Stage notes.

Sure, we are torn, but hold. Affix time around space, anchor it with the choreography of story. Knot the fabric so that a dancer’s shadow will cohere to the face of a witness. This is a movement, repeat. 

Couple the lines of these bodies. You’ll need a strong adhesive. Consider music over time. Notice the architecture. Unless a body dances with the contours of a space, it cannot speak to a room. This means working with the furniture, the squeaking floorboards, the windows. Observe textures. How solid are any of these parts, and what are the sources of light? What are the colors in this space, and how does each sound? 

How do you bind a sense of intimacy to one of staggering separation? When you learn this, you will be falling into each ascent, and then you will know you are dancing.


Inspired by the opening chapter of The Viewpoints Book by Anne Bogart and Tina Landau.

Liquid Cats

What happens on a page.

When it comes to inking a cat, there’s no telling what will happen. 

The long brushstroke of a tail; paint bleeds a fluid form, feathered fur.

Sometimes, the shape of a body can only be defined by where it isn’t.


Inspired by this article about Endre Penovác’s watercolor cats.

Between Whales

Song over distance.

In the event

that one of us

should slip from

the range of

contact, I want

to tell you that I 

did not know if 

my voice was 

made of sound,

or if that was just

an idea, possibly

unsound, until

you answered.

I still don’t have

a word for the 

color of that 

last note, but

now I think this

is more likely

about the limits

of any language


in isolation

than it is about

a problem with 

my eyes.

Between Vagrants

Appeal to the strange bird.

It has been a long journey, and you are far from home. People are talking. They call you lost, straggler, waif; accidental. Wonder.

Not to be contained by any ordinary mob, by what sensitive tentacles did you come, reading, as some say, the whole vault of heaven? What do you see, and why are you here?

Sometimes I think I have wandered so far that I forget my native tongue.

Stranger, please.



Inspired by Marion Renault’s article in today’s New York Times: “These Birds Aren’t Lost. They’re Adapting.”

Thoughts on a Train

Over vanishing worlds.

The cynic will call your nostalgia an ailment, but consider the lost elegance of oaks, the grey slush of salted roads at the end of a snow day; purple ink of handwritten liner notes inside the plastic shell of a favorite mix tape, the pealing chorus of children screaming in chase, hiss of the downtown bus breaking, someone on the blue shag carpet of a den hooting about a bad call over a plate of cheese and crackers, beer, full ashtrays on coffee tables, end tables; world maps covering dents in the kitchen walls, and the way the aunts with their lipstick would be laughing over the salad spinner, at the last attempt of someone’s last date, to do what must have seemed appropriate at the time and a harmony of, I can’t even––over shuffle of silverware and children up and down the stairs like a herd of elephants.  

If you hear that again, you’ll know that there will soon be a pillow at the back of your head and not this sideways neck, and no, it won’t sound anything like this dream when it’s over, but you won’t be sick with it either, just slightly jarred the way a body always is to find itself moving at high speeds over steel rails on land almost familiar, with a sense that it is always slipping out of reach before the witness finds the words, and maybe this is the tension the children were playing with, screaming at chase, whenever the it got too close.

Look at Us

Albums in space.

We started with the basics––abstractions, really: circle, star maps, a few terms. Then the images of planets, as if to open conversation. Have you seen this, too?

Look at our moon, we are so proud. See our double helix, watch our cells divide! Behold our anatomical diagrams. Here is conception, fetal development, birth. Nursing mother, father with child; now a family. Consider continental drift, oceans, desert, shore, dunes; consider forest, leaf, mushroom, sequoia, snowflake. Insect, vertebrate, seashell. Dolphin, school of fish, tree toad, eagle, crocodile.

Yes, some notable omissions: war, poverty, disease. Idea being, best foot forward. Also omitted: visual art. Whatever would we choose, and how would we explain ourselves to our critics? It’s like that with art.

Animals at a waterhole, hunters in the bush. Craftsmen, dancers, pipe smokers. Mountain climbers, Olympic sprinters, schoolrooms, children at a globe. Harvests: cotton, grapes, fish nets, supermarkets. Shared meals, construction. Architecture, cityscapes, factory interiors. Trains, planes, radio telescopes.

Here is a page from a book. One of our astronauts: how like the floating fetus with its cord!  Now a shuttle launch, now a string quartet. We convert these images to sound, place them on a record.

