places, tucson

marquee 08.23.23

I see my angel on the sand

m. ward
poison cup
new kerrang
i get ideas
get to the table on time
primitive girl
too young to die
to go home
fuel for fire
chinese translation
vincent o’brien

my morning jacket
state of the art
holdin’ on to black metal
compound fracture
first light
bermuda highway
you wanna freak out
wordless chorus
touch me i’m going to scream pt 2
feel you
o is the one that is real
one big holiday
the bear
love love love


to barter for two truths

is she, he asked? not yet, you said.

driving 82 on 10

in a van full of drugs 

and your breath in my ear

in my dreams

we’re sitting in silence 

as the mountains light up 

and the shadows of cactus

define them

orchards and boxcars 

tell me, pull over

crawl over the fence

with the camera

get some more bruises

some more scars, funny stories

little sister imitations 

of her big brother’s work 

so now in the silence

steer through the heat

on the line of the love

through thousands of miles

through twenty years

did you know how i loved you

when you pulled me out of the quicksand

children keeping secrets

and losing shoes

did you know how i loved you

when you pulled me through broken glass

children keeping secrets

watching spiders in the sun

and glinting eyes in the dark

so just like when we were small

you told me it would be okay

you made me


it would be okay

did i know how i loved you

so the universe told me

it’s all balanced now

and you don’t need shoes

on someone’s shoulders

when i love you

when i love you

athens, places

blue skies

noticing the days hurrying by… when you're in love, my how they fly by.

there is a love that exists inside the soul
that language cannot capture
a love my words can’t take captive whole
the size and gravity of rapture

all of my efforts, bound to fail
no snare or knot can hold it
nor trap, nor pit, nor jail,
and no psalm has ever told it

but you, my love, uncover
these mysteries and more
and, stumbling, i discover
you are all that i adore

athens, places

re: p0litical r3porter

I'll give you one, too. Size 6. Size 9.

June 12, 2006 at 7:24 PM

not sure if this was replied to already, but:

that is hands-down the best hire-me letter i’ve ever read. i sincerely hope you get everything your heart desires. when you two get down here give me a ring and i’ll set up a nice little welcome.

athens, places


hey, ash. i'm pretty handy and know my way around a kitchen.

rumors of your death have apparently been greatly exaggerated, of which i am both relieved and dismayed. relieved because i can now remove my black veil, dismayed that, after all the tears i have shed, i may not be able to cry the next time you pass.

i read your piece on principle nelson of the adams school (excellent work! though you should have the web guy fix that fourth paragraph) and skimmed a few of the other fine offerings on the duck article i found heartwarming, the photo of the grim reapers: chilling. it never occurred to me that there might be more than one reaper. i may have trouble sleeping.

you have certainly landed on a soft patch of land. now if you can find a handyman or short-order-cook with whom you could pal around and share playful and romantic banter, you will be like a living gilmore girl (yes, i realize that i have incriminated myself and that you are sure to judge the television that i may or may not have watched).

things are well here as well, since you asked. i have recently acquired an obsession with the game of go; the storms of april have given way to the mosquitos of may; i am wearing flip-flops; i am eating well; i am writing a social bookmarks application here at the big nerd ranch… in fact, i had better get back to it.

from southern sidelines and saving up for large quantities of roe,

athens, places

letter from home

a love letter

hey there missy, so good to hear from you and hear you are doing well. things here are all the same. you’re not missing much, but we’re sure missing you.

biggest thing that happened lately was when we had to take sally the sow to the big city doctor and so decided to make it into a vacation as well. shoot… pineapples on pizza, people scooping poop off sidewalks, boys putting jewelry in their ears and girls putting it everywhere else… don’t get me wrong, them big buildings are impressive, but all the big buildings in the world won’t teach you nothing about birthing a pig.

