Calder Texts

Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer visits the Calder exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Read Los Angeles 2013

Penetrable, #2

In the background, children play in Jesús Rafael Soto’s sculpture Penetrable. In the foreground, Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer feels sad. Read LACMA, 2013

Penetrable, #1

During a recent trip to L.A., a friend took me to LACMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. I was impressed by how successfully the museum incorporates inside and out, grown-up and child. One of LACMA’s many outdoor interactive sculptures is Penetrable, by Venezuelan artist Jesús Rafael Soto. It’s basically a large square space […]

The journey in its claws

  Pictured here are three of Nobel Prize-winning poet Tomas Transtromer’s “Six Winters,” framed by a dying mammoth sculpture at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles. Below are the poem’s final three winters. Out of the six, number five is my favorite. IV. Ice hangs down the edge of the roof. Icicles: the […]

A gilt frame

Suggestive but not abstract, Tomas Tranströmer’s poetry interacts with our surroundings. Read Burns Park, L.A., 2013 Related articles the Tranströmer: more than meets the eye (

Love Doubts

  The city and its health restaurants reach beyond my balcony on a Wednesday night.   Dinner was quick but the dining was slow. My two gay friends compared notes.   I tried to focus the talk on my ring. Purposely not a diamond, half-size edge of a ring. My display case for solidarity.   The […]

J.D. Salinger’s humble intro

I read a fun book last summer written by Jeffrey Eugenides. It is called The Marriage Plot and is basically a love story between really smart people. One of those involved is a Divinity Studies major, so his love is very transcendent. Prominent among all the forms of prayer he tried was the Jesus Prayer, the same […]

And the and of the land

The Poetry Foundation broadcasts a great public service announcement via its “Poem of the Day”. When you sign up, they send you a daily poem, just like it sounds. The selection is melt-in-your-mouth good. Back in August, I received this gem written by Todd Boss: The World Is in Pencil —not pen. It’s got that […]

Lessing Learned

Doris Lessing, one of recent history’s most surprising recipients of the Nobel Prize for Literature, died yesterday at age 94. She was a woman who earnestly adopted and then abandoned every “ism.”  This painful process of belief abandonment is at the center of her most famous novel, The Golden Notebook. The book’s main character is […]

The thing we turn out to be

The first book of poetry I ever had is an anthology called Sleeping on the Wing, compiled by Kenneth Kock and Kate Farrell. It was part of my eight grade reading list. I still have it and go through it on occasion because it’s truly a great introduction to modern poetry. Since today is Friday […]

“Shell” is out on We Poets Show It

Many thanks to the great writing community of We Poets Show It for publishing my poem “Shell”! I recommend all poetry bloggers out there to stop by and check it out.  


  i.   Decir, hola, es Ana Hola Ana   Es buen aliento dejar tanta tortura para los demás   Decir un beso decir un beso todo por no decir un beso   Hola es Ana un beso   ii.   Con codos Otra vez   Con ustedes y ustedes y ustedes       […]

Atlas shrugs because he doesn’t know

Since the Poetry Foundation sent it on September 17th, I’ve kept this poem handy in my inbox. Even reading it today, it reminds me of Ayn Rand and her book Atlas Shrugged. The same is probably true for many who read the poem. In Atlas Shrugged Rand preached “extreme exertion,” but not with others in […]

Spanish Prayer

A simple and stunning poem by the Colombian poetess Maria Mercedez Carranza. My clumsy translation is below: Prayer No more dawns or fashions, no more light, no more tasks, no more instants. Just dirt, dirt in the eyes, between the mouth and the ears; dirt upon the crushed chests; dirt inside the dry womb; dirt […]

Life Things

  The writing has left it rests far away when it was close it was closer but not as close as far when far away   There is still life yes a baby still new a father still sick a master unhere   I watch these life things gather height the in held breath of avalanche […]