Tuesday, October 30, 2012

oh wouldn't you know

oh wouldn't you know

big letters
in small words
making long listless lines

lingers in my mouth
a tongue tossing hard
candy about,
a frightened swimmer,
heavy waters

in the new age,
our fingers are held

piano-like, they dance
and block chances

every screen is a distant wish
to be taken down:
who climbs in bed
with computers?


these days can technologically be
warming, hot boxes on cold laps
where humans used to



i've known headphones,
but what's more, i've known
singing softly in an ear

tucking hair back
tickling with the slightest breath

these words look like beads
of sweat, like birds,
a curve of chin/ eyelash/ wings
stretched, diving in with blankets cold,

collapse. into the tangible:


Saturday, October 27, 2012

with it

with it

"no longer will i try to assign partners for god"


the mirror slipped
out of hands held
in heavens together

large hands
what color

did the hands attach
to arms with hair
or without, scrubbed nails

and flowing
beard? i saw bright red
nailpolish, roses
pressed between
palms without

i put the hands together
folded them all neat
like linen napkins
cast them in porcelain
despite the poet's
words as above

so below!!!!!
i yelled into the canyon,
took the mirror from my bag

i threw it down

didn't see it hit
a thing

didn't see it



Thursday, October 25, 2012

fire alone is the theme

fire alone is the theme

sleep came once in                           fragments

child dreams:
             to pet a horse
to chase a bird               from a tree.

windy conversations             toss themselves
                  clothes on a line.

without shoes

the kitchen is florida
orange.  the                      phone is            ice cream
for fear
of busy-ness,

my heart patters softly, a cliche

clicking               its way                   into a chamber
of some gun.       heavy like                  ripe red
meat                   in a belly,                i am seasick

with discovery.
                            the past and
                                            further past
                                sews itself to the mattress
                    no sheet
           no pillows
no feathers
        i've not motioned
into circle          parabola or
                the theme of the night is fire
and i am                                                                       [never & always]

kindling, burning


Wednesday, October 24, 2012



just come find me

my arms are up
and waving

what will you
be wearing?

how will i know



Monday, October 22, 2012

you are standing at the edge of the woods

You Are Standing at the Edge of the Woods
By Mary Oliver

You are standing at the edge of the woods
at twilight
when something begins
to sing, like a waterfall

pouring down
through the leaves. It is
the thrush.
And you are just

sinking down into your thoughts,
taking in
the sweetness of it—those chords,
those pursed twirls—when you hear

out of the same twilight
the wildest red outcry. It pitches itself
forward, it flails and scabs
all the surrounding space with such authority

you can’t tell
whether it is crying out on the
scarp of victory, with its hooked foot
dabbed into some creature that now
with snapped spine
lies on the earth—or whether
it is such a struck body itself, saying

The thrush
is silent then, or perhaps
has flown away.
The dark grows darker.

The moon,
in its shining white blouse,
And whatever that wild cry was

it will always remain a mystery
you have to go home now and live with,
sometimes with the ease of music, and sometimes in silence,
for the rest of your life.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

gender self-determination

all quotes from dean spade's essay, "compliance is gendered: struggling for gender self-determination in a hostile economy" from transgender rights

"public relief systems have also operated through moralistic understandings of sexuality and family structure to force recipients into compliance with sexist and heterosexist notions of womanhood and motherhood."

"day-to-day surveillance of low-income people and the rigid and punitive rule systems used in social services create a highly regulated context for the gender expression, sexuality, and family structure of low-income women who often rely on these systems to get out of economically dependent relationships with men."

"almost all of the institutions and programs that exist to control and exploit poor people and people of color in the united states are sex segregated."

"property ownership itself has been a raced and gendered right throughout u.s. history, and an individual's race, gender, and sexuality have operated as forms of property themselves.  similarly, interventions that would appear to seek to remedy the exploitative and damaging outcomes of our economic system have often been structured to control gendered behavior and expression and incentivize misogynist and heterosexist family norms."

"marriage incentives and requirements that mothers disclose the paternity of their children are only the most explicit examples of how the moral performance on which [welfare] benefit receipt is conditional is fundamentally a requirement that poor women rigidly obey conservative notions of gender role and family structure."

"these morality-based understandings of poverty play out in the day-to-day operation of social services programs that emphasize surveillance and gender regulation of poor people."

"access to homeless and domestic violence shelters is mediated through punitive processes where those looking for assistance are treated as morally and intellectually deficient and subjected to humiliating violations of privacy as an integral part of the disincentification of receiving services.  navigating benefits systems, shelter systems, essential medical services, and entanglement with the criminal justice system that is now a central aspect of low-income existence in order to survive is increasingly tied to the ability of each person to meet highly gendered and raced behavioral and expression requirements."

"gender segregation remains a central organizing strategy of systems of social control."

"almost everyone who comes to the sylvia rivera law project for services is facing serious consequences of failing to fit within a rigid binary gender structure in multiple systems and institutions: welfare, adult or juvenile justice, public education, voluntary or mandated drug treatment, homeless services, and mental and physical health care.  'compliance' is a central issue that my clients face in these systems.  they are unable to 'comply' or 'rehabilitate' because to do either means to match stereotypes associated with their birth genders."

