Tuesday, November 08, 2016

A Poem on Election Day: Liquid Flesh

Liquid Flesh

Related Poem Content Details

In a light chocolatine room
with blackout windows,
a loud clock drowns in soft dawn’s
syllables, crisscrossed
with a broken cloudiness
I’d choose as my own bedcovers
but cannot. My choice of sleep
or sky has no music of its own.
There’s no “its own” while the baby cries.
Oh, the baby cries. He howls and claws
like a wrongly minor red wolf
who doesn’t know his mother.
I know I am his mother, but I can’t
quite click on the word’s essential aspects,
can’t denude the flora
or disrobe the kind of housecoat
“mother” always is. Something
cunty, something used.
Whatever meaning the word itself
is covering, like underwear,
that meaning is so mere and meager
this morning. Mother. Baby.
Chicken and egg. It’s so obnoxious
of me: I was an egg
who had  an egg
and now I’m a chicken,
as usual scooping up
both possibilities,
or what I used to call
possibilities. I used
to be this way, so ontologically
greedy, wanting to be it all.
Serves me right.
My belief in the fluidity
of the self turns out to mean
my me is a flow of wellwater,

without the well, or the bucket,
a hole dug and seeping.
A kind of unwell, where
the ground reabsorbs
what it was displaced to give.
The drain gives meaning to the sieve.
As I said: a chicken who still
wants to be all potential.
Someone who springs
and falls, who cannot see
how many of us I have 
in me—and I do not like them all.
Do I like us? Can I love us?
If anyone comes
first it’s him, but how can that be?
I was here way, way first.
I have the breasts, godawful, and he
the lungs and we share the despair.
For we are a we, aren’t we? We split
a self in such a way that there isn’t
enough for either of us.
The father of the baby is sleepy
and present in his way, in the way
of fathers. He is devoted like
few fathers, and maybe hurts
like I hurt, like no fathers.
I don’t know what someone else
feels, not even these someones
who are also me. Do they hurt
like I do?  Why can’t they
tell me, or morse or sign: let
me know they know where and how
and why it hurts? Or something?
What is the point of other people,
being so separate, if we can’t 
help a person get that pain
will stick its shiv into anything,
just to get rid of the weapon
and because it can? For if we share
ourselves then they, too, must
also be in so much pain.
I can hear it. Oh, my loves.
The wood of the crib, the white
glow of the milk (which must
have siphoned off the one
and only pure part of me, leaving
me with what, toxicity
or sin or mush?), the awful softness.
I’ve been melted into something
too easy to spill. I make more
and more of myself in order
to make more and more of the baby.
He takes it, this making. And somehow
he’s made more of me, too.
I’m a mother now.
I run to the bathroom, run
to the kitchen, run to the crib
and I’m not even running.
These places just scare up as needed,
the wires that move my hands
to the sink, to the baby,
to the breast are electrical.
I’m in shock.
One must be in shock to say so,
as if one’s own state is assessable,
like a car accident or Minnesota taxes.
A total disaster, this sack of liquid
flesh which yowls and leaks
and I’m talking about me
not the baby. Me, this puddle
of a middle, this utilized vessel,
cracked hull, divine
design. It’s how it works. It’s how
we all got here. Deform
following the function . . .
But what about me? I whisper
secretly and to think,
around these parts used to be
the joyful place of sex,
what is now this intimate
terror and squalor.
My eyes burned out at three a.m. and again
at six and eleven. This is why the clock
is drowning, as I said earlier.
I’m trying to explain it.
I repeat myself, or haven’t I already?
Tiny self, along with a tiny self.
I’ll say it: he hurt me, this new
babe, then and now.
Perhaps he always will,
though thoughts of the future
seem like science fiction novels
I never finished reading.
Their ends like red nerves
chopped off by cleaver, not aliens,
this very moment, saving nothing for later.
He howls with such fury and clarity
I must believe him.
No god has the power
to make me believe anything,
yet I happen to know
this baby knows a way out.
This dark hole closing in on me
all around: he’ll show me
how to get through
the shock and the godlessness
and the rictus of crushed flesh,
into the rest of my life.
Source: Our Andromeda (Copper Canyon Press, 2012)

Friday, October 14, 2016



Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Monday, September 26, 2016

Top Ten

turkish delight

wide-brimmed straw hats in summer

jasmine pearl tea


outdoor fruit and vegetable markets

tepertős pogácsa

freshly ground peanut butter

baking bread

being in my body


Széchenyi Fürdő

my mother's dumplings

rocking chairs


giving books I love to people I think might love them too

The Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter


grandma Kelley's rice casserole

home made play dough

Le Mans Hall


baking muffins

Spencer Tunick

wool socks, knee-high, with stripes in the winter


"Coin-Operated Boy" by the Dresden Dolls

bread and butter


cooking split-pea soup


church bells

Gellért Fürdő

African chicken and peanut soup from the New England Soup Factory

martini with blue cheese stuffed olives

1059 Riverside

singing the ABC's as a lullaby


Greek yogurt with honey, in Greece

sneaking away from a sleeping baby

sneaking back into my bed where my four and five-year-olds are tangled up, deeply breathing


