Books By John Estes

spicy wreaths / Of incense,
breath’d aloft from sacred hills

The start of the year is a good time to renew one’s vow to consume hot food with greater regularity, and while Sriracha is not the spiciest of what’s available by a stretch, its blend of flavor and heat fills a special niche (even if the factory’s neighbors do not appreciate its incense). Here is a video celebrating the craftsmanship behind this sauce, combining the wonders of large-scale manufacturing with an artisan’s quest for perfection (chili waterfall=true wonder).

 

If you’ve never seen the Oatmeal’s take on Sriracha spirituality, check that out. Here’s an excerpt:

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Robert Creeley

Recent studies in this country involved with defining the so-called creative personality have defined very little indeed and yet one of their proposals interests me. It is that men and women engaged in the arts have a much higher tolerance for disorder than is the usual case. This means, to me, that poets among others involved in comparable acts have an intuitive apprehension of a coherence which permits them a much greater admission of the real, the phenomenal world, than those otherwise placed can allow…It would seem to me that occasional parallels between the arts and religion may well come from this coincidence in attitude, at least at times when philosophy or psychology are not the measure of either.

~ from “A Sense of Measure”
 

Philae Comet Landing=Transwarp Beaming

It’s rare enough to be legitimately struck by awe and wonder (that people click on so many links promising a dropped jaw proves the hunger for it), but I can’t remember the last time I was so amazed, so impressed with human ingenuity, patience, and resolve, as I am with the European Space Agency’s successful landing of a craft onto Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Check out these photos, which hardly seem real, they are so real. Downright Kubrickian. Makes me want to get a tattoo.

The Rosetta spacecraft’s successful ten-year chase of a speeding comet—a 2.5 mile wide chunk of rock and ice traveling at 85,000 mph over 315 million miles from earth—and then landing on it, reminds me of this:

Pablo M. Ruiz

Strictly speaking, potential literature is everything and everything is potential literature. For the simple reason that anything can be turned into literature. We find the idea in Homer: “That is the gods’ work, spinning threads of death / through the lives of mortal men, / and all to make a song for those to come” (Odyssey). And we find in Nabokov: “The art of writing is a very futile business if it does not imply first of all the art of seeing the world as the potentiality of fiction.” And nothing else is saying Mallarmé in his famous dictum: “Everything in the world exists to end up in a book.”

—Four Cold Chapters on The Possibility of Literature

Chili Pepper Tango

“I think Chili is a good ingredient to have in many parts of your life.” More artists should combine performance with the downing of habañero peppers, as the Danish National Chamber Orchestra does here.