Nowhere to Go but Everywhere: Seattle

pikeplaceseattleSeattle really does have everything. Unlike other places I’ve visited, From my move there in 2003 to now, it was and remains a popular spot for tourists. People come to Seattle in droves snapping pictures and taking in local foods and coffee. And even though I lived for years on First Avenue and saw tourists more often than I saw pigeons, I never really got tired of them. Because I get it. Seattle is awesome to visit.

My image of the city is definitely shaped by where I was in my life when I lived there. I moved in 2003, and my son was born in 2005. My daughter followed in 2008. We moved back east in 2010. So for a significant time in Seattle, I was a young, stay at home father. More importantly, I was the father of a temperamental and easily upset boy. So my time was spent walking. I have walked hundreds of miles of Seattle, from lake to sound, from suburb to city center. My feet know Seattle so well I think I could still strap on a baby carrier and walk blindfolded from Belltown to Kenmore without peeking even once.

The best thing about walking in Seattle is that despite the drizzle and the chill, it’s a very comfortable city. It isn’t the easy going place it was back in the nineties, but despite the increase in traffic and population it’s still remarkably cozy. I could walk over hills and bridges to First Hill and feel like I’d snuck into a small town perched over a city. I could take the kids with me to shop for records in Ballard and not feel as though cars were barreling down on us every second. One thing I hate about every place I’ve lived in America since is the neverending car culture bombardment. You can walk- but it isn’t easy or comfortable in most places in America. Everyone jokes about walking in L.A. but really… it’s ubiquitous. It’s walking in the States.

A return to Seattle for me would necessarily include a walk. I think my favorite winter trek would be from Belltown up through Queen Anne, through Fremont and ending at the lovely Carkeek Park. This would take ages, but it’d allow for time to stop at El Diablo Coffee for some Cubanos, a trek across a few bridges, and a view of the gorgeous mountains on either side of Seattle. And since the kids are big enough that I don’t have to carry them, I could even manage the walk in less than three hours. Assuming I could drag myself away from the cubanos.


Poetry Wednesday: Ferlinghetti Lives

He’s ninety five years old, but he lives.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, more than any of the San Fran Renaissance poets or the Beats they associated with later, is my kind of poet. I don’t write like him- I certainly don’t live in the rarified cultural air that he inhabited seemingly his whole life. But I get his motivations. He was an outsider growing up, but quickly found a home in academia. His academic bend would always flavor his work, and his later bohemian lifestyle was just an extension of how he understood and embodied the study of language.

You know that moment when a little thing sets you off? When a long hard day of keeping it together ends with tears over a chipped mug or a screaming rant over a papercut? That is how I’ll end when Ferlinghetti is no longer with us. Like a long life of poetic indignities and failures to comprehend finally reaches critical mass. Because the world lies about it, as he said of Patchen, and makes as though it got his message. And the refusal to “shake the shit from their wings” is something that can be borne for only so many decades and so many lives of poets.

That’s how I’ll feel when there’s no more Ferlinghetti in this world.

Here’s my favorite of his poems, an elegy for my favorite poet ever.

An Elegy on the Death of Kenneth Patchen

A poet is born
A poet dies
And all that lies between
is us
and the world

And the world lies about it
making as if it had got his message
even though it is poetry
but most of the world wishing
it could just forget about him
and his awful strange prophecies

Along with all the other strange things
he said about the world
which were all too true
and which made them fear him
more than they loved him
though he spoke much of love

Along with all the alarms he sounded
which turned out to be false
if only for the moment
all of which made them fear his tongue
more than they loved him
Though he spoke much of love
and never lived by ‘silence exile & cunning’
and was a loud conscientious objector to
the deaths we daily give each other
though we speak much of love

And when such a one dies
even the agents of Death should take note
and shake the shit from their wings
in Air Force One
But they do not
And the shit still flies
And the poet now is disconnected
and won’t call back
though he spoke much of love

And still we hear him say
‘Do I not deal with angels
when her lips I touch’
And still we hear him say
‘0 my darling troubles heaven
with her loveliness’
And still we hear him say
‘As we are so wonderfully done with each other
We can walk into our separate ‘sleep
On floors of music where the milkwhite cloak
of childhood lies’

And still we hear him saying
‘Therefore the constant powers do not lessen
Nor is the property of the spirit scattered
on the cold hills of these events’
And still we hear him asking
‘Do the dead know what time it is?’