Book Club

Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins




Indigo Girls



Warren Dunes State Park

french fries


the fact that baking bread is so simple

clean pressed sheets


walking by a lilac bush in bloom

holding hands



Prairie Home Companion


hard wood floors

freshly squeezed ABC juice--apple, beet, carrot

handmade afghans


Jeune Homme Nu Assis au Bord de la Mer, by Jean- Hippolyte Flandrin

marching bands

my clever, funny friend

roasted chestnuts

Rachel flodnija

birdie sing in the tree, woo woo woo, wee wee wee, I love you and you love me

Henszlmann Imre utca, 5

cuckoo clocks

soft-boiled eggs in egg cups

potluck dinners

Kelet Kávézó

7-year-old Leo with missing front teeth

tabasco sauce


Amanda Palmer

the truth

Anna Moschovakis

[The challenge: to start]

Related Poem Content Details

The challenge: to start
not with theory but with tangible performance

You and others, approaching

We shall be asked for a way out

                to be fed

                to keep warm and dry

Starting with experience, magic 
genuine science

More than once we have been lost 
in a trackless wilderness

dwarfed and shadowed by mighty buildings 
subway trains wild as elephants

One goes blindly back to one’s desk

These moments come, their dark 

We glimpsed control 
and more tragic waste

We entered with 40,000,000 warriors 
with the dignity of cathedrals

The lake is upon you.
You have two canoes, your tent
The child has entered upon this desert

You have your axes

What, precisely, is your procedure?

Anna Moschovakis, “[The challenge: to start]” from You and Three Others Are Approaching a Lake. Copyright © 2011 by Anna Moschovakis. Reprinted by permission of Coffee House Press. www.coffeehouse.org
Source: You and Three Others Are Approaching a Lake (Coffee House Press, 2011)


Monday, June 13, 2016

America's Moral #Pulse

More love. More vulnerability. More kissing.

#SpencerTunick photo


America's Moral #Pulse


Thursday, April 07, 2016

Claire Wahmanholm

by: Claire Wahmanholm

Lullaby with Daughter Cells

Embedded,      the sleeping body is ship and shipwreck, reef, fish den,
oyster nest,                    once my own anemone, once a wish,
transmission of ten thousand trillion divisions,            so almost infinite,
so infinitely far from it.
                                          Beneath the skin,      repetition churns
its whirls of fingerprints            and strands of future selves,
constructing endless daughters, endless spindles, endless paths
into the woods.
                           Sleep passes for safety,           but is only a curse’s deferral,
never its breaking.            Your body’s already a whir, was always
an engine, gendered and generative, her from the first. All I gave
you was a pair of points. Sleep between them  for as long as you can.


A point is that which has no part
      —Euclid, Elements, Book I
A given
is always
a point
of departure,
a puncture,
origin of
a wound,
some newness.
For example,
this given:
that points
are partless,
when really
they’re couple-
numbered, binary;
the way,
no matter
how fast
it flies,
a bluebird’s
blue can
never outstrip
its bird,
or butter
drain from
its cup,
rattle shed
its snake.
What would
it do,
that bird—
unblue, unselved,
blanched on
winter’s branch,
absent against
its white?
Without you,
I’m only
the idea
of flight.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


There are two parenting styles at the playground. One views a slide as uni-directional. The other style is espoused by a parent whose kid challenges such one-way linear thinking.

My kid proved today that there is more than one way to shimmy down a fire pole.




Tuesday, February 16, 2016

One Billion Rising Budapest 2016: Theater and Dance (video)

This year's event featured the Break the Chain dance followed by an innovative theater piece created to explore sexual consent.

The play focusses on the idea that sexual violence is often committed by acquaintances who use other methods than physical coercion.

A theatre performance, website (www.nane.hu/kerszteat), and short films send messages to perpetrators, victims and the society: 

no means no, and only yes means yes.

View the dance below:


Friday, February 12, 2016



EE Headshot Brigitte Lacombe


I think we must live now on the edge of incomprehensible madness, refusing to give up 
and refusing to pretend. Dancing on the precipice of annihilation while passionately 
encouraging and welcoming the new paradigm. This is most difficult in a world, in 
a system that has thoroughly indoctrinated us in a refusal to think, in the sound bite, 
in yes and nos, likes and unlikes, with us or against us pathology, in idiotic, 
consumable brandable, reductionist absolutes. To be an enthusiastic absurdist requires 
embracing ambiguity, insecurity, and it means looking at the predicament we are in 
head on. It means leaping and assuming you will fall, dancing in the chaotic 
impossible passionate possible.

So we must learn the art and practice of disruption. We must release the tentacles 
of our false securities and interrupt the world as we know it. We must assume that 
anywhere we live or anything we are doing can change or disintegrate on a dime and 
we must practice changing and letting it go. Living as if there is no future but the one 
we are creating. Nothing guaranteed but our willingness to live as pioneers of a new 
consciousness and way. And we must become disrupters. That is the power of creative 
resistance. Interrupting business as usual, taking stands that forfeit our acceptance or 
economic elevation, risking disapproval and controversy, participating in actions that 
loosen our grip on the suicidal givens and push the tyrants to fall. Disrupters, fighting 
and dancing with all our might for life over comfort.

– Eve Ensler