I realized last night that, for the first time in my life, I am finally really willing to be an organ donor.

December 9, 2013

Sweet sixteen one summer afternoon,

about out the door for family dinner at Outback Steakhouse.

Went to check on my bestie Jenie, staying with me for the summer,

kicked out of her own house again, one more time.

I had a feeling.

Are you sure you don’t want to come with us? I said, peeking into the top bunk of my little brother’s bed.

No response.



I ran to my auntie, Doctor Frances,

downstairs. “She’ll be okay,” said Doctor Frances.

We called the ambulance anyway.

“She’ll be okay, “said Doctor Frances, again,

after they wheeled Jenie away on a stretcher.

Jenie went to iCU, had her stomach pumped, went to rehab after that.

We pretty much pretended nothing had happened.

Time passed. Lots of things happened.

One winter afternoon, the ripe age of 22,

my mom dropped me off at a Portland clinic, 10th floor of an office building.

“Babies are expensive,” my single-father boyfriend had said.

I took his word for it,

and took the valium and the vicodin from the nurse,

listened to them read me quotes from

other girls in my condition about how

happy they were with their choice. I lied back on the table,

sucked in the nitrous greedily as the doctor sucked out my “unwanted growth,”

as they called it. “You’re so calm,”

the doctor said to me. They sent me

to a “recovery room–”

and lying in the bed, looking at the poster of the Eiffel Tower

at sunset on the wall above me,

and the rainy grey Oregon afternoon sky out the window beyond,

I knew I had just given away

any good karma I had gained by saving my best friend’s life 6 years before.

A January evening in Istanbul, 4 years later, 26 years old,

watching Lost on the couch, totally

stoned on Afghani hash with my second Turkish boyfriend,

I picked up a phone call from old friend Melinda, now married with 2 kids in Spokane Washington.

She sounded far away.

I knew something was weird–we hadn’t talked in years.

“Dane went back to Vegas for a few days to finish a job,” she began. Dane,

Jenie’s high school crush, and new husband.

“Jenie stayed in Portland, in their new house with their two dogs.

When her dad went over to say hi,

check on her,

he found her in the garage, in the front seat

of her 4Runner.

It had stopped running by then—

run out of gas.
The dogs are okay, though.”
I couldn’t afford to fly back for the funeral.

My little brother stood in my stead,

scattered some flowers on her casket.

And now, here I am at 31,

37 and a half weeks pregnant.

Round 2.
From march 4th onward, this new life inside me,

a whole second self, spontaneously generating,

it seems,

organizing itself around some miracle principles.

I felt it from the very beginning, the very moment of first mitosis.

like a veil dropped, or lifted,

or something.

I was walking across a field at a spa outside Poughkeepsie,

at my bestie Briebrie’s birthday getaway,

and I felt the shift.

Like a miniscule alien landing on the skin of my soul.

A tiny thing that changes everything.

It was wild.
Life is wild. Death is something else.

So I’d like to take this opportunity to declare
I’m finally willing to be an organ donor.

I never was before. But i can surely say

if it comes down to it I am ready to give the pieces of me to others.

Take my kidneys, take my heart, take my myopic eyes

The lines around the self, the borders between you and me aren’t as clear as they may seem

We are all connected. Some more obviously than others

So please,

Take what you can from me
Bury the rest at sea, someday

It all comes back around eventually.



September 14, 2013


A nobel prizewinner once told me

Information is just encoded energy. it is all here forever anyway. Embedded on the edges of the universe, they say.

I wish the earth was a big egg and we were all just clueless sperms and if
we could just wiggle our way in to some secret center somehow, we would unlock some miraculous process much larger and more elegant than ourselves.

But no nobel prizewinner ever told me that.

Pay attention. You’ll pick it up. Snippets of info slipped into your mind via lived experiences.  The voices of “others” mixed in with the inner whispers. Where does one end and the other begin? Does your mind have any edges?

“Privacy” is a myth capitalists tell each other. Privacy is a luxury only the privileged are entitled to enjoy. Privacy, say the communists, begins at the eyes.

Strum yourself anyway, (feel the vibrations). A million inner avatars, (whispering, whispering) . Face them. Give them pretty names and see if they smile.

Shut yourself down. Reboot the universe. Fold in on yourself like so much origami.

Every night your brain goes secret places, it hums strange songs to itself. Lyrical versus epic. Weird worlds wrapped inside you, unfolding, palaces of memory with overlapping edges. Your heart holds a heat inside its chambers, flexing with energy. Glowing with a flame the size of a tiny thumb.

