H.E. Dare’s Queen of Dust

In Queen of Dust, H.E. Dare (who also writes contemporary romance as Hanna Earnest) takes on a plethora of tropes I thought I was going to love. Respectable courtesans! Sex positivity! Evil corporate overlords! Romance in space! The pieces are, in a word, fantastic. (I didn’t used to be into romance in space, but guys, Jessie Mihalik totally converted me.) The pieces really didn’t work … Continue reading H.E. Dare’s Queen of Dust

a small 2022 retrospective

One of the fun things about fibromyalgia, for me, is that I don’t really make it through a day now. I’ll get through what’s required of me—I’ve always been good at that. I’ll manage to make it home before the collapse (usually). But there’s always a collapse, and it feels like it’s coming earlier and earlier. I’ve already had one today, and now I’m hoping … Continue reading a small 2022 retrospective

On transit budgets and transit fares

I’ve grown up on the trains. More specifically, I’ve grown up taking Metra Electric, and have been on the University Park line now for more than two decades. It’s a good line, and the people who ride it are generally decent–and generally not wealthy. We’ve lately had a spate of articles telling us that Metra and the CTA face a budget crisis, a cliff of … Continue reading On transit budgets and transit fares

#LibraryJobs: Or, hire more people and pay them all a whole lot more

Much to my surprise, #LibraryJobs was trending on Twitter. I don’t think we’re a big enough group to get that trending? I mean, library Twitter is hardcore but this is kind of random. Nonetheless, I have thoughts about library jobs, and the people who budget and hire for them. Libraries are at a breaking point, here in the U.S. They are, fundamentally, a public good–one … Continue reading #LibraryJobs: Or, hire more people and pay them all a whole lot more

O Mr. Economist, unemployment ruins lives

Normally I’d set the stage for this with data, and more data, and more data. But I’ve had a long and lousy couple weeks filled with out of control asthma and allergies and fibromyalgia flares, and so I’ll just say this instead: every time I read another headline about how strong employment is bad, I want to scream. Do these ghouls of economists have no … Continue reading O Mr. Economist, unemployment ruins lives

a finger for Cristóbal Colón today

Last Friday I was trundling down Washington after work when I saw a very small demonstration in front of Daley Center. At first I couldn’t figure out what it was. Immigration rights? Abortion rights? None of those would be so small, not in a city like Chicago. I was almost to the intersection with Dearborn when it finally hit me: they were there to sing … Continue reading a finger for Cristóbal Colón today

guess I’ll never understand American media, qeii edition

So a major American city is without water, a suburban Chicago town has been without water off and on for almost year, gun violence continues to ramp up, a factory implosion continues to haunt a majority-Hispanic neighborhood, jobs continue not to pay enough, the last president is a traitor, the country’s filled with domestic terrorists including people attacking teachers and librarians, there are multiple simultaneous … Continue reading guess I’ll never understand American media, qeii edition

The Sealey Challenge: Flight

I close out my 2022 Sealey Challenge with bittersweet beauty: Chaun Ballard’s chapbook Flight, which takes on structural white supremacy and anti-Blackness and American history while still creating beauty, which nods to poets past and present while creating something unique. Every poem in this slight collection carries weight and depth and breadth, and every poem carries meanings—more than I can grab in one reading. Reading … Continue reading The Sealey Challenge: Flight