Vespers

Ah-AH ch. Oh come onnn. For two weeks now I haven’t been able to sneeze. To complete a sneeze. Complete a sneeze? Sinus impotence—the inability to consummate the act of sneezing. Wonder if that was sinful, just a minute ago. Pretending, as I flicked water off my toothbrush, to be a priest sprinkling holy water on the congregation. That knobbed, metallic instrument. What’s it called? Yeah, no problem! Strange how I hold doors open—moving my feet forward while an arm lingers awkwardly behind. Creates violent torsion of my midsection. Perhaps it’s admirable? Removing my face and body from the deed.…

Discovering Richard Feynman

I spent three of my four high school summers, in between pre-college programs and summer swim team, shelving books at my local library. I envisioned it as romantic, glamorous, the kind of thing quirky and intelligent girls who roll their hair into ponytails around uncapped highlighters (in a strange imitation of the more culturally offensive trend of chopstick-like hair décor) do for a summer volunteer position. I thought I would be able to read the volumes as I shelved and stocked, and I certainly thought I would be allowed to sit down sometime in my four-hour shift. I was wrong…

Apply to Join the Columbia Review!

The Columbia Review is accepting applications for board members! We are the oldest college literary magazine in the nation, and we publish poetry and prose not only by Columbia students but also by writers from all over the country and even the world. You can read some of our past issues here. Board meetings are Wednesday nights at 8:30 pm. Board applications are here. They’re due by Friday, September 16th at 11:59 p.m. Good luck!

gaspar-noes-love-posters-removed-by-yarra-council-1446686799

Unlovely Love

The only reason I regret walking out of Gaspar Noé’s Love partway through is that I cannot, in good conscience, write a scathing review of a movie I didn’t finish. And I’d love to write a bad review because it feels important that I hated the movie enough to leave before the end. The fact…

Blog Roll: Three Thoughts on A D Jameson & the Avant-Garde

    I.   I’ve been writing exclusively in long-form the past twelve months and become exhausted. Simultaneously, my writing has become more self-conscious, self-reflexive, and unwieldy, constant over-qualifications and anxious tangentials interrupting its focus. The list format used here, inspired partly by HTMLGiant’s trademark bullet-point style, is both a way to relieve this long-form burnout and to approach meaningful, meaty topics without weighing down or bulking out this piece in all the wrong places. Part of this issue, I think, stems from a fairly universal anxiety over being misunderstood by a hypothetical reader: hyper-clarity, in an attempt to quell…

Twitter_logo_blue

Poetic Traditions on Twitter

I don’t think it would be wrong to say that most people, old and young, aren’t particularly enthralled by old poetry. Metric and stylistic traditions in poetry are things to fear. Too much work has to go into understanding the choices that inform the meaning of the poem. For a lot of people, high school…

sheastadiumBK

Poetry, Prose, and Rock ’n Roll

Poets don’t usually open for rock shows. But Shea Stadium — no, not the real one, but a DIY venue in a warehouse in Brooklyn filled with Christmas lights and Mets logos — encourages the strange. So on a cold night in early October, poets Margaret Ross and Jenny Zhang and author Leslie Jamison took…