what else? farm’s getting hot, gnats and noseeums are particularly bad this year. papa took the tractor down to creek, cleared the path and dug out the swimming hole. you remember that time you and me walked down there – we must’ve been four or five tops – and we were exploring and all of a sudden you started sinking down in that quicksand? haha. you were up to your thighs in it by the time i grabbed ahold of you. the sucking sound it made when we finally got you out and having to explain to mama how you lost your shoes… those were good times, missy.

uncle orbin – aunt alice’s orbin – he’s not doing so good, so say a little prayer for him. orbin was always real sweet to you. he was the one that bought you that little plastic horse that you loved so much – the one on the springs. what with marvette dying and so many of the folks around here getting sick, i’m starting to wonder if those chemicals we sprayed to keep the bugs off the peanuts and cotton weren’t so good after all.

but it’s real good to hear you are doing so good. you got out of here and made something for yourself. you always were the smart one.

well, it’s about time for me to start dinner. we’re having cornbread, black-eyed peas, mashed potatoes and fried chicken. i’ll save you some banana pudding.

write again soon,


athens, places

you’re no sunset

church bells ring. i hear you sing out.


But it’s ok. We all have our samskaras. These are mine. They release the same way—by feeling into them and allowing them to pass through. Like a beautiful sunset. That is my work. Letting go of the content of my experience and returning to my eternal self. Each of these were simply events that I witnessed. None of them changes who I am. My soul is untouched.


At some point, and I am not sure of the trigger, but I broke into tears. Oh, I remember. It was a thing that I had been waiting for—spending Christmas Eve and most of Christmas Day alone. I felt into it and allowed the tears to flow. I didn’t push anything down or away. I talked through it while it happened. Talked about the process of leaning into the feelings no matter how painful and how much you’d like to avoid them. Let them move through you like a beautiful sunset. There is no need to explain them or get to their source. Understanding them is great, but letting them go is the sole purpose.


Hey bud. I know that facing the same old fears can be scary. I want you to know that I am right here with you and we will not only face those fears, but allow them to pass through us like a beautiful sunset. One by one. Until all that is left is Love. I promise you that.


This isn’t like a sunset. I want to take a picture and put that picture in a locket that I carry next to my heart always and forever. And no other sunset will ever be as beautiful. I’ll miss many sunsets altogether, opting to stare instead at the small, imperfect replica inside of my locket.

athens, places

aren’t you glad?

so very glad. so very, very glad.

“Aren’t you glad,” she asked, and it was as simple as that. It was as easy as plugging a cord into a wall. As easy as tuning in a radio station. As lighting a match. As the birth of stars.

Instantaneously and delivered with unbridled delight: 1) “Holy what the fuck. Where’ve you been?” 2) “Do you know how much I fucking love you?” 3) “I want to talk to you FOREVER.” One. Two. Three.

All at once, I remembered. That life could be more. More beautiful. Brighter.

Without ceremony, I dropped a heavy stone I’d carried for twenty years.

athens, places

if only

each word spells i love you

since the abandonment and subsequent realization that nothing else on the internet would satisfy, i’ve thrown myself into life with renewed gusto. i have learned two languages, built a carriage house which i am currently renting out to hostelers, traveled to {array(tokyo, moscow, warsaw, belmopan (capital of belize), et al.)}, participated in four iron-man(tm) events (i placed in two!), adopted two chinese girls, been accepted to the mediaeval history doctorate program here in athens, become an ordained minister, and taught myself to make the penultimate southern breakfast. i have taken the lemons of your desertion and made three desserts and an entree: lemonade, lemon cookies,  lemon pound cake, lemon sponge pudding, and goat shoulder with braised lemons and preserved prunes.

i do hope that you are living on lobster and wine and enjoying the rose-colored glasses i sent (i am guessing that the thank you note was lost in post along with my lottery winnings)…

places, tucson


Inquiring, Inquirer

when you get down here give me a ring

You had said, “when you get down here give me a ring and I’ll set up a nice little welcome.” We had called each other “dewd.” We had called each other “man.” We had called each other “buddy.”

