“Just call it all poetry, okay?”

It is impossible to say anything about a grain of sand that hasn’t been said.

It’s the plight of this smallest

most obvious wonder

that there could be

so much of something so tiny

that used to be stone




mountains and teeth and stars.

There is nothing much else to say about sand.


I didn’t even get to the part about how Coke Zero advertises on the AM band, and the shortwave sounded like insects

as I watched the man take out the money

and waited my turn

or how that was just 2 minutes out

of well over a thousand

little bits of time,

one small segment of which included asparagus.

She thought that maybe it was best to simply tell him about the day.

She drank a single tablespoon

with the taste of chlorine

and coal ash

clinging to the sides of the glass

and felt herself shiver

twice now

there has been mention of fireflies

she didn’t tell her friends that the day before

her brothers had been written

back into the story

by her calling them ghosts

and by calling them back

she had felt their voices

saying, “Please, don’t let us down.”

She had laughed the day after

the very next day

talking with her father

for the first time in months

about the ways that puppies run

and the intelligence of big dogs

in seeming to know

their own size

“You didn’t take your nap today,” her daughter had remarked,

smiling as if it were

the best day ever

and maybe it had been

or would be

without her even realizing

until they found the way

back to her house

without any directions at all

she didn’t know

they were brothers

People show up to remind her

of who she is, saying the strangest things.

She has begun to tell them thank you.


Something writhing was inside her.

She could feel it, the press of it breathing with her.

How could she explain

what fear does

how the structures

sludge and scatter

terror, terror

love, and fear




makes it so hard

to do much of anything

The only cure

seems to be love.

What she wanted to tell him was that she had not been able to believe him

and that she loved him

not because she believed him

but because she wanted

to believe him

who is she

to not believe

her friend

who has

no reason to lie

at all


wonder, beauty and respect.


she pictured the light

in the dining room

where she’d be stitching


onto hats

that were shaped like the ocean

and talking with her children

about whatever

she might talk with them


She was open

in saying

that maybe it was the bread

that was making her so sick

all those



and that


what a stupid thing

for the universe, or something like that

to have to send

two people to

drive all day

and to miss work

to scowl at a tower

in a gorge

and later to dine

on beef heart

and kidney

to then sit on my porch

and tell me

that I need to

take better care

of myself

and to shatter this ennui

with laughter


If this proves anything,

it proves that I know

that I need to feel

the things you can’t see

and to trust

that people are sent

some people are sent

to remind me

of who I am

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she was a hairdresser, used to work in porn and liquor advertisements, called it all the film industry. She was fairly certain at one point that the  voices she began hear during that one long year were the voices of a secret society of fabulous people that felt she needed to create something, that she needed to be able to talk with people, to have conversations while doing the breakfast dishes. She claimed that the contents of her storage unit included a medical device, assistive technology gleaned from a woman whose house she had cleaned in the months leading to death.

The woman’s family didn’t think it was worth anything. They were like, ‘Oh, this is just some junk.’

She explained that the woman was a quadriplegic.

(I wasn’t sure how to spell that for a second. I should know how to spell that, profound human condition that it is. I should know how to spell all the words given to profound human conditions. I would like to make a dictionary of profound human conditions. Such a thing already exists, in many versions. It’s really all we want to do, to have a name for every terrible and beautiful thing that might happen to us.)

“She could talk, she couldn’t move anything at all. The machine, the chair, helped her to communicate. She used her thoughts, the electrical activity in her brain, to tell it what to say. It understood. She could communicate with it.”

I paid her 300.00 dollars that I didn’t have, which was stupid and I knew it, but I’d gotten my last cash-out from my paltry retirement fund and, besides, it was Fall and I was 1/2 mad myself, fairly sure that this woman with green eyes and perfect hands had shown up as some sort of interface, maybe even as a test.

She was another trainwrecked genius, with a shitty boyfriend and a bad habit, a treacherous fear of

—– Message truncated —–

to me

Hi honey my son is gone please tell me if you know where he is  (phone #) he was good in big bear I don’t understand why he fled with nothing im scared


If we view madness through the lens of complex systems we widen the scope of etiology to include prefigurative, formative, and catalyzing factors that stretch from the myths of family history to the regulations of the US Department of Education and the products we are sold or cannot purchase, life opportunities unequally afforded…


I am sitting here on a day that suddenly feels like Spring, as if the weather knew that the calendar had slipped into March and there was no need for freezing anymore.

When it snowed this year, my children asked me: “Would you have liked it if it snowed this much in Georgia?”

They knew that it only snowed once when I was a kid, a thin 1/2 inch that – for just a single morning – covered the pine needles and pear trees in a hush of white that sent me whooping down the dirt road with the joy of seeing my home transformed into something strange and new.

I wonder a lot about writing these days.

This winter took my words with its sickness and fevers, its meetings and disappointments, its frozen mornings of pipes that groaned, pushing water through the ice.

I had a hard time remembering things this winter, like there was some sheath of thin plastic between me and my mind. I could feel the memories there, pushing up against the surface, bent and dull under sheeting. There were words that I could not grasp. I only found thin syllables, popping limply like gum.

Sometimes, on the drive home from work or walking up the stairs I remember that I was to prove something beautiful, that I was to show people something they might not have noticed.

I took down this site for a while, made it private for a few weeks, considered all the ways that I could erase myself, retreat into a quiet life of graying hair and laughter with children, doing what work I might be able to do.

This winter, it has felt like I might not be able to do anything, like I might just need to give up, pack it in, buckle down and get serious with the fact that I am not special, I am not rare, nobody owes me anything and there is no big surprise in the works for me, no big scheme that will lead me to everything I imagined being real.

Why do I have such a hard time with that?


On a Thursday afternoon I came home and found that my house had been broken into and that all my computers were gone. Gone. They were just gone. The door was open, the window was open, the gate was open.

Talking to friends, I said that I used to leave the doors unlocked and that nobody had ever bothered this place.

Then, I got scared, hearing the stories people told about the things they’d done when they were desperate and I started locking the doors when I was gone, but still left them open if I was at home, to not feel locked in.

In November, someone walked through my front door when I was upstairs and took my computer off of the table. So, I started locking the doors when I was at home, too.

Though I was kind in my thought out response, reasoning that a life in which one must steal must not be a very easy life to live, I began to feel leery of people, bitter and even disgusted, confused and guilty.

I am notoriously lazy about backing up my files.

I lost a lot of work.

Everything can be destroyed somehow.

I dance between that statement and the claim that nothing ever really dies.


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It’s sad to me that I am writing this knowing that your email has been disabled and that the message will bounce back to me.

I told someone last night, “I know that the thing I am supposed to do is to write the book anyway.”

I hope you are well out there. I heard Radar Love on the radio the other day. Your mother had sent me some messages and all I could tell her was that I heard that song and took it as a good sign.

I also mentioned that police involvement and psychiatric hospitalization might only make matters worse.

She said that she agreed with me.