Break The Rules

August 5, 2016

Break the Rules 

I. Spirals 

At the farmer’s market I meet a man selling Kombucha. He says you may actually be able to alter the way your genes are expressed by certain microbes in your stomach. I say that I’m reading a book on microbes but I don’t know what it’s called. I show him the DNA on a necklace I made the Natural History Museum yesterday. There’s me – in the spit around my neck – a pure expression of who I am. A microbe is an invisible force that could change all of that in just a swig. Who ever said God wasn’t real. Who ever said invisible forces have no factor on our lives.


II. Pillars of Light

The Hirshhorn Museum calls me when I’m sad and lonely. I go to feel something breathing between those empty walls. I go with the hope that I can walk out less confused.

Three years ago, I came to interview in DC for a spot to teach in rural China. I walked into the Hirshhorn to find the museum was featuring art from the Chinese dissident Ai Wei Wei. Children’s backpacks lined the ceiling to count the dead in the Sichuan earthquake. A middle finger flicked off the White House and Tiananmen Square. The Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium was big enough to hold the whole world inside to compete and oppressive enough to trap its creator under house arrest without a passport. Off to the land of “tofu-brick” buildings that crumble under corruption. Away from the swamp where the student’s from schools built in the early 1900s remain almost as segregated as they did upon the building’s conception. 

Today, I watch while a museum security guard tells a couple how to stand between two pillar-shaped mirrors in order to show their reflection. I ignore the exhibits’ large white canvases covered in tiny dots. If an order of dots is what’s to come, I suppose I find it more frightening than Ai Wei Wei’s dystopia. At least there, I found hope amidst the rubble.

III. The Tower

A man is playing guitar across from Trump Tower.

I turn to him, in a burst of angst. Make him go away!

Vibration warrior, knock this tower down.

“Yes girl, this is my protest!” 

I day dream on my bike ride back about a boy I met once who did street art. How we may have ended up if I hadn’t wanted to follow the rules so much rather than the laws that govern this universe.


I get money out of the bank. The teller cannot recognize my signature.

It’s two short, I only left my initials, I tell him.  I write my name out longer.

“You can tell the counterfeiters,” he says. “They write it so delicately and with precision, but if it’s yours, you just do it naturally.”

I’m at the temple of a man who watches a million signatures a day, to a believer in the art of hands this is pure gospel.

The world is moving towards fingerprinting technology now, you know, I say. 

“But a signature, will always stay the same. You can slice off a finger but you can’t steal the way someone moves.”


I like to eat dinner and watch Chef’s Table. Perhaps is a phenomenon of not sitting to enjoy your own creation and needing that of another to truly feed you. Grant Schatz made food that can float and switches out strawberries for tomatoes. He lost his sense of taste to cancer and kept creating. Reborn when he took a sip of coffee after chemo, he made art on the dependence of others. It’s as if he said, “Look what I can make. Now let’s see if I still love how you look with my eyes closed.”



Startled as Such

So much sleep and healing hands
Give to me what was your plan

Feed the body and clear the mind
Hope that all comes through with time

Bleeding animal, valid sort
Invite me into your loving court

Inside robes and outside bones
Leave your troubles at my home

Where words fail and music leaks
Pray the rest my love to seek

Breathe with loving good and doubt
Give spirit time to have its drought

Patient, kind and gracious soul
Tell me now to become whole

Climbing ladders and falling down
The ins and outs of true love’s frown

Pick a flower for my eyes
Pick an answer full of lies

Continue reading

The Purple

And there she was, fresh from her tomb,
a girl with flesh eyes upon this bloom.
That gazed into a world she couldn’t understand
“Brave new people, what is this – man?”
The idea of a fallen warrior cast from God; a hero; a journeyman; a fixer; a doer; a seer.

Anything could capture her. Your knees. Your toes.
She would walk all night and not where she goes.
“Hold me into the vast,” she said.
“Let’s plunge into the deep. I’ve never experienced anything quite like when we sleep.”

And awaken, with bodies intertwined.
Hand holding hand, hand griping spine.
Out from lash undertow come blue buoys
Surfacing, then curious.

The skin is freshly cut
Grass sweet smelling furiously
Rejoicing in its own death.

“This never felt quite right and I had a right to say so.”
Who had known? Not she nor he.

The energy at any given moment is rushing into stardust saying:
“You grew worse through the ages. I saw your scars.”
“But you wanted this. You asked for it.”

A man who enjoys a woman’s pleasure more than his own is still struggling with his faulty design.
Go at once. You won’t come back again.

Come ‘on baby. I’ve got two speeds. Fast and faster.
Hold on tight to my sheets or
Come weakened in the knees.
Next to you, I bleed.

“These nights don’t come for free.
For a fee, I’ll keep you with me.”

She had once wanted that. To be kept, I’m sure.
And to be healed by his righteous hand.
Never knowing how beautifully he saw her.
Locked up in snow bones spouting
“Stay warm sunshine.”

“So what does he take me as – a whore?”
Sure, but did anyone care to ask?
“How did you feel – used?”
“Sometimes.” No affliction.

How can a body love body but not mind love mind?

You don’t see the sunrise as you used too.
But that’s what you wanted. To be a man. To have your brothers.
Your crazy lobe comes with the territory and the joy of never taming her wild heart.
Leave yours to beat in the spirit cage that you built with pleasure.
Made of suns and clean rings.
House code cracked
bomb a body on a body
leave the mind on a mine.

If the fates allowed could we unwind?
“I still think of the way your eyes once met time,” his hand twists torso pulling vines.
Lips peel narrow and kiss stabs sharp.
“I’m supposed to like this. This is my work of art.”

She’ll be free one day, you’ll see.
Present – not crawling.
He needs healing and has since the day he died.
“I’m an old-fashioned kind of manhood.”
Thinks those flesh eyes understood.
How body meets body and the mind is mine.

Press play for pleasure.
Perhaps she passively participated and
Became an object to be spun & won.
Who knows how many men have experienced what she’d done.

Like a Venus figure, held tight in the hand.
“I own you fleeting spirit.”
Let me wash off your sweat flakes with oil from my mouth.
Soak in the bathwater of your stain.

“Oh what I’d give to be with her in two.”