Fall / Winter
I want the new thing
men among the trees
crow feathers in their caps
the long legato of Vivica Genoux
embracing a castrato aria from
Johann Adolf Hasse
because love is the slimmest
mercury, a fan dance of potash even,
measure me for a chessboard
feel my poor spine and listen
to that animal electric avatar
I. I saw silence being buried in the interstice.
Child is kilthei, child is womb, child is unborn and waiting. He is
mute and unacquainted
with signs, he is unseen and thus imaginary.
The womb is an opaque
gate of clay and child is mindful, the Latin precursor to memory.
He is coiled because he
wants to see his whole body.
But unborn he never says,
I want to remember myself.
to be so blunt. There's no romance about the obvious unless it’s so benign
as to be made surprising
by commenting. Mystery is the source of brilliance. Seeing
the glory of The lord is accomplished smugly by opening
the eyes to newness. By hook or by crook (or a simply volunteered gaze) it
shall be done. What was it we were talking 'bout re hooking, hookers,
poke-hers and pimps? Oh yeah, it was rhythm. Something glorious in that.
the sound emit, ejaculate (yes even orgasms have rhythm) at a pace
unencumbered by deliberation, agenda or any means of control. Like your
breath in the cold
in the mountains when I heard it and found
something albeit heavenly in
its cloudy brilliance.
If I were to tell you I
hate you now, would there be any strong reaction, an incident and then a
failure? This time I've come to speak with you alone. I know, we are
never alone. Grief is the only thing that anyone experiences alone, and
although there is
plenty of grief, that still doesn't account for the rest of
the time we spend pressed together.
The Letters to Anna
Grass seed sprouted
from his stomach
(Translation: He is
dead: From a region where the graves are shallow, and unstable)
I have braided the
grass from his marrow.
(Translation: I have
tended his grave)
A little girl came to
translation: She gave birth to a daughter)
She had the whole wind
in her mouth
She had holes from the
wind in her mouth
Recently, in my work
at the American Museum (I’m a volunteer), I was invited to sort through
a packet of writing that arrived with a freezer case from R______. The
freezer unit was put away sealed until we could get some idea of its
contents. A few days later, a second iced box came to us, with a
ruptured fuel cell and its contents going ripe. This one had a packing
list. Both were medical packets and contained the wombs of animals,
mostly dogs. An attached note said that the wombs were infected,
probably with parasites, and that the parasites may (emphasis on
may) have been responsible for a reported
change in birth rates. Moreover, the infection had crossed species
lines. All domestic animals (except chickens) and all human populations
in the collection area were said to be giving birth either to females
exclusively, or to healthy females but deformed, short-lived males.
napped for a few minutes in an overstuffed chair in Barnes and
Noble, and while regaining awareness, was startled by the bright
image of a red-feathered bird on the cover of a large book. The
photograph wasn't, however, of a bird, but of the "The Great
Divine," a female impersonator. Nonetheless, his red swept-back
wig, red v-shaped lips, and black eyebrows had the angularity and
proportions of a bird's face. I've not since looked at
fashion-plate, big-hair models or rock-n-roll, big-hair bands in
quite the same way. After all, humans and birds share not only
facial proportions but a long list of social behaviors including:
vocal calls, territoriality, mating, flocking both to feed
themselves and to defeat enemies, rearing offspring, and even
choosing which offspring to rear. The loudest hatchlings and the
loudest infants are fed first and most. They advertise their
health by vigorous movements and the red color inside their beaks
and mouths and on their lips.
striking parallels occur despite the presumed lack of a direct
ancestral link between birds and humans.
Evolutionary-developmental biology now tells us that metazoans
share fundamental building blocks, known as Hox genes, and
have done so for about 500 million years.
have this friend who’s into taking pictures with her
boyfriend. I haven’t been all that interested, but they do it
often and there’s a lot of drama over these naked photos. So I
guess it finally got into me because a few days ago, I took a
picture of myself by the window without my clothes on. And I
looked at it on my computer and it was a nice photo —
something about the trees in the background, something about
my skin, which still seems to have a little life in it. So for
fun, I put a small version of “Naked” in the middle of my
computer screen — as art, not as narcissistic mirror.
Last night my friend Yoni came over.
is a film, based upon a true story, of an untalented, five-foot
runt with a burning desire to play football for Notre Dame. This
obsession causes him
ridicule and discouragement from those around him. After his
applications to transfer from Holy Cross Junior College to Notre
Dame are rejected repeatedly, he finally gains admission to the
university and earns a spot on the football team. He works harder
than all of his athletically gifted teammates, persisting through
pain and lack of opportunity to play in a real game. The story has
a happy ending: Rudy's teammates cajole the coach into allowing
Rudy to play in the closing moments of the last home game, and
Rudy tackles the opposing quarterback. His jubilant teammates
carry him off the field on their shoulders.
