Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Don't show me no more unicorns,
I seen too much in my life.
That's why I'm thinkin' of goin' back to drivin' the bus.

So said the man in the red shirt
whom everyone thought was crazy.
But he had golden eyes,
and he was just talking slow.

For Allison


When you ride the train a little bit later in the morning,
Things open up.

There's the girl with the yellow-lined boots,
The man with a hole in his house.
The boy with the skateboard, and
The girl with the bow shooting a scatterburst of arrows all across her back.

There's the man in the suit with the bike,
The man in the suit with a radio, a hat and a bucket packed tight with wooden flowers.

There's a grey parrot riding underground with me,
and we both miss the sky.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

swooning in the heat

I love that there are fireflies on my block. Fireflies seem like an imaginary creature from childhood;
it's surprising to see them now. I caught one on my hand tonight, strolling, on my way for an
emergency italian ice.

On my way across Calyer Street with the firefly in my hand, I thought about the difference between
a stroll and a ramble. Strolling is safe, easy, relaxed. Rambling can be dangerous, darker with every
step. Rambling is persuasive, will try to convince you to walk forever, to walk into the river,
to walk into the cars.

Rambling can make you weave and stumble, to lose the lightfootedness so common to the stroll.
New York is good at turning a stroll into a ramble.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Rip Tide

This video is the best contender for unapologetic romantic beauty I have seen for a while. There is
no one steering the boat. There is no preamble, no explanation, no narrative. All the places my mind
wandered while I watched it provided the best untethered, stream of consciousness narrative possible.
I have always liked Beirut, but was worried that their sound might be stuck in 2007 for me: It is,
but that's not neccessarily a bad thing.

High Beats Low

Yesterday, while I was at work, the hundred-degree heat slowly melted my shitty be-vinyled windowsill. Hot, soft vinyl tore away from the house under the power of relentless sun and the weight of my favorite window box. Finally, the basil plants I grew from seed went plummeting down to the landlord's stinking garden below. The molded plastic box cracked open, and the fragile plants died on the cement among the dog doo, weeds, and garbage.

But then. One of my very favorite people in the whole world left me a phone message, saying that she won a huge huge grant for her beautiful work. Her work, which is so genuine, intrinsically and vitally links the making of art with the growing of gardens. The work is alive, it's growing, it looks like alchemy. I appreciate the karmetic loss of my sad mini-garden in trade for a true and ecstatic garden lover's gain. I am so totally proud and excited for her.

Go Apple!!!  (photo from the pleasure of gardening)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Open Studios is Tomorrow

Tropical Brooklyn

I've lost count of how many rainbows there have been this month. Could this June be the Brooklyn Rainbow Record? I've tried to see as many of them as I can, but they're shifty.


I am about to watch a man on the TV wire-walk across Niagara Falls: His sponsor made him wear a harness.
Earlier, I listened to the concert in McCarren Park, as it travelled up throught the streets, bounced off of the
houses behind us and in through our back window.

I can hear my love walking up the stairs, fresh back from the country.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Make it Green

Spicy basil sweet basil bee balm rosemary
lemon thyme spicy mint sweet mint
lavender nasturtium lemon thyme parsley

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wednesday Morning Essay After Hearing a Lot of Shit Talk About New York Lately

Growing up, we had a LOT of literature, novels, art books, cook books and garden books in the house. I devoured as much of them as fast as I possibly could. But every week, we also had The New York Times, The New Yorker, and New York Magazine noisily barging into the house, demanding attention.

The New Yorker shaped my idea of the world, reading from our sunny tree-house-like living room in Providence. I remember graduating from the cartoons to the music and art review "short lists" (and I would sit, curled up in an armchair, all of 13, and think about how great my life would be if I could go to all of these rock shows and art openings every week. I would be transformed into a cool bohemian rock New York Kid). Soon the other pages beckoned, and I moved onto the short fiction (which frightened me in a way that I could not yet understand), and then to the movie reviews, which I loved for putting into beautiful, accurate prose just exactly how I felt about a certain movie. I learned quickly not to read those before I saw the film. The first time I read one of the lengthy profiles was in that same armchair: Jon Krakauer's excerpt from Into the Wild, chronicling Christopher McCandless' doomed exaltation of nature. From that moment, I was converted.

I loved New York Magazine the least, but was drawn to it like a crime scene, specifically by the extensive and graphic ads for cosmetic corrections in the back section. Breast lift tummy tuck stomach staple cellulite removal and the horrific varicose vein repair, all of them fed my developing and insecure teenage self-image, until I was twisted into knots I don't know I've ever untied.

Finally, every Sunday, I would read The New York Times arts and social pages, trying to imagine myself at the parties and openings, and being allowed- or even applauded- for wearing outlandish outfits. If I wore anything out of line at my boring prep school, I was labeled a hippie and asked if I was "on the mushrooms" (this actually happened).

 Is it any wonder that I moved here, and stayed? When I moved to New York, and came to visit my friends in Brooklyn for the first time, I finally felt it: HERE IT IS! and HERE ARE MY PEOPLE. They had not been in Providence, or Amherst, or Florence, or North Carolina. I could never find shoes I really wanted to buy until I moved here (sorry, I know it's been said before, but it is remains true). It has been 13 years, (albeit with a two-year break for grad school) and I have not yet been able to effectively re-imagine myself into any other city. And not for lack of trying.

My true and deep love for being in nature has not been able to trump the image I had of myself as a kid, strutting cool and lean through the streets of New York, with a loft on Great Jones and a boyfriend who looked like Basquiat. I never became long and lean, am not sure if I will ever feel cool, and have made a lot of painful discoveries about the cruel realities of the place since then. (I would love to be able to remark on my admiration for any actor or artist at any dinner or drinks without someone immediately telling me what a cheat or a shit or a liar that person really is. I would love to be able to afford ANYTHING. I would kinda like to have a last name that opened doors. Gross, but also true.) The gentle Virginian boyfriend I am lucky to have, and the modest apartment with the beautiful weirdo cat on the edge of Greenpoint is pretty far afield from that initial reckoning, but some kernel of belief in the magic of this city runs deep.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Ain't She Sweet?

George and I have been trying to learn to sing this together, with him on Ukelele.
We also like the Beatles' version.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Re-commitment Ceremony

I almost gave up on the blog, but my comrade in arms JJWIII has reinvigorated me with his awesome. I've been reading his live posts from his road trip with Dan down to Penland, and I know those dinner-jacketed boys and that southern route well enough that I felt like I was sleeping off a good drunk in the backseat, going in and out of consciousness just long enough to hear snippets of their conversation.
Read him here: