Author Archives: hnbjr

Our Sea

I’m glad that the Washington Post has finally decided to do a decent piece on immigration to Italy — essentially, the reason that Premesso started back in 2010, and the issue that I decided to start writing about in Italy … Continue reading

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Against Our Vanishing

I know this would happen soon. But I hoped it wouldn’t. Allen Grossman, January 7, 1932 – June 27, 2014. “Poetry is a principle of power invoked by all of us against our vanishing. The making of poems is a practice … Continue reading

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You All Want a Pepsi-Coke?

I’ve always enjoyed dialects, and I’ve had the good fortune to live in a few places with strong dialect areas, from Torlak to Veneto to Cantonese. But what about American dialects? Are we too young of a nation to really … Continue reading

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Sorry, Charlie: Deep Parables of Consumer Capitalism

There’s no age quite as awkward as the semi-pubescent 11-14 age range which corresponds to what we now know as the middle school years. My own awkwardness at that age can probably best be encapsulated by a rundown of my lunchtime eating … Continue reading

Posted in america, food, literature | 3 Comments

Amid What Bells Do You Appear Rovigo?

April’s poetry discovery was that Polish poet Zbigniew Herbert has not only a poem, but an entire volume entitled Rovigo, with the eponymous poem being indeed about that small town in Veneto midway between mythical Venice and sumptuous Bologna where I … Continue reading

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The Point of the Jesus Lizard

Once in a while you see an example of rock music that makes you realize exactly what that well-worn exercise is all about. The Jesus Lizard and David Yow were to me always the supreme exemplars of rock music: a … Continue reading

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48 Hours of Eating in Hong Kong

All prices in USD, not HKD.  We went to Hong Kong for a variety of reasons but near the top of the list was to eat. What we learned quickly is that food in Hong Kong is really expensive. But it’s … Continue reading

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Two Competing Visions

From Per Petterson’s remarkable I Curse the River of Time, two visions of death. He seems to think that the first, and not the second is inevitable, yet he spends considerably more effort describing the second, more pleasant alternative, so … Continue reading

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Protected: Review of Peter Hessler’s River Town

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Some Jon Cook Music

I didn’t make it to Louisville in time for Jon Cook’s memorial on March 9th, but I was in Louisville recently and I did extract some Jon Cook gems from my archives. The first two feature Jon’s collaborations with a … Continue reading

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