like the mighty tardigrades, supermodels deserve their own phylum. i can't say that they threaten my self-concept; i'll never be rich or dotty enough to worry about mimicry. they do have provocative relationships with other creatures, though.


my phone and attention span aren't an effective team. i had my first extended conversation on the sidewalk in chinatown today - as i've had cellular service for three years, this is the eighty-fifth indication that i'm a crappy city girl - and it was horrible. blah blah blah GINSENG blah blah BANK OF AMERICA blah PERCH FLOPPING AROUND IN AN INCH OF WATER, POOR THINGS. i won't draw parallels between the talk and the walk - there were ripe little collisions, but they don't belong here. in short, i hate that phone.


my mother would like you to know that she would not eat fellow starvers at all, regardless of baby status.

caring for your introvert.


we had The Conversation yesterday - you know, the one where you determine how it would go down if you were trapped together without food. joe hopes that i would eat him if he died; under no circumstances would i do so. i'd be consumed, though; i'd even get sneaky and perish so that he'd feel obligated. okay, but it would be very difficult. he pauses. what if i could make you into jerky?

1: mom, i have a question of dire importance for you.
2: yes, i'll play scrabble.
1: no - if you were stuck somewhere and starving and you -
2: no, i'd never eat a baby.

so there's that.


'they'll pay you if you get this job. wear your lucky underwear.'


Ten to noon in San Francisco, three thin flights above a disco
Where many a -something metabolized nocturnal sorrow:
I, protesting eyelids' rape by sunlit yards of flimsy crepe
Rose to rearrange the drapes, petitioning to borrow
Darkness for another hour. Petitioned to borrow -
Dream today, revise tomorrow.


d.h. lawrence on hardy's jude the obscure:
Why does a snake horrify us, or even a newt? Why was Phillotson like a newt? What is it, in our life or in our feeling, to which a newt corresponds? Is it that life has the two sides, of growth and of decay, symbolized most acutely in our bodies by the semen and the excreta? Is it that the newt, the reptile, belong to the putrescent activity of life; the bird, the fish to the growth activity? Is it that the newt and the reptile are suggested to us through those sensations connected with excretion? And was Phillotson more or less connected with the decay activity of life? Was it his function to reorganize the life-excreta of the ages? At any rate, one can honour him, for he was true to himself.

(from Phoenix: The Posthumous Papers of D.H. Lawrence, 1936)
jude is a lively novel; i'm glad it named my three-legged cat.


-- Click Here To Take The Test --


my stoop runneth over with undeserved postal love: tomato nation sent swag, jen sent a powerpuff valentine, douglas sent music. in the best of all worlds, they'd be close enough for coffee; in this one, land mail goodies are exciting middle men. what nifty folks.

one prefers to conclude an absence with news of a cure for cancer or, say, a hot local band. in the name of progress, i ate rice at a place called OSHA. that's it.

Miss Havisham's produce collects,
Mementoes for ancient seasons
On every car, driveway, sidewalk:
Summer's rotting walnuts, the fall's
Wizened persimmons, and so on.
Trunks of a legislated size

Are of heritage trees, a size
That can't fall. My mother collects
Epithets for them, switches on
The Price Is Right: Models season
Invisible chicken.


noam chomsky on confronting the empire: now there's an interesting reconsideration of participatory democracy. adrienne, note.


adrienne rich has consistent objections to armed conflict, and that's fine - my gripe is that she didn't crank out a new piece for poets against the war. this is your full time job, lady.

on bursting with sadness, or my new favorite snippet of film criticism:

"And because Mia [Farrow] appears so frail and birdlike, this looked particularly great on her. When she gets pregnant the whole style gets even more chic because her belly accentuates the Empire mini, and the trapeze dress was so in right about then."

(Simon Doonan, on Rosemary's Baby)

cats may compete with cockroaches in the event of nuclear winter. all household beasts lost food and water for 12 hours (per the vet) when cat 1 started vomiting; now cat 2 is siphoning 1's subcutaneous fluids. couples' internal logic: ew.

