Cultural Sensitivity with Zach Buscher

Zach in 2009

Cultural Sensitivity with Zach Buscher is Zach's blog.  Here you will find random and fairly frequent writings, ramblings, and rants.  And maybe the occasional new poem.  Go ahead, and comment and share.

some other people

Leah Meisterlin architect extraordinaire
Phillip Marotta  friend-o
Quinsigamond Community College employer
A Cappella Zoo  journal for which i read
Sonora Review journal for which i used to edit/read
Absent Magazine i like to read 
Diagram Magazine ditto
Fence Magazine ditto
Fou ditto 
Glitterpony ditto
H_NGM_N ditto
Juked ditto
notnostrums ditto
Noö Journal ditto
Spork ditto
wheelhouse magazine ditto
Peter Jay Shippy poet
Silliman's Blog blog


Things You Can Learn from Entertainment Weekly

And you say, nothing.  

And I say, two things.

1. James Franco continues his campaign for 21st century Renaissance man by directing a short film "based on a poem about a gay salesman."  The poem (and film) is called "The Clerk's Tale" and it is by Spencer Reece, poet and former Brooks Brothers employee.  Franco's version actually looks kind of neat.  It's almost as exciting as his turn as Allen Ginsberg in Howl, out September 24.  As for the eponymous Reece poem, a true stunner, you can check it out here.  I'm sure I will be talking about the poem, the Franco adaptation (if I can get my hands/eyes on it), and Howl: The Movie (colon and what follows are my own editorial flourishes) in future editions of the blog.

2. ATTN Twilight fans: There is approximately one song on The Twilight Saga: Eclipse soundtrack that sounds (in theory) pretty cool.  It's a collaboration between Beck and Bat for Lashes called "Let's Get Lost."  I love, love, love Natasha Khan so any new work is exciting, regardless of the unfortunate choice of venue.  I do have doubts, though; The New Moon soundtrack yielded a couple so-so collaborations that sparkled on paper, namely Ed Droste (of Grizzly Bear) and Victoria Legrand (of Beach House) on "Slow Life" and Bon Iver and St. Vincent on "Roslyn."  That said, I was into Thom Yorke's contribution ("Hearing Damage," straight up Eraser style). Lykke Li's bit ("Possibility") was ok, too.  

And now I am going to cower in shame after covering EW and Twilight in a single blog post.  

Should I rename the blog "Pop Cultural Sensitivity" instead?



How I Spend My Summer Vacation

Apparently not blogging enough, which wouldn't be such a problem if I didn't promise "fairly frequent" updates. So, back to it now!

The above photograph sums up the last week pretty well, with its five games of disc golf in as many days. Though mediocre as a player, I am terribly addicted to the sport.  Yes, sport.  The posted picture captures what disc golf heaven will look like, a place where I can be reunited with all the discs I have either launched into the woods or misplaced in plain sight in a sort of sun-baked haze.  In just those previous five rounds I can count four discs among the lost.

That said, I am pretty excited about two replacements I purchased yesterday at Marshall Street, or Disc Golf HQ for the great state of Massachusetts: a Champion Monarch distance driver and a Champion T-Bird fairway driver.  That adds up to something like $60, not for the two discs but in terms of total money I have put into disc golf in the last year.  Not bad for a hobby!  For anyone who has not tried, most courses are free and you can even play with a regular frisbee.  I would not recommend the latter option.

June 15 (I think...) will mark the first anniversary of my love affair with the sport.  Like any good anniversary, I hope to celebrate with the composition of an occasional poem.  Can I pull off rhyming "plastic" with "tick"? I'll have to wait and see.

For the definitive prose version of the disc golf romance, articulated better than I could ever hope by a likewise better competitor, check out this essay by Ander Monson called "The Long Crush."  It originally appeared in something called American Nerd and is reprinted in his most excellent essay collection, Neck Deep and Other Predicaments.  Speaking of Mr. Monson-- himself a professor in the U of A MFA program whom I don't really know beyond a couple afternoon beers at the 1702 pizza parlor in Tucson-- a photo exists in which I am in the middle of an Ander Monson and Michael Sheehan (a fellow MFA student) sandwich.  It's a triptych.  It's also awesome.  Although I can't link to the photo exactly, you can find it here in the "Faces" section of Joshua Blake's (the photographer's) site.



