23 February 2014

It's Complicated: Relationships in 2014

Three articles were making the social-media rounds this February and, together, they just might be an odd enough trinity to tell us something about relationships in the year 2014.

First, an Atlantic article showing how Facebook can predict who will be in a relationship -- perhaps before the couple themselves are even aware of it.

Second, a Guardian reprint of a New York Times piece titled "Does equality kill sex?" -- with the result being that men who do only 'manly' things and don't try to 'help around the house' have sex more frequently and with partners who report greater sexual satisfaction.

And third, a short Independent article suggesting that polyamory may be the key to a longer, happier marriage -- that is, 'outsourcing' a few needs, as the needs couples place on each other are allegedly increasing over time.


After reading all three articles, I started to get the feeling, however, that there may not be anything 'new' to any of these studies. Of course two people will increase their communications before 'hooking up', of course male/female gender roles are adequately hardwired no matter how much we may try to reprogram them, and throughout all human history, of course, it seems to have been too much for one person to fulfill all of another person's emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and physical needs. It seems that the old saying "The more things change, the more they stay the same" has struck again, despite whatever 'newness' researchers try to attach to their data. Human relationships are just... complicated.

05 September 2012

New Jason Mashak poems en route

I'll soon have new work coming out in Amsterdam Quarterly and the revived Lummox Journal.

Earlier this year (2012), I had work published in Unshod Quills (as featured poet!) and some poems that appeared earlier in a printed volume, in both English and Czech translation, reprinted on the web edition of Kumquat Poetry.


UPDATE: You can read my poems in Amsterdam Quarterly here:


08 June 2012

Portland, Oregon's Orange Lining Art Project

“Hi Jason, We had over 1100 submissions of lines for the Orange Lining project and have chosen 103 for potential use.  Your line, EVERY RUIN IS A THING WE HAVE MADE, was selected, during our second round of reviews.”

I’m pleased to announce that a line from my book Salty as a Lip has been chosen “for potential use” for an art installation that will accompany a new light-rail (metro) extension deep into SE Portland, Oregon.

Other authors include people I’ve read with in Portland (e.g. Hurricane Katrina Benefit, Wordstock/Poetland) or whose work and professionalism I’ve admired over the years, and I’m honored to be listed among them:

Anatoly Molotkov, David Abel, Jules Boykoff, Kaia Sand, Laura Winter, Paulann Petersen, B.T. Shaw, and David Biespiel.

More info: http://orangelining.net/

26 March 2011

April, the Kindest Month

2011 has been a year of mostly Mondays. Maybe something to do with the moon's closest hovering in decades... or simply a convergence of obstacles to test my endurance. Regardless, April promises a new mentor in my life, a second daughter. My little Zoe will be a big sister to.. baby Chloe.

On the poetic front, I'll be reading at the U.S. Embassy's American Center here in Prague, along with legendary Czech underground writer/musician/artist Pavel Zajíček and the notorious American fiction writer Brad Vice, to celebrate the release of a new Czech-English anthology (with a theme akin to 'self-exile') recently compiled and translated by poet-professors Matthew Sweney and Bob Hýsek.

12 February 2011

Small Towns and Bombs

What is it with small towns having so many bomb threats? I recall that as a teenager in north Georgia (the US state) the nearby towns would have them, and they were typically traced back to prank callers.

After attending Cirque de Glace today in Prague, which turned out to be a bit of a bomb but at least my daughter loved it (I would've preferred Cirque Erotique a la Plage), we headed home a different way to avoid the traffic that we were stuck in for far too long on the way to the event, and we ended up in the Czech town of Melnik, where we had dinner at a pizzeria and then stopped by TESCO (like a British Wal-Mart chain) on our way home.

We'd been there about 10 minutes when employees and a couple police officers began guiding everyone to the front, along with the news that there'd been a bomb threat.

In the US, a message like this would have sent shoppers running in a panic... but not here in old Bohemia -- no, Czechs being the infamous skeptics that they are, people just looked pissed off and slowly trudged along toward the front, many even stopping to buy smokes on the way out. I too doubted the reality of the threat, but I quickly got my daughter outside (just in case).

Afterward, I sent an sms to a friend who lives not far from there and mentioned sarcastically that "Melnik seems to be a hotbed of Muslim activity" (actually, probably the only extremist group anywhere near there would be Czech neo-Nazis), to which he reminded me that Czechs did invent Semtex.