From “Oculus Artificialis Teledioptricus Sive Telescopium” by Johann Zahn, Public Domain. Source


Free verse

Beautifully composed photo of perfect line of blue, Walmart shopping carts against bright yellow wall.
Photo by Fabio Bracht on Unsplash

Perhaps dumbing language down
to banal dishwashing,
byte-sized commodities
is the poet’s new virtue

Perhaps it’s safer to bury intellect
and frame the world in simpleton prose
— mundane as parking lot gum —
in tableaus of Walmart customers
who dress as blandly as their
unimaginative expletives and slurs

Maybe it appears more ironic
to pluck the highbrow
with a rusty implement
and drag tetanus poetics
across a McDonald’s napkin

Anyway, who can compete with
the linguistic corrosion
of overused exclamations,
GIFs and memes —
they get to the quick of things

Let’s just spew sentences,
break them into rote verse,
forgoing Wordsworth
for cool, detached tropes
that project the lifelong ambition
of an early bird diner menu

Why reach for the stars
with poetics of the heart
when feeding another tweet
into the apathy metre will do?

Jessica Lee McMillan © 2021


Review of Low’s new album Hey What

Star representing the band Low on the outside mural of the Minneapolis nightclub First Avenue by Christopher Bahn on WikiCommons

The growing abstraction of LOW’s electronic distortions are creating a new post-rock vernacular with each brilliant album, as with HEY WHAT, which debuted today on Sub Pop. True to the progression from their masterpiece Double Negative, their sound is immersive, minimalist, unsettling, and meditative.

On their 13th release, the Minnesota duo prove they can only get better. From slow-core indie rock and folk leanings, Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker have sharpened their sonic edge over 3 decades. Low lays down challenging soundscapes that are increasingly innovative and lexical. Just as with Low’s name and album title stylized with capitals, their…


Geek out this Sunday

GorillazO2100821 by Raph_PH on Wikimedia Commons, CC.

I enter new realms of appreciation for Demon Days with each spin I give it on my turntable. Last Saturday, I cooked up a storm listening to sides A-D playing loudly into the sunny kitchen while faithfully taking a few more notes for our Album of the Month Club meeting on Sunday.

I will try not to geek out too hard.

It’s been easy to immerse myself in Gorillaz’s music and art these days with their superb new EP and their 2020 Almanac celebrating their 20 years.

Lushly illustrated with Jamie Hewlett’s finest renderings of the band, the Gorillaz…


The Clash & Gorillaz, London & Jamaica

Dubdem • Música • Design • Sound System on flickr

By way of unpacking how all Clash-adjacent music will give you a great record collection, Consequence of Sound’s Kenneth Partridge explains how The Clash was able to avoid the appropriative aspects of referencing genres like reggae, stating they pulled it off for the following reasons:

first, they had knowledge of and respect for the source material. Being British also helped; they had cultural ties to the Caribbean and just enough distance from America to seem like harmless outsiders…. Blondie, the only other band of the Clash’s generation to nail the reggae-rockabilly-rap trifecta, made everything feel like a pop-art performance piece…

Jessica Lee McMillan

MA Eng. Mama, Poet, Iconoclast, Word Nerd. Likes shiny things. Writes on Philosophy, Art, Music, Nature.

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