radical ellipses

what survives in me
i still suspect.
–Sonia Sanchez, “Fragment 1”

Thanksgiving 2007, Seattle, WA

time signatures bridge memories spread wide, open as my early childhood landscapes
we moved most often when work got too hard or you simply wanted a change of scenery
self-destruction a competitive pursuit, or why my syntax lacks a particular kind of self-love

Christmas 2003, Mobridge, SD

I found an aesthetic: beg
more of a grasp than a hold
& I define how tight

Halloween 2017, Berlin

shattered pieces create the best whole
naked sounds vibrate the loudest
most thoughts end

smash and grab

Tell me, what’s the joy of giving if you’re never pleased?
— Blood Orange, Champagne Coast

Georgia O’Keeffe, Blue-03, 1916, watercolor on paper

the sun rises at eastern edges
yellowing twilight blues

when there is nothing

if there were Christmas stockings
we always had an orange in its toe

persistence can feel joyful
there is no other choice

we can be called to lead
or follow

how does that feel


March 29, 2017, meltwater channels on Ellesmere Island—the northernmost island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

Dystopia in real time is not like the movies. We’ve digested so much spectacular violence we know no tender alternatives. Fighting feels so good. The characters we play on screen form dead weight on the streets and sink us in our bedrooms.

Persistence is extractive.

As surf buries smoothed rock, we turn the calendar page to July. We spread like picnics under cloudless skies. Our flesh a moral document scrolling beyond politicized reach. After all, the bottom line is always evolving.

Sea levels have always been inconsistent.

Ideological battles are taken for granted outside a schema of pursuit. This adoration, a relationship of necessity, remains prone. A curious posture. Abuse is normal. Its purpose is to feel. Subtly is weaponized.

Perceived as commodities, we trade.

Auspicious tensions act as purifiers for taste, a basic sensation. Our judgements psychic protection. Didactic fracturing agitates into frothy comfort. Perceptions gain value for their ahistorical subjectivity.

Aspirational dissent is the chorus and the bridge to  —

If we listen carefully, joy is elegance reproducing itself into near future referential fits and starts. Inspiration is a slow bleed. Murmuring into abruptions delightful as salt penetrating unhealed wounds. An intimacy as ancient and poetic as opiates or fire.


Christmas fell on a Sunday, as ordinary as on a Tuesday.
Wants were absence so we honored each other’s realizations.
A modern birth narrative.

Cleveland Dec05
Cleveland Dec05

Liturgy presupposes witness as its baseline function.

Transitions have made you partisan.


Dancing as walking.
Sidewalks are walls.
Stoplights are lamps.
Eating as warfare.
Bombs are poems.

We find comfort in staying warm and undefeated.


you got no fear of the underdog / that’s why you will not survive – Spoon, The Underdog

Artist: Beth Cavener. Trapped, 37 in. (94 cm) in length, stoneware, paint, 18k gold, rope, wood, 2015.
Artist: Beth Cavener. Trapped, 37 in. (94 cm) in length, stoneware, paint, 18k gold, rope, wood, 2015.

This violence looks good on you. Fitted. Proper. My opinion, of course.
All apologies have been returned to sender. Transparency is seasonal.
No stability is guaranteed. Can we at least agree it is sacred territory?

This is a good-bye letter. My reasons rolling out like smoke from fire.

gambling spirit

Let’s hold each other with a tenderness we never earned.
I humbly confess I have no strategic solutions, today.
Tomorrow does not exist within our current embrace.

Messages were slow to be received.
Communications were tangled passing through enemy lines.
All arbitrary and always binding, like paper hearts.

Solicitous profit tied up with bright strings of gratitude.
This time of year pulls tension to the height of joy.
Shadows flash, sparkle even.

Conscientiously objecting is expression beyond fragility of emotion.
There’s a masculine way to do this or something more powerful.
Place bets on queerly stacked decks as panic breeds discos.

All this, and more unsaid, guides us like the promise of beginner’s luck.
Glory bound towards trust towards you towards truth.
Come back. Let’s fight.


what is your habit energy?

