Good Things for Writing Well

Thing To Listen To: Real Peach by Henry Jamison

Sometimes I hear a song for the first time and a number of phrases jump out immediately. At the best times those phrases come tethered to an incredible melody. Real Peach is this kind of song.

Lines like these reeled me in.

"On that erstwhile may morning
I took the six downtown to Spring
And I was writing something elegiac
That I never learned to sing
But I think it was this song
Just four years premature
And I remember crossing out the line
All is fair in love and war"

The same verse also describes a woman as "lioness-esque". Now that's some language.

Of course a song is not only the words, but the tune and phrasing. Jamison's phrasing on this tune, to my ear, is genius. I really knew nothing of Henry Jamison before this song was served up to my be the Spotify algorithm. Now I'm a fan.

Listen to Real Peach on Spotify here or YouTube here.

Thing To See: Open A New Window

When you visit WindowSwap you are greeted with a single button that invites you to "Open a new window somewhere in the world". Click it and you are shown the view from a random window, via a video feed. You may get Scott's Window, open to the beautiful lush greenery of Wellington, New Zealand. You'll even hear what Scott hears out his window. The effect is simple, but mesmerizing. Transporting, even. It was raining on my visit.

Click a button again and the view changes entirely, again at random. Travel as often as you like. I've read some great poetry and essays written by authors looking out their window. Donald Hall writes about his old farm from the comfort of his window in Essays After Eighty. There's Wendell Barry's Window Poems. Maybe some fresh ideas will shake loose by looking out someone else's window?

Open a new window here.

Thing To Ponder: Can Robots Write?

Austin Kleon recently wrote a blog post in response to an op-ed written entirely by Aritficial Intelligence. Sort of. As Kleon points out, the AI did the easy part, leaving the taste and personality to editors. It's a fascinating read.

Kleon shares some sage wisdom from Nick Cave, who was asked if an AI could write a great song;

"What we are actually listening to is human limitation and the audacity to transcend it. Artificial Intelligence, for all its unlimited potential, simply doesn’t have this capacity. How could it? And this is the essence of transcendence. If we have limitless potential then what is there to transcend?"

Our flaws don't just make us human. Our flaws make us artists.

Read Kleon's post on Artificial Intelligence here