Height of Beauty

Secret obsessions, private mad endeavors, finally, unintentionally, revealed are so fragile they break the beholder’s heart. Which beckons the ask: why is heartbreak so beautiful? From “Letters from Max,” by Sarah Ruhl and Max Ritvo.

World on a Page

What I love, so much, about Anne Carson is how much world she packs onto a paper page. Below is page 2.5 from “Autobiography of Red” an orbit-altering read.

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 […]

Last Drops

Sometimes, a lot of the times, when I read Sharon Olds it is a small, non-central phrase that does me in. Seldom is it the grand finale. Often, it is a line tucked into the middle, like a “last drop of something,” that makes me come back to it, come back to the poem, in […]

Whistle While You Wait

The Poetry Foundation’s site come in mighty handy while waiting in line. Example on this is brief, perfect poem above. Other photo in this post is the internal patio of the Poetry Foundation’s Chicago headquarters, which I recently had the chance to visit. More on that later. Later like when I am waiting again in […]

The Most Miserable

Pictured above is the best book report I’ve ever read, about the actual best book I have ever read. Yes. I think. Coetzee’s “Disgrace” will have to make a more thorough appearance on here soon. Time is ripe for a reread. But, back to this current post, which is about Claudia Rankine’s “Don’t Let Me […]

Poems Heavy as Poached Game

Scenes from Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Sharon Olds’ first book of poems “Satan Says.” In the background, Paola Pivi’s solo exhibit at the Miami Beach Bass Museum.

Mimetic, et al.

“Mimetic” is my Word of the Day. Synonymous (yes, at once!) with “echoic,” “apish,” “slavish” and “canned.” From John D’Agata’s genre-bending, lyrical, US-centered tour of the essay’s recent history: “The Next American Essay.”

A Zorse

A “zorse” is the word to use when speaking of the offspring between a zebra and a horse. Also, say this out-loud: Kanye is half cannon, half ballet. Half canonical, half prey. From Sarah Blake’s “Mr. West”

Fascination

The fascinating thing about fascination is fascination itself. Obsession works in similar ways. An obsession, a swallowing up of will by all encompassing drive, takes over in inexplicable ways. Callings exist beyond a mere sense of purpose. Why else would there be an entire book of poems on Kanye? Poem “God Created Night and It […]

Exclamation

If you, too, were wondering, this is what forty exclamation marks look like: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! From Sarah Blake’s “Mr. West”.

The History of “The History of God”

“The History of God,” written by former nun Karen Armstrong, has been sitting on my bookshelf for a decade. I bought it in a small bookstore in Mumbai, where I also purchased a book by the Nobel writer V.S. Naipaul, Arundhati Roy’s “The God of Small Things” and a practical book of mantras. This bookstore […]

Good Gossip

Just gonna call it: Naipaul dishing on Tolstoy smacking on Gandhi is the best thing I will read for the rest of this year. All three glorious days of it. From V. S. Naipaul’s “India: A Wounded Civilization.”

In Closing

About a week ago I finished reading Helen Macdonald’s “H is for Hawk,” a book ostensibly about falconry, but actually about grief and how it takes time and human contact to overcome it. Days after I read the passage above, which to me is the book’s crescendo despite the almost 150 unnecessary pages that follow, […]

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 […]

Rarity

A vision of how wilderness has become the same as rarity. From “H is for Hawk,” a book to read in spread out installments so as to prevent contagion from its sustained melancholy. But, to read, nonetheless.