It’s been over a year since I regularly contributed to this blog. A year since I left my job in Tokyo, not to mention friends that I still sorely miss, to move to Iowa City to work on a Ph.D. out of the English department (is it really a degree in Eng Lit?) at the University of Iowa. A year since my last real (big?) paycheck. etc. Moving is always a fairly traumatic experience - even those of us who like moving, don’t always enjoy the process - but moving overseas from a massive metropolis to a backwater midwestern town (the “city” in Iowa City is just aspiration after the fact) is murder. I have found myself alone in loving overcrowded trains, noisy intersections, random encounters with all sorts of strangers, all night restauranting in the bar below your apartment, and all the other trappings of city life. Anyhow, I miss that. By 10 pm here, you can run red lights and no one is going to notice. Personally, I’m startled whenever I leave the house after dark. At least I don’t hear cows and chickens. On the plus side, the University does attract some fabulous people, students and faculty alike, and has given me all sorts of interesting jobs. I had the pleasure of meeting, among others, Brian Kim Stefans last October, the day before the Presidential elections. Also, gave a paper on Stefans and Goldsmith just recently at the Collage as Cultural Practice conference here - at which I also met mIEKAL aND and his incredibly intelligent wife Camille Bacos (and his son whose name, I’m embarrassed, to say, I forgot) and Doug Kahn, Craig Baldwin, and bunch of other people (as one does, I’m informed, at conferences). etc etc. Anyway, this is a round-about way to explain why I have not been blogging. Since my name is off of most blogs now (I suppose Luminations was just too inactive), it’s likely no one is reading this right now. Still, it’s a psychological barrier I need to surpass in order to resume blogging proper. It’s also a way of buying time while I work out what I’ve missed. Universities are good for many things, but keeping abreast of current (meaning right now, not ‘in the last few years’ - the latter being a phrase denoting something one found out during the summer break) poetry, art, etc they are not.