"access to gender-related medical intervention is usually conditioned on successful performance of rigidly defined and harshly enforced understandings of binary gender, because many gender-transgressive people may not wish to undergo medical intervention, and because medical care of all kinds, but particularly gender-related medical care, remains extremely inaccessible to most low-income gender-transgressive people."

"while nondiscrimination policies may provide remedies in some important contexts, they do not address the broader problem that prevents gender self-determination and creates daily dangerous and deadly situations for poor, gender-transgressive people: the existence of legal gender classification."

"we need to expand resources for trainings and build political alliances so that domestic violence shelter providers and activists, homeless shelter providers and activists, welfare rights activists, the prison abolition movement, and others whose work is intimately tied to the fates of poor, gender-transgressive people come to understand gender self-determination and the elimination of sex segregation as a core component of the equality and justice their work seeks."

"sexual and gender liberation will never be meaningful if it is contingent on economic privilege, racial privilege, or genital status."

Thursday, October 18, 2012

chapter two: reappropriations

all quotes from welcome to the desert of the real by slavoj zizek

"it is the awareness that we live in an insulated artificial universe which generates the notion that some ominous agent is threatening us all the time with total destruction."

"money fetishism will culminate with the passage to its electronic form. . . the debt is inscribed somewhere in virtual digital space. . . does not the same also hold for warfare?"

"we are entering a new age of paranoiac warfare in which the greatest task will be to identify the enemy and his weapons. . . and is not the obverse of this paranoiac omnipresence of the invisible war its desubstantialization?"

"a war experienced by its participants as a video game. . . we, ordinary citizens, are totally dependent on the authorities for information about what is going on: we see and hear nothing; all we know comes from the official media."

"is not the obverse of this surprise the rather sad fact that we, in first world countries, find it more and more difficult even to imagine a public or universal cause for which we would be ready to sacrifice our life?"

"if we look more closely, what is this 'clash of civilizations' actually about?  are not all real-life 'clashes' clearly related to global capitalism?"

"this 'perverted' position of the truly 'fundamentalist' conservative arab regimes is the key to the (often comical) conundrums of american politics in the middle east: they stand for the point at which the usa is forced explicitly to acknowledge the primacy of economy over democracy"

"the fact that global capitalism is a totality means that it is the dialectical unity of itself and of its other, off the forces which resist it on 'fundamentalist' ideological grounds."

"'i do not believe that anyone is politically guiltless.' [-jaques derrida] this self-relating, this inclusion of oneself in the picture, is the only true 'infinite justice'."

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

death throws

death throws

up. it vomits
life. which gives
birth to
voice. i was lucky,
i got one.

like the mermaid,
i knew its value.
i killed it,
grew legs
and ran

towards you,



Saturday, October 13, 2012

settler colonialism

quotes from settler colonialism & the elimination of the native by patrick wolfe

"territoriality is settler colonialism's specific irreducible element."

"the american right to buy always superseded the indian right not to sell."

"the international slave trade and the highest echelons of the formal state apparatus converged across three continents with the disorderly pillaging of a nomadic horde who may or may not have been 'lawless' but who were categorically white."

"in contrast to extractive industries, which rely on what just happens to be there, agriculture is a rational means/end calculus that is geared to vouchsafing its own production, generating capital that projects into a future where it repeats itself."

"in addition to its objective economic centrality to the project, agriculture, with its life-sustaining connectedness to land, is a potent symbol of settler-colonial identity."

"settler colonialism is relatively impervious to regime change."

". . .the logic of elimination, which, in its specificity to settler colonialism, is premised on the securing - the obtaining and the maintaining- of territory.  this logic certainly requires the elimination of the owners of that territory, but not in any particular way.  to this extent, it is a larger category than genocide."

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

one month down

one month down

the starter wouldn't turn over.
was it the battery or the engine?
what was this to cost? we're a vehicle,
is what i'm trying to say, thinking
unmechanically. we're on fumes riding.

it's all in the reach,
isn't it. why isn't it
the moment? i woke up
pathetic, had dreams of the beach
i was not at.
didn't need coffee when
you didn't need coffee. shrunk.
i stretched up and kept
stretching. what is
monogamy? why are my hands
bitten, nails shaking? the dog

ran away four times. you were angry
to die in the fire, in your dream. we sat
right here on the porch, drinking water
dressed in yerba mate. where is this
or that? you ask. i stop asking

where are we? i wonder if
you're: always doing, i'm: always thinking.
it's against this socialized nature,
to stop. Cleaning. Mending. Gardening. Nurturing.
but Breathing clears the static,
to Sit, to Cry.

we kissed goodbye twenty minutes
ago, less love, more
duty.  i have no bearings, nothing smooth
and oiled, no front brakes.
i could go on preparing
my cage. really, the cage

was just a joke, a giant trash score,
a concept for a photo shoot. yet someone
pointed to my extra bones & feathered
heart, she pointed at her, at you,
the sky. she said fly, and i realize
i've forgotten.


