Wednesday, December 26, 2007


I think, if I think hard enough, you think of me too.

Then I need to find things to do with my hands.

Friday, December 21, 2007

A (Perfect?) Day

The sun through the window is a different shade of bright in the winter; it seems to absorb the white of the snow. I leave two shutters open so that it can filter through. My window looks out onto the Huron River, frozen and still, except for the train at two a.m. and the geese sometimes, afternoons.

It's darker in the mornings here, the sun reaches this longitude about an hour after New York City - not that New Yorkers are awake when the sun rises, though. I rise at six-thirty.

There may not be reason, but there is power in motion. It is an impulse, an obsession, and an obligation. It is difficult for me to write about the body, just as it is difficult for me to incorporate writing into the body, the movement. One cannot yet speak to the other. Or through it?

Please don't ask me about the writing. Please don't ask me about the running. I don't know how well I can do either.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Walking to a reading between a & b:

Mon. 7 pm, E. 10th St. between Ave. 1 and a:

Tai Chi in the Villages
Yang Style
Must be willing to yield
to play
Only the serious must apply
If you are serious you can play
Inhalation becomes substantial
Exhalation becomes insubstantial

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Beautiful Distractions

Recently have read, Reading, Re-reading, or Reading in the very near future:

A Seahorse Year, Stacy D'Erasmo
Man in the Middle, John Amaechi
The Plays of Anton Chekhov
ABC of Reading, Ezra Pound
Metamorphosis, Ovid (hopefully a 16th or 17th Century translation)
The Waste Land, T.S. Eliot
Time and Materials, Robert Hass
Elders and Betters, I. Compton-Burnett
The Selected Poems of Osip Mandlestam
Stardust, Frank Bidart
The Lyrics, Fanny Howe
In the Surgical Theatre, Dana Levin
Dark Back of Time, Javier Marías (and a huge thank you to M. for this! I can't wait to read it...)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

You, in sentences. Almost.

Wanting. Like the escape of a moment or the near-brush of a body.

Bodies ungraspable.
Temporality and spacial distances creating a whole. Full gap of space, a river canyon.

You know I exist, just not how. This is what makes words empty, lacking body.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Opening books to random pages and finding

"Music rots when it gets too far from the dance. Poetry atrophies when it gets too far from music." - Ezra Pound

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Day After

To not step on the toes of others. To not be enough.

And in not being enough, to know. But who is to say what is not enough? Or to know?

To give thanks. For you, and for others (even in not knowing what it is to be thankful in them).

Spending hours preparing poems. My voice, a slight whisper. Slit in the face. Somewhere a woman speaks, or speaks through objects; touches the keys of an instrument, touches the handle of a weight. Layers and mass of meaning. Haunted by specters of words and their uses.


Reading a gathering of matter a matter of gathering by Dawn Lundy Martin.
Wondering at the genre of fantasy and hoping for enchantment. (this has nothing whatsoever to do with the aforementioned book of poetry).

"There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it.

It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable it is, nor how it compares to other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours directly and clearly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep that channel open.

No artist is pleased...there is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction; a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others" -Martha Graham to Agnes DeMille

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Not my desk

To M. and her desk:

Colors can be luminous, I thought earlier, walking down Broadway in the orange glow. Unfocused, not of streetlights, but the impermeable halo that rises from the city. Like M.'s desk, which neither of us can seem to stop meditating on since I was over there last week and we decided to do some writing exercises; for one of them I wrote about her desk. She painted it white I don't know how long ago and now it flaunts wax and water marks as well as cracks where the wood peeks through. The opposite of black. The opposite of so many things.

Later on a slight wind creased the iridescent water (46)
It is compelling the words you are drawn to and the ones that I choose to engage...

Monday, November 12, 2007

At 7 a.m. a blond woman in a red suit spilled Starbucks on the sidewalk on Broadway.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A Blue Chair

I have been thinking that I want to crawl into your head. Let me know when this is possible. Perhaps Sunday? Or the day after next week?

I am currently ensnared in disembodied descriptions. I cannot seem to paint any pictures, real or otherwise. Here, I will try; judge for yourself which are real and which are not (assuming that it matters, or that it doesn't; oh, I seem not only to be stranded but indecisive as well!)

A blue chair, plastic. Transparent, with palm of hand visible through the back. Gash on palm, like a story, only an accident (but stories can be accidents, too, I suppose). The sterling silver ring, no diamonds, taps a rhythm out loud for no one to hear.