Pacific Ocean, Nov16
Pacific Ocean, Nov16 (photo by Atlee)

We perform our own strategies of consumption.
My short-term memories are hidden between my thighs.

Othered desires are masks. But for whose protection?
Entertainment is currently discounted as politics.

Feeling expendability like breath like faith.
You can order custom misfortunes or xxx or standard subjectifications.

Our stories are our truths.
This is my museum-quality curated experience.

die vorfreude

She called exactly four hours after the earth stopped moving. While we waited for contact, wave after wave, we sat. Through repetition and capture, we learned how to stay constantly aware. It was a lesson worn familiar as the day when I gave my soul away. An unbecoming strategy for some; survival for others.

Protecting misgivings and intentional reactions, we spent our days building machines that ran on unrequited syllabic utterances. Flip back, back track, forward leaning free verses flowed as patterns, as privileged misdemeanors. Our hearts grew to beat metaphorically.

After pausing to ask how the earth breathes under the weight of concrete, she said act like you’ve been here before. It was a coded reminder of our legacy. A collective fantasy replicated endlessly in anticipation for moments we never took the time to define. For some, wanting more is our purpose.


Come prepared.
Always dress your best
for the world may end.

Nikki McClure
Nikki McClure
The days hum, a frequency (consistent).
Flashbacks are low-grade returns.
There is seduction in being loved.

There is always something you can learn from an interruption.
A moment when clarity finds you knowing.


Look how much you
love me. Little maps.
from Bruises by Leah Horlick

Berlin Aug14
Berlin Aug14

The clouds formed an amphitheater
over a city transformed, a super city.
Its atmosphere thick with performance
and domination within its own limits.
Listen to the bubble pop pop pop.

Queering our gratification
– delayed to a frothy anticipation –
is an economic ritual with historical reputations.
Golden greeds and lusts as deep
as the veins that financed this spectacle.

Ceremonies of repressed aggressions
baptisms unfurling (catch and release)
physical bodies manifesting, hands cupped,
entertainment as reward and pleasure.
A violence that feels good.

epistemic relevance

our days have been brighter
an optics, a behavior, of being awake

12-31-15 5:48pm
12-31-15 5:48pm

this year’s declarations:
*  occupying neutrality is poetic nuance *
*  embody love as deep as it can go  *
*  shame has subjective exchange rates  *
*  judge listening and justice as actions  *
*  what feels good and safe is happiness  *
*  it is ok to change your mind, to leave, to quit, to cry  *
*  apologies and forgiveness are patterns of endless appreciations  *

quiet hearts

Berlin Aug14
Berlin Aug14
Technically speaking, reflections cannot absorb.
We are even in that regard.

Some memories start with an act of god.
They have become sacred.

How graceful we can be with that nostalgia.
Lest we forget our worth depends on it.


She told me she cut her hair short:
she “didn’t want to look corporate”
like me.
I faced west.
You laughed softly
off to the side
watching me embrace myself.


Are you the aggressive one? The one I ask for?

San Francisco Dec15
San Francisco Dec15

I never finished bell hooks book about love.

Cleveland Nov03
Cleveland Nov03 (photo by Atlee)

The body speaks. A language born of vigilance.
An effort that does not deviate. In the same way
cyclical is about more than repetition and less
becomes obvious. Those times when scarcity
is a luxury of desire (thought) or when home
is opposite of feeling (being) love. Seasons nested
between gaps of wants, things you don’t need,
taking without realizing its cost.

Rome March08
Rome March08

What is left behind in this wake?
A free fall. A slow fade. A disclosure.
What is it that makes us different?
Tracing boundaries of shared recognition.

bleeding boundaries

there is a futility in capturing light
when all orbits have remained the same

SLT, CA May15
SLT, CA May15

form fitting
(grounded in our bodies)

watching their sway,
thigh gaps, strong arms,
weak eyes

sugar pine may15
sugar pine may15

the golden light was not yet warm
creating fog that caressed just the tips
of downtown, driving west, away from
the dismantled bridge
a vanishing mile marker

emerald bay may15
emerald bay may15

 returning to what we know
a team of horses, a blush of boys
all self-referential codes aside
revision is a type of prayer
a methodological desire for revival




The clocks are set for us;
there is nothing we can do.
There will be more daylight,
regardless of our interventions.

