July 2, 2017

060-merthyr-tydfilmartin parr has become an inspiration as i see how beautifully disgusting nyc is, how neurotic people are about salads, how rainbow people get about desserts, how minty and chocolaty coffee must get, how many nut milks i have to choose from,  how hotdogs are photographed on wheeled carts, how distorted spongebob popsicles get, how the deli window montages of sandwiches, icecreams, juices, and cat litter look like valhalla, like god’s mind.


about to leave to europe and i most looking forward to saturn peaches and cherries, tripping on stones and the smell of saline dust.

that’s all for now



February 19, 2017

on 65 degree days in february i feel like i just emerged from a womb, fists out, mouth wide, screaming that i’m here. i’m here!

i may go through times of feeling destitute, hustling, creatively incompetent, dyslexic, insensitive, overly sensitive, tired and sleepy. but i got eyes, nose, a mouth, and a great sex. fingers, feet, toes, liver, and blood.

lauren-hillebrandt (laura hillebrandt)

i got carrots to munch on, hummus when i’m lucky, figs growing at my father’s house and watermelon at the deli.

attributed-to-jean-le-noir-the-wound-of-christ-from-the-prayer-book-of-bonne-of-luxembourg-duchess-of-normandy-before-1349(Jean le Noir  – The Wound of Christ,  1349)

i got art to look inspired by religion i don’t believe in.

(c) National Trust, Hatchlands; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation (Robert Peake).

i got pictures of ladies i don’t know with ruffles that remind me of ham rolls at banquets.

Protected: Ojos abiertos, eyes open

February 2, 2017

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December 30, 2016

at christmas eve we eat caviar on cucumbers and oysters on ice, meatballs on gravy and salmon on cream. at christmas eve our faces are cast red and purple.

frans-floris-the-fall-of-man-1560(frans floris, the fall of man, the best thing that ever happened)

my mother’s in spain, my father’s in france, sam is in siberia.


16782278These posters narrated my childhood: the Mini Milks for walks with abuelita, the Frigo Pie when I was ready to risk pink melt trickling down my arm, the Calippos when I felt like sucking cardboard, the cones with hazelnuts to feel grown-up and the Super Choc when I was old enough to bite down on ice-burned chocolate without it hurting my teeth. I never touched the Fresh Limón flavor of the cones (not featured); that was my cousin’s choice, and not only did I avoid competing with her at all costs (she had a powerful smack) but I felt apprehensive about the mix of sour lemon with sweet Vanilla. Wouldn’t there be some curdling involved? Wasn’t that cheese?
In Galicia we eat cheese the shape of breasts.

November 14, 2016

trump won and our whole building smells like home fries, potato patties, tater tots; our neighbors fry away their fears and keep on blasting ariana grande like big whoop.

henry-darger5 i think we’re about to plunge into a henry darger dystopia.

i’ve been noticing that the leaves in prospect park look more dry and less colorful than usual, maybe they’ve all been pressed in a giant toaster, or maybe it’s just that time in november where we still haven’t had a snowfall.

the-red-cap-by-frederick-sandys-1900 (the red cap by frederick sandys, 1900)

sam is going to siberia in january and the low today there was -24 farhenheit. i’m sure he’ll eat a lot of flakey fish and breakfast vodka. i’ll be in the city, looking up at lit snowflakes hanging from the avenues and rushing into delis for warmth and fruit and nut bars.

lee-friedlander2(lee friedlander)

i’ve been spending more time with kids and it makes me feel really good. i read a star wars book to a boy in a bunk bed, cradled by two dozen stuffed animals; watched kung fu panda 3, boys licking popcorn butter off their fingers, eyes stunned and glazed, focused on the fight scene; glued glitter onto paper, painted a night sky.


my friends know i have a fixation with snoop, his falcon nose, his voice, his house we’d drive by in my hometown, guarded by two colossal stone pitbulls and buffered by a line of palm trees in the front and a romanesque swimming pool in the back. it was the part of town where mcmansions reined, but every other block or so there were real mansions, real, gaudy, dracula- or parthenon- or ranchero villa- or california gluttony- themed houses lining the street. i had a friend who lived in one of those when i was in elementary school. her mother was a “stay at home mommy” with a tiny, sharp nose, and her father was in the business of “nuts and bolts”. they had a room referred to as the maid’s pantry where all the gourmet snacks were stored and another one they called the artist’s cave which had more craft supplies than michael’s, my favorite store then. in high school it was just the neighborhood we went to once or twice a year: on halloween, for the extravagant drunk bonanza parties, girls teetering into bushes and masked boys handstanding on kegs, and on beautiful red-eyed days, to pay homage to snoop by driving by his house and shouting stupid lyrics.

October 30, 2016


sometimes everyone else looks like a statue and sometimes i feel like one, inert and gazing


emmet gowin:emmet-gowin


October 22, 2016


This is the Tower of Toghrul, in Rey, Northern Iran, circa 1860s.

Since summer ended, my arms have grown weaker, I’ve eaten more pasta, and I lost my grandmother. I didn’t lose her, she left, saying “dying isn’t fun at all.” In her lucid moments she said she had to go back to dreaming her “very busy dreams.”