He is gone under
He is scattered
and knows what time
but won’t be back to tell it
He would be too proud to call back anyway
And too full of strange laughter
to speak to us anymore anyway

And the weight of human experience
lies upon the world
like the chains of the ‘sea
in which he sings
And he swings in the tides of the sea
And his ashes are washed
in the ides of the sea
And ‘an astonished eye looks out of the air’
to see the poet singing there

And dusk falls down a coast somewhere

where a white horse without a rider
turns its head
to the sea

Nerdly Question: What Makes One Worthy of Mjolnir?

Comics fans love continuity. It’s a little masochistic, considering the comic industry is fluid, creators change titles or companies, and comics themselves began as a disposable medium in which what happened last month was pulped, destroyed, and never meant to be remembered. But despite this- or likely because of this and the special tingly nerd sensations that knowing the continuity provides- we love continuity.

One of the long lasting and interesting bits of comics legend is the Hammer of Thor. Based on the Norse myth but updated for the Marvel character, Thor’s hammer Mjolnir is enchanted so that only those deemed worthy can pick it up. And anyone who does pick it up has the power of Thor. But what does it mean to be worthy? The first Thor film introduced the idea to the MCU, but it didn’t expand on it too much. It set it out on the table, and didn’t ask the audience to think too much about it. I love the clip from the Age of Ultron, because it plays with that notion in a fun, character driven way.

Wouldn't we all, Janet?

Wouldn’t we all, Janet?

MCU Thor differs from comics Thor in a few ways, but most importantly he never has a human alter ego. In the comics, the physician Donald Blake finds Mjolnir and “becomes’ Thor.  He isn’t some Thor in disguise- he’s lived a whole life, he got a medical degree. And Thor is a god from Asgard, with his own family and friends and giant slaying backstory. They share a life from the moment Donald becomes Thor.

Lots of things happen in the comics, and Thor goes from being his own person to not, Donald comes and goes, recently a woman gets the Hammer and becomes Thor. The old Thor is called Odinson and… sells used cars in Jotunheim? I don’t know I haven’t kept up.

But most importantly, one thing never changes- if you’re worthy, you wield the hammer and get the power of Thor. You get his goat chariot, winged helms galore, and the strength of a god. But what makes someone worthy? The best moment in the Avengers clip above is when it moves a tiny bit for Captain America. Thor looks (justifiably) a little nervous. But why isn’t Cap worthy? Various people have been in comics- Beta Ray Bill, most famously, became horse faced alien Thor. There’s the new girl Thor… some ARE clearly worthy. But why?

My idea, one that has been tossed around comics fandom for a while, is the Goldilocks Goldilocks theory. It has to do with that delicate balance of characteristics, the just right touch of big brash god and sensitive poet. You need to be a warrior, and willing to use the hammer to fight. You need to be willing to confront evil with deadly force, if the need presents. But you also need to have compassion and mercy when necessary. Hulk isn’t worthy because he isn’t driven to confront evil, and his raw rage is too untempered. But Captain America is unworthy too… because he hates war. Oh he’ll fight. He’ll even kill- he shot quite a few Nazis when he needed to- but he hates it. He’s seen death and war, he’s lost friends… he’s human. You won’t find many who have that balance of traits needed to use Mjolnir to bash in heads some days, and refrain from head bashing others. Thor is a rare beast. A rare, awesome Asgardian beast. With a magic hammer.

I love comics.

You also have to be willing to repeat dumb catch phrases.

You also have to be willing to repeat dumb catch phrases.

Comics Corner Postscript: The Riverdales!

I really enjoyed reading all of the fun comics in preparation for the Archie comics post. But almost as nice was listening to album after album of The Riverdales, the band named after Archie’s hometown. It’s classic fun pop punk, complete with shout outs to comics and of course plentiful MST3K references.  Enjoy Prince of Space!

Comics Corner: The Best of Stan Goldberg

I never really read much Archie comics as a kid. I was such a superhero fanatic. If I spent any money on comics at all it was a superhero book, usually from the big two of DC or Marvel. I did read some Archie- anytime I was at a store or stuck in a line, I’d read through the new issue and generally enjoy it. It reminded me of the Sunday strips, which I loved and devoured voraciously. But I never put too much though into it until later, when my appreciation of the art and artists matured and I had a better sense of what the work meant.