It was night. There was nature.
The moribund worm yawns.

(putting on his pants)

O natural philosophy, o logic, o mathematics, o art,
it's not my fault I believed in the force of the last emotion.
O how everything goes dark.
The world definitively chokes.
I make it nauseous,
it makes me nauseous.
Dignity sinks into clouds.
I never believed in a quantity of stars.
I believed in one star.
It turned out I was a solitary rider
and we didn't become like tuna.

(putting on her blouse)

Look idiot look
at the extremities of my breasts.
They vanish, they retreat, they float off,
touch them you fool,
they are on the edge of a long sleep.
I turn into a cottonwood,
I swell.

(putting on his jacket)

I said that the female is almost human,
she is a tree.
What's there to do,
I'll smoke, I'll sit around, I'll think.
It seems stranger and stranger
that time still moves,
that it breathes.
Can time be stronger than death,
maybe we're devils.
Farewell dear Natasha cottonwood.
The sun rises violent as light.
I understand nothing.

He gets smaller and smaller and disappears.
Nature indulges in solitary pleasure.

(aleksander vvedensky, 1931 [eugene ostashevsky trans.])

happy day to you, lovers! happiest of birthdays, leroy!


the second and third rejections were less inspirational, though zyzzyva's form response had handwritten praise for my cover letter. i'm tempted to send away to journals that accept work from children and title themselves with acorn references, but i've managed to channel my angst into job applications and a half-sestina on rotting fruit. new york decided that i'm fit to make its coffee, on a more positive note; joe and the 1.75 cats and i will be in the city, then, for june and july.

i apologize, america, for hoarding your duct tape; we determined a year ago that it's a marvelous substitute for those expensive pet lint rollers (stick a loop to itself and wear the cardboard like a bangle bracelet - voila!). in our defense, note that an average sitting room only holds about five hours of cootie-free air.

aldous huxley is reported to have considered los angeles the greatest city around. discuss.


the remains of my poetry armada began washing ashore today. the first was a plain old address unknown; given the obscurity of some of my initial choices and the fact that rhymin' is a hand-to-mouth business, i'm not surprised. the second, o, the second had actual comments! one of them was positive! another asked me to return a piece with more like it! that smell ain't success, but i like it all the same. more importantly, i can debut a public record of my swings and misses (top right). i've been looking forward to that for weeks.

little sis writes that she nearly flattened james marsters (buffy the vampire slayer's spike) on the road in los angeles the other day. scoff if you must: in hollywoodland, that's bigger news than spotting jesus on your toilet paper. hope she didn't wash the car.

I will put Chaos into fourteen lines
And keep him there; and let him thence escape
If he be lucky; let him twist and ape
Flood, fire, and demon - his adroit designs
Will strain to nothing in the strict confines
Of this sweet Order, where, in pious rape,
I hold his essence and amorphous shape,
Till he with Order mingles and combines.
Past are the hours, the years, of our duress.
His arrogance, our awful servitude:
I have him. He is nothing more or less
Than something simple not yet understood;
I shall not even force him to confess;
Or answer. I will only make him good.

(edna st. vincent millay, c.1946)

she inks a heart in her jeans' knee:
oh and ee. musicians are it,
and he her hero (the underworld's papered
with posters). retrieve,
my sweet, your superfan!
poor orpheus is but a man.
hades orders mtv.

i paid $1 for a scooby doo dvd in order to support sarah michelle gellar. i downloaded and kind of enjoyed tatu's "how soon is now?". i let my little sister bleach my hair. forgive me, father.


the bourne identity: an enjoyable romp. run lola run's franka potente is underutilized, but i got a kick out of seeing her wear multiple outfits in a film. her austin mini is winning as well: who knew that a yuppie toy could perform so well in a chase scene? the folks at the james bond franchise, you say? never mind.

joe on martha stewart: how quickly would someone kick your kid's ass if you packed his lunch like that?


