MAY 18, 2020


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Table of Con­tents


Expectation Exorcism

Sucker Crush - Bandcamp | Instagram

Covid Portraits Nos. 2, 5, 7

Chung To Leung - Instagram

18"x 24" Sharpie on paper


Danny Meyer - Website

Binaural microtonal music, so best in headphones.

Test Patterns (Cont.)

Dane Pollok - Website | Instagram

Portraits over Facetime.







Roommate Story

Clare Austen-Smith & Dan Abromowitz - Clare Instagram | Dan Instagram

Written by Dan Abromowitz, illustrated by Clare Austen-Smith.


Robert Woods-Ladue - Website

Some songs for Elegua!

Bara o lo yure soke borda
Elegua o bara olo yuti bara moyuba oko
bara olo yuti o bara moyuba oko soke borda

Elegba okuni odo bolo-bolo ya tutu mampi
bolo-bolo  ya tutu mampi

Echu loro tio
vamurla Elegua echu loro tio, Obara wayo eke
Obara wayo eke moba moyuba ko

baba, omoni alaguana ma oferere
bi apona ache irawo

Barasuayo, omoni alaguana ago mamakenya irawo e (x2)
o barasuayo, eke, echu odara,
omoni alaguana ago mamakenya irawo e

ado achureo, ado achureo
baralayiki ado achureo

bara weni ye, oya ona o achu deo (x2)
echu bara ago achu deo (x2)
ago elegua baba laroye

Bara yorlo un kwele
A: un yorlo
A: elegba un yorlo

A: oke bara yokode, oke bara tele elegua
A: oke bara yokode, oke bara su awo
tele minna, minna tele
A: yokode

ibarago moyubara
A: eleguara

moforiba imode
A: moriyoko


A: eribo eribo, ago meta meta (x2)
A: oti mole elesekan, vamora elesekan
A: iya made iyo, iya made orisa
A: bakuta elegua kini kini
A: tani okere mura mura
oti mole laye laye
A: echu alaroye mura mura
A: oti o kele motanse
A: tani o kele motanse
A:eniche eniche, chen chereche, oruro oruro un ocha (x2)
A:baba tani la ocha kwalo ogun mellis (x2)
A:awa mellis, baba chon chon mellis 
A:bokun bokun ala mawe
A: ala mawe
A: chen chereche
A: la di ocha
A: baba o kwalo ogun mellis
A: awa mellis
A: chon chon mellis
A: bokun bokun ala mawe
A: baba ala mawe
A: bokun bokun
A: aka mawe
A: baba alaroye
A: baba leriki


John Paul Davis

Dark Mode

Spring came in a single day but not the vernal
glow & cleanness of a postcard
instead something grizzled from before cities
horned & hoofed, the bramble
thought of the older gods, the ones without names
smaller, but a visitation would burn
away your eyes. Still & stark
we huddle indoors, our brains
greening, our hearts budding
& our fear is partly that we cannot predict
what they are growing into, is this an evolution
or an extinction. What if it was a lizard
flu that wiped out the dinosaurs,
is the rest of creation
enjoying this pause in the global
catastrophe that we have become? The heavy
machinery gone quiet, the air now cleaner.
The lions sunning themselves on deserted
highways. The blue jays hearing their songs
echo through the waking lindens
for the first time in generations
with the cars all sleeping.
All the arrangements the same as before
but in a feral mode. We also wilder,
on high alert, redder of mind. Same streets,
same skies, same planet,
different world. For a year,
no one has a face.

Quarantine Days

There’s no flour on the grocery shelves
& not enough healthy workers at the slaughterhouse
so they’re killing the chickens
instead of processing & sending
them away in freezer trucks & there’s a shortage
of toilet paper but no shortage of days,
the factory where those are manufactured
is still churning them out at its pre-pandemic
pace, one after the other, sunny days, grumpy
ones, days with a missing morning, longer
than normal days that end in a stupid
argument while washing the dishes,
solitary fitful days spent completely
on video chats, days of rain light
& soft words, days broken open by the robin
through the curtains, days pulled
apart by the headlines, days under a bruise
of cloud, days & days & days & days,
stacked one after another like money
in my wallet I can’t spend
or opinions I never asked for, like a song
I’m expected to join the choir
in singing but I don’t know the lyrics
& there are so many words they stop meaning
anything & are just sounds
I make with my ape voice
hoping nobody notices busy
as they are making a commotion
of their own somehow inside
the music while I look in, pressing
my luck against its steamy window.

