I notice the way each step sparkles as if dusted with glitter, the mica strewn through the concrete so that I feel as if I am walking on stars. Last night at H's 50th birthday dinner the conversation turned to what kinds of art deserve to be destroyed, what kinds of science should be erased from human knowledge because of the terrible acts committed to achieve such learning. In Judaism, the concept of tikkun olam, repairing the world one act of kindness at a time. I am tired of what pain has to teach. I am tired of the hourly sacrifices made because we refuse to learn. Brain science has detected a difference between empathy and compassion, how one can lead to burn out, how the other can sustain us through the pain horizon. Today I walk the seven floors down to lower parking. I think of the freshly dead, of the freshly dead to come. Underfoot everything shimmering, in some ways everything perfect—this world in which minerals coalesce over millions of years to form such crystalline structures. Yes, in some ways everything is perfect, and in other ways everything is in need of perfecting.
Here's a collection of all the past work to appear on this site.
this child filling the screen Wednesday at the gym where I’m trying to fit in a 35 minute ride on the recumbent bike before the place closes because earlier tonight I dropped $84 on dinner— ricotta and truffle crepes, two drinks with elderflower, three-layer mousse cake for dessert, a burrata to start, and now here I am three miles into going nowhere, the little girl sitting on the examination table in a flowered shirt and pants, her hijab like a frame around her face, the way a surgeon will mark off a part of the body with surgical drapes in order to foreground it, the surgical field, this child I must gaze on if I am to retain my membership in the human family, the journalist detailing the family’s struggle to find help, the doctor lifting the little girl’s shirt over her head to reveal the living horror, this child with a face scored by horror—eyes sunken, skin lined, a five-year old who looks older than me by a decade. And of her wasted body, how does she manage to sit upright, silent and uncomplaining, looking into the camera with a weariness beyond what should be possible, no tears, no accusations, no “Amy, why did you let this happen to me?” the articulation of each bone as if the doctor lifted her shirt to reveal an actual birdcage— that’s literally what she looks like— a little girl with a human head and a torso as if she has swallowed some terrible contraption, as if someone soldered together a bucket of scrap iron and then carefully stretched too little skin over the results. The President boasts that his son-in-law has brokered a deal to sell $110 billion worth of equipment to the Saudis. The news show closes with a black screen stating that since the start of hostilities, 20,000 Yemeni have died. The journalist says he does not know what happened to this little girl. The UN says 7,000,000 people in Yemen are in imminent danger of famine. I say fuck the world. Fuck me for participating in it.
The ones who say they didn't // know the ones who say they didn't believe because it // was uncouth it was beneath what one of their kind should be // capable of everything gilded // the whole world bespoken as in // tailored // for the chosen few (Matthew 7:7: // "ask & it shall be given // knock & the door will be // opened") so we asked and // our cries // like water poured into sand // we knocked and every gate was // barred until all // that was hidden under the veneer all that was fed // hand-beaded // lifted & tucked bursting open // the country’s facial adhesive coming undone // it’s coming undone // it is not // enough
raise the fist arm in arm humble Self for every dead arise, transcend just make a plan and pick your place feel the grass green as truth remember them the bullet's song the body's maw the exit wound on streets, in cars on film, by day so many ways the end the same find your voice unlock the heart see yourself in others' pain a hundred kneel a million more we are the flag its principles.
with elation with nuance with charity with the recognition of neither right nor wrong no white no black but the richness between and the unfolding that reveals the truest self with images of the first tunnel that brings the world and down through which all have traveled with the heart and its rapaciousness with its ability to take them all in not begrudgingly but because of the differences with hope each night the moon a different shade of red because it can
Halfway round the world the same slow empire rising, the same dark music coming up the stairs visa-less and without translation. It's what links us—the need for a boat when there is no boat, this revelation that never surfaces in some hearts, forever sloshing at the bottom like dregs, while in others it tolls through every fiber of their being, their whole body a bell.