Culture Vulture: pick of the blogs

Must-reads from the arts world on Ginsberg, Avatar and Darwin

1. The Wall Street Journal Speakeasy: Darwin on 42nd Street

Darwin's great-great-grandson on the US premiere of Jon Amiel's Creation.

2. Guardian Books: Colossus of odes: Philip Gross wins T S Eliot poetry prize for The Water Table

A university professor and his meditations on the Severn win top poetry honours.

3. Vanity Fair blog: James Franco discusses Howl before the film's Sundance premier

How to portray Allen Ginsberg on screen.

4. Slate: James Cameron hates America -- the conservative attack on Avatar

Tom Shone considers the film called an "abhorrent New Age, pagan, anti-capitalist worldview that promotes goddess worship and the destruction of the human race".

5. A Don's Life: The "new" Parthenon, my new edition?

Mary Beard on construction and controversy over the new Parthenon Museum.

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On Wheels

A new poem by Patrick Mackie

The hills swarm and soften towards the end of the day just as
flames do in a fireplace as the evening
loosens and breaks open and lets out night.
A nasty, grotesque, impatient year ended,
and the new one will be bitter,
tired, opaque. Words wrangle in every inch of air,
their mouths wide open in stupid shock
at what they have just heard every time they hear anything. Venus,
though, blazes with heavy wobbles of albeit frozen
light. Brecht, who I like to call my
brother just as he called Shelley his,
has a short late poem where he sits by a roadside, waiting
while someone changes the wheel on his car,
watching with impatience, despite not liking
either the place that he is coming from or
the place that he is going to. We call it
connectivity when in truth it is just aggression
and imitation writ ever larger. Poems, though,
are forms of infinite and wry but also briskly
impatient patience. Brecht’s poem seems to end,
for instance, almost before you
can read it. It wheels. The goddess is just a big, bright
wilderness but then soon enough she clothes
herself again in the openness of night and I lose her.

Patrick Mackie’s latest collection, The Further Adventures Of The Lives Of The Saints, is published by CB Editions.

This article first appeared in the 18 May 2017 issue of the New Statesman, Age of Lies

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