Aside from her outstanding story on her tumblr about her shadow-tinged years working in northern Alberta, Kate Beaton has some new stuff up on Hark! A Vagrant. #355 Shane, Come Back made me laugh—of course it would be Beaton coming up with a ridiculous modern retake of an old film cliché—but the really good stuff is the tortoises appearing in all three strips about sexy science. For the first time—that I’ve noticed—Beaton not only offers her usual top-notch material, but steps up her visual humour with what becomes key self-referential deadpan across several jokes. That’s just good comedy.
[Employs Will Ferrell’s Robert Goulet impression circa 2000-2001 ] Nature!
So then this email from N. or M. shows up in my inbox a few days ago and I guess we’re going to Portland for my birthday. To see one of my all time top-ten bands slash lyricists slash maybe favourite lyricist slash favourite band ever.
And Portland, amirite?
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The pretty people in the woods is a story I wrote a little while ago, it’s about a lot of things, including basking sharks, but in a grab-bag way, not very focused.
Consider how your souls were sown:
you were not made to live like brutes or beasts.
—Durante degli Alighieri, 1314.
[We walk on stars as if the stars don’t matter]
We walk on stars as if the stars don’t matter
though of what else is mud made
governed by ungoverned appetite
too much in the dark to see the light
all’s fair in rhetoric and shade
especially oh yes the latter.
Undismissable carbon though still as it tars
our blood and if the darkened floods
recede our natures then like signs of Cain
are beached undisguised in the drawn out stains
across the arterial mud.
But it might be in some dim out of the way
or cave abandoned below the sea
one flower slowly flowers a star a diamond
self knowledge grown across difficult times and
lit by light indirectly
speaks an open face and a clean new day.
I believe in intention and I believe in work.
—Leslie Jamison, 2014.
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