Clouds and Trees

"Nothing ever goes away enough or arrives enough,/ and I want to cry when I think of my heart,/ muscle pounding in muscle, greedy always for joy." – 'A Warning', Eric Anderson

Ars Poetica

The vines by the creek must have been there years
before I noticed them at 12 or 13. Invasive species,
would climb a tree arm upon arm, like tefillin,
until the tree’s back couldn’t bear it, snapped in half
and hung, suspended in the veins of its parasite.
While I was away, the whole woods disappeared —
but left behind such beautiful houses.

Favorite Poem of the Day – “Praise Song for the Donkey” by Aracelis Girmay

I figure this is appropriate given what’s going on.

for Lama & Haya & the donkey, killed by an Israeli missile in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza

“It was not possible to identify which parts belonged to the donkey & the girls”
     –Witness, Gaza, Palestine, 2009

Praise the Mohawk roof
of the donkey’s good & gray head, praise
its dangerous mane hollering out. Beneath
her soft & mournful gray, still beneath
the skull, where it is dusk, praise
the rooms of the donkey’s eye & brain,
its pulley & clang, this sound
of hooves & the girls still saying words.
Praise the girls still saying words,
praise the girls, their hands, the hooves
of their hearts hoofing against their opened chests
opened on the open road plainly, praise
the fat tongue’s memory of grass or hay,
the hundred nights of animal sleep
flung far from bodies, the sturdy houses of bones, all over
the decimated road where every thing is flying, praise
the deep, dark machine of the donkey’s eye,
the girl’s eye, like a movie-house crumbling
in a field outside of town—,
praise the houses & the rocks it held once, the sky
before & after the missile, praise the dark
& donkey soul crossing over, every one,
every hill & girl it ever saw, crossing over
in the red suitcase of its blood, into the earth,
praise the donkey earth, earth of girls,
earth of funerals & girls, praise the small,
black luggage of the donkey’s eye
in a field, flung far,
filling the ants & birds
with what
it saw.

How to Grow Up

Credit to L. Frank Baum

Of course your grandmother’s porcelain figurines
are alive.
They herd sheep, study letters, dance together,

Of course they come from a city ensconced
by a porcelain wall
and if they leave they will be paralyzed forever.

Of course there are rocks there
soft as skin
except when scared, falling.

Conversation about Perspective

“Manhattan is great, sure, but like anything
you have to get the right perspective.
You have to see it from a distance,
so that it starts to look inanimate.
Like something totally vibrant and virile
that died suddenly. An ant colony calcified,
or someone wearing incredibly tight pants
hit by a car, frozen in mid air.
Like waves on the ocean
which look like clouds from high above.
What I’m trying to say is, with enough activity
and distance, there is stillness. And so the universe
is a photograph developing. That is why
I am climbing this building,”
King Kong said to the fighter pilot.
Though from the pilot’s perspective
it sounded more like,
and thus was lost in translation.


The average New York City
subway rat lives about 80 years
fortified by potato grease
and vigorous exercise.

Because of this, they develop
robust internal culture.

Each withstands a profusion
of menial, violent, and beautiful
daily impulses driven by endless,
repetitive, personal history.

Rats are as often killed by the subway,
as by their jobs, or by disease,
though it can be difficult to tell.

Some are captivated by shallow puddles
in which they drown themselves
whilst staring at the moon and just beginning
to grasp the meaning of a metaphor.

Relevant Etymology Time!

I feel it is somehow my responsibility to post today’s word of the day.



Apparently in Greek mythology Mt. Parnassus is the home of the muses. Which is how the Montparnasse area of Paris, the artistic center of the world for the beginning of the 20th century, got its name. I’ve learned so much today! Happy Friday all!


Erasure Project #1, pt. 3: “Love is words”


Another piece of my current erasure project!


Love is words
there are many



we are
a web of

love is
a reflec-
love is called,
love is called



locked in language.

Favorite Poem of the Day – “The Play of Light and Shadow” by D. Nurkse

This poem is by my first teacher and adviser during my undergrad studies at Sarah Lawrence College. Technically he’s my ‘Don’; I’ll leave it to all of you to discern what that means. I’ve always felt incredibly lucky to have a personal relationship with this guy because besides being a brilliant, universally wonderful (or to use a word I’ve only ever heard him use, numinous) person, he’s also become one of my favorite poets in the world.

The Play of Light and Shadow

We want to give ourselves away utterly
but afterwards we resent it, it is the same
with the sparrows, their eyes burn so coldly
under the dusty pines, their small chests swell
as they dispute a crumb, or the empty place
where a seed was once: this is our law too,
to peck and peck at the Self, to take turns
being I, to die in a fierce sidelong glance,
then to hold the entire forest in one tilt
of a tufted head, to take flight suddenly
and fuck in midair, tumbling upward.

Erasure Project #1, pt. 2: “The Science of Loving”


I have been working on an erasure project! This is the second part. You can see the first part here and an apology to the Hare Krishnas who gave me this great book. The transcript below is a meager representation of the original; WordPress is not forgiving when it comes to line spacing and word placement.


the science of loving

The method is very simple,

it is very easy

supply     food to one’s stomach

when we eat something
the energy

created is
the largest tree.                                     water the
tree                          feed
the body