in a stunning display of situational masochism, i applied for an interviewee job. no, not consumer survey stuff - this group wants to send applicants of various ethnicities around the country to determine if employers favor certain types. i've never written a cover letter detailing my skills as a white person before; it was a singular experience. as i'm miserable with interviews, they probably won't be interested in me.

on the rainbow connection: the hebrew hammer, a self-proclaimed "jewxploitation" film, debuts at the sundance festival this year.
So when Santa's evil son Damien topples jolly Saint Nick and threatens to wipe out Hanukkah altogether, who you gonna call? As Damien demonically pushes the Christmas spirit on Hassidic children (using none other than highly addictive It's a Wonderful Life videos), the Hammer has no choice but to mount a serious offensive. Enlisting Esther from the "Jewish Justice League" and Mohammed, chief of the "Kwanzaa Liberation Front," he ventures to the Holy Land, the North Pole, and even to his mother's Sabbath dinner table, all in hot pursuit of the red-suited rogue.

on the persistence of memory: stewart's arizona photos have joined the new year's eve archive.


due to overwhelming interest in the position, says the note from a group that pays editorial assistants $9/hr, we are acknowledging your resume with an automated message. mm. pretty sure starbucks starts baristas at $10.

new american writing (#20) packs a few sonnets. like platform sandals and fondue, they're coming back: the key to the renaissance is that they no longer make sense. gunderbunny, my high school english teacher (and father of the three-paragraph sonnet), would be so disappointed. i saw this on the horizon as i finished that edna st. vincent millay biography last night -
We just had to stop because we were afraid we were going to die.

"Of young companions, bravest of the brave
" " " , in the brook to lave
" " " , none of them a slave,
" " " , hating to behave,
" " " through the forest grave (nave)
" " " hunting for a cave,
" " " in a manner suave,
" " " boredom off to stave,
" " " still too young to shave,
" " " hell about to pave,
" " " did not stamp or rave,
" " " , (one of them called 'Dave')"

(e. st. v. m., c. 1940)
my portfolio's a casserole of nonsense and sonnets. this information isn't good for me.


y tu mama tambien: worth the price of a rental for the leafy swimming pool sequence alone, and one of the few films in recent memory that earns its Bittersweet Foreign Flick Conclusion. on paper, the story borders on precious - teens road trip with a mysterious woman, questionable sex and life lessons ensue - but vanishing paradise is so winning here that it's difficult to scoff. cuaron anticipated luisa when he cast anne bancroft as miss havisham in his great expectations (a dud with weirdly perfect moments) - both characters are so damn world-weary that naivete is their only possible direction. it works.

on eden and consequences: lisa snapped polaroids at burning man and recorded her models' favorite adjectives (i'm partial to french roast and woolen); her husband wrote a dirty limerick at my request. art is crazy stuff.


i get tired of loathing americans when tragic things happen, but it's impossible to avoid. dan rather might have declined to report that, on the street in baghdad, someone considered it significant that the columbia came apart over george bush's home state. ebay might have declared a moratorium on shuttle memorabilia for a while - or declined to process new auctions involving this morning's video footage. bush himself might have offered dignified condolences instead of insulting us with a half-baked JFK impersonation.

for shame.

While admitting that [Philip] Larkin's poetry "refuses alibis" about the "conditions of contemporary life," [Seamus] Heaney writes that
there survives in him a repining for a more crystalline reality to which he might give allegiance. When that repining finds expression something opens and moments occur which deserve to be call visionary. Because he is suspicious of any easy consolation, he is sparing of such moments, yet when they come they stream into the discursive and exacting world of his poetry with such trustworthy force that they call for attention.
Later he adds that Larkin's skepticism is often modified by a mood he calls elysian, and he cites poems like "At Grass," "MCLMXIV," "How Distant" and "The Explosion" as examples of this mood. All these poems, says Heaney, "are visions of 'the old Platonic England,' the light in them honeyed by attachment to a dream world that will not be denied because it is at the foundation of the poet's sensibility". Finally, Heaney says "in the poems [Larkin] has written there is enough reach and longing to show that he does not completely settle for that well-known bargain offer, 'a poetry of lowered sights and patently diminished expectations'".