task yourself: look at a mirror

… but wait! Stop!

Not like that.

A month or so ago, as I finished brushing my teeth, I stopped, as one does, to gaze at myself in the bathroom mirror. Nose scrunched and brow furrowed, I shook my head. And as I turned away, I thought,

When was the last time you looked in a mirror and DIDN’T look for a flaw?

And then I thought,

Have you ever?

Were you ever able to gaze at your reflection without judgement? Maybe at some point in childhood? What, after all, is the purpose of a mirror, if not to find and correct what’s wrong? Can a mirror have another purpose?

So, task yourself:

Look in the mirror, and —
or earnestly,
or saucily,
or boldly,
or confidently,
or sweetly,
but honestly
compliment yourself.

Start small. A tiny round mirror. Look only at one eye. A cheekbone. A wrist. A shoulder. Take it slow.



Bonus points for a full-length mirror.

Extra bonus points if you can stand stark naked and stare into that beautiful abyss.

Gods. Look at you. You’re fucking amazing.

(tbt) Craving

From Sept. 19,2012…


All the world’s sugar
could’t kill
this craving.

Apply every cure
you know. Hope
for placebo effect.

A day’s reprieve —
if you’re lucky,
maybe a week.

Fugues, fogs,
make your own
self a mystery.

Get above it,
look for higher
ground. Find it

near the treeline.
Air lends focus
to the animal.

Here you can accept
you know nothing,
and know starvation’s no solution.


Follow the path of light
from where it draws the eye
above the front door —
through the tiptop of the stairwell,
through the hallway,
to the bedroom window
in the back of the house —

through the atmosphere,
the ether,
and the millions of miles of intervening space —

to the sun;
and a subatomic process
I can barely comprehend.

The incomprehensible,
macro or micro,
let us be awed.

They called the desire to comprehend,
original sin,

when not to organize life
so as to live in constant genuflection
to the continual stretching toward
and bending in
and deepening under
and untangling of —

seems the true wrong.

(let us pray)
May the Mother judge and deem us worthy.
May we make ourselves so before the light goes out.

(tbt) Feast

From August 29, 2011…


She put it forward,
at last —
unable to bear
a lonely hearth.

She sharpened the blade,
lit the fire,
and rowed her boat
out past the reef.

Began to take it in again.
Opened the windows —
let in the wind,
sun receding.

And sitting there,
in a lullaby of lonely voices,
how so much darkness
could gather beneath the slanting sun.

Let them in,
Stoke the fire,
and put the kettle on.
Uncork the bottle
and pass it.
You should know by now,
the futility of a locked door.

If it comforts,
clothe yourself in quiet,
and find the one thing
to anchor you to earth
(lest they trick you
into riding along
on their own dreams
and backroads).

Blade against wood grain.
The stirring of the pot.
Cool herbs to be added
just before the end.

This music that they make —
let it in.
Like to like,
gather them here.
Let them feast.
(It is the only way
to heal this,
wary watcher.)

Their thousand cuts will sting.
But how much worse —
the untried heart.

And Yet

It’s not
as though
I’ve nothing
to say.

I get distracted —
sideways addiction,
the silent,
obsessive considerations.

And I am
all too easily
knocked from my feet.

The finding
and finding
and finding.


So I will eat a bowl of cherries
I want to eat a bowl of cherries.
And I will drink water in a blue glass
I want to drink water in a blue glass.


And yet,
here we are —
bedeviled with impending judgement

(and the still-warm eastward-moving sun).

And yet,
here I am.
And look —
the goldenrod is still just beginning.