This moment is arbitrary.
It is grace, suspended.


"awake" Dec14
“awake” Dec14

Pink kissed hilltops fade into blue. Christmas is officially behind us.

Moose Lodge Dec14
Moose Lodge Dec14

The billboards sold women’s bodies, meat, and church services.

2014 winter solstice eve
2014 winter solstice eve

Roots as deep as family or the way light shines in flat distance frame this story.

"hint" 12-25-14
“hint” 12-25-14

The next phase is philosophical, a confessional epistemology.
Plan your resolutions accordingly.


This time of year, I think about taking.

San Francisco Jan12
San Francisco Jan 1, 2012

trees & streets
don their lights
sun kisses ocean
transference of energy
there is comfort
in knowing
waves break
they bend
then dissipate

conflicts of avoidance

The highest point of the bridge
shamelessly exposes itself
to the early morning fog.

Winter is on its way.

We start to confess
how we’ll survive the holidays.
Devising urgent strategies
to avoid memories
that are as traditional
as wanting more
than what you have.

We hold our breath
like blankets in a morning grip.
Yesterday’s news never arrived.
We carry on in spite.

This season’s colors:
yellow sweaters,
peach scarves,
beet colored shoes,
and silver buttons
shining like peacocks.

Letting go becomes a narrative fact;
in this, we take solace
as darkness settles around us.

Crassula ovata

Walking past the flowering jade trees
recognizing its sign as winter
pulled toward tradition, patterns, order

Tree leaves, yellow and small, fell like snow
as a Santa on Mission Street wore
a red hat, black boots, a Che t-shirt

Habits, a natural architecture
bending to break and holding to form
desires, biologies, structure

Miracles are seasonal rewards
a whole year’s worth of intentional boundaries
shaped by practice, action, effort


photo by VDH
photo by VDH

Clouds hung low
buildings designed
to scrape the sky,
hands were formed
into spoons
in an effort
to stay warm; the
trees were wrapped

distilling my own resolve

If I tell you my identity, will you tell me what to buy?

Cleveland, OH (photo by Atlee)
Cleveland, OH (photo by Atlee)

Ask me questions. I want answers.

This time of year brings out a different kind of angst in understanding who I am. From pressures to BUY SOMEBODY SOMETHING to calibrating the dangers of assimilation (of all kinds), I appreciate everyone who has added to my voice and sense of agency.

I’m tempted to make promises that I can’t keep.

Oscillating between choice and denial has sparked new, and powerful, imaginary yearnings. I want that feeling of checking your assumptions; a feeling of being heard. Let’s practice justice everyday so that these memories are in our muscles, so that we are conscious when we fail.

Can you feel the rush for the end?

We report back different memories. Like when we visited her in the mental hospital and learned how tradition is precarious security. She sadly handed each one of us a painted gold angel made of plaster, which I still carry with me as evidence. It was the only thing she could provide to us, a product of her extreme sadness. You said we baked chocolate chip cookies in the industrial kitchen and have no memory of her angelic presentation. We both agreed that she was never coming home again.

How will you remember me?


justice will take us millions of intricate moves
– William Stafford

Miami, 2012

As each day tucks into the next, I add up the cumulative influence of how silence can be a weapon of intention. My head reminds me that this is the familiar effect of winter and the reappearance of those heavy memories that not-so-gently announce its arrival. My heart has been in hibernation for weeks.

There is nothing left for you; I promise.

Shall we think of junctions as felicitous opportunities to recast and reassess? If the rumors are true that the world is ending in less than a month, let us wake up each day with strategic purpose. This ritual is bigger than you or me.

pornographic dreams

Have you noticed that the air smells sweet with rotting leaves?

photo by Atlee

I think constantly about familiar tensions:
sunny winter blue skies.

