As can be easily guessed this particular espresso does not refer to the ubiquitous and famous pressurised coffee brewer or its brew but to a ‘book machine’, literally, which mimics the coffee kit’s speed of execution as suggested in ‘espresso.’ The idea of near-instant availability is emphasised by the description ‘machine’ – in an age where mechanical automation coupled with digital technology has normalised quick-paced modern convenience. It is probably the normalisation of high technology in contemporary culture which has downplayed the revolutionary nature of the EBM invention. It appears to be just another ‘gimmick’ in a gimmick-suffused world:
You hear members of my generation gloating about how we were the last ones to be raised by parents with strong moral and ethical values in Nigeria. You hear talk that we were the last who got beaten by our parents if we came home from school with a ten-kobo coin in our pocket whose origin we could not account for (today, a 20-year-old can just drive from Lagos to the village in a brand new Hummer, no questions asked); we were the last who had to read books.
Tom Ue: Let us start by talking about mining. According to your Web site, you “spent a year working in a copper mine in the Yukon, northern Canada, where [you] crushed rocks and saved money.” I confess that I do not know anything about mining. Can you elaborate?
Kate Pullinger: I worked at Whitehorse Copper, in the lab, where I really did crush rocks. My job was to take mineral samples – big rocks – and to put them through a series of grinding machines until they wound up as dust that could be analysed. It was very noisy and dirty work – I used to have to wear a hardhat, a face shield, earplugs, facemask, coverall, steel-toed boots and heavy-duty gloves. It was phenomenally boring. I was by myself most of the time. I used to add up the money I was making by the minute to keep myself entertained. I loved the Yukon though, and Whitehorse was a hugely social town with a great cast of characters – full of drop-outs and runaways and fortune-seekers.
So now, let’s watch the sun undress the night;
See light—like melted butter—cover us,
While we’re cushioned in Luxury, plush Pomp
Of bed, deathbed of diabolic Chastity.
An overstuffed yet bare living room. Fat recliner, rusty radiator, doilied coffee table, gaudy tiffany lamp, bare and dirty floorboards. Once opulent but now stripped piece by piece for cash. There is definitely no oak desk, velvet drapes or leather chair.
Renata leaned her head back to have it washed. It was the first time she’d been to a hairdresser in thirty-one years. The water drenched her hair, and soothing hands massaged her scalp. As she succumbed to the sensation, she remembered…Her brother had bleached her hair and pushed her into the sewer with one commandment: ‘LIVE.”…Renata marvelled at the gall of the fifteen-year-old she had been.
April 6th, 2010
Griffin Poetry prize shortlist announced
April 1st, 2010
Gaspereau Press Wins Five Alcuin Design Awards