"Going faster—
who have we become?
You were my Master,
now you’re someone”

—ANHEDONIA, “Behave”

Jess came to my room the other night and recorded “Behave” onto my iPhone. The song is so catchy and heartbreaking and full of a lot of clever lyrical twists and turns. Her delivery is earnest and vulnerable and lush. As a special favor to me, she played it (under the auspices of ANHEDONIA) at the Best of Birdsong magazine release party back in June— which we put on youtube tonight.

I’ve always found Jess’s music really compelling, but Behave in particular is the perfect mix of melodic honey, insightful lyric play, and an understated/gripping singing style. <3 <3 <3

Recently rediscovered this jam, it’s called “Behave”—a song my roommate Jess wrote and I recorded on my iPhone almost a year ago. August always makes me feel nostalgic and this song is loaded with it. 


  • 217 plays

IRL: A Third Excerpt | Blunderbuss Magazine

A third excerpt of my long poem IRL (which i am currently putting the finishing touches on, in nature) went up on Blunderbuss. This week the main theme is language—how conquest informs which languages get passed down and which dont; which lineages stop, which are allowed to flourish, and what can happen in their absence. A little about the story of my grandmother getting sent to an NDN boarding school when she was a child and how she escaped. Take a look!

From the wilderness,

okay, this nature thing isn’t that bad, tho i have realized that altho i grew up in the sticks—my country mentality has been disinherited. I have absolutely no instinct in nature and for the first 36 hours i was the equivalent of a cat hiding under a bed. Getting a lot of writing/revising done. A minimal amount of break-downs regarding my inability to write a book length poem. Hey guess what? Staring down the barrel of yr writing is both terrifying and possible, tho u will be drenched in yrself and that’s not very fun.

Poetry Mixtape #7


The world, pop culture, govt, -isms n -phobias n shit make me feel prone, and sometimes vacuous, a little dark? Like a darkness that will never go away. But poetry n art n music n sometimes photography even make me feel okay with that, n that maybe at some point darkness is a visitor who stays for a bit, see it stand up and walk away. Or might not. Art n them (not necessarily distinct) help me objectify darkness, and move like light around it, sometimes thru it. Here is some work that I have been reading or revisiting this week that walking stick, or prosthesis, or transplant—a hammer of light on my shit (collage by my friend/co-conspirator Cat Glennon):  

1. Sherman Alexie — How to Write the Great American Indian Novel

  • "Indians must see visions. White people can have the same visions, if they are in love with Indians."

2. Michael Canavan — Some Facts About the Economy, via Anti-

  • "It is the slow ventilation of the dream in daylight"

3. Anne Carson — from red doc>

  • "G had just/stumbled off a bus they/looked at one another and/that lasted until G was/almost twenty"

4. Paul Legault — In The Zone, via Poetry Society of America 

  • "ANY MOMENT: The sad things frighten you./ANY OTHER MOMENT: There’s a child at the train station/and gold in Argentina.”

5. Zoe Dzunko — Wikipedia-the Free Encyclopedia, via Two Serious Ladies

  • "Practicing gratitude is mixing/oil into water persistently/and knowing they’ll never become one.”

6. Lucy K. Shaw — Gas Prices, via Shabby Dollhouse (art by sarahjeanalex)

  • "do you know that i am nowhere else/but the inside of my head/and the other side of your screen?"

7. Jackie Wang — The Museum of Cacography, via The Fanzine

  • Like everything in the world that doesn’t know if it’s young or old she lived in the museum.”

8. Dorothea Lasky — Never Did Amount to Anything, via Granta

  • "If somebody asks me what I like/It’s not food or sex/It’s looking at things and being in love"

9. Lucy Biederman — I Am From the Future, via Sixth Finch

  • "They’re called advertisements/They entice us to buy/Introducing them was a process"

10. Jennifer Denrow —  How the mind works to be still to be sure, via

  • "With everyone turning/into fields, it’s hard to know anything."

IRL: A Second Excerpt


rules are subject to change
anytime you may be
hit or spit on eye bulging
broken nose stabbed
pounced and left for dead
Chelsea Clearview rainy day
spit on. Duane Reade
Delancey Lower East Side
spit on, man
on the subway shouting
Bible verses at you from
across the way, white spittle
in the corners of his mouth.
Feeling eyes upon you,
exploding red,
walk to the next car.
Wipe your face off, bitch.
There is a kind of power
in being reviled
for just being
in the sense that my
scooped shoulders the snake
of my neck my bare legs
strike frenzy I scare them
something in the lumen
jolts, terror or desire, hate
so swoll it destabilizes some-
thing about their everyday some-
thing bubbling shuddering
under the brushtroke of stars

a second excerpt from my long poem IRL is up on Blunderbuss magazine today—this week’s section is kind of about navigating homophobia, both on the streets and on the inside, and how terror & desire crosswire. And friendship. Check it out— Teebs

"People change, but you know some people never do. When people change, they gain a peace but they lose one two"

I’m a little late to this party, but godamn this lyric is killing my life right now. Not only is it true as fuck (getting over=letting go) but the peace/piece homophone is making my ears warm and tingly. 