I am dreaming in violence again.
The holidays are nearing.

I want to only read radical things:

this weekend never happened

The Angelus of Gala (Portrait of Gala) – Salvador Dali

There were places I was supposed to be this week.
Instead, I appreciated that my shadow was in front of me.

Living in bear country – a landscape of turn ons and fractured binaries –
I analyzed the world through a post-choice lens
and declared my love for the Datsun 510.

I remembered that 4th of July:
inappropriate miniskirt mixed with a zenith of vodka tonics
followed by a drive home powered by a miracle and freedom.

Reminders of where I used to be frame where I see myself now.
They are the optics that position an erotic that begets joy.

remembering is my favorite sport

“Give me a kiss / show me what I’ve missed” Postal Blowfish, Guided by Voices

I was born into a complex relationship.
There was no choice but to embrace multiple perspectives.

You said truth is an aesthetic and my heart skipped a beat.

Neptune has taken residence in my seventh house. It will be there until I die, and longer. It means boundaries will dissolve – escapism of the best kind. This requires awareness, in all the ways awareness can be interpreted.

My leisure has run away with my intentions.
I am delighted that I cannot control that fact.

protest signs are a cultural history of synonyms


There was a protest banner that spread the words, “Castrate the State!;”articles about fetal rights as civil rights; and a revelation about a perceived “intensity gap” in pro-choice institutions.

This was the narrative arc leading up to Mother’s Day 2012.

We are supposed to celebrate those that have participated in accouchement, the standard and narrow definition of mother.

The anti-sex and the pro-parental zealots sound the same to me – both promote progeny.


In this land of homogenous seasons, I am afraid I missed my hibernation cycle.


She told me that I need to understand the difference between worry and disconcert; there was empowerment embedded in that assumption. There is also tension in that settling.

like a fish out of water

Happy Birthday Jesus.


found via reCycling, source The Frisky

An interview with myself:

1) What was the first word or phrase you thought of when you woke up this morning?

Me: leg salad (both an image and words)

2) What was the last thing you picked up off the street?


3) Name something you wish you would have picked up but didn’t, and why didn’t you pick it up?

Me: a twisty balloon that looked like a strawberry, it was in the middle of a busy street and I thought it belonged to a baby that had just passed me

4) What do you wish you were doing right now?

Me: walking in dry, crunchy snow that is glittering in the moonlight

5) Do you like to ask questions or answer them?

Me: I tend to ask questions but really enjoy answering a good question.

6) What are you currently obsessed with?

Me: contradictions, dichotomies, and the space in between

7) What makes you angry?

Me: traffic lights that make you push a button in order for you to walk, murdering animals for food, invoking sexuality to sell fast food

8) What makes you happy?

Me: epiphanies, phrases that make your heart stop for a nanosecond, uncovering the obvious

9) What makes you brave?

Me: knowledge

10) What are you excited about for the upcoming year?

Me: riding my bike, making music, and deconstructing the hype of an impending apocalypse

holiday dysphoria

To quote Kim Gordon, “my future is static, its already had it ” (Schizophrenia). My holiday wish is pretty simple: please let the next sixteen days zip by and let the future year roll forward like it’s no big deal. Expectations, purposely constructed or illusionary, make me nervous and if past experiences are indicators of anything, vehicles of disappointment. This is not an indictment. It’s a calculated reference to the title of this post.

I love reading the top searches that a random passerby used to find this mess of a blog. Child vagina (WTF?!) and man pussy apparently are two tubes you can take to find this url.

As American feminists were hissing about the Plan B reversal due to “common sense,” British feminists rallied for the muff, in her original glory. The body politic is gloriously exposed; sexuality was rationalized on the lips of politicians and defiantly displayed on the streets. It’s all so Victorian. Foucault just yawned.