((every instant is a new universe, infinity frames per second. the perpetual unfolding, the never-ending overlapping.))

Your life is expensive. Just living costs a lot of energy. Really living might cost a lot more. Or maybe a lot less. Perpetual cost-benefits.

Your soul is speaking in secret tongues, a love song in only one language. Decode your own soul. Spread yourself across the grass.

Fresh starts take work. Difficulty at the beginning.

Water cannons and tear gas, rubber bullets and zip-tie handcuffs. The trappings of state-sanctioned bossiness, forcing their order. The agitated masses. Zucotti park and Taksim square. Arab springs and Indian summers.

Poisonous plants are just protecting themselves
but being delicious is in fruits’ best interest.

Spring will never stop. Constantly revolving, the ever unfolding, the bloom and bust, puffs of pollen, of dust,

Australia, for one, is upside down and backwards. New Years in peak summer. Every day is in the future, on a wild upside-down island. Only auspicious for capitalist mineralists. Ore-miners.

The Internet, timeless and instantaneous, webs us all together. the cloud, as it’s called, a humming halo. A crown of granted access, hovering out there somewhere, electromagnetic networks. cellular towers versus cellular structures. A perpetual humming, a static flux.

Embedded, kept, magnet-imprinted on clear crystals, accessed and read back to us, to them, by electricity.

Basically, these days, robot slaves save your emails, tattoo your stories across their silicon bodies, and offer themselves up to anyone who decides they deserve it. Your data as naked sushi. your story, sifted or branded, sold back to you or used to entrap you.

(Floating weightless in a geodesic dome of two-way mirrors)

The Signal to noise ratio…might one day become unbearable. Reverse osmosis.

A welcome mat spread across a million abysses


Empty space, can should i go swimming in it?

I can’t really tell . I don’t care if I should.

I found out online I can buy a 3d printout of my sonogram, a plastic model of my second self, the secret swimming inside me, encoded and squeezed out, a secret second self decoded, spelled out in old dinosaur bones. Do I really need to see this? Do I deserve it? Where does one end and the other begin?

I can’t make it out. but I can get a sonogram at the mall.

My shins are addicted to aloe. The chemical spell. My rashes spell out secret recipes across my skin. It itches. I erase this itch with aloe, recode my skin with calm.

We can all be explained as a complex series of chemical processes, electromagnetic impulses, bio mechanical causes and effects. Wetware.

All we human beings at least somewhat structurally unsound, misfiring,
rashes, and stress headaches, stretch marks and wrinkles, aphasia, maybe, someday.

We are buildings crashing down, bodies trapped inside.
Our loadbearing cornerstones, shaking under the weight of it all. Bridges collapsing.

This material world a series of Netless Tightropes
strung across the abysses between and within us.

The abyss between us is an uncanny valley, an uncanny gap.

No matter how much information I gather, I will never really know you, never hear the whispers inside your head, never see your dreams.


Sent from a slim digital window


February 13, 2013



“U So FLy”– Bangkok Airport, pic taken by Victoria Anne Reis
“Can’t Wait”– Cairo Airport, pic taken by Beebah and found at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CairoAirport-Terminal1.JPG
“Duty Free”– Hong Kong Airport, pic taken by Aimaimyi and found at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SkyPier_-02.jpg
“Fly Girl,” Kuala Lumpur Airport, pic taken by Victoria Anne Reis
“Jet Set,” Berlin Airport, pic taken by Matti Blume and found at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Direction_signs_at_airport_Tegel_%28EDDT%29.jpg
“Air Lift,” Madrid Airport, pic found at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Barajas_T4_amanecer.jpg
“Love Gate,” Baghdad Airport, pic taken by Thomas Hartwell and found at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Baghdad_International_Airport_%28October_2003%29.jpg
“Run Way,” Da Nang Airport, taken by J. Petersen and found at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Da_Nang_Airport_Runway.jpg

Binder of Myself

October 23, 2012

Binder of myself.

Episode 1. Trending topics.

Sonic boom, skydiving thru the stratosphere
Safe landing in Roswell. Area y2k12.
“Milky way’s black hole getting ready for snack”
when galaxies collide, the center hungers for itself. The inner twisting.
The founder of pirate bay locked up in solitary 23 hours a day. A new taxonomy of prison lingo.
Chicago style is the best style.
Chief keef at a shooting range for a pitchfork vidi-interview.
Chicago style is the best style. Nobody uses Helvetica anymore.


Episode 2.

