Wednesday, October 2, 2019

These Things Bind Together

Something big is happening. You’re a major player, not somebody on the sidelines.

You’re feeling exclusively happy about it. You’re ready to shout from the rooftops. Or it’s quiet relief. A sense that things are working out exactly as they should. 

You don’t know this yet, but you need to acknowledge the sadness. Let it lap over you. Every blessed event, no matter how anticipated, has loss attached. If you don’t wade out to meet it, it will come for you later. Meet it halfway. 

Maybe instead, it’s a shit show. You’ve been singled out for a private hell that has your name written all over it. It hits you where you live. 

Eventually, that dark feeling is going to have to soften. If this rotten thing has something okay attached, however tenuous, give it a name and let it sit at the table. 

You’ve made a brand new friend in the waiting room or wherever you find yourself that you never wanted to be. Also, now you have the get out of jail free card for all the crappy stuff you never liked doing anyway. 

All of this insomnia means you saw this kick-ass sunrise. The fact that you’d hoped to never see the sunrise, because that’s a time when people living blessed lives are still sleeping, shouldn’t dampen that moment because that’s exactly what I’m talking about.

Damn anyone who finds that silver lining before you. That isn’t their job.

Let it in on your time. 

If there is no nuance or gradation then you’re missing something. This is not meant to be sequestered or cordoned off. You hold them both together. 

If something big is happening and you’re feeling bittersweet and complicated, seeing some cracks in the foundation, seeing the foundation present in the cracks, then thank you for reading this, but honestly, you’re doing it already and you don’t need any help from me. 

From the archives:
These Are My Subjects
Shana Tova
Yes, Please

Sunday, May 12, 2019


There’s a tingling in the space between me and not me.
I’m aware of being an animal.

Are you walking these streets?
The hairs on my arms stand up to reach you before the rest of me.

Is it the wind? Or your breath on the back of my neck?
Its useless to ask.
So I question nothing anymore.

Whatever it is.
You are that potent.
One of these things is true.
There is no wrong answer for this.

From the archives:

Time, As Few Of Us Know It
The very second you lost me

Sunday, April 28, 2019


I’m furious.

With it comes an energy.

Do something, it said.

I’m compassionate.  I helped. When I couldn’t help, I tried.

Do something else, it said.

My hands needed to be in on the action.

So this is what I did with that.

From the Archives:
Take This Inspiration And Shove It

The High Cost Of Being Me

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

In The Spirit Of Expansiveness

She’s the real deal.
Streamlined, aerodynamic.
She glides right past me at the track.
No knee or ankle supports.
No plodding.
Gazelle like and bright.
Her name should be Lululemon Athletica.

Does speed sacrifice alignment? 

Sure, but I reject these sour grapes. 
This is my time.
The elder in me requires care.
And youth forgives form.

Later she leans against the fence.
Smoking her cigarette, breathing greedily.
I change course to avoid the acrid, the stink.
My brow begins to knit.

Don’t start, I tell myself.

From the archives:
I answered my own question

All of the roads they did lead here
To mend

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Best Case Scenario

Rain. It did.

Before I stepped out, a minute, an hour ago, when I lay sleeping, unawares. It clings to the air, the tree trunks, the branches strewn about all random-artful.

Palettes soaked in themselves, wild, unfettered. Promiscuous watercolors I don’t have to paint. This is the stuff of dreams, what my photographer self waits for. It doesn’t look real but you can’t make it up either. I walk up about free, gathering it all in. Having a destination stops me not at all. Ridiculously early I will be anyway. I stop just short of greedy.

The best part is that the rains will come again. I see it in the sky, opulent white, opaque, the wind softening everything.

If it weren’t for the storm brewing, the shadows would be too deep, the palette drying under the sun. Nature would have put itself together again and I would have walked by. Nary a glance at what could have been.

By the time the sky unleashes the pelt, the soaking, I’ll be inside.
Warm, untouched, clothes, hair. Camera face down. Ready to be my other side. Content with incandescent bulbs, the TV, the safety, the perfect dry.