Monday, October 8, 2012


By Mary Oliver

My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird—
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.
Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,
which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.

Friday, October 5, 2012



every material is a conductor when the voltage is high enough, since a high enough voltage can always tear electrons loose from atoms. for example, air is normally considered to be an insulator. however, when a large electrical charge accumulates on a thunder cloud, the atoms of air in the region of the cloud are torn apart, turning the air into a plasma. this is how a lightning bolt is created.”
-james trefil

i thought water
with cupfuls of salt
was a trick to discover,
a hat filled with cute bunnies,
someone cleaning ions
in a bucket.

the materials remain
disposable, at my
feet. i will trade pennies
for copper, i will ask
for gold.

i knew the rain
meant plasma, i mean
i knew the clouds meant fog.
choosing, chosen, singing
signs, they all swim together,
numbers rearranged, 

sinking and floating, we bob
through crests and troughs.
buzzing and dancing, we flicker
wings upon air, zooming.

enough with the metaphors.

a high enough voltage can always tear
electrons loose from atoms.

a symphony of lightning,
i swear, birds dove into hiding at this point.
watch out! you have no idea
where the live wires were buried.
i won't even mention the charge.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

of the way of the creator

from thus spoke zarathustra by friedrich nietzsche

my brother, do you want to go apart and be alone?  do you want to seek the way to yourself?  pause just a moment and listen to me.
     'he who seeks may easily get lost himself.  it is a crime to go apart and be alone' - thus speaks the herd.
     the voice of the herd will still ring within you.  and when you say: 'we have no longer the same conscience, you and i', it will be a lament and a grief.
     for see, it is still this same conscience that causes your grief: and the last glimmer of this conscience still glows in your affliction.
     but you want to go the way of your affliction, which is the way to yourself?  if so, show me your strength for it and your right to it!
     are you a new strength and a new right?   a first motion?  a self-propelling wheel?  can you also compel stars to revolve about you?
     alas, there is so much lusting for eminence!  there is so much convulsion of the ambitious!  show me that you are not one of the lustful or ambitious!
     alas, there are so many great ideas that do no more than a bellows: they inflate and make emptier.
     do you call yourself free?  i want to hear your ruling idea, and not that you have escaped from a yoke.
     are you such a man as ought to escape a yoke?  there are many who threw off their final worth when they threw off their bondage.
     free from what?  zarathustra does not care about that!  but your eye should clearly tell me: free for what?
     can you furnish yourself with your own good and evil and hang up your own will above yourself as a law?  can you be judge of yourself and avenger of your law?
     it is terrible to be alone with the judge and avenger of one's own law.  it is to be like a star thrown forth into empty space and into the icy breath of solitude.
     today you still suffer from the many, o man set apart: today you still have your courage whole and your hopes.
     but one day solitude will make you weary, one day your pride will bend and your courage break.  one day you will cry: 'i am alone!'
     one day you will no longer see what is exalted in you; and what is base in you, you will see all too closely; your sublimity itself will make you afraid, as if it were a phantom.  one day you will cry: 'everything is false!'
     there are emotions that seek to kill the solitary; if they do not succeed, well, they must die themselves!  but are you capable of being a murderer?
     my brother, have you ever known the word 'contempt'?  and the anguish of your justice in being just to those who despise you?
     you compel many to change their opinion about you; they hold that very much against you.  you approached them and yet went on past them: that they will never forgive you.
     you go above and beyond them: but the higher you climb, the smaller you appear to the eye of envy.  and he who flies is hated most of all.
     'how could you be just towards me?' - that is how you must speak - 'i choose your injustice as my portion.'
     they throw injustice and dirt at the solitary: but, my brother, if you want to be a star, you must shine none the less brightly for them on that account!
     and be on your guard against the good and just!  they would like to crucify those who devise their own virtue - they hate the solitary.
     be on your guard, too, against holy simplicity!  everything which is not simple is unholy to it: and it, too, likes to play with fire - in this case, the fire of the stake.
     and be on your guard, too, against the assaults your love makes upon you!  the solitary extends his hand too quickly to anyone he meets.
     to many men, you ought not to give you hand, but only your paw: and i should like it if your paw had claws, too.
     but you yourself will always be the worst enemy you can encounter; you yourself lie in wait for yourself in caves and forests.
     solitary man, you are going the way to yourself!  and your way leads past yourself and your seven devils!
     you will be a heretic to yourself and a witch and a prophet and an evil-doer and a villian.
     you must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame: how could you become new, if you had not first become ashes?
     solitary man, you are going the way of the creator: you want to create yourself a god from your seven devils!
     solitary man, you are going the way of the lover: you love yourself and for that reason you despise yourself as only lovers can despise.
     the lover wants to create, because he despises!  what does he know of love who has not had to despise precisely what he loved?
     go apart and be alone with your love and your creating, my brother; and justice will be slow to limp after you.
     go apart and be alone with my tears, my brother.  i love him who wants to create beyond himself, and thus perishes.

     thus spoke zarathustra.