* The New Yorker on the Blender

Blender of Love (http://alienbill.com/romance/) "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.

--The New Yorker, Aug 25-Sep 1 1997
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