Blog/By Rob Bywater

Honey on the comb

The other day I sent my kids to the farmers’ market, and they came back with a little container of honey on the comb. Have you ever had honey on the comb? I had not. Nor had I understood that bee’s wax is, like, wax that bees make. They make wax! Little (or large?) catacombs […]

News that stays news

James Baldwin. The Fire Next Time. 1963. “People are not terribly anxious to be equal (equal, after all, to what and to whom?) but they love the idea of being superior. And this human truth has an especially grinding force here, where identity is almost impossible to achieve and people are perpetually attempting to find […]

Poem made of lines from other poems

The artist formerly known as my wife is the poet laureate of our town. A little while ago she hosted an event that featured a bunch of people reading poems by other people. And she added a wrinkle: during the course of the reading, audience members were to write down lines that caught their attention. […]

A word about love

From James Baldwin, in The Fire Next Time: “Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. I use the word ‘love’ here not merely in the personal sense but as a state of being, or a state of grace–not in the infantile American sense of […]

The false step

Hugely inspiring lines from Agnes Martin, via Jennifer Higgie’s excellent Instagram feed, which is dedicated to women artists: “Of all the pitfalls in our paths and the tremendous delays and wanderings off the track, I want to say that they are not what they seem to be. I want to say that all that seems […]

Behold! My daughter!

She is in 8th grade. Two things she did today: Thing one: At the end of her half-hour shift hosting a “youth radio” show on a community radio station, she attempted to play “Do You Hear the People Sing?” from Les Mis, intending to sing along with it. But there was a technical glitch and […]

Nighty-Nightvale

My kids have been getting into Welcome to Nightvale. “Getting into” means “listening to an episode in the car if they remember they like it,” but also “making a sincere parody podcast called Nighty-Nightvale that in many respects is better than the original.” The original is a news broadcast from a suburban Anywhere city that […]

The man I am

Our public elementary and middle schools are full of hard-working, good-hearted people, none of whom teach languages other than English. Yet at some point in his education, J. encountered a teacher who was brought in to teach Spanish for a few months. He remembers a few numbers, a few months of the year, and one […]

The end of disruption

I was staying at a sassy little hotel chain called Tru. It’s a Hilton spinoff. It’s got a pool table and board games in the lobby! It’s got hand-written messages about local activities on whiteboards facing the elevators! The walls are painted mint and teal and other fizzy colors, and the floors are made of […]

Why haven’t I written?

Because blogging is dead. Because the WordPress blogging interface changed and I’m old and don’t want to deal with it. Because I don’t know what to say. Because The Thing That Is Happening In Front Of Us is so distracting, so depressing, so consuming, that to write about anything else feels like a declaration of […]