Binders full of my memories, the things I’ve seen, bits of the world bound, knit together
Whole bindersfull. Accordion-folded, moebius stripped, torn apart slowly and gently rendered back together. Black leather.

Silly lil etchings seen in dreams. Rumi epics etched On glass pages, a glowing seafoam green
Somewhat Adventuresome, sometimes
Pipeline, sandy river
Sandy river pipeline
My life as a million Music videos , cuts from all the times I listened to the same song
Edited cleverly together by my selective memory. I reach into my secret binders and I find things.
The rainbow gathering. The rainbow, gathering.

Episode 3.

Bind up my lifestyle. Gather my life up. My lifelike turnstile self, the way I wind, the way I file away, sometimes. The lovely mundane, so lovely, so mundane
Accordion folders-full of foodstuffs
Sweet vanilla bean orgain
Pureed Soups and mashed potatoes in cups
Frozen strawberries
The time I tried to buy all these at wholefoods. No jello at wholefoods tho. (it’s unnatural).
No soups in cups either.

U couldn’t fit me in a million binders. Each dream I have is a million miles of magnetic mist in every direction. Unbound. Unbindable. A perpetual unwinding.  A perpetually latent emanation. marks made making marks on St marks place. stormy corners.
Standing in the Bad kid corner at the baby shower with the other bad kids, backs turned,
These! These are the shining bindersfull of my shiny life, My life sewn tight and bound 2 itself, my many selves hugging one another, tightly, lightly, a box set of Glow in the dark Glass binders, fiber optic activated
Binders full of black lights
Binders full of ten-taka packets of Bengali bindis
Whole binders of Bengali palmtrees, frond shadows on the concrete floors of bengali balconies
Moneybags full of gold clouds
The finest mist
Waking life and my wild dreamworlds inside
Binders and binders of wild dreamlife
sticky in the dictionary
8D penetration, so sacred a penetration, reverb nation
Lost I.D.s and bad ideas
Stripper heels made of stretch glass

Its almost Midnight but not yet. Not yet.

Episode infinity.

U can try n bind me in yr binder but the scroll of my soul only unrolls for the like minded
I unwind around like kinds
Likewise lovewise heartwise mindwise
A secret coded crystal castle– my kind of mind
One big room full of bad bitches
One big brain full of hidden switches

With a flip of my inner switches I access this
And this is just me. Little bitty me.

U think u can bind me? U can’t find enough binders 2 bind me.
U can’t bind me
u can’t bind anybody.

Sent from a slim digital window

To all the women in my life– an ode

March 8, 2012

To all the women in my life
I love you.

To my mother, Sarah
at age seventeen you were snowmobiling with your best friend on a winter night. you fell through the ice atop a buried pond. 
you pulled yourself free, ran a quarter mile through icy fields to a lonely farmhouse, to safety, to life.
you are a survivor
i love you.

to my grandmother, Josephine.
when you were in college, you took a church group of inner-city kids to a circus. on the way home, a storm hit, and you ran to a nearby restaurant for shelter. the manager pointed to the “no coloreds allowed” sign on the wall and told you to leave, to take the black children back into the pouring rain. 
you refused.
you are a fighter.
i love you.

to my grandmother, Marilyn.
you fell in love when you were twenty, and against the wishes of your parents, defying the orders of your beloved’s family, you ran to the mountains of upstate new york and eloped. you formed your own family, a dynasty of successful love.
you are a true romantic.
i love you.

to Amity, my first best friend.
even your name means friendship. we built a beautiful childhood twosome. we dressed up in tu-tus to climb on statues and chase trains in city park. we did cartwheels in fields of daisies. you are a fun bundle of smiles and sunshine.
i love you.

to Jenie, my pre-teen wonder woman.
you shine with darkness, deeply imprinted on my inner fabric. you loved haphazard nonsense and built yourself into a fantastically random amalgamation of vintage treasures from goodwill bins. we traded jackets and went as each other for Halloween.

i love you.
rest in peace.

to Shannon, my hot-pink spun sugar.
you are a lollipop concoction of laughter and dangerous determination. you rode into my life bareback, on a pony, on the front lawn of my middle school, pulled me up behind you, and we galloped into the eternal adventure of high school hijinks. your freestyle battle-rap attitude didn’t mellow with motherhood.
i love you. 

to Andrea, the hardest puncher i know.
we wrote songs in your mansion bathroom and serenaded radio djs at midnight, we snuck into concerts over chain-link fences and raised our rock fists in mosh pits. you taught me how to harmonize.

i love you.