I took this the summer after I met Sam, in a bistro bathroom. He flew to California to meet me and my dad. On the last night of the visit we drank whiskey on the porch while picking tangerines. Sam’s good with dads.003_3

I took this on my first visit to Oaxaca. I love this city and specifically its barbershops. Nobody is ever cutting hair.27040011

I took this in Chengdu, a week after my dad married his third wife. I wore a cardboardy Carhartt jacket every day, often indoors, too. I’m used to the american tradition of heating and AC on demand. My toes were numb in Chengdu.f1030010

I took this during my first month in Buenos Aires, before I was familiar with the bus routes and facturas. Facturas are bakery pastries: phyllo dough, dulce de leche, powdered sugar, medialunas-half-moons-crescents-croissants, glazes, buns, custards, crusts, crackles. I ate one hundred before I left.

aug 11

August 11, 2016

california was great. the best parts: backyard figs, backyard eggplant, backyard molding apricots. chlorine dips, sea breezes, dusty cracking mountaintops with shaggy wigs of sage. fry-an-egg hot sidewalks, my parents in the shade, grandma whispering her love.

birthday was great. the best parts: a nudist beach on the jersey shore, micropenises galore. cold hummus, seedy crackers, cold mango, sharp carrots. icey heinekens on a boat, salt in my hair, on my lips, on my head, views of our big, dirty, beautiful city.

i’ve been writing about gardens and lights and the things i remember about being a kid. do you have a lamp in your life you particularly remember?  i  remember warm light flickering from an old lamp my mother had brought from spain. it was the sort of object that was so heavy and smooth and ornate it could only be expensive, i reasoned. the base consisted of a bronze tree with a bronze woman, naked, round, with an arm extended upwards, leaning against the trunk. her nipples were like little marbles. her hair made me think gold could be brushed. above her, hanging from the tree limbs that held the bulb was the snake of eden.
i thought of her story this way: eva wanted what she wanted and she went for it, that’s why we’re all here today. eva’s fingers were terrifyingly close to the snake’s fangs.

don’t mean to brag

July 12, 2016

but spain was my savior with potato chips on every table and savory sweet beers and bitter cortaditos at every plaza and viejitas saying buenas tardes and viejitos saying anda, que guapa! i did feel good there, sea in the sky and gulls on the ground, bread crumbs and sunflower seeds clotting the cobblestones. freckles abounding. during the sardine festival the fishermen made a huge fire at the beach, the size of a cottage. chairs, the tails of fish, the wooden pegs of pirates, it all went aflame. in the plaza, a dominican samba band played tunes for the people to dance to and a merry-go-round with mickey mouse look-alikes moved slowly, as slowly as a crooked wheel or a frail pigeon.
in spain you see colorful boats reflected while you feel the saline crust form on your forehead after a swim.000076650013000076650004
not so different than new york, in a way. and that’s why i’ve made my peace.

this is a poem by a poet who i had tea with. his name is jamie mckendrick. he ate all the tiny sandwiches with cream cheese and ham and cucumber and chives inside and i ate the scone in the shape of a big fatty breast, withered and joyful, bosomy, boxomy, with cream and jelly on top. “why aren’t you eating the semifreddo cheesecake?” he asked.

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 1.35.56 PM“Princess Alice (1843-1878)”, attr. William Corden the Younger, ca. 1860;

i’m full of joy, actually

May 16, 2016

Le Billet. 1883. Auguste Toulmouche(auguste toulmouche)

At my father’s I slept in Chinese silk pajamas and at my mother’s I alternated between two of her old baggy shirts. One was a loose brown shirt, nearly knee-length, with a doodle of a happy woman on it and the words above her reading “Man cannot live on chocolate alone,” and below, “but woman can.” The chocolate shirt was easily my favorite because it justified eating chocolate. Not that I needed much of an excuse; my mother encouraged splitting half a bar of dark chocolate with almonds after dinner and on more than one occasion she would look away as I made myself a chocolate milkshake with breakfast. “It has milk and calcium in it,” I’d say, scooping more ice cream into the blender. The second shirt had an illustration of a duck wearing green tweed and smoking a cigarette with the phrase “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle,” spelled in smoke. The shirt itself and the image of the smoking duck is what returns to me like a sober guardian angel when I am restless or unable to sleep. Get your bloody act together, the duck says to me in a highfalutin British accent, blowing a cloud of smoke in my face as I stuff a third bonbon in my mouth. You don’t need chocolate or a man. So what do I need? Then the duck, in my under or overslept mind, transforms into my mother, smoking her fifteenth cigarette of the day, placing before me a breaded piece of poultry, asking “Do you want me to cut into little pieces?” And as she does I try to spell my name in ketchup on the side of my plate but at the end it just looks like a stick figure of a fat man, blubby, bloody, both happy and alone.

Léon De Smet (Belgian, 1881-1966), Nature morte, 1925 (leon de smet)Balcony, Edward Burra, c.1928–9 (edward burra)