if you could read my mind, I’d tell you a thing or two about pink turtlenecks and regrets. listen up, you little shits wearing black-and-blue. life’s too short for a bruised beat. besides, that’s what you get from loving. listen up, will you? I’m so tired from writing it all down. listen up, don’t make … Read more

the trouble with writing

you never where to start. or end. the interruptions of daily life are difficult to manage, even when you need them. telling a story is one thing; finding the meaning in it is another. reading good books is extremely important because you need good sentences that linger inside your head. jealousy is problematic, both yours … Read more

weeping woman

  Weeping Woman (Dora Maar) by Grace Nichols   14. Picasso, I want my face back the unbroken photography of it   once, I lived to be stroked by the fingers of your brushes   Now I see I was more an accomplice to my own uprooting   Watching the pundits gaze open-mouthed at your … Read more

to baudelaire

by Jeet Thayil I am over you at last, in Mexico City, in a white space high above the street, my hands steady, the walls unmoving. It’s warm here, and safe, and even in winter the rain is benign. Some mornings I let the sounds of the plaza – a fruit seller, a boy acrobat, … Read more

a marked grave

writer Mavis Gallant rests in a marked grave in Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris. in 2015 it was difficult to locate without knowledge that she resides, temporarily, in her friend’s family crypt, because Mavis died almost penniless. when faced with fragile, failing health and dwindling finances, she stated, unequivocally, “i have chosen to be a writer, … Read more

obscure, obsessed

a conversation about the artistic process by Patti Smith and David Lynch. both seem to accept the weirdness of their artistic processes and don’t rationalize.  “i’m not obscure by design,” says Patti and explains how she just runs with what comes to her, what obsesses her. Patti talks about an image of Jerry Garcia coming … Read more


platform a landing alongside railroad tracks.  you’re waiting. coal trains flashing past. most of the time you can’t speak on a train platform. there’s too much noise. and the anxiety about the ticket. where is it? should i move it to another pocket? check, double check. tiresome. this year i’ve watched writers who are so … Read more

Ursula K. LeGuin is the fucking best

Thank you Neil, and to the givers of this beautiful reward, my thanks from the heart. My family, my agent, editors, know that my being here is their doing as well as mine, and that the beautiful reward is theirs as much as mine. And I rejoice at accepting it for, and sharing it with, … Read more