One of the seminal artists of Archie is Stan Goldberg. He just passed away this past year at the age of 82. He worked in different comics over the years, including time spent at Marvel helping to establish the look of the silver age superhero renaissance. If you read his Archie books then look back, it’s obvious in hindsight- the intense, bold palette that he uses was evident from the earliest Marvel books. He helped design the superhero template with other members of the Marvel bullpen in the pre-silver age.

His style for Archie was instantly recognizable. The characters are cartoony but rooted in a solid, almost realistic body shape. The slight nod towards reality definitely makes his Archie work second to none, helping to land the ridiculous gags and bizarre story directions that Archie was famous for tackling. My favorite work of his is the seventies Life with Archie series, where he takes Archie into distant pasts and imagined futures. Archie is never terribly concerned with continuity, and Goldberg just ran with it, creating fantastic costumes and backgrounds without letting the characters get too far off model.

One of the secrets of Archie’s success is the timeless quality of the work. The art is definitely rooted in the strips that he enjoyed as a kid, and you can see echoes of the 20s and 30s in the characters and clothing designs. Any male appearing in a crowd will have an old collared shirt and a pipe, and women will be in long dresses and pearls. It’s a standard cartoon trope, and one that plays especially well in Goldberg’s work because of how well he places the Archie gang in the context. Betty and Ronnie in bellbottoms is contrasted with the ‘normal’ cartoon world amazingly well, you get the sense that these are young, special, maybe a bit goofy kids in a sane, steady world. It’s Archie mythos in a nutshell, captured in perfect visual shorthand.

Hey shoot Ronnie and save me some time, buddy?

The guilty must be punished…

There is literally too vast a volume of Goldberg’s work to even begin to list, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention his amazing cover for Archie meets the Punisher. It’s just perfect. The Punisher’s skull shirt looks amazingly out of place, which is hard to do when you’re standing next to a guy who wears a crown. Goldberg draws him less scruffy than he appears in the book itself, but he looks exactly how you’d imagine The Punisher should look- vaguely misshapen and awkward. I mean here is a guy driven by murderous revenge. He’s armed to the teeth at a sick hop, for goodness sake. He isn’t right in the head.

The issue itself is ever so slightly more realistic. Although Punisher does kiss Miss Grundy on the head. Miss Grundy seems way too into Frank, which is amazing. I’d watch a comic of just the two of them being doe-eyed and murdering criminals any day.

This is the kind of magic Goldberg can pull off- like other greats of comic art, he shows you that the mundane and the fantastic are all there to be explored. Stylized, cartoonish art allows a variety of worlds to be inhabited by the characters. Timeless designs make for outlandish and fun storytelling. He was a real master of his work and it’s a delight to get to explore it.

Nowhere to Go but Everywhere: Hiroshima


No one cares about Hiroshima. Even in Japan, it’s a city on the periphery of the national consciousness. It’s a popular spot to visit- for the Atomic Bomb Dome and the Peace Museum. But no one appreciates it as a place to enjoy being present.

I spent barely six months living in Hiroshima, and it became and has remained my favorite city. It’s a pleasant, walkable, friendly city. It’s surrounded by mountains and divided by rivers. You can take easy day trips to historic Shinto shrines and scenic island resorts. I’m really shocked it doesn’t get more attention for anything except the bombing.

Behind Hiroshima are mountains leading to Shimane prefecture, a much more rural neighbor. While Hiroshima doesn’t feel mountainous in the same way, they do tower over the town and make it feel like a cozy harbor town.

People like to tease me about my city exploration strategy. Here’s the thing- I love residential neighborhoods. I love walking or biking through people’s real lives, with tiny little cafes and rows of houses and corner stores. That is my favorite thing to do in a new town. I want to see people like me and how they live. I used to bicycle over a bridge and around a block and back over another bridge, just enjoying the bizarre and organic geography of Hiroshima. For residential neighborhoods and local hospitality, you can’t beat Hiroshima. You can weave in and out of streetcars, buses, trucks and cars and explore everywhere with relative ease. And when you’re tired of exploring, you can stop for some okonomiyaki.

