Ode to a New Notebook

Breaking in;
The divine virginity of fresh leaves
As yet unlined.
Tilling fresh furrows in their tender flesh,
Hear me!
Gods of great unknown
I draw you forth in tilting glyphs,
A harness for your powers in blank verse
Distill your essence in these broken paths
To guard against the march
Of swift, forgetful, time.

© Guifré Bantjes-Ràfols, 2015


A Reply to Lauren Southern’s “Why I’m Not a Feminist”

Important things to keep in mind when discussing Feminism

Everyday Geopolitics Houston

Dear Lauren,

In the last couple days, I have seen your video “Why I’m Not a Feminist” pop up a few times. In the video, you describe why you are not a feminist. At the heart of your message is the assertion, “I am not a feminist because I believe both genders should be treated equally.” Setting aside for a moment the problems with your assumption that gender can be reduced to a binary of male/female (here’s a decent introduction to that if you want), I want to talk about the misinformation you offer in your video: misinformation about feminist activism and scholarship, and misinformation about domestic violence and rape. I don’t often find engaging in these types debates online to be the most fruitful use of my energies, since people that produce anti-feminist content generally are not very open to meaningful engagement with feminist thought, however I’ve been stewing over your…

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Guiding light

What light! I see from yonder sun

A fleeting spark, caressing heaven,

Immutable in its fragility, but free. 

Losing innocence as it swiftly tumbles

Earthward on a scything wind

The plunging path a portent

Of a dim deluding blaze.
© Guifré Bantjes-Ràfols

Forget Me Not

Longing, a warm sharp tug
Plucking at my gut.
Missing times gone before.
I lie here awake,
Dreaming of what used to be.

My friend, my lover,
A most significant other,
O how I wish
You would keep that name,
Keep that light aflame.

A well known stranger,
What you’ve now become.
Changes irreversible;
From bad seeds sown,
An ugly weed is grown.

Forget me not, my dear,
I lie on the brink of sleep,
I think on our debris,
And cannot rest for fear…
Darling, forget me not.

© Guifré Bantjes-Ràfols, 2015

A wish

If only I possessed a craft like that
Which did in Phebus’ face swift undo Troy,
That vessel then might pump me through your wards,
Past reason’s throne, which guards against advance,
And to your tender heart where, as hot breath
Does melt off frost from on a windowpane,
So might my whispered love be carried thence
To thaw the stiffness of thy cool resolve.

Escaping Dreamland Or 5 things I learned by staying up all night

I finally have work. Which is great but as always it comes in a deluge. I went from having no work to having three jobs which meant that this weekend I ended up working from 4pm Saturday to 9am Sunday. While I appreciate the money, lack of sleep can be quite taxing on the body and mind.

Before I laid my weary self to sleep at midnight Monday (what? I got stuff to do) I learned a lot about my brain on conscious.

Number 1:

Keep moving. I have known this one for a while but it still holds. If you need to stay up all night, you can never stop. This one is generally more important if you need to do things the following day. As soon as you sit down, or let yourself relax in any way, you’re toast. The Sandman cameth and you’re being swept away to dreamland. The trick is to always be doing something. Preferably physical. (Walking is great). This keeps your mind and body engaged, preventing you from falling asleep.

Number 2:

Hydrate. I was working in a very dry building which I am sure had an effect but I feel that keeping that water intake high keeps things running smoothly. In addition to keeping you in frequent transit to the washroom (Moving keeps you awake, remember!), it mitigates some of the side effects of sleep deprivation, which for me includes headaches. As Sunday morning approached and the sun rose, ineffectively attempting to penetrate the walls of the MTCC and reach me so many feet below, a throbbing ache set into my skull. As the day progressed and I obtained that precious nectar “O of 2H,” I felt my pain subside.

Number 3:

Focus. I discovered that my head was strangely clear, as if  all extraneous processing functions had been shut down. I was more clear-headed than I had been in ages. Imagine an empty house. You can see the far wall and everything in between. A chair appears in the centre of it. You are able to focus on and describe the chair because you are not being distracted by the zebra print carpet beneath the chair or the table strewn with whirling, whistling, bubbling, and chirping gizmos. That is what my brain felt like.

Number 4 :

The second wind. And third, fourth, fifth… The danger zone is between 9am and 4pm. If you stop between these times, you’re done for. However, the second wind tends to kick in around 4-5pm leaving you feeling strangely refreshed and awake. This  carries you through til around 10pm, when you are hit with a fresh wave of exhaustion. This is the time to go to bed. If you miss this window, by 12am or so the third wind hits and you probably wont get to sleep until 1-2am screwing up your potential for productivity the next day.

Number 5:

A very odd relationship with food. I became simultaneously hungry and not hungry. When I ate, the food tasted miraculous, but as soon as I stopped eating, I immediately forgot the taste. I have no idea why this is but I would love to find out.

As you may have noticed, this post has been much delayed. I hope to get back on schedule next week, but I know that work will be taking up a lot of my time and I may have to shift to a more infrequent schedule.

Building a life in the big city