Book Report: Patti’s Pearls

Last night I read for the Book Report, a reading series hosted by Sasha Fletcher and Leigh Stein in the East Village. As the title suggests, it’s goal is to get poets and writers to deliver a middle school style book report for a drunkish crowd of adults(ish). It was also the Book Report’s 3rd birthday, so a hearty round of mini-cupcakes were had by all (scientific fact: nothing mini has calories). I used this opportunity to craft a kind of stand-up routine, and here is a rough transcript of how it went down:

Patti’s Pearls is a string of cliches—looking at the back cover and first page I thought it was pretty bold to call them “pearls” bc “pearls” suggest something rare or valuable or shiny or attractive or takes time or is hard won, & if we were shooting for accuracy I would probably call it “Patti’s Popcorn” since you can string it up but it’s so boring and vague and bland it might as well not exist? But that’s just how I feel about popcorn.

For this report I thought maybe I would tack on a phrase or something to the end of each Patti Pearl sort of like the fortune cookie game, add something cheeky, like— “In love, it is always better to want something you don’t have than to have something you don’t want… in the butt” — or “Barbie is a doll, not a goal… in the butt: — or “every exit is an entrance to someplace else…” which actually doesn’t need a merry qualifier. But that game surprisingly gets old real fast.

SO then I thought maybe of doing something more inventive and like actually write something? The full title is “Patti’s Pearls: Lessons in Living Genuinely, Joyfully, Generously.” I thought it would be fun to needle a string of alternate subtitles, bc one of my favorite things in the galaxy is the opening themes of those Real Housewives shows where they turn in their fancy dresses and it goes TERESA and she’s like “I’m dead inside lol.” When I read the front and back cover I was feeling really assaulted by all these bland dictums and they made me not want to read the whole thing? So I wrote—  “Patti’s Pearls: Dictum Damn Near Killed Em” which … well then my cousin gave me his HBO Go password and I was like FUUUUUCK BOOKS.

Two days and like four artisanal Dominoes pizzas later I was finished with Veep and I found the book under my bed and I started to leaf through it and was like UUUUUGHHH why did I choose this book? The idea was so much better than the actual thing, you know? Like screwing a guy with a really big dick. You watch porns and stuff and are like oooh, big dick… don’t mind if I dew and then when IRL one is pointing at you like the grim reaper yr like nooo it’s not my time. Not just the idea of me writing a book report on Patti LaBelle, but also the idea of a book by Patti LaBelle. And in general the idea of an advice book. Telling people how to live genuinely while leap-frogging from cliche to cliche, is pretty audacious and kind of gross?

Then once I started down that rabbit hole I started to think about pearls themselves (okay so there was some reefer involved) I started asking myself like—why the human lust for luster? Ppl destroy whole habitats and ecosystems and other groups of people to own shiny things that are a measure of opulence and distinction, that have nothing to do with “survival”—In this way I started thinking, is greed the evil twin of art? In that something beyond the body is hungry and wants to live that we’re in service of it? I felt implicated by that, I remember when i got my iPhone and held it in my hand and was like my precioussssss I felt like a Real Housewife or whatever like this thing made me feel special and lovely and thoughtless, like as soon as I touch an iPhone the bubble of my thoughts just pops

and then I was like JESUS you fucking procrastinator just read the damn book. So I read the book and my report is: it isn’t very good. Patti Labelle is a terrific singer with an interesting life and not even all the advice is that bad. The book, however, is pretty terrible… But the title is not actually disingenuous — it is a pearl. Not because it’s rare or valuable or shiny or attractive or takes time or is hard won, but because metaphors change and acquire new shapes and nowadays pearls are farmed and faked.


Robyn & Royksopp’s “Monument” was hard enough to listen to without the hyper literal video, this is just like suuuuuuper intense.

Trigger warning: Death is inevitable 
Trigger warning: Make something beautiful before you are dead

This is my favorite song on the album—I was reading Robert Graves’ The White Goddess and thinking a lot about artistic legacies and where artists, singers, poets such crash into each other’s lives across the globe and across the ages, threading ppl into one’s own monument/creative output.