The Hollow Men

:::this is the way the world ends:::

Category: Doppelgangers

In Rainbows

Inb-Rainbows If you haven’t all by now downloaded Radiohead’s new album, In Rainbows, I highly recommend you do so. You can find it on Radiohead’s web site and download it for as much or as little money as you think it’s worth. Admittedly I gave all of two British pounds, which comes to about $5. It’s worth far more than that.

Jerod may even be playing with Radiohead by now, so listen for his distinctive wailing synthesizers on continual loop.

I also highly recommend a newish album by a band called Okkerville River. Very good, tuney stuff.

Jen and I went to see Wilco last week here in Minneapolis, and they put on a really great show. As mellow as their latest album is, the live show was completely loud. Jen’s and my first real date was going to Wilco at the Walker Sculpture Garden, so it was nice to go home again. The opening act was an interesting multi-instrumentalist named Andrew Bird who builds songs live on stage by playing various instruments and looping them over each other. He also whistles a lot, and he’s a damn impressive whistler. Very entertaining and interesting show.

The peak of the fall is already past its heights up here. Jen and I will be raking up damp leaves a lot of the weekend, and trying to find whatever glory can be found in that and scooping out raingutters.

Thirty-Three

I have been contemplating this place and time in life–being 33. It is an interesting but hard to define stage. I have particularly been trying to explore the concept of the Jesus Year, as Jesus was supposedly 33 for the bulk of his ministry, betrayal, and death. The concept is that by the age of 33, you should have done something big–perhaps not have saved us all from sin and hell, mind you, but something large in terms of a contribution. Do we die a metaphorical death in this year? And if so, what is on the other side? What does it mean to contribute something, and something big or important, by this age? I’ve been trying to think through this a bit, and write about it in some way as a project.

What does the Jesus Year hold for you, and what do you make of this idea generally, and in terms of your own lives?

For me, I’m interested in finding larger struggles beyond myself, and maybe that’s ultimately what one can do that lives up to, in part, the example of Jesus. And yet. Here, this year, I’ve been given everything–a good life, companionship, good work, and even a more flexible schedule so that I can teach this fall (something I’ve wanted for a long time) and so that I can write (something I’ve always wanted). Why does this still seem like it falls short? Why are my struggles still primarily with myself? Is this part of the experience of being 33, as a sort of crossroads year? A year in which I know many of my peers are far more successful in terms of what the culture says is successful? Why is it that I still can’t eat right, exercise right, balance my life? Maybe the Jesus Year is the year we are supposed to compare ourselves to Jesus, yes, but really what we do is compare ourselves to everyone else?

But more generally, does this stage of life have any common or universal traits among the culture at large? Are most people already married? already married and divorced? having children? getting higher promotions? running for office? changing jobs? moving? taking up some cause?

I thought you would all be interested in this, seeing as, for a little while longer, at least, we’re all 33, our high school and college classmates are, most of them, 33, and I suspect several of our friends, cousins, and others around us are 33. And we haven’t had a larger question posed lately, so it seems like a good time. Any thoughts?

Poetry Post

It IS National Poetry Month, so I shouldn’t let it get away without a current Poetry Post. This one from fellow Kansan Albert Goldbarth, who teaches at Wichita State University and who is the only poet to have twice won the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry. This poem is from the “new” section in his recently published (by Graywolf, no less) The Kitchen Sink: New and Selected Poems 1972-2007. Enjoy. And happy National Poetry Month to you.

Human Beauty

If you write a poem about love …
the love is a bird,

the poem is an origami bird.
If you write a poem about death …

the death is a terrible fire,
the poem is an offering of paper cutout flames

you feed to the fire.
We can see, in these, the space between

our gestures and the power they address
—an insufficiency. And yet a kind of beauty,

a distinctly human beauty. When a winter storm
from out of nowhere hit New York one night

in 1892, the crew at a theater was caught
unloading props: a box

of paper snow for the Christmas scene got dropped
and broken open, and that flash of white

confetti was lost
inside what it was a praise of.

Speaking of Doppelgangers….

Someday I’ll write a serious post again but right now I’m basking in the frivolity of free time. One of our students just made me watch this. I pass it on to you.

If you don’t like this, blame Toby. He told me how to link to YouTube.

weirdest damned thing

For those who want a de ja vu moment- check this out:  I decided to check out what website out there bears my name and went to www.jeffpeters.com.  I found a strikingly familiar website.  a blog that made me wonder if tob was running the universe, or if i was in an episode of Lost. I am serious give this thing a try before it changes up.  strange.

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