I shall die, but
that is all that I shall do for Death.
I hear him leading his horse out of the stall;
I hear the clatter on the barn-floor.
He is in haste; he has business in Cuba,
business in the Balkans, many calls to make this morning.
But I will not hold the bridle
while he clinches the girth.
And he may mount by himself:
I will not give him a leg up.

Though he flick my shoulders with his whip,
I will not tell him which way the fox ran.
With his hoof on my breast, I will not tell him where
the black boy hides in the swamp.
I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death;
I am not on his pay-roll.

I will not tell him the whereabout of my friends
nor of my enemies either.
Though he promise me much,
I will not map him the route to any man’s door.
Am I a spy in the land of the living,
that I should deliver men to Death?
Brother, the password and the plans of our city
are safe with me; never through me Shall you be overcome.

Edna St. Vincent Millay | Conscientious Objector
Juana Olga Barrios | Kennebunkport, Maine 2017




Normality in our part of the world is a bit like a boiled egg: its humdrum surface conceals at its heart a yolk of egregious violence. It is our constant anxiety about that violence, our memory of its past labours and our dread of its future manifestations, that lays down the rules for how a people as complex and as diverse as we continue to coexist – continue to live together, tolerate each other and, from time to time, murder one another. As long as the centre holds, as long as the yolk doesn’t run, we’ll be fine. In moments of crisis it helps to take the long view.

Arundhati Roy | The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

I read The God of Small Things, Roy’s first novel published in 1997, in the final weeks of my days in New York before returning to live in Southern California. I remember sitting on the floor of my living room, tears streaming down my face as I closed the book on the final page. Was it a conflation of my ambivalence of abandoning Manhattan, no matter how temporarily I deemed this act to be, in favor of Los Angeles, or was it Roy’s straight up powerful writing that had me overflowing with emotion?

I put the book down, went with a friend to grab a bite to eat then rushed home to get into bed and start the book from the beginning. Round two was even more powerful. Twenty years have passed. TWENTY! So grateful for another Roy masterpiece.


If you want to see a Shakespearean drama based on Crooked Donny, just watch CNN, Whippers!



⇑  ♥  ⇑


I first read Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel right after college in 1985. I was working in NYC on the trading floor of a Wall Street firm, surrounded by a lot of testosterone gone wild. Eye opening and often disturbing, I had to fight to be seen and heard amongst the “big swinging dicks”. For awhile it seemed as though every day was a feat of survival until, of course, I got good at their game and then it was simply a match of wits and fury.

The novel was upsetting, but as tough and misogynistic as the working environment was at Salomon Brothers, it was still a surreal and improbable landscape. Well, not these days. If you haven’t read the book, read it. But if you want to opt for the easy button, watch Hulu’s fantastic adaption, starring Elizabeth Moss. You’ll be tossing around terms like Blessed Be the Fruit and Under His Eye and May the Flower Open throughout your day just to diminish how creeped out you are by the possibility of such a world exisitng in 21st century America. Fuck.


While I wasn’t a huge fan of the series Mad Men, one actress immediately stood out for me from the beginning :: Elizabeth Moss in the iconic role of Peggy Olson. Well now she has really gotten my attention with her stellar performance as Offred in the MUST SEE Hulu adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale.

Read this excellent piece on the actress and her passion project.



Aiiiyyyyyy, Bendito!

I ♥ NY

I  ♥  NY



With only 4 days in NYC, she’s getting a mini JUANA Camp 2017 ♥