Gold & Forgetting

Posted by – 10/19/2013


Argumentum E Silentio
Paul Celan

Linked in the chain
Between Gold and Forgetting:
Both grasped at it.
Both had their way.

Link it,
now you too link up what
wants to dawn with each day:
the Word star-overflown,

To each his word.
To each the word that sang to him
when the pack snapped at his heels–
to each the word that sang to him and froze.

To it, to night, the Word
star-overflown, sea-overflowed,
to it the ensilenced Word
whose blood did not clot when a venomed tooth
pierced its syllables.

To Night the ensilenced Word.

Against the others,
enticed by swindlers’ ears,
who’ll soon climb on time and seasons,
the Word at least testifies,
at last, when only chains ring out,
testifies to Night that lies
between Gold and Forgetting,
their kin for all time.

Then where’s
the Word dawning, tell me, if not with Night
in its riverbed of tears,
Night that shows plunging suns the sown seed
over and over again?

Image: Nocturne in Black and Gold by James Abbott McNeill Whistler

Translucent Networks

Posted by – 09/09/2013

Pyrocystis lunula
Pyrocystis lunula

Years of solitude had taught him that, in one’s memory, all days tend to be the same, but that there is not a day, not even in jail or in the hospital, which does not bring surprises, which is not a translucent network of minimal surprises.

— Jorge Luis Borges
“The Waiting”

Now We Are Here

Posted by – 09/02/2013


First, there was earth without anything alive on it. For billions of years this ball was spinning with its sunsets and its waves and the sea and the noises, and there was no thing alive to appreciate it.

– Richard Feynman
The Meaning of It All

Better Late Than Never

Posted by – 06/07/2013

living for today attic

Let’s face it; strange things crop up in life, like mushrooms after a storm. Sometimes you have to push deeper into the unknown when confronted with the unexpected. In my case, this meant a sudden move, with less than 24 hour notice, and little over a week before traveling to Japan and San Francisco. Luckily, I found a new spot quickly, in a loft building with 14 other residents on the same floor. It’s something I would have passed on, honestly, had I more time; but I didn’t and I jumped on the room.

Now, back in New York and moved into the space, I am trying to wrap my head around group living on such a large scale. Communal facilities, picking a fridge, remembering everyone’s name, finding the mailbox, toilet paper (to hoard or not to hoard turns out to be a thorny question)… It’s all flipped my notions of boundaries–do I really want everyone using my wine glasses?–and personal space.

I had a long-held fantasy, throughout my 20s, of living in an environment like this, albeit with fewer roommates: the DIY, rough-but-cozy artsy warehouse packed with interesting personalities who all somehow, magically, gel into a Fort Thunder-like creative milieu. Will it happen just like I imagined here? Who knows. But it still seems like a grand and rare experiment, a challenge I am happy to have undertaken. It’s going to be an interesting summer.

Bonus: In case you need inspiration to glide around in diaphanous togas and disco bronzer, here’s late 70s/early 80s era Stevie Nicks interrupting her makeup artist for an impromptu rendition of “Wild Heart” in a loftish space.

While I wish the above photo was of my new digs, it’s from Living for Today, an excellent 70s interior design book, the title of which inspired this mix

Getting Up

Posted by – 05/09/2013


Recently, while discussing life/livelihood integration with a friend, I declared my three contemporary role models as astrologer Mystic Medusa, punk legend Ian Mackaye and artist/hustler David Choe. That last one, Choe, took some explaining. He’s your mother’s worst nightmare: sex addiction, gambling, jail time, prolific graffiti. He is exuberantly crude, wild and unfettered. But what makes Choe inspiring is that he does what he wants and he was doing it long before he made his mills. Life and livelihood are one continuum: He travels extensively, creates gorgeous art (like the horse pieces bookending this post) and has an unwavering commitment to personal freedom. If you have ever talked yourself out of some crazy awesome idea because that’s not how life works then you need to check every link below and pick up the Choe documentary Dirty Hands.

David Choe on Howard Stern. After detailing masturbation techniques, Choe lays out his history (from Japanese prison to Facebook fortune) and philosophies.
Parts 1 2 3 4 5

Thumbs Up. Three season Vice series following Choe and his main bud Harry Kim hitchhiking & train hopping around the U.S. and China. Powerful job-quitting juju.
Season 1 2 3

Choe + Anthony Bourdain. Choe rocks a red satin suit to Sizzler’s for meatball tacos then visits his awesome family for a Korean-Mexican dinner.

Ice T X David Choe on the power of “Fuck It”

choe horse1


Posted by – 04/21/2013

corazon cocktail

It takes a lot of battles before you win one. But once you win one, you win them all.

Some words of advice from a recent interview with healthy food champion Michael Pollan. He was talking about legislative fights, but it applies to most hard situations we find ourselves in.

Heart-shaped molotov cocktail from artist Francis Baker’s Armament series.

Certain Palettes

Posted by – 04/10/2013


rainbow oil

world shirt

These three images popped up on Pinterest in quick succession. Perfect and all trace back to Gretchen Jones.

You can follow me here.

Tight As Conch Shells

Posted by – 03/18/2013

photo by Ryan McGinley
First poem of the new year. Stole the title from William Burroughs.
Tight as Conch Shells:
his body folded inward as he bent, like a spider in a flame.
she could see the ghost tracks on his white fish belly
where the skin would stretch if he grew up to be a stout man.
his hands were mottled indigo from the ink of his jeans
only washed after the first year. his thighs were the same color
and she remembered the childlike oval of flesh smooth,
hairless, and high up where his junk rubbed as he skated.
he didn’t like to be reminded of that spot, brushed her hand away.
he was putting out the fire the cherry had started. her fault
and she watched silently, unhelpfully. she liked the
musty, smoldering smell. the town had banned burning
the leaves, said it was a health risk and you had to bag instead.
the ground was still damp and the fire didn’t go
anywhere though he kept mumbling and batting at it like a cat,
she thought. he had a certain way of shutting his eyes
and elongating, his spine popping like an Old West gunfight.
the sun was fuzzed behind thin clouds that didn’t look
like anything recognizable except clouds. the fire was out,
he felt sure and leaned back to relight the nub of weed. it was
a production, she gave him one of her barrettes to pinch the end
and her hair fell in a graceless clump, sticking to her forehead.
she watched him suck and burn his lip. she liked his wince,
the way his eyes snaked at the corners and she saw him old again.
he tongued his lip, hurt. there was hope. he could be a silver fox.

Stranger Than Fiction

Posted by – 02/07/2013

The Master & Margarita 22

Two things about two of my favorite Russian writers:

1. Collage artist Daniel Horowitz is doing a lovely job of illustrating every page of Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita. Keep up with the project here & read an interview at The American Reader.

2. A group of uptight literalists have vandalized the Nabokov Museum in St. Petersburg on the grounds that Nabokov is a pedophile because he wrote Lolita.

master and margarita 10

Small Beautiful Elastic Mercurial Weapons

Posted by – 02/06/2013


This blog is becoming something of a Patti Smith shrine and here’s another memento for the altar: Patti reading from Virginia Woolf’s The Waves

& just because I love it so much, here’s a powerful rendition of Because The Night during a 1979 German concert. The look on that girl’s face in the front row? Rapture.