Wednesday, March 28, 2007

al jazeera english

I've made a pact with myself to read at least one article from here each day. You can also watch by clicking on "watch now" (duh!). I learned from Part IV of Frontline's News War last night that no American media outlet will carry Al Jazeera English, which just launched in November of 2006. Of what are people so afraid? The requiem at the end of part IV, for journalists from around the world who have been killed, imprisoned, or exiled in the past year, is especially moving.

Monday, March 26, 2007


I missed four and five (in more ways than one), but you can find them at the official culture cast website.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


watching the world from the crotch of the fig tree
into crescent fluorescence we are born
of shadows
i have faith in nights
and a stranger's greeting
burning embers
the quadrilateral translucence of worlds unknown
sends me home

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

vernal equinox

"The spring equinox is one of the four great solar festivals of the year. Day and night are equal, poised and balanced, but about to tip over on the side of light. The spring equinox is sacred to dawn, youth, the morning star and the east. The Saxon goddess, Eostre (from whose name we get the direction East and the holiday Easter) is a dawn goddess, like Aurora and Eos. Just as the dawn is the time of new light, so the vernal equinox is the time of new life."

Monday, March 19, 2007

my mother's mail

My mother's mail has ceased to be forwarded. I know the US postal service can't go on forwarding dead people's mail forever, but I feel a bit betrayed! Like they should have sent me a renewal notice or something. ("Attention: your mother's mail will no longer be forwarded to you unless you ACT NOW... This is your last piece of mail unless we hear from you today!"} Her mail was like a winding umbilical cord still connecting me to her life, even across the threshhold of death.

I didn't even notice the day when it stopped; I should have. I stopped paying attention for one small fraction of a moment, and then, boom, her mail was no more. No more RPCV (Returned Peace Corps Volunteers) newsletters, no more "Sojourner's" magazines, no more solicitations from liberal causes, no more doctor's bills, no more insurance statements.

The last envelope that arrived, if I remember correctly, was a 1099 for something or other, which aptly reminds me that, indeed, "'In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." (Ben)

rootless tree

I've been sitting here in the dark for hours watching Damien Rice videos... He'll be in Denver at the Paramount on May 5th. I'll be there. Will you?
This one's for you, 200 days.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

there's something....

about reading Lolita
that makes one hyper-aware of
peeling elevator paint hotel carpet patterns rusty old lock sounds
movements of hands
daily details revealing revelry
and heartbreak
even zippers seem inordinately loud
and painful

Sunday, March 11, 2007

spolita loonerisms

"What's the katter with misses?" I muttered (word-control gone) into her hair.
"If you must know," she said, "you do it the wrong way."
"Show, wight ray."
"All in good time," responded the spoonerette.

from Lolita
Vladimir Nabokov

for you, dear reader

Margaret Atwood is still my all-time favorite writer of prose and poetry. Yesterday, I turned on the radio at just the right moment to catch Garrison Keillor read this. Fickle fate bestows us with her gifts. It is better to listen.

by Margaret Atwood

Winter. Time to eat fat
and watch hockey. In the pewter mornings, the cat,
a black fur sausage with yellow
Houdini eyes, jumps up on the bed and tries
to get onto my head. It's his
way of telling whether or not I'm dead.
If I'm not, he wants to be scratched; if I am
He'll think of something. He settles
on my chest, breathing his breath
of burped-up meat and musty sofas,
purring like a washboard. Some other tomcat,
not yet a capon, has been spraying our front door,
declaring war. It's all about sex and territory,
which are what will finish us off
in the long run. Some cat owners around here
should snip a few testicles. If we wise
hominids were sensible, we'd do that too,
or eat our young, like sharks.
But it's love that does us in. Over and over
Again, He shoots, he scores! and famine
crouches in the bedsheets, ambushing the pulsing
eiderdown, and the windchill factor hits
thirty below, and the pollution pours
out of our chimneys to keep us warm.
February, month of despair,
with a skewered heart in the centre.
I think dire thoughts, and lust for French fries
with a splash of vinegar.
Cat, enough of your greedy whining
and your small pink bumhole.
Off my face! You're the life principle,
more or less, so get going
on a little optimism around here.
Get rid of death. Celebrate increase. Make it be spring.

Friday, March 2, 2007


On this day, eight years ago, I traversed the cosmos, travelled light years, and arrived across the threshhold as a new creature: a mother. I remember vividly my midwife, in the dark, saying, "Now you are between the worlds" as I found myself in the most altered state of consciousness I had ever been in. I remember my John saying that he had climbed Denali, but that it was nothing compared to what I had just done.
Happy birth-day, my sweet child. Eight more and you will be able to drive me to school.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

it is what it is

Fifteen heart-breaking photos by Nina Berman have been on my mind all day, in between grocery shopping, chocolate cake, used book buying, and bed time stories. Make sure you check out the whole series.

what do you see?
anything other than
what it isn't?
it is what it is.
i may be old,
but I am not yet wise, and so
i want to know-
do you see what I see?
calling bullshit on Disney
and happily ever afters.
all the duty-love in the world cannot turn this man back into a prince
what do you see?