Okonomiyaki, or “that fried thing you like” if you want to get silly with literal translation, is awesome. It’s a national treasure of a street food all over western Japan. It’s distinctively prepared in different cities. Now, as a person who went to university in Osaka, I’ll always prefer Osaka style okonomiyaki. But Hiroshima style, with layers of noodles, egg, veggies arranged in a neat little stack, is definitely pretty awesome. I remember my friend Takeshi coming to visit me once and taking me to an obscure little stand in a back alley of Hiroshima that made divine okonomiyaki. That okonomiyaki is perfect Hiroshima: ordered, distinct, and unappreciated for its varied delights.

Outside of the city is the gorgeous island of Itsukushima, better known as Miyajima. This is the island home of the incredible Itsukushima Shrine. The island itself houses several smaller shrines and a Buddhist temple. While the shrine and temple aren’t quite the experience you’d get in Kyoto, it’s a remarkable place to be. The giant torii gates near the sea can be reached at low tide, and standing near them you get a sense of the incredible history of the country. Coming into Itsukushima after being in modern, friendly Hiroshima is a shock. Perhaps due to that contrast, I always got a sense of reverence here that other shrines in Japan outside of Kyoto never provided. You see what was placed in such stark relief against what is. I’ve heard it said that the real Japan has never existed- it has never been able to fully flower against centuries of influence from other powers. Standing next to the giant torii gates as the tide rolls back, staring at Japanese maple against the hills… you get that sense. That the flowering is yet to occur, but also that this is a bud of what that flower may appear to be.

If you go to Japan, of course stop in and see the grandiosity that is Tokyo, marvel at Kyoto, and have fun in Osaka… but don’t skip Hiroshima. It’s a tantalizing glimpse at what possibilities still exist in Japanese culture, and what could be. If there is a fully realized Japan somewhere down the road, in the centuries to come, it’ll look a lot like the view from Itsukushima.

Next time: Seattle!

Poetry Wednesday: Ezra Pound and the Reading of Words

pisan1It’s ridiculous to write a blog post about Pound. Pound is 20th century poetry. What can I say in 500 words? Next to nothing. To really write about Pound, you need to be ready to embrace the aesthetic of Pound and come at it full force, baring everything and holding back nothing. Hugh Kenner did it- he wrote a book about Pound that was as intense and full as the poet deserved. But I certainly am not up to that task.  To really get Pound is a lifetime study of allusion and language. It’s to dive into the world canon in a way that few can even dare to attempt. It’s to lose yourself and your art until, stripped of all, you come out immersed in nothing but the words and the lines.

I’m all for that. But not today.

Instead. Today. I want to talk about five lines from The Pisan Cantos.

Last week on Poetry Wednesday I wrote about the accessibility of Bunting. The early Cantos of Pound, by contrast, seemed to be competing for a “prize […] awarded for the work of the greatest impenetrability” in the words of Ronald Bush. The Pisan Cantos intrigue me because they maintain the density and intensity while becoming more grounded. Perhaps due to his circumstances, detained by the Allies as a criminal (at the American Disciplinary Training Center! I wonder if he appreciated the absurdist wordplay of it!)

The Pisan Cantos are impossibly sad and defeated, yet retaining a power. He calls out to Cassandra as in a Greek tragedy, his own concrete hell made literal Hades. Did he see himself as Cassandra, seeing the truth of the world and being unable to say? He certainly spends a lot of time lamenting the state of the world and the lost traditions. He divines so much meaning from Confucius, but seems to be referring in these Cantos to the ossified and failing state inspired by the Sage, not the vibrant tradition of the past. The Pisan Cantos are confused and pointed, hard and challenging.

But they are not inaccessible. They’re deep and frightening, but they are so tempting to just dive into. Which is always the case with Pound- but in these Cantos the epic poem pulls you close. This is Homer speaking directly to you across the fire. The grand stage is receded, and the poet and poem are bare and secretive. The raw, angry, sad poet just wants to speak. Nowhere else in the poem is everything so bare.

“Old Ez folded his blankets”

He said. He was resigned. He didn’t give up- he was passionate and righteous here in prison, he wasn’t done- but some part of him resigned to the world. The old guard was moving away, love it or hate it, he had to accept it. He had to do the work in front of him, even if he only ever imagined a few caring. (Bill Carlos might get it! He called out before the Pisan Cantos were done!)