The two yellow lines never really end, but I'm sure they must cross somewhere. Deceived by the air, the trees are green until they are not; the trees are full until they are bare, and no colors to delight the eyes. Watch, and you will see. This will not be apparent, though, if you are colorblind.

The price of abstractions -

Friday, November 2, 2007

Ambivalence and Reality

It is finally November, and so I wonder:

Is that which reveals itself in shadow actually that which is totally real?

Or does the light illuminate that which was really there all along?

These are questions that are best contemplated in the dark. Turn off the light. There is a place where space exists divorced from time: sunrise and sunset. If light were not so bright, would the truth reveal itself?

I am supposed to be thinking about sound, but I cannot free myself from this incessant iridescence. I wish I had a candle, or two, but I don't. Only white light. White electric light.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Writing in Vodka

Currently wandering in international waters: reading "A Child Is Not a Knife" by Goran Sonnevi, Swedish poet. Am under the influence. And drinking Russian Standard. Am enamored.

What makes you think it is possible to understand other people? Contemplation of nuances against words. Verbs cannot describe your actions, but adjectives describe your countenance; it's blue with a hint of deceit. I want to stop talking about it, but there was never anything to talk about to begin with.

There is something to be said about your brilliance. I will not say it anymore.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Repeat. Repeat.

What is it about recurring themes, recurring dreams? The unconscious shift from obsession to preoccupation persists in this liminal space, temporally cataloging my thoughts. This happened then, and that happened there; returning. Electricity and blackberries, road music and initial theories, to name a few.

Conversations repeating themselves until they are reduce to one word and one breath. Choose one: Blackberry. Russia. Poets.

J. is moving on Wednesday but today we met up for coffee. I don't remember everything we talked about, but I know it involved something existential, New York, Keats, Blake, Jorie Graham, Robert Hass, K., and sex. Not necessarily in that order.

the other notion that,

because there is in this world no one thing

to which the bramble of blackberry corresponds,

a word is elegy to what it signifies.

--Robert Hass, from "Meditation at Lagunitas"

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Light returns again; as the cycle of days, the cycle of subjects. Stein's "Dr. Faustus Lights the Lights" impeding on my consciousness and too stubborn to go away. Read before seen, read as writing, not theater (not my medium). Now returned to, a production. The Wooster Group production; video monitors and recordings. Writing again, this time about the industrialization of light in the nineteenth century. White electric light pervading my sight. Rhyming. Refusing structure as Post-Modernist experimentation.
Attempting to return to the source (without knowledge thereof):

Ihr naht euch wieder, schwankende Gestalten,

Die früh sich einst dem trüben Buck gezeigt.

Versuch ich wolh, euch diesmal festzuhalten?

Fühl ich mein Herz noch jenem Wahn geneigt?

Ihr drängt euch zu! Nun gut so mögt ihr walten,

Wie ihr aus Dunst and Nebel um mien steight;

Mein Busen fühlt sich jugendlich erschüttert

Vom Zauberhauch, der euren Zug umwittert.

-Goethe, "Faust"

[Once again, you draw near, wavering shapes,/ from the past in which you first appeared to clouded eyes./ Shall I try this time to hold you fast?/ Do I feel my heart still inclined toward that illusion?/ You push yourselves forward! All right, have it your way./ As you climb out of vapours and fog, / My breast feels itself trembling in a youthful manner/ from the breath of magic that hovers round your train.]

Monday, October 8, 2007


and Wine.

Russian Standard.

Poets in the

An unimportant

Thursday, October 4, 2007


On a postcard I picked up at the NY Art Book Fair last weekend, tacked to the wall above my desk:

"Playful talent wanted. Must write well."

It is something about the writing. Of the writing. First-drafts looming over me; the revisions usually more quickly executed than initially thought, but the time first. Finding the time, as if it could be locked up and stored for later. But if that were the case no one would be afraid of running out of it.

Or running out of thoughts. Not quite penetrating deep enough for a new one to emerge: this is such a difficult point to judge for oneself. I try, I think I try. Is this exhausting?

I cannot move enough. When I am sitting, I want to be cycling. When I am running, I want to be reading at the same time. I don't know where the time goes, really. The digital numbers move up or down depending on what machine I am on, but always moving towards the conclusion. Lifting, sets are monitored by seconds, minutes, rest-periods and exertion. My heart-rate monitor my constant companion.

I have not had a good work-out in days.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

In case you had forgotten

These are
my words.

I am
not you.

Monday, October 1, 2007

I wish I did, but I don't

create art.

