Author: Michael Konik

Colyn Cameron’s “Sad and Easy”

We’ve had “Sad and Easy,” the latest recording from Wake Owl frontman Colyn Cameron, on auto-play. Airy, soft, trippy, light, elegant, real — the music is simultaneously catchy, in the best tradition of pop songs, and ethereal, in the best tradition of anti-pop. Cameron has a singular voice, androgynous leaning toward feminine, that goes down,...

The Real Real Deal

If one could add the entirety of what we can see and what we can’t — the supplicant on a rant, matter dark, unknowable, persistent bitterness neat and stowable – what we would be forced to examine are children wrenched by famine, a panoply of catastrophes, like man-made war, man-made disease. We might also deign to look...

“Nothing But Gifts,” by Edwin Dobb

Published in the current issue of Harper’s Magazine, the essay “Nothing But Gifts,” by Edwin Dobb, is one of the most beautiful pieces of writing we’ve lately had the pleasure of reading. Discursive and tangential in form, the essay nonetheless always returns to the author’s central inquiry: What does it mean to choose to love? The adoptive...

Endorsement: Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court!

This space has previously offered ringing endorsements of candidates for Sheriff of Los Angeles, and Pope of the World. Today, we proudly add to that list the Honorable Brett Kavanaugh, soon to be the newest member of the Supreme Court of the United States of America. Our reasons for supporting his nomination are copious and...

Three Versions of Happiness

1) Refrain from seeking happiness. Be happiness. 2) Become the cause of happiness in others. 3) All right. That’s marvelous in theory. But how do you go on when every morning brings news of the intolerable, the intolerable that we all tolerate? How do you consciously continue the divine comedy, momentarily detouring Dante’s hoary inferno...

Sarah McCartt-Jackson’s “Stonelight”

“Stonelight,” the debut collection from Appalachian poet Sara McCarrt-Jackson, is as plain and unfussy as West Virginia dirt. Seldom have poems of such beauty and human sentiment proclaimed themselves so simply and directly. Shale, coal, rocks, stones — the minerals McCarrt-Jackson’s miners seek have a talismanic power, which the poet translates into the music of...

Mad Respect to Dave Chappelle

Last week we attended a concert at the Hollywood Bowl. Ms. Lauryn Hill was celebrating the 20-year anniversary of her seminal album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” and she had De La Soul opening, followed by her special guest Dave Chappelle. Before the event, we received several emails from the concert promoter reminding audience members...

Poem: Extraordinary Boy

Sweeping cereal dust over weathered wooden floors He knew this push-broom life was not his. Brave soldiers and dashing lovers, charming spies and magnetic saviors, Giant heroes On a screen – These were his people. And (in darker moments) his friends, His Sirens, beckoning from a distant place, Where corn was found in polished supermarket aisles,...

Daughters of Destiny

The Shanti Bhavan boarding school, in Tamil Nadu, India, founded by a rich man who realized giving away most of his money to the “lowest” members of his society would make him infinitely richer, caters to children of the Dalits, the so-called “untouchables,” India’s bottom caste. The goal is to educate them so they can take care...

The Meditation Shield

People who have a meditation practice — doesn’t matter what kind or style — make a conscious decision to put their focus on something specific: breath going in and out; a mantra; waves arriving and receding. Thoughts come and go. Things happen or don’t. And the meditator observes them all. When you’re traveling on the...