The US Represented Weekly Update

Hello USR members and guests,marcus aurelius

As you probably know, we’re late in posting this weekly update. Really, it’s a biweekly update at this point, but keeping in mind the following quote from Marcus Aurelius, taken from “The matters addressed to himself,” we’ll avoid excuses, redouble our efforts to be more punctual, and move forward: “From Alexander the Platonic, [I learned] not frequently nor without necessity to say to anyone, or to write in a letter, that I have no leisure; nor continually to excuse the neglect of duties required by our relation to those with whom we live, by alleging urgent occupations.”

We’ve posted a number of splendid entries since the last update. Janele Johnson’s “‘Talking to my mother'” is a poignant expression of how it’s sometimes better to be “the one who forgets than the one forgotten.” Moreover, those who admire New oak treesOrleans’s massive, historic oak trees and remember what damage Katrina did will appreciate Janele’s “Katrina’s Trees, 2005.” In “Growing Sustainability,” Lindsay Deen explores the vast food desert existing in Colorado Springs and proposes a new possibility to fill the gap. Guerrilla gardening and community gardens together can provide solutions to transform the city into a sustainability hub to rival Portland, a city cited as being the most sustainable in America. Kimberly Rowe’s “Stanley Canyon Is Worth the Effort” demonstrates charming, articulate, and thoughtfully arranged nature writing, but it’s also a testament to the fact that even strep throat can’t keep a good family down. In “The End,” Nick Hertzog sardonically notes, “There’s a poetry reading tonight / whence I’ll chide other poets / who don’t sit alone,” and in Nick’s “Dissolving in the Acid of Time,” the poet laments, “I too grow old / but I don’t even wear the bottoms / of my trousers rolled.” As Rose Gilbert points out in “Helping or Hurting? Organized Crime’s Role in Times of Distress,” “Whether or not people want to admit it, organized crime has and will continue to meet a need in society, often during the most desperate times.”

black rose

In “Reaching Back to Help,” Brittany Everett describes what it’s like to be a domestic violence victim who suffered serious injury at the hands of an enraged husband. She also discusses the importance of standing up to this cultural illness, being heard, and doing something about it. As of this writing, the essay has over 3,000 views and 300 Facebook likes, so it has elicited a strong response, which is what we were hoping for.

hearst poolWe posted some new works to our “Visual Arts” section, too. Mara Zilkenat’s Blue Claw shows that “[f]rom close vantage points, nature’s detail, even the carcass of a deceased crayfish, holds incredible beauty,” and Mark Reginald WonderGhost, Mara’s friend and colleague, contributed an astonishing digital work called Colored Dream. In reference to the Hearst Castle swimming pool depicted in her photograph NarcissusCheri Arfsten says, “The pool was so grand, I’m pretty sure it knows it and revels in its reflection every chance it gets.” Of Cheri’s photograph Voyeur, which includes a nude statue she encountered on a trip to New Mexico, she notes, “I thought [it] was a real person and I was really embarrassed for us both.” Finally, Bobby Vasquez’s Magnolia captures Magnolia Cook, our Social Media Director and a contributing writer and editor, in soft yet striking tones.

We also added a “Layout and Navigation” area to the site, which will be of great service to a number of our members and guests. Moreover, we’ll be upgrading the “Visual Arts” area into attractive galleries very soon, at which time we will run a Visual Arts contest. We’ll keep you posted.

Best!
The USR Staff