Reactions to Rudy's story inevitably include admiration and
inspiration. We praise his tenacity, his persistent drive to
achieve his goal, despite the odds. Now, let's contrast how we
feel about Rudy with how we feel about a woman who, by
conventional standards, is a natural beauty. Someone with gorgeous
hair, a pretty face, clear, smooth skin, and a perfectly
proportioned body regardless of what she eats or how much she
exercises. Her natural beauty gives her all sorts of advantages
over more ordinary women. She has her choice of men. Even men with
no chance of romance with her treat her with deference and do
special favors for her.
I guess it had to
happen. Parts of my radical farm boy past have finally caught up to me and
caused me to be placed on a list of terrorist suspects. Mushrooms were
morels, in fact. Here is how it happened.
On the Friday before Memorial
Day I was driving home from a fishing trip to a nearby river. Morels in the
mid-Hudson area of New York State are usually just about done by this time,
but this year spring had been cool, wet and late, and when leaving the
stream I chanced upon a single intact morel and the slug-eaten remains of a
few more. I bagged the good one — along with the 12-inch brown trout I had
opened in order to see what it was feeding on — thinking these two catches
would fit nicely together in my fry pan later in the evening.
On the drive home I decided
to cast about for a few more morels, so I used the best technique I know of,
one I have repeatedly advocated to readers of
of Wild Mushrooming :
look for and check under dead elms near the side of the road. Follow all
traffic regulations and local laws, of course.
lady of uncertain decisions but
sparkling prose remarked that
The Adapted Mind's (Barkow et al.,
1992) chapter on "defense mechanisms" (Nesse and Lloyd, 1992). I
remembered my antipathy to that same chapter but neither its content
nor my reasoning and promised to give it another look.
"Defense mechanisms" grew from Freud’s scribblings, first Sigmund,
then Anna (Kaplan & Sadock, 1998): that is, puns and slips of
the tongue, inconsistency between what was said and what was done,
infant and adult behavior, and forgetting of
very large, nasty experiences reflected the interference of filters
and lenses, erasers and amplifiers, called projection,
incorporation, denial, displacement, suppression, repression,
reaction formation, sublimation, or rationalization. (I'm missing
several.) That is, memory is equal and accurate for all experiences;
variable recall demands services from a team of special agents.
Nature's Magic, Peter Corning offers us good
news and bad news. The good news is that chance, necessity, and natural
selection aren't the only factors in our evolution. There is also
a very real role for purpose (or more specifically,
purposiveness.) The role of purposiveness has
continued to increase over time.
The bad news is that our efforts to seek an
underlying grand law or force that governs history may be fundamentally
flawed. We may be more responsible for our own survival than we have so far
been willing to recognize.
recent work is the result of my attempts to find out what it is to
be human. I wanted to
experience passion in my life in the form of something I do from which
there is an end product. I wanted to know what it is like to be
focused, undistracted by my state or mood. In this untapped
medium, melting crayons on paper that is on a heated surface, the image
changes swiftly because the continuous heat keeps the crayon in liquid
form till I remove it from the heat source. This forces me to stay
with it or I will lose any parts of the image I would have liked to have
stayed static. Working with hot, melting, colored
wax is my doorway to the present moment."
photo: Deb Rebel
"As an investigating artist, I have places where the unspeakable
horrors of country living occur. Isolated on the prairie, all kinds of
stories evolve in the double wides, as the wind blows. A
thirteen-year-old girl avenged by her brother using dad's magnum on dad.
Everyday life on the hard scrabble can be hair-raising."
myself re my novel, Trine Erotic
What are some of the major
questions you try to deal with in Trine Erotic?
are quite a few: Is there free will? What is ‘the will’? What is and is
there a single ‘I’? — a self? Are we determined by our genes? Can we (and how and
what affect does it have to) go against our ‘nature’? What is the
unconscious? Is it what evolutionary psychologists refer to as our
universal human nature? Or is it something else? And how does it work? And
is there a universal human nature? How does culture influence us?
What is art? What is love? And is there something beyond our evolutionary,
deep reflexes—some kind of ‘global brain,’ as Howard Bloom
suggests, that is motivating us?
Q. You dedicate the book to every woman’s desire and the art within her and to
alpha males everywhere. Does that mean it’s not for other males — say, Beta?
Study: Reactions to a Study on Female Sexuality
I read this on the Yahoo
Evolutionary Psychology forum, and
posted several messages. I found myself in a fairly heated debate with some pretty big and
small fish in the field (pool), via private e-mails, as well as on the forum.
*Study suggests difference between female
and male sexuality
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Three decades of research on men's sexual arousal show
patterns that clearly track sexual orientation -- gay men overwhelmingly become
sexually aroused by images of men and heterosexual men by images of women. In
other words, men's sexual arousal patterns seem obvious.
But a new Northwestern University study boosts the relatively limited research
on women's sexuality with a surprisingly different finding regarding women's
In contrast to men, both heterosexual and lesbian women tend to become sexually
aroused by both male and female erotica, and, thus, have a bisexual arousal
*The researchers, J. Michael Bailey, Meredith L. Chivers, Gerulf Rieger,
and Elizabeth Latty have made their paper "A Sex Difference in the Specificity of Sexual Arousal" which is in press (Psychological Science), available.