fight Back

By | May 11, 2017

The most dramatic development of France’s recent Presidential election was last Friday’s announcement by the Emmanuel Macron campaign that their email and account records had been the target of a massive hacking operation by foreign intelligence operatives. According to reports released in the week leading up to the election, responsibility for the attack lies with the same group that has been implicated in the hacking …

Connecting California, Featured, Joe Mathews »

The Verdict Is in—California’s Dickensian Courts Are Failing Us

By | May 8, 2017

Dig deep enough into any of California’s biggest problems, and you’ll eventually hit upon a common villain: our court system.
California’s housing shortage, its poverty, its poor business climate, and its failing infrastructure all are explained in no small part by the failure of our underfunded, delay-prone courts to provide anything resembling timely justice. But in public narratives of what’s wrong with the state, we …

Featured, Poetry »

If we begin again, we’ll begin like this #poem

By | May 5, 2017

It hasn’t been a hard day, but the clouds are taking their retreat.
I want to write for them a way to cultivate new shape.
Which means – I want to write for you more than an apology
for my Midwestern posture, how uselessly polite I can be
before rain falls and then, ankle-deep in a ditch of mud,
cigarette boxes, chocolate donut wrappers – …

Featured, Nexus »

Tired of Working for Uncle Sam? Maybe You’ve Got “Ideological Whiplash”

By | May 3, 2017

“I want one day without a CNN alert that doesn’t scare the hell out of me,” quipped Cecily Strong in a recent SNL skit.
Don’t we all?
Many of us are struggling to manage our emotions since the inauguration, with collective exhaustion mounting. Sudden swings in policy, ranging from immigration to environmental regulation, have caused great emotional turmoil for many Americans watching from the sidelines, …

Connecting California, Featured, Joe Mathews »

Go Ahead and Blame Berkeley. Everyone Else Does.

By | May 1, 2017

Thank you, Berkeley.
Recent headlines should remind Californians of yet another way we are lucky. Our state has the world’s best scapegoat: you.
You—our most distinguished public university and all the people, institutions, and neighborhoods surrounding it—do far more than research and educate. You serve the vital social purpose of being a convenient punching bag for angry people of all manner of ideological preoccupations.
The right and …

Featured, Nexus »

If You Want Strawberry Fields Forever, You Need Migrant Labor

By | April 28, 2017

Two hundred years ago this year, British economist David Ricardo published his monumental work “On The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation.” In it he outlined a theory of international trade based on the notion of comparative advantage. The idea is that each country does something, maybe many somethings, relatively well, and they can therefore specialize and trade with each other to their mutual benefit.
Economics …

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