September 3, 2017

Email, once my medium for sharing personal ideas and revealing intriguing thoughts about the world and my day, has now become a vehicle for efficient communication. How does that feel, you ask? It’s as if the Government has taken over a library, and thrown away all the used books and those paperbacks with writing in the margins, or has cut the branches from plum trees in the garden lest they fall on pedestrians jogging by in the morning rains. I  return to paper and pen, not out of nostalgic longing – that sensation that overcomes the gray haired man with a Boston Globe looking for the nickel telescope on the wooden dock – but out of a certain truth found in texture, and  certain grace, the inky blood spreading across the thick white page.


Tiny Beak

Meet these unfinished and playful thought starters. Each is an unwritten story or advertisement, the earliest sign of life–that moment when the lights inside an egg turn on and a tiny beak breaks open its shell…

  • Lil Roar: meow like you mean it 
  • Grow a unibrow garden, an orchid of peach trees 
  • The smell of a city at dusk–the ryst on fire escape, trusted by happy babies since 1968
  • Darsatha, surrender not behind your colorful cloak, arise, awaken, daughter become 
  •  Last April was the cruelest month yet, when the crops died, and my cat died, and the teacher who once loved my work sold it to an Egyptian cryptographer
  • The confident man sneezed so loudly that his laces came untied and the fat church going woman nearly fainted, crying out for the ‘lord, lord alight mighty’  
  • In the tomb you’re forbidden from seeing, I hide a confession
  • PlowoRam, the easiest way to move the Left to the Right 
  • A sparrow landed on the water turning the red crescent moon’s reflections into silent waves 
  • Eyes under flaps of skin, eyes beneath the puff flesh, a hungry soul makes herself known 
  • We did not know he was an evil man when we invited him in
  • The stillness of constant motion, repeating itself so smoothly and quickly as if it did not exist 
  • the little girl’s red balloon snapped with the wind as a parade of elephants floated by her window
  • The moment before his life ended, Sam remembered the blueberry yogurt he left out of the fridge 
  • refracted in each rain drop a flattering copy of nature’s best portrait 
  • Wake-fresh—Get 2 more hours of sleep at the blink of an eye
  • The flying submarine you always wanted, now available in yellow
  • Snoper—a dose of dirty dish delivered daily 
  • We were the Nation of Jesus & Meth, of Blue Jeans and BBQs, Monday Night Football and escalators to the Cheesecake Factory 


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Band names bring me joy. I’ve listed a few new ones I like when browsing the Sinclair’s website. I’ve also created some new names, too. They’re all on the same list. You’ll see how difficult it is to distinguish the real ones from the newly imagined:

  • mouse on the keys 
  • iamnobody 
  • the beautiful gypsies 
  • upbeat mouse 
  • pimps of joytime 
  • maggy loves kenny rogers 
  • elvis thin and sexy 
  • wilder yet 
  • the show and grow designers 
  • north of boston 
  • cultured potato 
  • sorority noise 
  • kindness myth 
  • henry ford on the line 
  • the @@s
  • uncle bobs bear 
  • Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 2.13.23 PMWhile playing with this concept, I came across an article on band branding you might enjoy, especially if you love playing with language as much as I do. I’ve taken this photo from that article; go check it out!





Your handless arm and distant gaze

survey my body

I see the repulsion my patent leather shoes

and crisp hat

have inflicted on your weary face

How will you reclaim me?

My big ears are in our wedding photo,

and your toothy smile and polka dotted dress—

we only posed to bring us back you know

to awaken what we feared we might lose

before I knew the shriek of bombs

and you the hum of factories,

this photo promised to return us

to us

Now you sing lullabies to your orchids

in a language I can’t understand

a language that returns me to the villages

so incomprehensible I am speechless

what ceremony will you use to return me?

bring me back to the you in this photo

to reunite me with this man who is no more

-zach braiker

The context for this stunning poster is explained in this NPR piece. However, like all great works of art, this piece lives beyond its immediate context, providing a message resonate both in India and around the world, one that calls to woman to share their stories and raise their eyes to the stars.

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Beautiful #IWillGoOut poster by @aruna_sekhar and @shilo1221 for Fearless Collective. #YesAllWomen #WhyLoiter pic.twitter.com/2kzkkQ90q8 — Point of View (@povmumbai) January 6, 2017

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Imagine you have not yet been born. You are asked questions about the type of life you will have. Answer the following questions with this in mind. Maybe you are fated for a happy life filled with love, or one of misery and sacrifice. Go with what comes to mind and see the life develop through how you answer these questions. Take no more than 7 minutes, and let me know what you find.

  1. Where are you born?
  2. What is your gender?
  3. Describe your mother in 5 words.
  4. Describe your father in 5 words.
  5. What year (past, present or future) will be be born?
  6. What is your religion?
  7. What challenges do you face?
  8. What gifts have you been given?
  9. What secrets will you be born into?
  10. What are the expectations of your success or failure?
  11. How will you be comforted when you are sad?
  12. What disappointments will you encounter?
  13. What about the world will baffle you?
  14. What will be taken from you?
  15. What will you want to change about yourself?
  16. When you dream of a better life, of what will you dream?
  17. What will they say about you?
  18. What will you be forbidden from?
  19. How will you rebel?
  20. Who will you love?



I’ve always preferred abstract watercolors to literal oils, warm rain to clear skies: 

Tonight we ate at a Thai-fusion place in our new neighborhood. Typically, we don’t eat at restaurants that carry multiple cuisines, but we were lured in by the promise of Vietnamese Pho. We sat by a fish tank and in the shade of a fake palm tree. A girl with one pig tail, too young to be working legally, filled our waters.

My wife and I examined the menu of more than 150 items, ordered after a short discussion and began speaking when two different single people were seated next to us.

The young man, pimpled and shy, flicked the game of solitary on his iPhone and ordered without making eye contact with the waitress. Directly next to us, sat an Asian woman in her early 60s. I was unable to look at her directly, we were sitting too close; however, I did get a good look at her small, healthy hands as they pointed to the dish on our table, and as her knuckle nearly caressed our calamari.  

Other than the phones visible on everyone’s table, nothing about the scene suggested a particularly place or time.

Behind us, a bratty child reached for the check before his mother could review it. The waitress apologized for not filling up our water on time. We discussed our favorite house guests of the past two years. And it all seemed to fit for an ordinary Monday night. But I wished it rained, rained sideways in the warm weather, rained endlessly, rained so that we found shelter  in a place serving tea a perfect sanctuary from the week ahead.