New Amethyst Arsenic just released

Poetry, fiction, music reviews, art and photography from one of the country’s fine young independent online art and literature journals.

We’ve pointed you in the past toward Amethyst Arsenic, one of our favorite online literary and arts journals, and the Winter 2014 iteration is now posted.

This edition features fiction from Victor Infante, art by Jill Christian, a few music reviews (Nathan Payne, Found Audio, PowerSlut) and poetry from Maggie Blake, Ned Dougherty, Lo Galluccio, Jason Gordon, Amanda Nowakowski, Chad Parenteau, Caitlin Scarano, Theadora Siranian, Dante Di Stefano and Meg Tuite, to name a few. I haven’t worked my way through the whole issue yet, but I was instantly taken by Suad Ali’s “Shamal Season,” which captures a moment in the existence of a poor servant in the employ of a sheikh. In doing so, it appeals to the senses in artfully illustrating the gulf between those at the top and the bottom of the food chain. Continue reading

Seattle Diary: if you have a community, do not take it for granted

When my marriage fell apart in 2010 I quickly realized just how much of my social life was tied to my wife’s friends and family. I had friends of my own, of course, but most were married with families, or they lived way the hell out in the ‘burbs. Very few were of the “let’s go grab a quick beer” variety, so the result was that I spent a lot of time alone.

Let me amend that. I spent all of my time alone. And given the upheaval that divorce represents, not just in your routine, but in your soul and in your psyche, it’s probably safe to say that I have never felt quite so totally alone in life. Her family had become my family, and all of a sudden my family was taken from me. No family. No tribe. No community.

In some respects alone was helpful. I needed to reconnect with the guy I had lost over several years of dysfunctional marriage, and time with my thoughts was important. But I’m a social person and I needed human contact, too. Continue reading

TunesDay: what is, what was and what almost was – the S&R interview with Don Dixon

I’ve been a very big Don Dixon fan since the late ’70s, so when his new CD, The Nu-Look, dropped I was bouncing around the living room like Snoopy doing a happy dance. Sadly, a lot of people don’t know Don’s music – although many know his work as the producer of Murmur and Reckoning by REM and multiple records from The Smithereens and Guadalcanal Diary (as well as stuff from Chris Stamey, Beat Rodeo, Kim Carnes, The Connells, Marshall Crenshaw, Hootie & the Blowfish, Tommy Keene, Let’s Active, James McMurtry, The Pinetops, The Reivers, Matthew Sweet and X-Teens).

The new disc marks something of a departure. Continue reading

Quotabull

It’s good that everybody knows that the people involved in the pro-life movement are directly responsible for the decline in abortions.

— Wanda Franz, president of the National Right to Life Committee, on a report that the abortion rate nationally has fallen 25 percent from 1990 to 2005.

Yes, we won 35 years ago — but women have been losing ground, losing rights, losing options, losing access, losing availability and just plain losing nearly every day since.

— Nancy Keenan, head of NARAL Pro-Choice America, in a recent speech.
Continue reading

The Weekly Carboholic

According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the first wave power program in the United States. The program is for four 250 kW bouys anchored in Makah Bay off the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. Finavera Renewables, a renewable energy company out of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and Portland, Oregon, is the owner of this particular technology, bouys that use wave motion to force water through a turbine to generate electricity. While the project has only been granted a 5-year conditional approval from the FERC, Finavera hopes to generate enough power from wave motion to power 150 homes. And if this technology works out, then wave motion along the Pacific coast could generate up to 12% of the U.S.’s present power needs if 100% utilized. Continue reading