Saturday, May 30, 2015


BRAINGLOW is the visual adornment of a cartoon brain — usually represented as a disembodied organ — with an outward-radiating illumination-of-sorts. Brainglow doesn’t exist in nature, of course. Brains don’t literally glow blue-green. But you’d never know it from the pictures of brains you’re likely to encounter walking through a bookstore or surfing the internet these days. You see brainglow everywhere — dust jackets, glossy conference brochures, websites promising heightened brain power.

Friday, May 29, 2015

mr. blank

I’M SO PROUD of my tea assistant, Mr. Blank. He’s been a patient of mine for almost three years, arriving at our rehabilitation center in the summer of 2012. He stayed with us for four months before returning to his home state on the east coast, but ended up in jail soon after his discharge for assaulting his ex-wife. Knowing his history, and with sincere interest in his welfare, the authorities agreed to transfer him back to our center where he could receive appropriate treatment for his aggression. He was very fortunate. I’ve no doubt there are many men like him, with similar histories, imprisoned for similar offenses all over this country. In his first twenty-five years of life he’s endured more than most of us ever will — all manner of abuse, traumatic brain injury, incarceration — so ending up where he did after being arrested was a rare stroke of good fortune for him. He’s been my tea assistant for seven months.

Thursday, May 28, 2015


Melba Bourque Thibodeaux

THESE OLD PHOTOGRAPHS of Catahoula have led me down many a rabbit hole, none moreso than this pair of undated images — further proof that photographs are ghosts, and that as long as images of you survive, you never really die.

Monday, May 4, 2015


The Complete Cockatiel Training Album doesnt tell you how to train your cockatiel. It’s a record that does the training for you.

Saturday, May 2, 2015


IT’S ALWAYS something.
     Someone’s going to need to go to the bathroom halfway through and all you can do is let them excuse themselves, even if it means you have to stop what you’re saying and rearrange the furniture so that they can wheel past you.
     Someone’s going to keep blurting out the same question you’ve already answered, and you have to either ignore it, and maybe that will be the last time, or else you have to answer it and try redirecting the group’s attention back to the matter at hand, for example, back to the color of the tea they’re drinking.
     Someone’s going to fall asleep and snore really loudly, then suddenly wake up and start cranking the adjustable tables, shifting the bamboo placemats and nearly tumbling your Russian glass teacups over.
     Someone’s going to have an intense muscular spasm and grimace and gasp for air.