Art that consists in looking that is, as opposed to

This afternoon I wandered in my jeans
and Adidas shirt amidst vintage clad beings;
I could not melt into the walls because the
warehouse was glowing: white: sterile:

a showroom for the books but illuminating
so much more.


Reading In Praise of Shadows (1933) by Jun'ichiro Tanizaki - among other things, explaining the reasons why modern appliances, white, white, white, do not fit harmoniously in Japanese rooms; the Western preoccupation with light, white, bright, sight.

The banishment of mystery.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


n. The fact of being consciously the subject of a state or condition, or of being consciously affected by an event. Also an instance of this; a state or condition viewed subjectively; an event by which one is affected

Wonder at what
it is. There are so many changes, rearrangements that go on over the years. Petersburg is not static; yet the greatest, fastest changes happen to those who go there, and that experience is forever suspended in time in their own minds.

My questions arise: what do we talk about once the subject has been exhausted? If there is nothing in common; or if there is? Pauses in conversation, awkward silences (or are they only awkward to me?).

An attempt at definition.
Shared Experience. And then?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Writing, or Remembering:

from: "A Gesture Through Time" by Elizabeth Block

"Memory is so imperceptible. It is a skeleton of embodied experience gone by -- only to hit in a wailing voice crying for what is without. A tale includes a plot-like tease -- a plot-like disease -- yet its outcome eludes us. Like music. Perhaps this is why we listen to the same song over and over again. We listen, hoping for resolution, but it never comes. Only the event's vibrations and movements -- crooning crooning crooning. We seek those high E's and F's; a chorus feigns a flight from loss. Perpetuates some fantasy -- lets us believe the memory is really a present and living body.

But so much of living now is juggling all these instances of loss as they shuffle and interpret
the now. Where is this split?

If you had a choice between losing your hearing or your sight, which loss would you endure more comfortably? What if, after you lost, you changed your mind, not knowing for sure what life is without."
--p. 36
"The limit of fiction remains its inability to get out of 'the real world' as a reference for the work. Language buckles with psychological bounds and gags. Language is as conceptual as art gets." -- p. 42
Buy it. Read it. Pass it on.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Today I made a pilgrimage (v. a journey to a place associated with something well known or respected) to the Brooklyn Book Festival. It was the second annual, and I hesitate to write only. It was extremely well attended, though some of the main stages ran behind schedule after only the second readings.

I went to a couple of readings; the first was a panel of first-time novelists reading from their recently published. The second was called
Crack in the Facade, readings by Mary Gaitskill, Colson Whitehead, and Peter Melman. All were excellent, however...

I spent most of my time at the SLS/St. Petersburg Review table (if you haven't checked it out yet, this is my pitch: go find a copy of the St. Petersburg Review; this year is it's inaugural publication - it is an international literary journal of approximately 50% English speakers and 50% works in translation - mainly Russian translations in this edition). Spent time catching up with friends I met on SLS and pitching the Review to slyly glimpsing festival-wanderers.

Clearly, I cannot disentangle myself.

But this real world is also much different than the delusion of the White Nights. And are the people the same? Am I? And I miss it now, I do. And I don't know what to do.

The destabilizing force comes with reflection. Is time not enough? Distance? How far must I go - if I keep walking west, I will eventually end where I began. And then I anger myself and my preoccupation with things that happened, things that never were, things that were
only in Russia that I didn't even want, don't want now.

And I always feel as if I am outside: watching: waiting:

But the explanation always remains:
Only in Russia.

Friday, September 14, 2007


As when time stops. The distant chiming of the elevator
becomes more distant still. Writing as preoccupation in
suspended time floating from consciousness. Her voice
repeating as music (her medium) other words. Too similar
in the absence of delineated space. There are no boundaries
in the mind. Fewer or more between them?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

a haunting.

“Seafood poisoning, a cigarette lit as the person is drifting off to sleep and that sets fire to the sheets, or, worse, to a woolen blanket; a slip in the shower - the back of the head - the bathroom door locked; a lightning bolt that splits in two a tree planted in a broad avenue, a tree which, as it falls, crushes or slices off the head of a passer-by, possibly a foreigner; dying in your socks, or at the barber’s, still wearing a voluminous smock, or in a whorehouse or at the dentist’s; or eating fish and getting a bone stuck in your throat, choking to death like a child whose mother isn’t there to save him by sticking a finger down his throat; or dying in the middle of shaving, with one cheek still covered in foam, half shaven for all eternity, unless someone notices and finishes the job off out of aesthetic pity; not to mention life’s most ignoble, hidden moments that people seldom mention once they are out of adolescence, simply because they no longer have an excuse to do so, although, of course, there are always those who insist on making jokes about them, never very funny jokes.”
-Javiér Marías, translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa

