Lover Created, Because, Destroyed

panini pleiades press

Such an honor to see my review of Luis Panini’s book The Destruction of the Lover published in Tupelo Quarterly. My review seeks to articulate Lawrence Schimel’s translation of Panini’s original Spanish text, a translation that forms part of the Pleiades Press Series in Translation. Tupelo is a journal I’ve admired for so long. One […]

Voudoun // Desire as Divine

Voudoun is a religion of volume, voluminous rites under voluminous skies. It is a cosmology whereby hungry, horny god is appeased by the action of hungry, horny human hand. Through the physicality of man, both heaven and earth may be healed.  In Voudoun, the loa, or spirits, materialize via corporeal possession of the Voudouist, or […]

Shintoism & Reverence in Nature

shintoism, religion, spirituality

Shintoism, to me, is best described as the religion of Hayao Miyasaki’s animé — of ancient forest, of swift river, and of plump purple friend or yellow-red fanged foe walking through forest, swimming across river.  Shintoism, to me, is the candied knowledge that the natural world is synonymous with the spiritual world and should be […]

Islam & Disciplined Prayer

What would happen if every human on earth prayed at five am just once a month? Once a week? How about once a day? What would happen if that single morning prayer was just one of five daily prayers, five daily moments devoted to humility, silence, grace?  The Five Pillar of Islam are faith, prayer, […]

Judaism & the Academics of Faith

Judaism Faith Study

Judaism is a faith built on faith. The Messiah is coming, eternally and beautifully coming. In the meantime, there is Yahweh and the holy books: the Talmud and the Torah.  The Talmud, which literally means “work,” is a compilation of over six hundred years of rabbinic teachings, musings and legalese. It can be considered as […]

Jainism: Tolerance as Faith

Jainism, religion and spirituality

Jainism may be a minority religion in India, but the vast proportions of the Indus Valley render the minor into the massive when scaled to world standards. Four to five million people practice this ancient faith, whose oldest spiritual masters go back to the time of Earth’s physical creation and whose most recent master, Mahavira, […]

Hinduism & All-Encompassing Religiosity*

Hinduism is a faith before time, before history. There is no death of prophet, no brutal exodus, no enlightened Bodhi tree shade to mark its spark. Brahma, one of its least popular gods despite belonging to the “Trimurti,” or trifecta of Hindu gods conformed also by Vishnu and Shiva, could technically mark a form of […]

Eating (and Drinking) One’s Way to Heaven

Western religions tend to keep faith separate from the ins and outs of the everyday. Church is for Sundays, specifically from 10:00 am to 11:30 am. Amen. And those quotidian ins and outs, when taken literally, are simply not matters of decency, certainly not ones in which to involve the Almighty. As a result, one […]

Confucianism’s Progressive Respect*


Confucianism is not a philosophy, not a social system, not a Way, but a religion at whose center is an all-powerful, loving God who engendered an order-seeking universe. This godly force is symbolized by the character Tien, which is often translated as “Heaven.”  Confucius sought to translate the law of God into the law of […]


Christianity Religion

This post is the second part of a ten part exploration of what I consider to be the most valuable teachings from some of the world’s most followed religions. Last week, I wrote some words about Buddhist acceptance, which live here. Today it’s Christianity’s turn. As occurs in Buddhism, Christianity takes its moniker from its […]

Acceptance, the Buddhist Way


Last week, I shared a starting list of my favorite teachings from ten of the world’s most followed religions. Soon, I’ll write at length as to why I felt impelled to put together this list. For now I will say that stating this list in no way lays claim to having mastered it. In fact, […]

Nobody’s Wife: Kiki Petrosino Is Over It

My way into KiKi Petrosino’s latest collection Witch Wifewas through the poem “Afterlife.”  Thanks to this poem, I realized the book was about getting dumped. And dumped. And dumped. But also about rising above the heart carnage to transform hurt into a magical handbook for survival.  Petrosino is a witch whose wand is language, and who waves it deftly […]

On Pink

Pink’s having a moment. So much so that New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology is hosting an exhibition on the color’s transformation. In a piece published by “The New York Times” about the exhibit, its curator presents pink as the color of androgyny, a topic that’s been coming up repeatedly in my recent readings. Pink […]

What I Learned in Junior K

Other than deep respect for carpool done well, I owe Junior K a hard-won lesson: don’t ask the teacher about your kid. My kid is an obviously hyper, rebellious, willfully foul-mouthed five-year-old boy. I have no business asking his teacher how the day went, particularly when I barely made the after-care cut-off. Seriously: what do […]

Dodging Bullets vs. Shooting Them

By bullets I mean unwanted, unyielding change. By dodging I mean dodging. By shooting I mean effecting. This, then, is the title with which I catalogue the past year and a half, not only my own life, but of many of those close to me. There may be cosmic reasons for the dodging, the shooting. […]

Without Fear or Favor

I just spent ten days marveling at Asia. But, despite the magic of travel, no trip I’ve taken has ever been tinged with such sorrow. Every morning for the past ten days, I read an entire physical, newspaper. Could the news be sadder than it is now? Gay men shocked to death in Chechnya, one hundred […]

Everyday Poet, Everyday God

Pope Francis is to the Vatican as Bob Dylan is to the Nobel Prize in Literature. Both represent a promise, long overdue, finally made real. In the case of the Vatican, the overdue promise is to embody Jesus’s goodwill. In the case of the Nobel Prize Committee, the overdue promise is, in Alfred Nobel’s own words, […]

The Difference between Coolness and Artness: What Turns Everyday Objects into Art

Inevitably, many of the highlights at this year’s London Frieze are works that turn common objects into art. To enter the Fair, visitors must walk by a courtyard and  up a narrow hallway where Martin Soto’s pantyhose installation cuts the sky into the vaulted Gothic cathedral lines of a sacred place of worship. The Gagosian is the first gallery one meets, featuring the works of Edmund […]

No to New Neon

Neon art began in the 1960’s when an artist named Dan Flavin first displayed it in a New York gallery. Back then neon was street, current and controversial. Indeed, The New York Times compared it to Marcel Duchamp’s urinal: “When Dan Flavin first brought [neon] into art galleries during the 1960’s, he was, in effect, doing what Marcel Duchamp had […]