This is the conversation where we make plans, finally. Well, we make some plans. The first plans. These are just plans for me to use up the paid time off from the paper. Plans to meet at the Manhattan, a few years from 23 and newly 31. Four big hugs through the door. Your arms around me. Four clinks of bourbon and ginger. I don’t move my fingers away and they bump against yours.

I had said, “I miss seeing pictures of yr life!” What I was really saying: I miss seeing you. I miss being able to look at you. I’d liked the portrait with the towels rolled up, the door open, the shower curtain, the strap hanging down over the bare chest I try to look away from. You look sleepy. I want to be the person in the other room calling you back to bed. I don’t tell you that.

You told me, “so you guys are totally mobile.” What you were really saying: come here. Come HERE.

I had asked for fireworks, so that’s what we talk about at first. Concrete, practical plans for what to do in the dark, if the lightning flashing behind all those big ominous clouds lets up outside. You said you had access to bottle rockets and Roman candles, that you wanted to start out with the bottle rockets and finish the night with the Roman candles. It had been four years since I nearly burnt down a bridge in the rain in Brooklyn. You’d liked that piece. To get the attention off me, I brag about the person I’m there with, because I can feel the sulkiness emanating in waves and burning up in a fine mist when it tries to touch me.

You say, “Hm.” You mean: I don’t care and neither do you.”

You tell me about how much you ache from the first race you finished. I try not to think about how I could make you feel better. I say something about arnica and foam-rolling instead. It is purposefully lame because our banter is maybe a little bit too good and you and I are laughing a little bit too loud and the two people we are with are getting a little too quiet.

We call ourselves “easily entertained.” What we really mean is, “you fascinate me and I want to know everything about you.” You say “so we have that going for us.” What you mean is, “look how perfectly you would fit in my arms.”

I forget what we were planning to have for dinner, or if we end up going. I remember fishing out the pieces of mint with my fingers from the drink and how it looks on your face when I nibble on the leaves, and we both notice that only we notice this moment. There are cigarettes, first four, and then two. Maybe she went to the bathroom. Maybe he went with her. Maybe that’s what we hope for, because maybe we don’t care, and we can’t ever care ever again.

“You don’t want to live in Atlanta anyway,” you say.

“I know,” I say. “Silly me.”

“Well, I told you to move here,” you say, “but you were all like, ‘oh, i have to have a job’ or whatever.”

“Squaresville,” I say.
“Lamesville,” you say. “Hicksville.”

I make you take it back. Because it has started raining, and I actually like it in this place better than you know. And we are entertaining each other like we have never laughed before, never heard a joke before, never smiled before, never made a reference that had landed in anyone else’s company. The drops pound on the metal roof. I’m beautiful. You’re gorgeous. You tell me I’m cool. You won’t let me defer. And then, I wouldn’t let you avoid the conversation we’re about to have.

You had said, “some things are great, some things could be a lot better. You?” What you meant was, “everything is terrible.” I tell you everything is terrible here too.

I think about the photo of you in your green shirt and floppy hair, your child leaning on you. I think about how I would have gotten your eyes in focus. How I would have done it better. I have no right to think these things.

You tell me, “I sincerely hope you get everything your heart desires.” I wonder if you can see what my heart desires. I suspect, then, that you can. I know, now, that you do. That I do too.

You wrote something the night I asked, again, when you would update, when you would come back. You didn’t use my name. You called me “inquirer.” You pointed out I was the only person who had asked in all the days you’d been away. You said “thanks.” In the thing you wrote, you wrote a list of all the things you had done in the time you had not updated. You wrote that you had bought new undershirts, some hula dolls, and gotten a haircut. You said, “I bought a kite, but there has been no wind.” Then, there was a list of all the things you had not done. In the middle of all the silly ones — “been to a circus, built a robot” — there was “danced with my wife.”

I did ask for fireworks. The wind isn’t gone anymore. Let’s dance.