Monday, September 10, 2007


As we walk down Claremont, my friend N. tells me that "Petersburg" is a very green word to him; and I see this, I do. But I am also unable to disassociate this seeing from my experiencing: St. Petersburg is a very dark city (though N. then adds that New York is a very black word to him). There are no trees, it is a gray forest of cement. Intriguing, yet. The character fits, of course, the quiet strength of the people and their melancholy history. It is as if stepping into a time capsule, with the neurotic paroxysm of Time's Square dropped down in the middle.

"Drink today, you won't buy a house. Don't drink today, you won't buy a house"

This is what Andre Zorin told us in our Untranslateable Russia lecture, the one where I could hardly hear what he was saying through his mumbling and tried desperately not to fall asleep. Though afterward I reported enthusiastically to others that it was very interesting, very good.

I agree with N., and don't have the heart to explain to him fully the contradiction. Maybe it's the glow, the never-ending days, that lend it an intriguing brilliance amidst the gloom. And after you have left you say "Ah! That was what it looked like all along!"

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Now Playing on Broadway:

Hallelujah! Praise Jesus!

A man walks holding a bible in his right hand, raised next to his face. He is speaking loudly; not quite yelling, but loud enough.

Walking quickly, my three friends and I get caught behind a huge group of women. When we speed up and slip to the side of the sidewalk to go around them, A explains:

we were trying to avoid the cigarettes and heels

A few days ago I almost stepped on a dead mouse in one of those small island parks here in the city. The keyword is almost. I saw it just in time, and was relieved that this time, in this place, it was a mouse. But this in no way excludes other, more disturbing things that are seen here.

At a farmers market in Union Square, A. and I admired artwork that we could not afford. My favorite was a diorama containing a dolls head with a large button over the mouth; I wanted to look at it longer, but A. walked away. Why do these moments always pass too quickly?
There must be a reason for this discomfort

Sunday, September 2, 2007

To intertwine.

This is an attempt at cohesion.

A gathering up and into.

Both sides expanding; differently.

This side of my mind breathes through creation, opening and releasing.

The other breathes most literally, an increased oxygen intake through cardiovascular respiration brought on by sustained movement, opening and releasing.

Can I describe the one at the same time as describing the other?

Saturday, September 1, 2007


This only needs to be said once, in a loud, exuberant voice:


Laugh, scream, yell, jump for joy.
More to follow later.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


to move (v):
1) go in a specified direction or manner; change position
2) change or cause to change from one state, opinion, sphere, or activity, to another

move; go; leave; relocate; act; affect; impress; disturb; influence; inspire; change.

Yesterday I observed the silence in the trees by the road near City Hall. There were only a few cars, only a few people. The sun highlighted her beauty.

Tomorrow the city will be yelling at me. I am bracing myself, and preparing to be a better listener than I have been in the past.

Monday, August 27, 2007

To Continue...

Enter into

an Entering into


It is not
what is Expected

But the

In the End.

My friends who are poets sometimes tell me my writing can be too philosophical; lacking a picture to grab onto and relate to. This is something I'm thinking about; it is not a bad thing, I don't think.

Today Arnold and I worked out (not as if, like the rest of this place, I need to point out the fact that everyone calls her by her last name of Arnold, and she does bodybuilding like Arnold Schwarzenegger...). It was chest, bi, tri and ab day; we did supersets with a minute rest in between. Cardio for 45 min. on the stepper after the weights. This was after I went for a 35 min. jog earlier in the morning and took the dogs for a walk. I am heading over to Physical Therapy later to do the jump training for my extra knee rehabilitation...

This is what I mean by the pressure of the moment. It is just so much easier to be active all day - no need to face the silence. It's not quite a distraction, but it is a taking off; a different direction. This blog is also a bit out of character, but if one were always predictable, what would be the point?

Friday, August 24, 2007

to begin\where? there.

It is not as if I need another distraction in my life.

It is the immensity of the moment that proves too daunting sometimes, the expectant suspension of time.

Walking around downtown today I encountered two small, curled animals laid out on a piece of fabric in front of an old house. At first I thought they were dead mice, but on second glance realized they were puppies. And it wasn't my second glance, but my friends. I didn't want to look. Now I am disappointed that I didn't look longer.

There must always be someone as witness to these things.