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.”

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, […]

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”


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 […]


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 […]


Good morning, from Audre Lorde.


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.


I am posting this ostensibly to share the sustaining beauty of Toni Morrison’s writing, but actually to remind myself of sentence structure splendor when “ostensibly” is involved.

Sunday Funday

My plans for Sunday night put into action via Toni Morrison in “Sula.”

Loved vs. Beloved

As I get deeper into my reading of Toni Morrison’s “Beloved,” I marvel more and more at how the title shadows over the book’s content. The characters in the story are not loved; they are beloved. They are buried by love, by the demanding longing of great love gone. Not gone bad, but gone dead. […]

Master’s Class

Up until last week, the class I am taking on the work of Audre Lorde and Toni Morrison as part of the requirements for my MFA in Poetry was high on my ranking of literary experiences. Last week, though, something happened that I have since thought very hard about, that I have tried very hard […]

Hijra Means Everything

books writing literature

“Hijra” is the key with which to unlock Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, an intricate, convoluted “Hijra” means “hermaphrodite” in Urdu, the official language of both Pakistan and the northern Indian region of Kashmir, a place that is itself a blended organism with both Hindu and Muslim limbs. If you look up “Urdu” in […]


I don’t know who “Jonno” is. Maybe I missed it. Maybe it’s no one, maybe everyone. But poet Audre Lorde wrote him, wrote her a beautiful poem. From Lorde’s collected works.

Whose Wife

From “The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde.”