Before and After Science Before Bed

Last night between the hours of midnight and two I wrote a poem under the working title of "Galactorrhea."

Galactorrhea: Excessive or inappropriate production of milk.

I'm not sure where I came across this word, but its definition (thanks to the New Oxford American Dictionary that comes standard with Macs), specifically the reference to a production of milk being somehow
"inappropriate," really intrigues me.

The poem itself is, unsurprisingly, rather Oedipal in nature; the speaker covets not his own mother, but the mother of a friend (think this).  I would post the draft in its entirety (about two hours of work), but it even creeps me out.  Also, it's pretty rough in every sense of the word.  Here's an excerpt of a couple couplets:

how it would rust us but we shot tetanus
and hoops as well

after practice she held a saucer of béchamel
i prayed would chrism 

That shared, I do plan to put up the occasional poem in full.  Starting sometime soon.

So what's with the circa-1977 Brian Eno album art that opens the post?

Well, it's only to say that I was writing under the influence of Eno last night, specifically the one-two punch of "Julie With..." and "By This River" from Eno's Before and After Science LP.  Though I will concede that this is not the best of Eno's four non-ambient solo albums from the 1970s (tied with Here Come the Warm Jets for my least favorite as a whole), those two numbers have always haunted me.  I was looking for a darker, more melancholy tone in my own work and these songs served to put me in that place.  Thank you, Brian Eno.  Or perhaps blame you, Brian Eno.

On a procedural note, the situation in which I composed this poem is strange for two reasons.  First, I never listen to music with words (unless they are, um, chopped and/or screwed up in some way) while I'm writing.  I prefer the ambient works of artists such as Stars of the Lid, Ben Frost, Mountains, Loscil, Azeda Booth (some lyrics, not quite ambient I guess), Cinematic Orchestra, etc. so as not to crowd the headspace. Second, I tend to write in the late afternoon rather than the evening.  Yet here I am, breaking my own rules.  I think it's a good thing.  I think we should all vary our idiosyncratic strategies as much as possible to see what comes from the change, be it a stone-cold success or a failed experiment which is in itself a kind of triumph.



Books I Bought, Books I Want...

Having just received my tax return, I figured it was about time to splurge on some books!

After ordering four, I remembered all the other things on which I have to spend this filthy, filthy lucre.  Here is what I bought before responsibility reared its reptilian head:

1. How by Emily Pettit

2. Hornet Homily by Patrick Culliton

3. The French Exit by Elisa Gabbert

4. The Trees Around by Chris Tonelli

And all for the price of $36!  The chaps were $8 a pop and the others from Birds, LLC (cool name, no?) came as a packaged pre-order deal.  My only worry is that I am ripping Birds, LLC off because said pre-order was for, like, April. Also, these small presses throw in shipping for free because they're just cool like dat.  Hopefully some reviews will be forthcoming because I hope to try my hand at more review-age!

On a related note, the wonderful Tarpaulin Sky Press is throwing an "Almost-Summer Sale" through June 20. I can't wait to, ahem, "tap that back catalogue" with the aid of my next paycheck.

I also want this bad boy, Ben Mirov's Ghost Machine, just released from Caketrain Press.  Caketrain press makes beautiful books, as beautiful as cakes.  But seriously, Mirov is an awesome poet and I'm glad I didn't enter that Caketrain Chapbook Contest for this year because I would have been thoroughly merked.  Said contest was judged by the likewise awesome Michael Burkard, a poet some have said I resemble: 


I don't know, not to say that Burkard isn't damn handsome or anything.  What do you think?


Silly Man's Blog

So I was updating my profile on GoodReads.
When I was like: wait.
I have a website now.
And that website has a blog.
And I always give up on blogging real quick.
But this time there is a big green impetus. 
Of money by the month to the folks at SquareSpace.
And it's raining.
And I don't feel much like the outside. 
So here we go. 


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