Nietzsche on writing


“The author must keep his mouth shut when his work starts to speak.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

Thank you, Mithila Review!

My new speculative poem, Instructions for Astronauts, appears in the new edition of The Mithila Review!

It has also been made into a video. Check it out:


Ajapa Sharma, one of the co-founding editors of the journal, writes in the introduction:

When we read Michael Janairo’s submission “Instructions for Astronauts” for this issue, it resonated with some of the themes of our favorite space-based films and series. SyFy’s series based on James S.A. Corey’s Hugo award winning books, The Expanse has been our staple since season 2 of the series started airing in February. Against all criticisms, we’ve also thoroughly enjoyed Ridley Scott’s Prometheus and are eagerly waiting to watch Alien: Covenant later this year. Janairo’s poem captured elements that have traditionally been a part of science fiction’s visual corpus and his stellar voice quality made it all the more adaptable for a film. Working with Michael’s poetry, it became evident that good visual material can only come from excellent writing. The visual, after all, is an innovative translation of a textual script. The hope is that the video will become a medium through which Janairo’s poetry can travel far and wide.

Excerpt From: Salik Shah, Editor. “Mithila Review – Issue 8.”

Federal Arts Funding Beyond ‘Piss Christ’

The short version: Bullies who favor guns over culture distort facts so they can gut federal arts funding; here are some facts.

The news
“The president’s budget would eliminate the NEA’s $148 million budget, the NEH’s $148 million budget and the CPB’s $445 million budget, as well as $230 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which supports libraries and museums across the country.”

— Washington Post

Here we go again. A GOP budget plan to ax arts funding. Right-wingers cheering it on, saying things like arts are elitist and that people who want arts should pay for it themselves . This all seems to be a reflection of a couple different ways of looking at the world: the libertarian one, in which everyone needs to do everything for themselves (except maybe national defense?); and a kind of anti-intellectualism in reference to culture that can be summed up as “if I don’t understand it, it must be elitist.”

I’m reminded of a story told by a former newspaper colleague who recounted a meeting with an adult person in public. That person, recognizing her from her photo in the newspaper, said something like, “You write those movie reviews, right? You must be a millionaire.”

Continue reading “Federal Arts Funding Beyond ‘Piss Christ’”

Thank you, World Haiku Review

Thank you, World Haiku Review, for publishing my work in the latest edition.



A letter in support of NEA and NEH to my members of congress

I sent the following letter to my three federal representatives, my member of the House and my two senators. I used a form letter provided by the American Alliance of Museums, of which I am a member, as a starting point. I am not in the habit of writing letters to my representatives. Nor am I in the habit of marching in the streets and in the airport, but I have done all of these things since January 21, 2017, because what is happening in America is not normal. And the current administration’s stated plans to ax the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities strikes me as just as petty, short-sighted, and mean-spirited as anything else to come out of it so far. If you find some value in the NEA and NEH, or in this letter, please contact your own representatives to let them know.

Thank you for all you have done and continue to do to fight against the new administration and its unconstitutional ways. Also, thank you for your support of the arts in general, and of the Capital Region in particular.

On Friday night at an art gallery opening at Collar Works Gallery in Troy, NY, I met a young college graduate who is pursuing her dream as an artist. She remembered meeting me when I was the arts editor at the Times Union, the main newspaper in the Capital Region, and she was a high school student whose art work I chose to feature in the newspaper. That was a moment in her life that gave her the courage to pursue her dream.

Continue reading “A letter in support of NEA and NEH to my members of congress”