to Chelsea the Cheshire cat and Mergatroid Meghan Rhae.
we took road trips to the rainbow gathering, camped out in a mountain meadow surrounded by trippy hippies dancing to drumcircles til dawn. we felt the world warm and redden with electric energy together.

i love you.

to Katie and Carla, my star crew.
we got tattoos of tiny stars on our toes together on my eighteenth birthday. we linked fingers in a circle as a fat man scratched matching ink under our pink skin. six of my seven tattoos match yours too.

i love you.

to Annie, Cora, and Brie, my unparalleled triplet big sisters.

you took me under your umbrellas and gave me a glorious Oregon life—Annie, we dressed up in leotards, legwarmers and rollerskates and terrorized town all night long;
Cora, we rode a tandem bicycle through the backwater wilderness to dip into hidden streams; Brie, you rogue anomaly, you flew in from big cities and sprinkled us with fairydust and bubblegum. y’all are so beautiful. i love you.

to all the other wild women in my life—
to Lavanya, you giggly hare Krishna,
to Sterling, you burlesque beatpoet bombshell,
to Ginger, you steely peacock,
to Laura, you rollerderby rocknroller,
to Mindy, you Janis Joplin doppelganger,
to all the Rachels, with your variegated beauty and grace,

i love you.

to my aunts, my cousins, my teachers, my students, the women that cook my food and empty my garbagecan, 

to all the women who came before, to all the women who will reign one day,

to all the women in the world, you are beautiful, you are magical, you are powerful,

i love you, i love you, i love you!


Written and performed on March 8, 2010 in Chittagong, Bangladesh during the Asian University for Women’s 1st annual International Women’s Day rally

the idea of the thing is the thing itself

February 9, 2012

just by wanting to hurt me,

you already have


January 31, 2012

We are all part rotten
and I don’t know what to do about it.
My teeth are rotting
and they won’t quit.
Biological determinism?
The earth’s crooked axis?

Biological determinism.
Social distortion.
I contain multitudes– a Critical mass.
A roiling boil.
An infinity pool.
A body mob.
Constantly modifying
and in turn modified, the buzzing
of a billion coincidences.

That instant, for instance,
I was a critical mess,
wilted by conditional criticism,
 dilettante quibbles,
feebly wheezing, worn
by the weight of the world.
Worn out by patiently waiting. I lay awake waiting
for a trace of motivation, tracing the shape of my veins
with pained fingertips. Warm breath heavy
on cold wet windowpanes.

That instant, for instance,
Murmured whispers,
kitten whiskers, afternoons
in muumuus barely moving, overbored.
Passing fancy, passing fantasy, fancy-
dancing, fantasy-pansy pantomime
passed away.
Passing glances,
flinty glints of past
romances Past participants
drifting, particulate. Ghost wisps
in ever-thinner air.

That instant, for instance?:
Flossing glossily, my body
strings of woven ribbon, tropical-blossom
sasangasana pose,
passing out yogurt granola bars
at Zucotti park.
Zucchini beach.
Zarathustra speaks.
Occupy your soul.
Occupy your own awkward soul
as well you dare do.

Body-modi modified
born to die
born to die
biological Popsicle melting
Modify, multiply

I contain multitudes.

For instance?
Lil miss Gidget, the gadget lass
the gogurt girl with a sink for an ass
with a napkin contraption comin out her neck
freezing freon refrigerator chest .
She sits in a kitchen with chicken curtains.

Then there’s  biodome Betty at home
in any biome, part parrot, part peridot,
part purple paint, part comb
green blood, clear teeth, clear hair,
fake meat for muscles.
tattooed with silly witchery.

I contain these people.
They meet in my imaginary memory.

Lil miss Gidget and biodome Betty meet in the street
in the middle of my heart,
in the center of my soul
A heart made of sliding doors
and hidden stories, panes of glass and two-way mirrors,
a heart with an empty street at the center.
Trees shiver in the middle distance.
Betty and Gidget begin to dance.
Their heavy heels
and edgy elbows bounce off the glass,
break through the mirrors.

Everything aches eventually.

Born already rotting and blooming
at once, the delicate balance-dance
of constant contact. My many edges
catch the light, magnify the depth
of the darkness. My moody multitudes,
both rotting and blooming, I wish
I could fix you and fuse all your perfect parts
together, be the iron giant of my own life,
the wild iron giant of my own only life.

Sent from a slim digital window

i wrote you a horoscope

June 5, 2011

“Does it really matter which is which?” said one girl to the other. “Why all the hullaballoo?”

