The New Yorker on the Blender
"My brain says 'run' but the heart
says 'browse.'" That sentiment appears as a
thought balloon above the head of a man facing
a woman with enough "emotional baggage"
for an ocean cruise, in a cartoon by
Adam Green that's posted (it looks literally
pasted) on this Boston-based love site. Some visitors'
brains may have the same reaction;
an editorial page ("Kirk Rambles Regarding
Romance") is somewhat puerile, and much of
the correspondence is downright sophomoric.
But a glance at the site's collection of poetry
will get your heart in gear and put you back
in a browsing mood. It has everything from
standard carpe-diem fare, such as "To His
Coy Mistress," to the more fatalistic "Theory,"
by Dorothy Parker, to surprises like Donald
Hall's whimsical "Valentine"-- all in all, a
satisfying sampler of ruminations on love in
its various conditions, coital and post-,
present tense and past.
Though the site is collegiate in its over-all-
tone, it's ancient in Internet terms, having been
up, in some form, since 1993. Its creator, Kirk
Israel, is not ashamed to post his own fiction
(thought you may be ashamed to read it). Other
prose collected here includes a snippet from
Tony Morrison's novel "Beloved" and a saucier
offering from the ubiquitous Web siren
M.A. Mohanraj. The response to Israel's literal
labor of love bears testament to the heart's
eternal folly. The Blender has spawned a
monthly journal, featuring more writing, brash
and impassioned. The Heart-on-Sleeve corner
posts love poems and missives from visitors
(mainly women), most filled with longing and
self-pity. It will make you feel young again.
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