Pound said that the secret of genius is sensitiveness. The real secret, perhaps, is in knowing and seeing what a sensitive person sees and continuing to make it known. Most great poets have done their best work before 30. I don’t think this is due to some magical power of youth. I think it’s because of the challenge of letting the genius of the sensitive remain alive and productive. It’s feeling what is in the world and keeping words coming that is the difficult part- and many of us after 30 just can’t.

Pound, arrested and jailed in Rapallo, stared at in concrete in Pisa, reviled and hated by so many including himself… Pound could. The Pisan Cantos give words to the how and the why of the secret of genius.

The High and Low of Culture

We live in an odd age of pop culture. Comic movies are sure fire hits. Internet access has made information closer than ever. Novels and stories and art and images… it’s all right there for consumption. It’s everywhere. And that’s awesome. It’s an amazing chance to indulge in my love of Ezra Pound and Spider-man with equal fervor. I can binge watch a series of Friends episodes and read Zukofsky’s shorter poems while texting friends in Seattle and Osaka about fourth wave coffee. It’s a magical time.


Except… my personality problems are starting to arise.

I can’t always accept the low and high cultures blending together. I love it when Werner Herzog appears in a Parks and Recreation episode like he did this week. That’s awesome. But knowing that Ezra Pound championed Robert Frost? That’s unconscionable! It’s ridiculous to care- it’s ridiculous to even think too much about it. Art is art, culture is by definition the totality of human expression.

Even this is human culture. Humans are weird.

Even this is human culture. Humans are weird.

But I can’t help it.

And a big reason is my own bizarre upbringing. I grew up in rural West Virginia, when culture was just ending the slow 20th century march towards homogeneity. It hadn’t quite reached us in the small towns and farms in 1985 West Virginia, and we existed in an odd place. I could get poetry and classics from the library. Television was dominated by the big three networks, and mainstream films were just entering the blockbuster period.

A comic addict such as myself could get various comics from my local bookstore and spread out the (decreasing but still pretty nice) Sunday comics to enjoy giant Mark Trails and Mary Worths talking chipmunks and marriages. (Respectively. Though you never know with Mary Worth.)

I could be an elitist, because the world was smaller and the high and low intersected so rarely. High was far away, either in libraries ignored by the people around me or in distant cities where, to my juvenile mind, a different world dominated. Low was fun and immediate, a source of lunchtime conversation. Werner Herzog was making Fitzcarraldo, not appearing on an NBC sitcom. And that was set as normal in my formative self. It was as it should be.

As a culture, we’ve grown up. Pop culture is the stuff of serious journalism now. Epic poems can reasonably be compared to comics, and the rising tide of better understanding of meaning and deeper bookshelves raises all boats. I don’t for a second want to go back to my youth. I certainly don’t want to go further into the past, leaving the breadth of knowledge of 2015 unknown. But I need better tools for dissecting modern pop culture. Beyond finding what I like- the relatively easy part- I need to make Spider-man and Camus fit into one brain. It’s not important that I like them both- though I do!- but it is important that I appreciate a humanity that can create both.

Nowhere to Go but Everywhere: New York City


Idris: Are all people like this?
The Doctor: Like what?
Idris: So much bigger on the inside. I’m— Oh, what is that word? It’s so big. And so complicated. And so sad.

“The Doctor’s Wife”

Doctor Who

New York City is the greatest city on earth. It just is. I’ll accept no debate. Even thinking of what a city is forces a person to think NYC. Like a child in an apartment block that draws a Cape Cod with two windows and a red door on a piece of paper for his house, cities are meant to be skylines and a triangle Empire State building reaching into the sky.

I need to qualify that, however. With a few caveats.

The big caveat is this: Everything that is wrong with NYC is human. It’s a people place. It’s flawed, greedy, filthy and destructive. It’s also kind, creative, passionate and lovely. It’s really quite amazing that it can be all of that at once. Humans are not exclusively city dwellers, but cities are humanity writ large. For good and evil.

The next, smaller caveat is this: there are cities that have earned their own superlatives. London is a better city for walking. Nice is a prettier city. Osaka is more fun. But whatever these places are, they’re not quintessential cities. They’re great at being themselves, but they aren’t the pure human experience that NYC is. Maybe other cities were- Ancient Rome certainly deserves credit for creating a lot of what makes a city human- but NYC is now.