They were folding sheets, dancing back and forth, handing corners to one another, draping lengths across their forearms. Sounds drifted in their open windows, birdsongs and other animal noises. Their sheer curtains lifted in the breezes; their wooden wind-chimes knocked, hollowly.  Air was in motion around them. The leaves on their houseplants ruffled. Locks of their hair curled around one another.

“Have you seen that painting I was telling you about?” said one girl, to the other. “The one with the woman asleep on the grey ground, the blue sky flat behind her? And a halo of flowers around her head? And the water in the far distance full of slick silver buffalo?”

They stacked the sheets on the broad table beside them. They admired the neatness of their work, the strong corners, the uniformity of all the fabric rectangles, a job well done. Laughter drifted in an open window. Children were playing in a sprinkler on the front lawn.

“Remember when we saw that alien?” said one girl to the other. “Will we ever forget that moment, its diamond infinity eyes, its spectral tentacles, its benevolent emanations?”

The two girls smiled at each other, pink crescents in tandem. They walked to the window and placed their forearms on the wooden sill. The wind was warm on their two faces. The sun edged the tops of all they saw with glowing haloes. They began to sing, in harmonious unison.

“It only matters as much as you want it to, really,” said one girl, to the other.

i wrote you a

June 3, 2011

“I bet you somewhere there are some people who are having a bunch of fun right now. A whole bunch,” she said, looking up at him.

“What are they doing, you think?” he answered, leaning back on his hands, feeling his wrists stretch, raising his closed eyes to the sky. “Let’s envision it.”

“They’re probably like hopscotching and tapdancing at the same time. Maybe on the moon in a huge room full of bubbles.”

“Intelligent bubbles, talking bubbles that can harmonize in like infinity parts.”

“The bubbles are singing to them the vibration of euphoria and they’re just hopscotching and tapdancing and hulahooping and cartwheeling on the moon. To their hearts’ delights. They are so happy right now.”

“Imagine that,” he murmured, and turned his face down towards hers, opened his eyes to see the night sky reflecting off her dark pupils. “The stars, they are in your eyes, I can see them there.” He paused. The air was so still. “I can feel us floating.”

“Nobody is floating. There’s no such thing as floating anymore,” she said. “All we can do now is perch. Or possibly hover, if you really deserve it.”

“Fair enough,” he replied. “You definitely have to deserve to hover.” They shut their eyes at the same time. The air was quiet. The trees were quiet. The lake was quiet. The stars all hovered around them, glowing.

“Let’s play a game,” he said.

“I’m game,” said she.

“Where do you keep your panther?” he asked her, tracing her jawline softly with his fingertip.

“In the heating duct,” she whispered, “Deep, deep underground. You know, my geothermal heating duct. My panther has to wear a special suit for the heat of it all, all the heat emanating from the earth’s core and all. It’s like an ice suit, reverse fur, kindof. It looks like a tuxedo, though. He’s a very dapper panther. His name is Sam and he carries a cane. Sometimes he hangs around with Mr. Peanut and they wear monocles and write apologetic letters to their mothers on parchment paper. They draw elaborate imaginary maps and go on treasure hunts together. They only speak in codes—mostly Morse code, but sometimes binary code or Mountain Dew Code Red, for good measure. So they don’t get rusty, you know. Use it or lose it, so they say.”

“So they say,” he said, with an air of finality.

“Good game,” she said.

“Good game,” said he. “Better than baseball.”

“So that’s what they call it! I was wondering.” She smiled. They closed their eyes and all was still. “You know what?” she asked him, with wonder in her closed eyes, like little gift boxes wrapped in silken ribbons.

“What’s that?” he replied.

“Somewhere out there, way out there, someone is imagining us,” she sang, and they raised their hands to the sky, and they smiled.

irreal parallelogram

May 5, 2011

There is no order, he said as his eyes searched the air in front of me. He reached up like a mime in an elevator. Sometimes it floats away, he said. Life isn’t a science, I whispered to myself.  Dozens of puppies, all sizes, ran pell-mell across the slick marble floor. They ran past, laughing, and disappeared into the darkness behind me. We were alone together once more, he and I. His hands fluttered above me, his fingers hovering like hummingbirds, like butterflies. I closed my eyes. I saw the world as it once was, how it never again would be, the jewelry, the train tracks, the rooftops. What a benevolent trestle! How lovely a rumbling thunder! I whispered quickly, guiltily. Your handwriting doesn’t match your personality, he said to me, sharply, darkly. His hands were still gentle but his whole body groaned with the whole weight of his heavy voice. Our eyes reflected off of one another. We gleamed together, bound. There is no order.