The Year of Growing Up

I'm not buying the idea of summing up my year, but it seems wonderful to summarize a year in what's remarkable, in books, etc. Here it is:

1. John Ashbery, in his novel-length poem Flow Chart.
Still in the published city but not yet
overtaken by a new form of despair, I ask
the diagram: is it the foretaste of pain
it might easily be? Or an emptiness
so sudden it leaves the girders
whanging in the absence of wind,
the sky milk-blue and astringent?
Ashbery opens the book in these lines, and from it the poetry never ends. What I did here seemed an injustice, since to put an excerpt is like exhibiting dentures without the complete set of teeth. His words are incisive, his objects encased in amber, then hammered until the entire thing breathes.

I've never seen this kind of poetry until I found this at Booksale for Php10. It's worth sitting down with a cup of coffee on a Friday night.

2. The first sip of port wine deserves a place here.

3. Drive is phenomenal. It's a good action film: not much of the stunts, and it's still pumped with adrenaline from heists and love affairs and the entire West Coast terrain (gritty and grimy). Plus the soundtrack is superb. I wasn't expecting anything good from Ryan Gosling, really--but he was Time Magazine's Coolest Guy!

4. Donald Barthelme and his wit! I've read City Life and Come Back, Dr. Caligari, and both are phenomenally funny and witty, without even trying hard. Also, his brother Frederick's Laws of Averages is a good read, too.

5. Reeder 1.0 is the app of all time.