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bartplantenga, Author at Urban Graffiti

The Father Will Never Return To A Land That He Abandoned

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  bart plantenga “‘I killed the monsters. That’s what fathers do.’” • Fiona Wallace We lived outside Paterson in Hawthorne, NJ those early years and on VERY early Saturday mornings my parents, would head with me and my brother in the backseat to a market in Paterson just a few miles down the road. Here you could get heaps of damaged or unattractive vegetables for next to nothing and a 50-pound bag of potatoes for a dollar – staring back at the silvery, …

The Mechanics & Mystery of Top 40 Lists by bart plantenga

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“The list could surely go on, and there is nothing more wonderful than a list, instrument of wondrous hypotyposis.”  • Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose bart plantenga  On daily to-do list: add ‘hypotyposis’ [vivid picturesque description] to long vocabulary list. I started following Top 40 lists on pop radio stations when I was 8. Some are fascinated by the patterns we see in the stars, some in why autumn leaves turn brown, why love affairs go sour, why …

The Insane Dutch Tradition of Writing Poems For Sinter Klaas by bart plantenga

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The Insane Dutch Tradition of Writing Poems For Sinter Klaas by bart plantenga     The Dutch equivalent of Santa Claus comes on December 5, which is celebrated by the giving of gifts, each of which [technically] should come with a RHYMING poem written about the receiver by the giver, usually in a humorous, somewhat mocking tone. This leads to a lot of stress and all sort of online rhyming dictionary site crashing. Not something sane, well-meaning people need during …

Small Objects That Changed My Life: Shouting At The Ground by :Zoviet*France: radio essay by bart plantenga

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Listen now as you read “A silent man, walking in solitude by a mountain stream… We begin to see what is real and what really deserves our allegiance.” • Gary Snyder bart plantenga The first disc I’d bring along to a deserted island is this one – along with The Gentle Side of John Coltrane and Ascenseur pour l’échafaud by Miles Davis. Never mind that I only have Shout on a poor-quality cassette. In 1999, I was asked to participate …

The Long March by bart plantenga

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The Long March by bart plantenga     The meditation of the trail: Walk along looking at the trail at your feet and don’t look about and just fall into a trance as the ground zips by.  • Jack Kerouac Don’t fall asleep on the Metro-North Train out of Grand Central late at night or you’ll end up somewhere you never in a million years thought you’d end up with the midnight hour approaching. If you’d been on that train, …