Finding Beauty in Dark Times

Beauty is but a flower / Which wrinkles will devour; Brightness falls from the air; / Queens have died young and fair; Dust hath closed Helen’s eye. / I am sick, I must die. Lord, have mercy on us!  —Thomas Nashe, “In Time of Plague” (ca. 1567-1601) Blackened Beauty If, as Plato and Aristotle both […]

Fabulism (a sort of forest fantasy)  

The Second Story World: Fairy Tales for Grown Ups (and curious children) David Macauley I have this silly idea that there might be a second-story world, one which most people can’t perceive but that quite possibly exists, nonetheless.  It hovers just above this world like a very faint shadow or delicate, shimmering fog and it’s […]

Sun Salutation

The sun [is] a toddler insistently refusing to go to bed. —John Green, The Fault in Our Stars Even after all this time the sun never says to the earth, “You owe me”.  Look what happens with a love like that.  It lights the whole sky.” —Hafiz Tell me the story about how the sun […]

Waiting for Ecstasy

After ecstasy, the laundry.   — Zen saying Philosophers have tended to prefer the gentler arts and pleasures, those tempered by dispassion, detachment, and the yoke of reason. They have been inclined, for example, to sing the praises of contemplative love rather than swoon into the arms of a siren and risk being drawn along […]

Class Portrait

Oh, that memorable moment when we snare and suddenly freeze the escaping line of time in the lives of those whom we love. And then later tempt—even dare—them to glance back mischievously 20 or 30 or maybe 70 years hence with only faint recognition . . . or near disbelieving denial. Was that really me? […]

Something strange about the uncoiling spring When the worm dances for the circling bird When the egg hatches the delighted sperm When the nut endears itself to squirrel When the berry invites the bear to dine When the light calls forth the glittering eye When the willow paints the whistling wind And everything begins with […]

Faces of an Age

Nerval strolling through Paris with his lobster on a leash Lautreamont making love with a hungry shark Duchamp installing urinals in museums Manzoni canning shit and selling it in galleries Burroughs playing William Tell and shooting his wife Mailer knifing his then being impaled by a fictional self Artaud— tragedy on stage was not enough […]