“Google Leonardo DiCaprio Rocket Boots”

Where’s my goddamn hoverboard? ~ “Cinecraft”

Google Leonardo DiCaprio Rocket Boots. ~ “m0nit0rman”

Now there’s a sentence that would’ve been tough to parse back in 1985. ~ “Battlecar Compactica”

Weirdest of all, “Rocket Boots” would’ve been th’easiëst part t’understand! ~ “Signor_Giuseppe”

(Comments from this AV Club article comparing Back to the Future stars then and now.)

Hardly a Word to Say: Mise en Abym

mise en abym n. An artistic technique in which an image contains a smaller image of itself. Also, the visual effect of standing between two mirrors so that the image recurs infinitely. Literally, “placed in the abyss.”

Bambi trots through the abyss to make sure the Duck boys have their lunch.

My first experience of mise en abym was carrying this lunchbox to school in 1978.

My first experience of the term was yesterday reading Marc Tracy’s article, “The Most Radical Art in America Has Been Cut,” which laments the loss of the Miami Dolphins’ helmet dolphin’s Miami Dolphin helmet.

(That’s the sort of sentence thinking too much about mise en abym makes you want to write!)

Really, Dolphin? Swapping a brain-wrinklingly artful helmet for naturalism and traumatic blowhole injuries?

Free E-book: 30 Years of Phoenix Poets

Phoenix EBookThe University of Chicago Press makes a different e-book available free every month. For October, it’s “Thirty Years of Phoenix Poets: 1983 – 2012,” a sampler of 30 poems, one from each year that the well-regarded Phoenix Poets series has been publishing.

To get yours, click here, and follow the instructions. If you’re a Kindle user, you’ll find it in the Kindle bookstore. Enjoy!

A Charm [1983] from David Ferry’s Strangers

I have a twin who bears my name;
Bears it about with him in shame;

Who goes a way I would not go;
Has knowledge of things I would not know;

When I was brave, he was afraid;
He told the truth; I lied;

What’s sweet to me tastes bitter to him;
My friends, my friends, he loves not them;

I walk the daylight in his dream;
He breathes the air of my nightmare.

“You’ve seen this baguette before,” or, How the Cliche Makes What’s Interesting Disappear

Inexperienced writers use lots of cliches. So I tell my students things like: “Don’t use a comparison if you’ve heard it before. Your reader will have heard it too, probably, and will zoom over it without thinking much about what you’re trying to show them.” Maybe they’ve heard that before, considering how often they don’t seem to think much about what I’m trying to show them.

Blogger Alec Nevala-Lee may have solved my problem:

What else is this man carrying? Who cares–he has a baguette!

You’ve seen this baguette before, he writes.

In any movie or television show in which a character is shown carrying groceries, a big loaf of french bread is invariably seen peeking out over the top of the bag.

And that baguette is there for a reason. For one thing, it’s a convenient prop that is unlikely to wilt under hot studio lights or after hours spent on location. It’s also a handy bit of narrative shorthand. If we see a character carrying a paper bag without any clues about what it contains, we immediately start to wonder what might be inside. The baguette poking out over the top is a visual flag that, paradoxically, actually makes the bag less visible: as soon as we understand that it’s just a bag of groceries, we stop worrying about it.

That’s it! Any image, any figure of speech, any phrase that our readers notice so casually and familiarly that they don’t care what else is in there, they don’t worry about it. If the sack of groceries is incidental, go ahead, stick a baguette in it. But if. There’s. Something. In. That. Sack, by golly, make sure it’s not french bread showing.

(Now, off to use this baguette metaphor–Baguettaphor? Sure!–so often my students ignore everything else in my bag…)

(Read Nevala-Lee’s whole article here.)

Terminator the Second: T2 Reenacted Using Only Lines from Shakespeare!

Nashville’s Husky Jackal Theater mashes up the 1590s and 1990s in William Shakespeare Presents Terminator the Second, the story of a boy and his cyborg protector. Every line is from the plays of William Shakespeare; only proper nouns, pronouns and verb tenses were changed.

According to io9, the full play debuted at the Nashville School of the Arts in October 2011, and a DVD of the performance is in post-production now. That film will be available for download on November 1st.

(Found at the production’s homepage.)

The Best-Written Postage Stamp You Will Read Today

In 2010, Dublin was appointed a UNESCO “City of Literature.” In honor of this, a postage stamp was commissioned. When the stamp was released earlier this year, it was unlike other literary stamps. It didn’t feature a physical landmark, an illustration from a novel, or a writer’s portrait; it featured a complete, new story by Eoin Moore.

stamp-4.jpg

(Found at thejournal.ie)