Thursday, February 26, 2015

I will use any excuse to write about snails.*

Here's my latest for mental_floss, in which I discuss snail caviar (pictured), fish sperm, and more:

5 Animal Byproducts That Are Also Expensive Delicacies

*Blame it on my mucus trail.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Interlude: Other People's Poetry

The Art of Disappearing
by Naomi Shihab Nye

When they say Don't I know you?
say no.

When they invite you to the party
remember what parties are like 
before answering.
Someone telling you in a loud voice
they once wrote a poem.
Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.
Then reply.

If they say We should get together
say why?

It's not that you don't love them anymore.
You're trying to remember something
too important to forget.
Trees. The monastery bell at twilight.
Tell them you have a new project.
It will never be finished.

When someone recognizes you in a grocery store
nod briefly and become a cabbage.
When someone you haven't seen in ten years
appears at the door,
don't start singing him all your new songs.
You will never catch up.

Walk around feeling like a leaf.
Know you could tumble any second.
Then decide what to do with your time. 

art by Danna Ray

Friday, December 19, 2014

Save (Me From) the Whales

"Cetaphobia" by June Park

Some people are afraid of heights, or airplane travel, or public speaking, or spiders. I am not afraid of any of these things--in fact, I like them all--but, as some of you may remember, I am afraid of whales.

Read the essay at The Atlantic.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Seeing Stars

I went to Los Angeles to appear on Jeopardy!. 

My invisible illness came with me.

Read the story in Pacific Standard.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

To the Sylacauga Meteorite

Phil Plait's piece on the Sylacauga meteorite jogged something in my brain. ("Didn't I write a poem about that?") I remember reading about the meteorite years ago, and being especially touched by one detail: that, in the middle of the day, Ann Hodges was lying down.

Looking through my files, I found that I did write a poem in 2008, but never posted it--so here it is.

To the Sylacauga Meteorite
after Ann Hodges

It has been no end of misery
to know you. There is so much
you have demolished. Certainty.
Faith. The old foundation.
And like a flaming angel you crashed
through my house,
into the cold rooms where truths go unspoken.
I need you, bright destroyer, but you will be

my ending.
I know this desire is short-range.
It will not be returned. For all the days
I blistered my sealed lips with an ember tongue I tell you now:

I love you. 

That is as much
of a home as I can offer,
and this charred body more
than I expect for your apology.

Saturday, November 8, 2014


This is the November issue of mental_floss magazine. Inside is a fun adaptation of my jellybean story. That I wrote.

On the newsstand.

And that's amazing.

Friday, November 7, 2014

New Music from Squid Pro Crow: At Sundown, When I Am Busy

Here's the latest from Squid Pro Crow.
Words by me, music by Grant.

At Sundown, When I Am Busy
Remind me: 

mourning doves. Remind me always 

to live where they are. Remind me: 
that sound. 
That sound. Remind me. 
Mourning doves: that sound:

Remind me.