Sunday, December 30, 2012
Stopped for gas yesterday and was horrified to hear the gas pump blasting an audio commercial from its tinny speakers. I'm sure you've heard them before too. "Stop inside for an ice cold refreshment. 20 ounce soda on sale for . . . blah blah blah."
photo: jackie theriot
My sister Nicole has been gone almost twenty-six years, but this year, after spending a lot of time scanning old family photographs -- almost 400 of them so far -- I feel a new sense of closeness to her. I'm thankful to have so many photographs to help me remember.
They've cleared out a patch of woods between the big bridge in Catahoula and Red's Levee Bar. I rode my bike there yesterday to check it out. So strange to see an empty space where before there had always been wilderness.
. . . I performed a series of aerial acrobatic maneuvers in an enormous domed skateboard park. It must have been a mile high. Flapping my arms I ascended to the iron arches forming the ceiling of the dome and did backward somersaults all the way down to the smoothly undulating concrete floor where I grabbed a handful of lozenge-shaped reindeer lichens from a glass platter and swallowed them whole.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
We'd just turned on to the dirt-and-gravel road that leads to the camp when my dad, who was at the camp, called to ask us if we were on the way. My mom, in the back seat, said, "We're almost there. We just turned on to the shant." I said, "What did you call it?"
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Monday, December 17, 2012
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Last year I treated a woman who was in a minimally conscious state. This is what it's called when a brain has been so severely injured that it's hard to get more than primitive reflex responses from that person, and that person is able to perform only very basic behaviors, like reaching for an object that's wiggled in front of the face.
Monday, December 10, 2012
Sunday, December 9, 2012
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Friday, November 30, 2012
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
The 21st century has given birth to a new kind of flatulence. Burps and bleeps slip out of our personal electronic devices like farts from a too-loose sphincter. Call it e-flatulence.
This car moves only forward, and the past keeps slipping away, taunting us in the rear view mirror. Sparkling, it teases us.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Monday, November 19, 2012
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Monday, November 12, 2012
illustration by richard ramirez
Proposed cover art for my collection of 500 dreams. I'm thinking of doing both a gigantic hardcover edition - 16 by 24 inches - in an extremely limited edition, five or ten copies maybe, as well as a paperback version.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Sunday, November 4, 2012
Friday, November 2, 2012
Friday, October 26, 2012
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
. . . I drove a Spitfire Triumph from Catahoula to my apartment in New Orleans. Shifting from third to fourth, the Triumph lost some steam, so when I spotted a hitchhiking mechanic on the entrance ramp at Butte La Rose, I figured, rather than coming to a complete stop, I’d better just slow down and have him hop inside.
Monday, October 22, 2012
Monday, October 15, 2012
Saturday, October 13, 2012
Monday, October 8, 2012
Sunday, October 7, 2012
I'm in the yellow shirt. Next to me, with her arms around me, is my sister Monique, squatting on one knee, and next to her is my older brother Luke. Behind us is Mamom, but you can see only her body in the photograph because her head was chopped off by the camera. We're standing on a dirt road near a trash pile surrounded by yellow wildflowers.
. . . I survived a plane crash and didn't tell anyone, not until several years later when, revisiting the crash site in the Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego, I ran into my mother, who happened to be crossing over Highway 163 on a rickety pedestrian footbridge. I said, quite casually, "Did I ever tell you about the time I was in a plane crash?" I didn't want to make a big deal out of it.
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Sunday, September 30, 2012
A teacher of shamatha meditation, after instructing a newcomer in the proper sitting posture, proceeds to the second instruction. The abbreviated form of this instruction goes something like this: "Having assumed the proper posture, now place your attention on the breath." Or, "Begin to notice the breath." The gist of the second instruction is to bring greater awareness to the breath, the vital fluid whose passage through your tissues, for the most part, escapes your attention, fading into the background unnoticed.
Monday, September 24, 2012
Q: Tell me what you were like before the stroke, in terms of how you handled emotions.
A: I was very domineering, very in control.
Q: Type A, would you say?
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
photo: monique theriot
These pumpkins rot so quickly, more quickly than pumpkins from the store, like how buttercups turn to jelly after one day in the vase while a rose imported from Ecuador will remain beautiful for a whole week, even longer if you put that little packet of magic in the water.
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
There's a roach in my toilet, dead. Found it on its back near the garage door this morning. When I bent over to pick it up by an antenna, I braced myself for the possibility that it might still be alive, that it might curl and crawl around when stimulated by the wadded tissue I pinched between my fingers, but, no, it was truly dead.
Monday, September 3, 2012
Sprinkle birdseed outside your home religiously, and it won’t be long before you attract a crowd of regulars. I sprinkle birdseed on our back patio when I wake up each morning, and about thirty birds stop over for breakfast: doves, pigeons, sparrows, cardinals, usually at least one bluejay. The doves are addicted to my sunflower seeds. The sparrows love my millet.
Saturday, September 1, 2012
IN ONE SENSE there’s a clear boundary around the brain. Reach into a cracked-open skull, peel away some membranes, and you can wrap your hands all the way around one. And in school diagrams, it’s clear where the brain stops and the rest of the body begins. The brain is that pillowy ball of pink, sometimes with a tiny tail at the bottom, sometimes not, floating in the middle of the head. In one sense, there’s a clear boundary around the brain. That boundary is an illusion.
Friday, August 31, 2012
Just learned that a former boyfriend of mine, Ray Brizendine, passed away unexpectedly. He was 41 years old. I first met Ray, as did many others, in his role as backward-walking, sass-talking tour guide at Rice University. A year or so later, after I'd enrolled, I met Ray on the second floor of Jones College. It was the day after Windsor castle burned, my nineteenth birthday, and I'd stayed up all night celebrating with friends. Running down the hallway with Angela Hung on my back -- or maybe I was on Angela's back -- we crashed into Ray. Our first conversation was sitting on the floor amid images of the burning castle on the cover of the Houston Chronicle.
Sunday, August 19, 2012
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Monday, August 13, 2012
Ever since the stroke she’s been unable to see pictures in her head. When she tries to visualize something, she can't. She can see everything outside her head just fine. Inside her head: nothing.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Saturday, August 11, 2012
My friend's dog Daisy loves to eat condoms. He says he can't leave one on the floor for even one second before Daisy runs over and snarfs it up. He thinks it's the lube that makes the condom seem so delicious to her, or else she's just really stupid. In any case, he'd taken her out for a walk in the park one afternoon . . .
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
banana image courtesy: Fir0002/Flagstaffotos
If your plastic doll lost one of her legs in a playground accident, you could pop it back into her hip socket. Even if her leg were badly mangled by a lawnmower or melted off with a blowtorch, you could order a replacement, theoretically, from a toy warehouse in China. Snap the new leg on – she’s as good as she ever was.
When you feel a painful emotion, your instinct is to recoil. It's painful, so you pull away.