Thursday, November 16, 2017


#amandapalmer #mother #trump #breastisbest

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

To Spin on Command

The Movements of Mechanical Objects

by Rebecca Morgan Frank

Someone keeps opening the music box
in the middle of the night.

It used to play "Clair de lune," now
plays Muzak versions of the latest pop song.

I sleep with one eye open.
The figurine has surely been pushing

her way out. Her toes are so slender
she can pry open the lock.

Her sleek limbs bunch their muscles
as she lifts the lid, and

for seconds, she looks
like a sumo wrestler in her tutu.

If you asked her, she'd tell you
what it's like to be buried alive.

To spin on command.
She's been studying to be a DJ.

There are lots of classes on the internet,
she'll say. A girl can be anything.

But the dark trope only lets
her rise into a sea of pink

with plush dolphins.
Maybe I'll grow up,

she says, looking around,
to be a veterinarian.

You don't tell her that her veneer
is wrinkling and her belly

bulges like a squeezed tube.
Her eyes chip

away without her notice.
It won't be long until

she's retired. The body
junked and thrown

from the box. Separated
from everything that moves.

Monday, November 06, 2017

26 Dead, Again

I think it is a mistake to reduce this repeated public health/safety issue to EVIL. It is not pure evil. What is evil? A classic definition is that it is the absence of what is good, from Aquinas. So, in that sense there is evil in this equation. Our public policy does not support the mentally ill, does not address the issue of domestic violence AND provides easy/legal access to firearms. This means we have created a culture that allows these shootings.

EVIL is not a force out of nowhere, a big bad devil. It is when there is a good--civic life and even perhaps the right to own guns--that is flawed. The shooters are wrong, they are criminal, they are mentally ill, they are domestic abusers, or all of the above. But the shooter is not evil, the culture that has given him access to guns is. 

Don't call the shooter's acts evil. If you do, it means that there is NOTHING that can be done to prevent this symptom of evil (a lack of public policy regarding mental health/domestic violence/guns). This is not true. If the society cannot see this, they lack insight--a technical psychological term. It means you are not able to know that you are sick, as in the case of schizophrenia. 

I don't know the way out of this conundrum. Except to teach my kids that access to mental health care and health care are essential, that domestic abuse is unacceptable, and that access to firearms should be regulated as part of our national security. 

There is no pure evil. Pure evil is a slogan, an excuse, a smokescreen. It cripples us. It prevents insight.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Top Ten

turkish delight

wide-brimmed straw hats in summer

jasmine pearl tea


outdoor fruit and vegetable markets

tepertős pogácsa

freshly ground peanut butter

peanut butter on toast with tabasco and cucumber slices

baking bread

being in my body

whiskey, neat


Széchenyi Fürdő

my mother's dumplings

rocking chairs


giving books I love to people I think might love them too

The Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter


grandma Kelley's rice casserole

Le Mans Hall


baking muffins

Spencer Tunick

wool socks, knee-high, with stripes in the winter


"In My Mind" by Amanda Palmer

bread and butter


cooking split-pea soup


church bells

Gellért Fürdő

African chicken and peanut soup from the New England Soup Factory

martini with blue cheese stuffed olives

1059 Riverside


Greek yogurt with honey, in Greece

listening to my kids giggle and play after the lights are out at bedtime


Book Club

Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins



Indigo Girls



Warren Dunes State Park

french fries

Ted Kooser


the fact that baking bread is so simple

clean pressed sheets

One Billion Rising

walking by a lilac bush in bloom

holding hands




hard wood floors

handmade afghans


Jeune Homme Nu Assis au Bord de la Mer, by Jean- Hippolyte Flandrin

marching bands

HONK! festival of activist street bands

my clever, funny friend

roasted chestnuts

Rachel flodnija

birdie sing in the tree, woo woo woo, wee wee wee, I love you and you love me

Henszlmann Imre utca, 5

cuckoo clocks

handwritten letters

potluck dinners

Kelet Kávézó

Pad Thai in Budapest

tabasco sauce


Amanda Palmer

marathons, watching them

hiking, with the right shoes

chocolate chip cookies, baking them


public schools


pie crust

yellow roses

the truth

Friday, November 03, 2017

#MeToo Research Questionnaire

Please contribute your answers (10 minutes) for this research project. The survey is available in English and Hungarian.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Found To-Do List

Lost near Brookline Village. Found by me.
Love, love the this person not only planned "nap" but also checked it off. 