Hello, can you hear us? Are you there? Do you understand?

Have you seen anything like this before? 

How about since?

What now?


Inspiration: Jon Lomberg’s “Pictures of Earth,” in Murmurs of Earth: The Voyager Interstellar Record, by Carl Sagan, Ed.Drake, Ann Druyan, Timothy Ferris, Jon Lomberg, and Linda Salzman Sagan.

Breaking Silence

A tribute.

When silence is betrayal, when uncertainty mesmerizes, a calling to speak can be a vocation of agony––so rejoice as well, because we are here in firm dissent, a new spirit among us.

No document from human hands can make any of the persecuted less our brothers––sisters, hear their broken cries. They watched us poison water, bulldoze land, and the children run in packs in the street, seeking food for their mothers.

Family, village, land––destroyed. The initiative is ours now, to somehow cease this madness, to be prepared, with every creative protest possible. To challenge the young with alternatives, each by their own convictions.

There is a deeper malady here, and the answer so readily dismissed as weak is love––courageous, relentless against fear.

Let us hope. We still have a choice.



Exactly one year before he was assassinated, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his speech “Beyond Vietnam––Time to Break the Silence” at Riverside Church in New York City. Today’s post is a tribute to this moment, assembled from words and phrases in this speech. Found poetry is one of my favorite ways to listen.


Regarding some equations.

On first introduction to the idea of convergence, it is natural to take an optimistic view. However, in certain cases it is clear with moral certainty that whatever else happens, convergence does not.

Consider subharmonics. Proving their bare existence, we begin with a theorem of our own before beginning any proofs.

Suppose a positive constant, some fixed function bounded by a given. From there, find a local maximum. Suppose the velocity of a given around a stationary point, spinning.

Consider any variable whatsoever, and let it be x. It follows immediately that the notation parallel to that for symbol y is denoted by an alternate symbol.

We are always supposing. 

We suppose always,

assume the truth.


Today is the anniversary of the death of celebrated British mathematician, Dame Mary Cartwright (1900-1998), who is considered one of the pioneers of what came to be known as chaos theory. This exercise is a collage of phrases found in this paper she published in 1945.


When the ice thins.

After the long search, hungry; after securing the space and leaving the guards, after the long drop into winter shade with your muted heart, wake.  Now emerge. Watch as you enter this peril to begin again, your life.


Inspired by this article about findings from recent studies on hibernation habits among bears and other mammals, with particular focus on adaptations to global warming.

Soliciting Questions

Wise fools convene at the threshold.

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?

Your local fools!

Not interested. We’re doing serious work here. 


Existential matters. You wouldn’t get it. Bye, now.

But some problems have a way of lurking at the threshold. What better subject?

With enough construction within the discipline, anything can be explained. You really must depart now.

You mean from standard principles?

No, I mean from my porch. But yes, that too.

And yet, even the most careful practitioner rarely gets above theory.

Sure, but finding a given to begin with is harder than it seems.

Can you hold this?

Being, when it isn’t sticky, tends to be too slippery.

You could try putting your hand in a jar of honey. 

I know, then try to feel where hand ends and honey begins. Old hat.

Well, to the extent that being can be known, it won’t be with knowledge.

Maybe not, but you can use what you know to construct beings in sequence.

What do you know?

I really don’t have time––

Here’s a mirror! Wanna start with the eyes? Then you can get to all things seen and unseen, and the whole arrangement until you get to the point where you are asking why we’re here and not there, while––

Really, I don’t––

Awww, look at this cat! Hi, kitty! Oh, aren’t you gorgeous! Okay, yes, yes.

That’s my cat, Oliver.

Are you sure?

That’s enough.

Oliver is licking his teeth and turning away now. How do you read that, exactly?

I’ll ask him later. But now I really have to––

You know, you may be waiting a very long time for an answer.

Speaking of time, I can’t––

Maybe we ask questions like daubing at paint, to give us something to do––

––I have plenty to––

––with the eternities we can’t seem to keep from conjuring, even as our skins crack in recognition.

Of what?

Of the endless amusement we provide at our own expense!

You’re not leaving, are you?

Maybe later, but I’m really into petting this cat right now.

Well, do you want a chair?

Nope, just wanted to leave you this paintbrush. Later!


That’s it!