Sharon Olds Sings the Body Electric

I  ♥ Lindy West | The Witches Are Coming + On the Problem of New Masculinity

Jeremy O. Harris | Decolonizing My Desire

Zadie Smith | In Defense of Fiction

I love you so, L-M M

Alabama Fire Dept Aims High-Pressure Water Hoses at Civil Rights Demonstrators | Birmingham, May 1963



I am, and I am going to be, the kind of person I have trained myself to be. In a way that almost amounts to just retribution, I am stuck with the results of all my choices.

We tend to mix genders when we arrange ourselves around a table for meetings. A sort of accommodation is made by the men for the women: they make space for us. they are ever-so-slightly polite, we are ever-so-slightly grateful. When we stand up at the end of a meeting, we all give ourselves a metaphorical shake that is only partly the relief of having concluded our business: we are all released from the effort of fitting ourselves together.

When men speak in these meetings, women relax; when women speak, men grow tense. I have the impression that they never know what a woman is going to say, whereas they are reasonably sure what a man will address himself to and how he will do it. So are the women; for them, too, men tend to be predictable. Women listen to women with a different kind of attention, and part of it may be loyalty to our gender; we want all of us to do well, as if we have the esprit de corps of subalterns among generals.

I notice that I have to pay careful attention in order to listen to others with an openness that allows them to be as they are, or as they think themselves to be. The shutters of my mind habitually flip open and click shut, and these little snaps form into patterns I arrange for myself. The opposite of this inattention is love, is the honoring of others in a way that grants them the grace of their own autonomy and allows mutual discovery.


Today’s reminder…


I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.
And I watered it in fears
Night and morning with my tears,
And I sunned it with smiles
And with soft deceitful wiles.
And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright,
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine, —
And into my garden stole
When the night had veiled the pole;
In the morning, glad, I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.

William Blake

Juana Olga Barrios | Flores de Sangre, 2019

We have the best neighbours!



When my girl and her friend walk away from me
at the swimming pool, I see her friend’s
sweet stick legs, thin as
legs drawn by a child, and then I
see my daughter’s curved hocks and
haunches, her hips that behind my back have
swelled until they taper delicious as
chicken legs, the liquid meat of the
thigh. Her joints gently grind and
suck and rock as she walks in rich
innocence toward the diving board, her
chest flat as a plank, the front of her
torso meek and raw as a kid’s, but her
ass delicately flashes its signals:
Soon, now, the gold glow of the
warning lights. She mounts the ladder, her
skin twinkling wet as the basted
broiler half-way done to a turn, she
sways her frail way down the board
waving its wand in the air, the water
far below her rich with college boys, she
grins toward me, her head slick, and
takes the plunge, her pale body
plummeting through the air in silence and then
entering the water with the charged thrust of her
knife into the chicken when she is really hungry.

Sharon Olds | 12 Years Old


A show of Bill Traylor’s drawings and paintings is up through February 15th @David Zwirner’s E 69th St gallery.


Nothing can ever happen twice.
In consequence, the sorry fact is
that we arrive here improvised
and leave without the chance to practice.

Even if there is no one dumber,
if you’re the planet’s biggest dunce,
you can’t repeat the class in summer:
this course is only offered once.

No day copies yesterday,
no two nights will teach what bliss is
in precisely the same way,
with precisely the same kisses.

One day, perhaps some idle tongue
mentions your name by accident:
I feel as if a rose were flung
into the room, all hue and scent.

The next day, though you’re here with me,
I can’t help looking at the clock:
A rose? A rose? What could that be?
Is it a flower or a rock?

Why do we treat the fleeting day
with so much needless fear and sorrow?
It’s in its nature not to stay:
Today is always gone tomorrow.

With smiles and kisses, we prefer
to seek accord beneath our star,
although we’re different (we concur)
just as two drops of water are.

Wislawa Szymborska | Poems New and Collected: 1957-1997

Juana Olga Barrios | Azul, 2014