Ephemeral Stream

This is the way water

thinks about the desert.

The way the thought of water

gives you something

to stumble on. A ghost river.

A sentence trailing off

toward lower ground.

A finger pointing

at the rest of the show.

I wanted to read it.

I wanted to write a poem

and call it “Ephemeral Stream”

and dedicate it to you

because you made of this

imaginary creek

a hole so deep

it looked like a green eye

taking in the storm,

a poem interrupted

by forgiveness.

It’s not over yet.

A dream can spend

all night fighting off

the morning. Let me

start again. A stream

may be a branch or a beck,

a crick or kill or lick,

a syke, a runnel. It pours

through a corridor. The door

is open. The keys

are on the dashboard.


- Elizabeth Willis

A Guide to Eating Very Particular Feelings

FEELING: The one where you’ve built an idea about the future like an intricate origami creature inside your chest, and slowly or suddenly the possibilities turn into impossibilities and for hours or days there’s a rustling in your rib cage as the complex structure destroys itself, unfolding and flattening, unfolding and flattening pleat by pleat.

HOW TO EAT IT: Maybe just like an entire loaf of bread. Put butter on it. Put anything you can find on it.

FEELING: The one where you realize you’ll never kiss a particular person again and even though it’s so trivial it feels like grief, it feels like someone has reached down your throat and is turning you inside out.

HOW TO EAT IT: Straight bourbon until you’re unconscious.

Our kiss is a secret handshake, a password.
We love like spies, like bruised prize fighters,
Like children building tree houses.
Our love is serious business.

One look from you and my spine reincarnates as kite string.

When I hesitate to hold your hand,
it is because to know is to be responsible for knowing.

There is no clean way to enter
the heavy machinery of the heart.

Just jagged cutthroat questions.
Just the glitter and blood production.

The truth is this:
My love for you is the only empire
I will ever build.

When it falls,
as all empires do,
my career in empire building will be over.

I will retreat to an island.
I will dabble in the vacation-hut industry.
I will skulk about the private libraries and public parks.

I will fold the clean clothes.
I will wash the dishes.
I will never again dream of having the whole world.

Mindy Nettifee, “This is the Nonsense of Love”



with the night falling we are saying thank you 

we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings 

we are running out of the glass rooms 

with our mouths full of food to look at the sky 

and say thank you 

we are standing by the water thanking it 

smiling by the windows looking out 

in our directions 


back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging 

after funerals we are saying thank you 

after the news of the dead 

whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you 


over telephones we are saying thank you 

in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators

remembering wars and the police at the door 

and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you 

in the banks we are saying thank you 

in the faces of the officials and the rich 

and of all who will never change 

we go on saying thank you thank you 


with the animals dying around us 

our lost feelings we are saying thank you 

with the forests falling faster than the minutes 

of our lives we are saying thank you 

with the words going out like cells of a brain 

with the cities growing over us 

we are saying thank you faster and faster 

with nobody listening we are saying thank you 

we are saying thank you and waving 

dark though it is

-W.S. Merwin



Jim Wilson’s “God’s Chorus of Crickets”

Composer Jim Wilson has recorded the sound of crickets and then slowed down the recording, revealing something so amazing. The crickets sound like they are singing the most angelic chorus in perfect harmony. Though it sounds like human voices, everything you hear in the recording is the crickets themselves. (x)

Plato wrote in Phaedrus: “The story goes that these locusts were once men, before the birth of the Muses, and when the Muses were born and song appeared, some of the men were so overcome with delight ] that they sang and sang, forgetting food and drink, until at last unconsciously they died. From them the locust tribe afterwards arose, and they have this gift from the Muses, that from the time of their birth they need no sustenance, but sing continually, without food or drink, until they die, when they go to the Muses and report who honors each of them on earth.” [259b-c]

Anyone know enough about sound and such to tell if, outside of structured chord progressions, this is real?

4,249 plays

Don’t you think that it’s boring how people talk?
Making smart with their words again, well I’m bored
Because I’m doing this for the thrill of it, killin’ it
Never not chasing a million things I want

Language fits over experience like a strait jacket. - William Golding



Joshua Beckman

Call this number to hear Joshua Beckman read you a poem! 

Nice - and you can leave your own message too!



Joshua Beckman

Call this number to hear Joshua Beckman read you a poem! 

Nice - and you can leave your own message too!

The Problem of Hands

And how to fill them

is the problem of cigarettes and paint.

First time I felt my undoing

was in front of

a painting—Sam Francis, I believe.

Oh, his bloomed out, Xanax-ed California.

I liked the word guard, but you know

we made each other

nervous, standing too close

for everyone concerned. All art being

a form of violence

as a peony

is violence.

Here you come

with your open hands.

- Louise Mathias

Whatever — the soup is getting cold.

Last sentence of a mathematical theorem in Leonardo da Vinci’s notebook, 1518 (x)

-How genius lives perilously (maybe necessarily) close to the pedestrian!