From the archives:
I Stand In Judgement

I walked to the end of the driveway
The Water Table

Friday, March 15, 2019

Be still

Here is my steady wish
A horizon line of glassy water
A fine, calm mirror
For the firs and clouds and whatever else awaits you

A heartbeat sweet and slow
A dry brow
An easy smile
The crinkle around the eyes - an extra prayer!
My plans for you, selfless and unfettered

Your table laid with iced confection when hot, warm repast when cold
I hate the thought of anything less
Sunup to sundown need be for you
Ready, accommodating, alert
Shoes to hold not bind

Lay the weary to rest, let the bed rise to meet you
It’s an object, inanimate, and the one thing you don’t have to help

From the archives:
Picture Edit

To mend

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

I suffered for their art

I listen for the silence between the sounds
They make more music
They bring great shame upon these instruments

I close my eyes as if to drown it out

They stand and bow at the end
Pleased as punch with themselves
I blame them, though none are composers
They’ve been complicit
They brought it to life

At the end I open my eyes
Just long enough to tap two fingers together
And glare at each and every one of them

From the archives:
Take This Inspiration And Shove It

I answered my own question
I Stand In Judgement 

Wednesday, February 27, 2019


I’m so much better than I was
I thought I was good before
I couldn’t have imagined this - what I’m doing now

I show no sign of stopping
I’ll keep going on
If I’m lucky
If I’m allowed to live

Ten years from now
I can’t imagine now how good I’ll be
At that time I’ll know what I can’t know now
What can’t be made now
What can only be seen hence
When I see it I’ll understand

From the archives:
Picture Edit

Careful Words
The High Cost Of Being Me

Friday, February 22, 2019

Hard Fall

When cold rain fell in sheets
When the wind took your umbrella
When the ground opened up
When the cracks swallowed you whole

When your right hand took the brunt
When your right hand looked like meat
When the rest of you stood unharmed

When your right hand rested
When your left hand shone eager
When your left hand surprised everybody
When your left hand was the hero

When your brain met your left hand halfway
When your left hand remapped your brain
When they both became dominant
When you became the southpaw

When your right hand thanked your left hand
When your brain thanked your left hand
When your left hand and brain thanked your right hand
When they all rolled up their sleeves
When everybody did their job

When you think about evolution
When you marvel at redundancy
When you know why you grow  two of things
When you are abundant
When you are rich in body parts

From the archives:
The sun it did rise again

Yes, Please

Thursday, January 31, 2019

These Are My Subjects

I don’t have any words to speak of. I have scissors and glue but no magazines or printer. I have construction paper. I have motivation. I want to go outside. I also want to make something.

Words are my friends but for a couple of weeks we’ve been on the outs. I don’t want to force anything, so I let it be.

I go outside with three gallon sized Ziploc bags. I walk around collecting leaves. I sort them into color families. I take everything to the screened porch and edit through the leaves. I throw the rejects out into the yard.

If you work right down to the common denominator, as the math teacher used to say, this is the story of my life.

I use a glue stick to tack the leaves onto construction paper. Even though I’ve sorted the leaves, I break my own rules and start mixing them up. These subjects curl up and act differently than my usual collage materials but I don’t mind.

Assembling the three collages

I plan to photograph the leaves on construction paper now, but also let them sit out for days or weeks and shoot them at intervals. It will be fascinating to watch the decomposition process.

I’m excited about my project. I photograph the newly assembled collages. I capture them again a few days later. Something has clearly happened. It is worth recording.

Two collages in their newly assembled state.

But as time goes on, the collages lose steam. They don’t gain poignance or character. They look anemic. 

Like lots of things, the collages have a shelf life and a point of diminishing returns. I throw them all out. They had their glory days, plus a little more. Just because they didn’t have a more beautiful death doesn’t mean it wasn’t all worth it.

I like how these two aged over several days. A few days later they looked old but not good. That’s when I said goodbye to them. There was a third one (unshown) that only looked good on the first day. 

From the archives:
An Adulterated Icon 
They Create: The Lego Artistry of Don Rice

Monday, January 28, 2019


I want to reach out. I don’t have enough to say. Rather, I have a lot to say, but none of it is appropriate.

Soon, there are snippets of true things that are also okay to share. I wait to have more. I want there to be a small collection. It also needs to neaten up. Right now everything is shapeless.

Over days and weeks sifting takes place. Inappropriate content remains in my head. Normal stuff gets edited down to boring vs. interesting. It helps when new things happen outside of myself and my own making. It gives me some new material to work with.

More and more transpires that can go in the yes pile.

Things work their way into a clear narrative. The actual writing flows like water.

I hit send. If only I could see what happens next. The email coming into the inbox. The reading. Unfortunately all of it is in the cloud.

I rest in the well-worn space of suspended animation. Life pauses for a moment then resumes. One thing is certain. There’s nothing else to do but wait.

From the archives:
Take This Inspiration And Shove It

If You Care
The very second you lost me