Wednesday, June 8, 2022

I'm back! I'm teaching a summer class on literary Modernism.

 What the heck is that? Well, stay tuned to find out!

Maybe check out this video. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

They Thought They Were Free,

"Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, 'regretted,' that unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these 'little measures'... must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing - each act is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join you in resisting somehow.
You don't want to act, or even talk, alone; you don't want to 'go out of your way to make trouble.' But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes. That's the difficulty. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves, when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. You have accepted things you would not have accepted five years ago, a year ago, things your father could never have imagined."

From Milton Mayer, They Thought They Were Free, The Germans, 1938-45 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1955)

Monday, March 4, 2019



My voice is always too quiet, or too loud. Something has taken my voice; I’m not allowed to shout. Sometimes I sing.

I spend a lot of time with birds. Birdsong. Singing. Freedom. Flight. A choir of angels. A bird on a wire.
I’m just trying to stay alive.
“If you can read this. I’m still alive.”

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Fire Is All There Is

This Fire

No one loves you more ... more ... more ...    
There were sincere lies everywhere placed directly before
the next step. Does everyone pretend, part of alive
I am proposing words — All structures have crumbled
in earliest death. I’m crossing the yellow sands
It’s so hard to know without relating it, to you
shaping a heart, take hold of me and someone says
I don’t get it! You don’t have to have love,
or you do, which? I don’t think you do; before
the explosion? I was here without it and have been in
many places loveless. I don’t want you
to know what I’m really thinking or do I, before
creation when there might be no “I knew”
Everything one’s ever said not quite true. He or she be-
trays you; why you want to hurt me ... bad
Want to, or just do? Treason was provoked
everywhere even here, by knowing one was one and
I was alone, a pale hue. The sky of death
is milky green today, like a poison pool near a
desert mine. Picked prickly pear fruit and I
tasted it, then we drove on, maybe to Yarnell.
These outposts where I grew up; I didn’t do that
I have no ... identity, and the love is an object
to kick as you walk on the blazing bare ground, where ...    
sentimental, when what I love, I ... don’t have that one
word. This fire all there is ... to find ... I find it
You have to find it. It isn’t love, it’s what?

Friday, November 18, 2016

Never Over, No Resistance

Kissing you is like drinking salt water, the more I drink my thirst increases.

Monday, October 31, 2016


Chop, hack, slash; chop, hack, slash; cleaver, boning knife, ax—
not even the clumsiest clod of a butcher could do this so crudely,   
time, as do you, dismember me, render me, leave me slop in a pail,
one part of my body a hundred years old, one not even there anymore,   
another still riven with idiot vigor, voracious as the youth I was   
for whom everything always was going too slowly, too slowly.

It was me then who chopped, slashed, through you, across you,   
relished you, gorged on you, slugged your invisible liquor down raw.
Now you're polluted; pulse, clock, calendar taint you, befoul you,
you suck at me, pull at me, barbed wire knots of memory tear me,   
my heart hangs, inert, a tag-end of tissue, firing, misfiring,   
trying to heave itself back to its other way with you.

But was there ever really any other way with you? When I ran
as though for my life, wasn't I fleeing from you, or for you?
Wasn't I frightened you'd fray, leave me nothing but shreds?
Aren't I still? When I snatch at one of your moments, and clutch it,
a pebble, a planet, isn't it wearing away in my hand as though I,   
not you, were the ocean of acid, the corrosive in I which dissolve?

Wait, though, wait: I should tell you too how happy I am,
how I love it so much, all of it, chopping and slashing and all.
Please know I love especially you, how every morning you turn over
the languorous earth, for how would she know otherwise to do dawn,
to do dusk, when all she hears from her speech-creatures is "Wait!"?   
We whose anguished wish is that our last word not be "Wait."

When the spent day begins to frail

When the spent day begins to frail

by E. E. Cummings

when the spent day begins to frail
(whose grave already three or two
young stars with spades of silver dig)

by beauty i declare to you

if what i am at one o'clock
to little lips(which have not sinned
in whose displeasure lives a kiss)
kneeling, your frequent mercy begs,

sharply believe me, wholly, well
— did(wisely suddenly into
a dangerous womb of cringing air)
the largest hour push deep his din

of wallowing male(shock beyond shock
blurted) strokes, vibrant with the purr
of echo pouring in a mesh
of following tone: did this and this

spire strike midnight and did occur
bell beyond fiercely spurting bell
a jetted music splashing fresh
upon silence) i without fail

entered became and was these twin
imminent lisping bags of flesh;
became eyes moist lithe shuddering big,
the luminous laughter, and the legs

whereas, at twenty minutes to

one, i am this blueeyed Finn.
emerging from a lovehouse who
buttons his coat against the wind