Friday, October 06, 2017

Kids are More Powerful than Guns

If this populace believes that the 2nd amendment teaches unrestrained access to guns, then I am going to teach my kids that they are more powerful than guns. I will raise the next generation to think politically about what is best for our citizenship. Who is with me to develop lesson plans for kids regarding gun control? #education #lifelonglearner #longview

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Tiny Seeds


Ellen Bass

Bad things are going to happen.
Your tomatoes will grow a fungus
and your cat will get run over.
Someone will leave the bag with the ice cream
melting in the car and throw
your blue cashmere sweater in the drier.
Your husband will sleep
with a girl your daughter’s age, her breasts spilling
out of her blouse. Or your wife
will remember she’s a lesbian
and leave you for the woman next door. The other cat—
the one you never really liked—will contract a disease
that requires you to pry open its feverish mouth
every four hours. Your parents will die.
No matter how many vitamins you take,
how much Pilates, you’ll lose your keys,
your hair and your memory. If your daughter
doesn’t plug her heart
into every live socket she passes,
you’ll come home to find your son has emptied
the refrigerator, dragged it to the curb,
and called the used appliance store for a pick up—drug money.
There’s a Buddhist story of a woman chased by a tiger.
When she comes to a cliff, she sees a sturdy vine
and climbs half way down. But there’s also a tiger below.
And two mice—one white, one black—scurry out
and begin to gnaw at the vine. At this point
she notices a wild strawberry growing from a crevice.
She looks up, down, at the mice.
Then she eats the strawberry.
So here’s the view, the breeze, the pulse
in your throat. Your wallet will be stolen, you’ll get fat,
slip on the bathroom tiles of a foreign hotel
and crack your hip. You’ll be lonely.
Oh taste how sweet and tart
the red juice is, how the tiny seeds
crunch between your teeth.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Stephen Paddock is a Victim

Stephen Paddock is a victim. I don’t believe in evil. I don’t believe in some cosmic force of corruption. If we accept that the devil exists, then we are deluded into innocence. We can write off our complicity in harm by saying that it is caused by a force outside of us. We can defend ourselves, but ultimately suffering is the only noble response to harm. The shooter did not commit an act of pure evil. There is no such thing. Pure evil would be an unstoppable force. Instead, what he committed was preventable. That is why it is a tragedy. I consider Stephen Paddock a victim. No human should be given access to instruments of mass destruction. Humans will use them. We are broken and sick at times. We live in a culture of consumption and isolation. We are weak. We reach for power. We want to act with the clarity of decision instead of suffering the world’s cold shoulder. Stephen Paddock is a victim. We are all victims of a gun culture.

Monday, October 02, 2017


For My Lover, Returning to His Wife

by Anne Sexton

She is all there.
She was melted carefully down for you
and cast up from your childhood,
cast up from your one hundred favorite aggies.

She has always been there, my darling.
She is, in fact, exquisite.
Fireworks in the dull middle of February
and as real as a cast-iron pot.

Let's face it, I have been momentary.
A luxury. A bright red sloop in the harbor.
My hair rising like smoke from the car window.
Littleneck clams out of season.

She is more than that. She is your have to have,
has grown you your practical your tropical growth.
This is not an experiment. She is all harmony.
She sees to oars and oarlocks for the dinghy,

has placed wild flowers at the window at breakfast,
sat by the potter's wheel at midday,
set forth three children under the moon,
three cherubs drawn by Michelangelo,

done this with her legs spread out
in the terrible months in the chapel.
If you glance up, the children are there
like delicate balloons resting on the ceiling.

She has also carried each one down the hall
after supper, their heads privately bent,
two legs protesting, person to person
her face flushed with a song and their little sleep.

I give you back your heart.
I give you permission—

for the fuse inside her, throbbing
angrily in the dirt, for the bitch in her
and the burying of her wound—
for the burying of her small red wound alive—

for the pale flickering flare under her ribs,
for the drunken sailor who waits in her left pulse,
for the mother's knee, for the stockings,
for the garter belt, for the call—

the curious call
when you will burrow in arms and breasts
and tug at the orange ribbon in her hair
and answer the call, the curious call.

She is so naked and singular.
She is the sum of yourself and your dream.
Climb her like a monument, step after step.
She is solid.

As for me, I am a watercolor.
I wash off.