FarmingUp: Sky-Farming in Brooklyn

June 14, 2011 — 0

Alec Baxt and Lise Serrell make me love Brooklyn even more. Look at what these two are up to. They’re building farms on rooftops, with a plan to distribute locally grown, nutrient-rich crops to our farmers markets.

Here they are in action:

This is not some green-washing, fake corporate social responsibility sham. It’s just two real urban farmers sky-farming on the rooftops of Brooklyn brownstones. (I’d give them mine if we weren’t assholes with a hulking air-conditioner unit up there, polluting the Brooklyn we say we love so much.)

Anyway, reading their blog, you can chart their progress, you can volunteer, and you can learn all about “nutrient density.” Pretty fascinating stuff, actually. (I never knew two carrots could be so different.)

Here’s FarmingUp’s mission. Check them out:


T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land: The Latest Reason To Buy An iPad

June 13, 2011 — 0

Eighty-nine years ago, T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land was published for the first time.   Today, Harold Bloom still calls it “indisputably the most influential poem written in English in [the twentieth] century.”  Helen Vendler says it “reached so far beyond its origins in both life and literature that it revolutionized modern verse.”

Call it what you wish, but I call it fucking “difficult.”  It certainly was for me, struggling through its dark misdirections until I finally gave up and burned it.

I’m no Eliot, and no poetry critic has ever accused my poems of being “difficult.”  (Well, maybe “difficult to like.”)

WHen asked if his poems are difficult, T.S. Eliot replied: “We can say that it appears likely that poets in our civilization as it exists at present, must be difficult… The poet must become more and more comprehensive, more allusive, more indirect, in order to force, to dislocate if necessary, language into its meaning.”

Well, now there’s an app for that.

Yet somehow I feel I will always read these lines as if they describe my reading of the poem itself:


‘My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me.
‘Speak to me. Why do you never speak? Speak.
‘What are you thinking of? What thinking? What?
‘I never know what you are thinking. Think.’




Meet Brick Tilley

June 5, 2011 — 0

After last night’s pre-MTV Movie Awards dinner, I went to another party and hung out with Brick Tilley there. Who’s Brick Tilley?

Well, here’s his business card. Read it carefully…

You might know his name because he was an actor on the NBC series “ER”. He’s also the guy who did these underdiscovered gems…