imathers tagged me to answer these questions a little while ago, so here goes:

1. What was the last book you read that you’d recommend to me?

It’s been a while since I read a book that I’m falling over myself to recommend to people (although I suddenly have about fifteen new books in my possession, any of which may change that). I’ll say H.D.’s Trilogy, because while most people I know probably wouldn’t be into it I think you might be.

2. What words do you try to live your life by?

1. Be brave and be kind.
2. Do the work.

The second really includes the first, and posing the question “What would John Darnielle do?” reliably returns me to both.

3. What’s your favourite snack food?

Musk Lifesavers. I used to love musk sticks but I’m too much of a hippie to eat them now. Lifesavers are a good enough substitute.

4. If you had to do one thing for 40 hours a week but didn’t have to worry about money, etc, what would it be?

I would ~be creative~. How strictly defined is this “one thing”? I would write, but reading is important if you want to write, so I would also have to read, and I would like to write music as well as words, which as well as being a sneaky workaround also implies practice and recording … and can I still listen to music while I’m writing? Does that break the “one thing” rule? I guess if it did I would just listen to music for the other 80 or so waking hours of the week.

tl;dr assuming I miraculously became healthy enough to work 40 hours a week, “making creative work” would be a great way to spend those 40 hours.

5. What was your favourite band/musical artist when you were a teenager and how do you feel about them now?

I never really had an absolute favourite, defeats-all-comers band when I was a teenager. (In fact, it didn’t happen to me until 2005 or so.) There were bands and artists I really loved, but the first I fell in love with was probably Lou Reed. I still love Lou. More in a warts-and-all way than a hero-worship way, now, but also more steadfastly. Every time I remember that he’s gone I feel sad all over again. I don’t love all of his work but the question didn’t ask about that, technically.

6. If you were given $10k right now but could only use it on something frivolous, what would you spend it on?

A really nice box of pencils.

I’m assuming that the “frivolous” requirement is also designed to remove charitable uses, so I can’t help others with it. So … I would use it to travel to the Faroe Islands next year for the total solar eclipse. That would use up about half of it. 

The rest … it’s hard to say. I’d like to buy some equipment and set up a home recording studio. And a hardback copy of In the American West, and a retina iPad mini. Whatever was left over from that would go toward seeing bands and other recreational activities that cost money.

7. What’s your favourite kind of puzzle and why?

I … don’t know if I have a favourite kind of puzzle?

8. If you were forced to move to another continent, where would you pick (city/country etc)?

The north coast of Wales (maybe Conwy) or the west highlands of Scotland (maybe Fort William). Whichever one I chose, I’d visit the other all the time. If this coincided with #4 and #6 I would be as happy as a clam (aside from, you know, leaving behind everyone and everything I love where I live now). 

9. What kind of housework do you like the most (or hate the least)?

I like cleaning glass, I guess? I don’t mind washing the dishes as much as most people do and I’m fine with housework in general but cleaning windows, mirrors etc. brings me actual happiness. They’re so nice once they’re clean.

10. What’s something you hated as a kid but love now? 

Hummus. I thought it tasted like dirt. If I was right, well, maybe I should take up eating dirt.


I’m supposed to write ten new questions and tag people to answer them but I’m feeling completely uninspired. I guess now I get seven years bad luck or whatever.


in the last fortnight I

  • was told by my number one personal hero of all time that he liked something I made
  • got published for the first time
  • won the poetry prize of the publication in question
  • spoke to someone amazing whom I had not seen in a couple of years
  • got tonsillitis
"Most men find it difficult to be patriarchs. Most men are disturbed by hatred and fear of women, by male violence against women, even the men who perpetuate this violence. But they fear letting go of the benefits. They are not certain what will happen to the world they know most intimately if patriarchy changes. So they find it easier to passively support male domination even when they know in their minds and hearts that it is wrong."

— bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody.

Guess who’s freaking out just a little right now.
(That’s my grownup name, by the way. Me. It’s me who’s freaking out just a little right now.)

Guess who’s freaking out just a little right now.

(That’s my grownup name, by the way. Me. It’s me who’s freaking out just a little right now.)

Tags: hallelujah
This rules.

(I’m doing legitimate research for my assignment, I swear.)

This rules.

(I’m doing legitimate research for my assignment, I swear.)

"We doused the burning bush and cannot rekindle it; we are lighting matches in vain under every green tree."

— Annie Dillard, ‘Teaching Stones to Talk’

"Go in fear of abstractions. Don’t retell in mediocre verse what has already been done in good prose. Don’t think any intelligent person is going to be deceived when you try to shirk all the difficulties of the unspeakably difficult art of good prose by chopping your composition into line lengths."

Ezra Pound.

Reblogging myself just to note that last week in class (not a poetry class) my tutor responded to a classmate’s work by saying it made her think about where to break the lines to turn it into poetry, because it didn’t really work as prose.


(Source: insomnius)

Tags: uni poetry

Anonymous said: what is your fav herbal tea? I am strongly wedded to rooibos but maybe I should expand my horizons

This question actually came from a locked Twitter account, but I couldn’t answer it adequately in 140 characters because I don’t really have a favourite. I have a few teas that are good for specific purposes but I’m still on the lookout for my One True Love, a herbal tea that I will always want to drink because it’s delicious and has no undesirable effects.

(Side note: I once decided to take up drinking black tea in an attempt to expand my social drinking options beyond water and fizzy drinks. Within a week I was swearing off it forever and googling “caffeine intoxication”. I don’t drink green or white tea either, and recently had to introduce a “no hot chocolate after 6pm” rule.)

Despite not being a pregnant woman, which seems to be the target demographic of its marketing, I like raspberry leaf tea. It tastes like regular tea, and sometimes I just want that mouth-drying, tannin-y experience without the caffeine.

The sleepytime tea with a bear on it seems to be a favourite with a lot of people, maybe largely because the bear is cute? I like it because the Icelandic importer listed on the box is Karl K. Karlsson and because drinking it in the evening makes me drowsy as all get-out. However: I recently discovered that there’s a similar tea with valerian in it, so my loyalty may be tested. Maybe the other one actually has strings on the teabags, like all right-thinking bag teas.

I’ve bought at least four boxes of this tea even though I don’t like the taste. Two kinds of mint and aniseed? It’s basically the opposite of catnip for me. It’s supposed to have some kind of calming, soothing effect, but (maybe because it tastes bad) I find it wakes me up when I’m feeling sluggish. I feel like drinking it bizarrely often.

This last one isn’t a favourite but I’m mentioning it because of the asker’s declared rooibos affiliation. It has pieces of cocoa in it, among other things (hibiscus, fruit concentrates, etc), but it mostly just tastes like medicine that isn’t quite unpleasant enough to hate. With a couple of sugars it becomes fairly nice, but I’m a weird purist who doesn’t see the point of drinking a particular drink if I want it to taste different.

I hope you enjoyed the unnecessarily large pictures of tea boxes.

Tags: hwb herbal tea