The best way to visit NYC is to walk. Step off of a vehicle in Manhattan and start walking. I’ve logged hundreds of miles in NYC, uptown and back down again. From east to west. You don’t need any transportation but your own feet. Every step you take will be a little slice of the human experience. You’ll hear a dozen languages a block if you listen. And my favorite place to walk is relatively new: The High Line park. It’s usually filled with European tourists, but a weekday morning is perfect for a relatively empty and peaceful stroll. I like to grab a coffee (NYC was late to the game but there are finally some decent coffee shops around the city, including a Blue Bottle near the High Line) and slowly make my way uptown. You won’t get the perfect city experience- High Line is too new and too isolated from the action of the city- but you’ll see the best and the worst. Alongside murals and the last vestiges of old Greenwich Village, you’ll see towering condo developments selling for millions of dollars per unit. It’s insane- literally against all sense- yet it’s human. It’s what we do.

There are better places to explore, and NYC is filled with the best of humanity- art, food, history. You could spend a week on each city block in NYC and still not see everything or talk to everyone. And unlike other places I’ll talk about later, you’ll just be a face in a sea of humanity. Because the other thing that NYC has in common with the mass of humans who created it is this: it knows itself. It doesn’t have the same kind of character as Paris or Lisbon. It can’t- it needs to be everything to everyone. Many people have criticized this aspect of the city, considering it soulless or blank because of this. But to me, this is the final piece of the human puzzle- it’s too big and complicated to be anything. It’s a starting point and an ending point, and too much distinctive personality would tip the scales one way or another. And just like we can be many things to many people… so can the places we create to reflect us.

I’ll talk about more places that I like and why I like them- many (if not most) I like more than NYC. But there are none that are more me, because there are none that are more us. And, big and complicated and confusing as we can be on the inside, I’m quite fond of us.

Next time: Hiroshima!

Poetry Wednesday: Basil Bunting and The Persia of Poetry


This is the unstable world

we in it unstable and our houses.


“Chomei at Toyama”

It’s impossible, or near enough to see impossible, to consider what a poem is beyond the context of the greater world. In a real sense a poem is a place carved from the greater world and placed as a representative of the whole. It’s a hologram language, each small part containing within it the entirety of the history of communication.

A friend of mine recently commented that Bunting is accessible in a way that other comparable poets are not. I was thinking of that when I sat down to review his work for this post. Bunting, though as powerful and brilliant as Pound in many ways, was something Pound could not be- present. Pound wrote of a world he envisioned, perfect intellectual paradise that came as his great song. Bunting, world traveler, multilingual Bunting… reported. He expressed what he was seeing in a simple eloquence. You can grab a poem by Bunting and be transported to the distant corners of the Earth and not ever feel like you need to understand the world before you enter it. It’s the experience of being there that matters.

More than his accessiblity, however, what drives me to Bunting is his genius for clarity of language. His poems can capture an entire culture in a few simple, clear phrases. His command of the language allows an entire history to unfold in the sparest terms possible.

“Lips/moistened, there are words.”

There are depths to explore in Bunting, of course, linguistically and otherwise. He uses language with care, and there is a lot you can pull apart if you wish to go that direction. But the point of Bunting is never in the history. He doesn’t invite annotations. He, like the Persian poets he revered and studied, invites listening. You can follow him down the road, but the poem itself is there to be heard.

It isn’t surprising, then, that he spent so much of his life trying to travel and explore the world. Travel demands exactly that same kind of presence that poetry demands. The words on the page are there, the places and people on the street are there… it can be abstracted and dissected but it should be overall experienced. Bunting saw Persia as civilization. It was a place where culture lived and breathed. He dove into the Farsi language in order to experience that culture as an insider. He wanted to be in the same place as Hafez and Ferdowsi, not just as a poet and a scholar but as a fellow traveler.

Bunting’s Persia is the land of poets. It’s a place that represents a state of interaction with the poems. It isn’t mythical- not yet. It’s just not readily accessible from the land of abstractions and metatextual analysis. Sometimes it takes a shift in perspective to see it, sometimes it takes a literal journey to another place. But it’s worth going to. It’s valuable to remember that poetry isn’t dusty tomes in forgotten museums, but living language. It’s word and page and line break and white space.

Bunting, more than most, understood that. And left behind some amazing work to help us understand it as well.