Moonstone Arts Center Reading

I’ve always been taken in by the beauty of other languages. I’m so charmed by accents and unfamiliar turns of phrase. In my twenties I would listen to recordings of Czechs speaking during my commute to the university and back, in an attempt to better navigate Prague when I would visit in the winters. (I should clarify the successful communication was mostly due to my multilingual friends who worked for the United Nations at the time, and not my very sincere and very flawed version of things…thank you Magdalena and Lucia!) But I was fascinated by the way the consonants all seemed to smash together, the way they could go on for some time before the introduction of a vowel (zmrzlina, for instance, is the word for ice cream).

When we were younger my sister and I rode the metro in Paris, our pronunciation better than our memories for the vocabulary we had learned back in school (“I think I just asked him how far is it to my foot…”.) Another one of my sisters sends me elegant little handwritten notes in Irish, a language as unfamiliar to me as the Japanese she is teaching her daughter to speak. I loved Southern Spain for the crossroads of different cultures, being so close to Morrocco. I stayed with freinds who had lived and worked in Palestine previously, Germany prior to that. I studied Italian during the lockdown, wishing I had learned it when my grandfather was still alive to speak it.

This Sunday February 26 I will be reading some poetry I have in the forthcoming anthology Love in the Original Language. If you’re unfamiliar with Fiona Bolger, you can read a little about her and her passion for languages in World Literature Today. I think that love is a language unto itself, and a very old one at that. Language learning is sparked by connections, and by listening, as is love.

Sunday February 26, 2023 – 2pm
(in the Original Language)
Inspired by Fiona Bolger’s book Love in the Original Language–poems that inspire a love for the dignity of what is original and human – cross the borders of meaning, territory and flesh itself

Flamenco, fire, and garden dieties

These are all some of my favorite inspirations, and also examples of some of the subject matter found in this issue of Advaitam Speaks Literary.

The landing page is my bio, please flip the page to read the two pieces I had featured here, as a couple of examples of my older work.

The auditory quality of my poetry is very important to me; I am guided more by sound than the sight or technical suggestion of particular words. When I set out to write a thing, it is largely a concerted listening that takes place.

Continue reading “Flamenco, fire, and garden dieties”

some songs

My latest writing contains inspiration from Silvia Federici’s contemporary work and Wace’s Roman de Rou, because in the twelfth century struggles against desperate gestures of control from the nobility and other old and corrupt institutions was also a thing. Doesn’t nature’s abundance and preserverance seem to mock these constructed narratives of our reliance on these crumbling institutions? As their systemic evil is further exposed, I find myself wondering is there more than just carelessness behind their direct assault on the natural world and her powers? Is this the one ally they know we need?

Working in a museum for years, I learned that the point of reciting, revising and revisiting history is to not lose the lessons our ancestors already learned the hard way. It is a concern for the present that keeps these old tomes and debates green.


i have a habit of removing time from the equation, in my fiction especially, as i enjoy the way this distorts habitual ways of seeing. so before the new year i gave myself the challenge of changing that up, and concocting a piece that addressed current issues more directly, via the cue of this journal of fine, environmentally literate folk. as a writer i’m used to moving my body around and becoming another; we are shapeshifters by nature. writing from the viewpoint of the atmosphere took a tad of dissolving but hey, it’s good to get into the flow.

new work is up, new issue is live here.

a sample of this story

That was the town where the houses loomed precariously right up to the road, a high speed ribbon with loud tractor trailers blazing by every morning, coked up truck drivers or maybe the reds of yesteryear, maybe just meth, the only shortcut through those spread out and slow moving towns.  Some of the driveways were so short that they were only big enough to fit a compact car tucked right between the front door and the asphalt, the back tires barely out of the road with no sidewalk scrolls to speak of.  When I was younger we would walk one part of the road after skinny dipping in the woodland lake behind the baseball field, dark hair dripping down sun streaked bodies, and it’s a miracle we didn’t get hit.  Later we found out that the water was polluted from leaky sewage, literal shit.  

We went to the ayahuasca church like everyone did in that decade.  It appealed to repressed recovering Roman Catholics like myself.  The Mary statue at the bottom of the hill held a miracle that was softer, and both of us knew it but neither spoke of it.

I lived in a high house as wide as a Soviet block, the building smelled of many different colored molds, but was painted an assortment of pastels like an Easter egg.  This was common practice in that town, a mix of elderly hippies and also some college kids who had majored in liberal arts like I had, they came here to die.  The street was littered with decent ideas which had never manifested for whatever reason, too soon or too late, too small or too great.  

There was the community apothecary where I had helped clear space for a garden and performance space out back the summer before, a rare moment of volunteering my time, unless you count listening to people talk about their problems.  I lugged sharp branches and weed tornadoes out on my bony shoulders, feeling prouder than the brief exercise really called for.  But that’s the way it was in that town.  Doing anything, you felt pretty useful, as anyone could easily get high and watch television for hours, a habit I never got into, the latter I mean, not the former.  Most of my life I was high, I just changed how I did it, and for many years it was only on mania and some sort of gripping spirit fever that tended to affect the females on my father’s side.  

April is aggressive, showing off too soon, pretending to be willing when she’s really still cold to her core.  She smacks you with wind and sheets of endless rain.  Sends patches of sunlight out to fool you into showing her your thin, pale skin, almost blue on the bottom, the rivers that keep you wanting to move.  You shiver with your face tilted up to the fiery ball so far off and (as though) alive.  But you’re the one who’s really alive, the one with the pinpricks and sharps in your belly, the constant sharps in your heart.  Anything dried out and dead can be set on fire to curl up and out into a quick burst of light.

I’d already spent a year or three as a comet, my darting mind would travel down any charged pathway it found, and every path was charged in those days, I was in love with anything and everything, even my fear, especially that.  When I was a comet I thought I could solve a thing by thinking about it, I would heat up the circuits too hot and every few days or weeks a regular meltdown would happen, and on those days nothing I said would make sense, so I’d try very hard to stay as quiet as possible.  The ways I flew were sometimes horizontal, when connections were still helpful and logic could still be called upon when needed, but mostly vertical and straight up through the roof.  My heart would get to pounding, time began to tighten up, inflamed and red as something running from death.

Continue reading “a sample of this story”