A random list of ten good things from the last three months:

  1. kisses in elevators
  2. braless weekends
  3. pink sunsets
  4. responding
  5. doing
  6. thanking
  7. protesting
  8. speculums/feedback
  9. solo expeditions
  10. December sunshine
photo by atlee

my heart is weltschmerz

Valentine’s Day. Meh.

“Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back. That’s part of what it means to be alive. But inside our heads – at least that’s where I imagine it – there’s a little room where we store those memories. A room like the stacks in this library. And to understand the workings of our own heart we have to keep on making new reference cards. We have to dust things off every once in awhile, let in fresh air, change the water in the flower vases. In other words, you’ll live forever in your own private library.” — Haruki Murakami Kafka on the Shore

Juliao Sarmento

feeling presidential

I did go outside this weekend, I promise.  Today is the first day of summer in the Emerald City which means 10 o’clock sunshine and vitamin D euphoria.



Summer Wish List:

new-found freckles
out-of-body experiences
thought-provoking catalysts


artist: Lorena Vigil-Escalera, found via design work life
artist: Rob Mongomery, found via girlafraid
artist: Sarah Small, found via 1000 words photography















Happy Mother’s Day!  And even happier day to those of us who choose not to birth or be restricted by our wombs.

Gail Collins’ Op-Ed column in last week’s New York Times, What Every Girl Should Know, is a stark reminder of how precarious our happiness is and how we all need to be advocates for our choices, lest they be made for us.

Sometimes it feels like change is glacial.  Yet it’s only been 50 years that the birth control pill was approved by the FDA, 45 years since married women were prescribed the pill, 36 years since single women could gain access to the pill, and it’s only been 37 years since abortion was codified. It can seem like menstruating women are measuring time by trimesters and months.

We often forget that transforming the cultural landscape is a modern project of progress. We assume that we can map out all the complexities of change and have thousands of theories of action to document these assumptions.  But this is a project where constant change is the chorus and trying to interpret the illogical can become an obsession. What we choose to focus on and obsess over matters greatly because if change is the constant, you may find yourself looking back and not recognizing where you came from.

I’ve been busy

Photo by me. Dolphin Bay Hotel, Hilo, HI fire alarm in the “Superior Suite”

Avoiding the suits, seeking other opportunities, drunken noodles, remarking that writing and reading all day makes one a poor communicator, and a quick phone call to the one who birthed me; it’s been a long, remarkably unremarkable day.

Diamond Anniversary

Happy 75th Anniversary to the tampon!

On November 19th, 1931 (only one month after Thomas Edison died) either Dr. Earle C. Haas or Dr. Philip Harville submitted a patent for an “invisible” device that once inserted into a woman’s body, collected her menstrual blood. A little device called a tampon.

Whoever submitted the patent did so with the explicit notion that women should not have to touch themselves while inserting said devise. Despite its initial association with destroying women’s lives (rupturing sacred hymens did not help its initial sales), tampons were considered a convenient revolution. It wasn’t until the 1960’s that the general public shed the illogical belief that a tampon was synonymous with a dildo.

With menstruation becoming obsolete will the tampon remain revolutionary?


Happy Halloween. Another nominee. Another white man.

Maureen Dowd’s synopsis of the future of feminism was just as depressing and arrogant as Bush’s pick.

Make-up, sex and children. Lack of job opportunities and sexual objectification. Discussing the dichotomy of why Maxim allures and frightens, Dowd fails to breakdown the consequences of such absurdity. Her lack of class analysis was the most frightening of all. Quotes from overly educated, privileged single women who blame their ringless fingers on their positions of power is grotesque.

Feminism is much more than these sexy bytes of information. It is about analyzing the structures of power that create and maintain hierarchy. Trying to squeeze into a bankrupt system is the last thing this “modern girl” wants to do.


It was a great honor to be an American woman on International Women’s Day in 2005.

Democrats restated their pro-women stance, the First Lady pondered the novel idea of a different kind of White House chef, and some women even received presents on this heralded holiday.

The post-feminist revolution has arrived. Unfortunately it was not televised. It should come as no surprise. Cowboys are not always catalysts.