Ode To The Sink Full Of Dirty Dishes At 6AM

This apartment is small
so I can’t wash them yet for risk
of waking my love who is never a morning
person as I have always been. If I set
an alarm I’ll wake 5 minutes
before its commotion is due to split
me from dream. In the dark
I can’t see the cairn
of porcelain, plastic & steel
but I remember it & therefore
also yesterday’s meals,
the daal, the sausages, the farro, the cookies,
the yogurt & blackberries glazed with honey
& also the act of cooking
itself, the little cough of the gas
swallowing a spark & catching flame,
the stove burner’s henge of fire
& the calamity of water boiling,
the mixture of butter & onion
nudging its aroma into every room
& my beloved standing at the counte
stirring lentils with my arm around her waist
& my lips against the nape of her neck
where there is a little twirl
of hair she would want to remove
if she could see it but which I adore
even though the government
is failing us as disease
& capital menace us all,
there is still a stack
of dirty dishes in our sink
which I will later delight
in washing because the hot
water feels true on my skin,
because I enjoy the squeak
of my fingerprint over a damp & newly-clean
plate, because it is a way of making
the world easier for my love.
When she’s awake
her asymmetries —
her slightly smaller left eye,
her fingertips that curl upward,
the birthmark on her sternum
that looks like an island nation
— will follow me from room to room
touching every corner of me
like the sunrise that is now painting
the heap of glasses & flatware & pots
with daylight which journeyed
unimaginable distance
through the suffocation of space
from the tantrum of the sun
& soon there won’t be a nook
or pocket in this place
it hasn’t touched,
that hasn’t been translated
from blue night’s lyric
into day’s bright
& sweet language.

Smaller & Smaller

The birds who make their homes
in the trees which are older
than but live now in the shadow
of the hilltop cloisters
are not waiting for history,

between a storm & the morning
they go about their work
which this time of year is unrestrained
& bounteous singing

which in recent weeks
is no longer blurred imperceptible
by the uproar humans
make with their machines
& I believe they know

so they swell the less-dirty air
with all the music
the pipes in their little cathedral bodies
can bring as if the city was a band
now quieted to comping
so the horn player can have a say

& really, there is no such thing as silence
only smaller & smaller
sounds. In the vacuum of space
astronauts hear the hymns
of their own bodies

fill the tiny chapels of their spacesuits,
the tumble of their heartbeats,
the crescendo of their swallowing,
the furious footsteps of their blood.

Quarantine Voices

Part the wind with me
my bicycle invites in its aluminum
voice of acute angles. I want noon
heat & muscle work to thaw
my cassette of sleepy gears.

Let's step into good pain
my running shoes suggest,
their wooly barking muffled
by piles of sneakers & snow boots,
let's pant in the shadow
of an overpass, let's tell the heart
it must press farther.

My metrocard stridulates
from my wallet
which itself chirps & flaps its folds
like the wings of a starling
trapped in a storefront
& my messenger bag turns
over like a hibernating
bear grumbling.

Hey baby, I just want to feel
your skin against me. Nobody lights
a candle & hides it under a basket. 

My father-in-law’s turquoise
silk shirt, made in India quotes
the gospel of Luke, maneuvering
on its hanger so the light will linger
in the magenta of its baroque
& faint floral print.

My beard even murmurs thornily
we could catch the sun
& let it stain us red & gold

while my hands whimper
we want the world, to read
the layers of chipped
paint on a handrail, to accept
a warm paper cup of coffee
prepared by a stranger
& to hand them a crumple
of money bearing the likeness
of a man who whose hands
didn’t even know what germs
are, we want to scratch our nose
without thinking of disease vectors. 

They fidget like puppies
leaning against the lead
toward the entire day
doubtful of danger
certain of some future delight
some waiting deliciousness.

Poem To Be Recited While Washing My Hands

Good dog, bad dog; sunlight & moon shadow,
yes & no, inside & out. If not for the scars
on the left's ring finger & the right one’s thumb
I’d have no proof I’ve been riding the same body
since childhood. My brain & eyes only know the past
but my hands speak in future tense, the language
of work. Fist & palm, they’re tenderest
washing each other, life partners, dance partners,
each the other’s mirror universe twin. Truth & a lie,
a wish & a sigh, together they’re a palindrome, a prayer
always on the verge of being answered.


Molly Bolten - Instagram | Soundcloud

Here's an 8-minute video of me painting my nails and singing Patsy Cline songs, feat. my dishwasher running.


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