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“Fox responsible for biting people at the U.S. Capitol has been captured, police say”

In 100 on April 5, 2022 at 6:00 pm

Let her go, I say! Free her blazing fur from your confines! How dare you set your paws upon her golden cape and crown?

What type of land do we live on if a fox cannot protest her wardens? I vote yes! Let her protest.

Yes to biting people who have gambled the future of many kits away.

Yes to biting people who see only green lawns and not the dynamic invisible web of the forest.

Yes to biting people who dispatch the state for a matter of self-defense.

Where are you taking her? Where are the dens? Be gentle.


PhD in Being Cold

In 100 on March 21, 2022 at 8:31 am

“Hello, alright, please take a seat…

Welcome to Layering 301. A a reminder, to be eligible, you must have taken either 201 Philosophy of Cold or 225 Beyond Wool: Other Herd’s Offerings. The only exceptions are those who spent a winter semester at our Svalbard campus. Everyone in the right place?

OK. As you see on the syllabus, to be prepared for labs, come in base layers and a minimum of two pairs or socks. Do not let me catch you in cotton, so help me. The final labs will require an insulated one-piece. Details to come.”

Dedicated to Lara, a Bay Area Woman and layering expert.

“I haven’t had that feeling again, even in love.”

In 100 on March 3, 2022 at 8:58 pm

It doesn’t surprise me there will be more fire, no fancy expensive reports necessary. It is as sure moths to the flame. There are more more moths now; carpets of them eat entire forests. Grey leaves.

Some people meet fire with fire: power, sales, foxes, storms, and boxes. I saw a teacher pick up a gun today.

I want to be a ponderosa. I smell like sweetness. When the fire meets my bark, I flake, impervious. Only I remain. In a previous life, maybe I walked off a cliff to give my body to a starving lioness and her cubs.

The Monk, on Climate Change

In 100 on February 23, 2022 at 8:17 am

“You must remember: there is truth and there is ultimate truth.

The truth is that there will be much suffering. Already, there is damage we cannot take back…it has been done. The truth is we do not know how far the pendulum will swing. Energy cannot be destroyed.

Then there is the ultimate truth: the Earth will heal herself. She has many times before. The scientists say it will take ten million years to recover from us. Life is always transforming.

You asked…but I cannot tell you what to do…except to remember a third truth…There is another way.”

The Luna Moth

In 100 on February 20, 2022 at 7:18 pm

When I saw the dead wings flutter, I knew you couldn’t understand. You see, the velvet wings were tattered but somehow whole. The green was faint, like a dream, yet more saturated than its mossy grave. And if you had been there, you would have returned the gaze from the false eye on the left wing and seen the last moments too. When does flight become fall? If a moth dies alone above a patch of moss in the woods, how can it be more real than the rest of it? You see, the softest things can be the hardest.

super subtle spring pt 2

In 100, by Nora on December 23, 2021 at 4:32 pm

california makes me now miss that jumble of days that feel momentous in may: your eyes become laser-focused, able to pick out the waifish green of a bud on a naked branch from blocks away, that was not there yesterday. each minute change is heightened and clear, you become a tracker, expert in the moment – the very fucking moment – it becomes spring and you’ve survived. earning it is keeping your eyes wide open. you thirst for closure, and the bud is the evidence that it happened. summer feels so impossibly far from frigid, slick, hibernating now; but that bud, man…


In 100, by Nora on December 6, 2021 at 12:21 pm

Hold my head. Not pounding, maybe throbbing, maybe just tender. Hold my weight. Let it sink, into the earth, into arms, the body behind curving to mine. Losing, constantly. Falling. Uncapturable moment. Moment of infinity, holding everything important and nothing at all.

the hands i want are feeble now, less connected to the sturdy brain, the cognitive tissues that made the hands someone’s, hers, are frayed and glutted and glassy and milky-plaqued.

sleeping is a refuge that exists now, if only i could access that sweet nothingness that i’ve sometimes captured. i just need someone’s hands to hold my head.


In 100 on November 13, 2021 at 9:54 am

Mac Miller was my first hero who died younger than I was. I cried, walking around Berlin, listening to “2009” and “Dunno” and “Wings”.

It was heartbreak, for a kid with a heart of gold; a kid who felt deeply, shared bravely. And it was anger. It was anger at a drug addict who knew, who told you he knew, and who lost his life to a stupid fucking overdose anyway. When the kid who “fell asleep and forgot to die”, remembered.

I don’t think I’ve ever “gotten over” Mac dying.

And in some ways, I hope I never do.

Finding love

In 100 on November 12, 2021 at 4:35 pm

David was nobody before Goliath. Just some plucky shepherd. And so he slings Goliath—which for sure helped the brand—but he’s chasing more. He wants to marry the King’s daughter.

The King, as kings do, isn’t enamored of David. He did some thing, but that doesn’t make him some body. Not king pedigree.

But he has to give David a chance. So he sends him on a mission: collect 100 Phillistine foreskins.

Spoilers: David does. He drops them in front of the king, who counts them—counts them— to be sure.

David gets the girl, and the rest is fantasy.


In 100 on November 9, 2021 at 12:34 pm

There’s a tree there on 20th between Guerrero and Valencia. Broad young leaves, filled with life. Translucent mantis green.

He’s wearing a drab jade sleeping bag as a gown.

And he’s plucking those leaves.

One at a time, from the bottom.

He’s plucking them, spiraling around.

He’s plucking them as pedestrians cross to the other sidewalk.

Giving a wide birth.

Giving him space to work.

San Francisco keeps a record of every tree—their health and their history. It’s online. Open data.

The site is down now, but maybe it will be up for you.

Maybe you can find it’s name.


In 100 on November 7, 2021 at 1:54 pm

It’s 7:53 Saturday morning.

She’s wearing a bikini, neon yellow, and a wig, platinum silver. Her eyes are white. The pupils, too, are milky, the way pearls are. She’s got pink flip-flops and her feet mottled dusty black like firefighters’ faces. 

Early thirties, maybe, but who could tell. (Does it matter?)

“Are you going to eat that?”, to a young woman walking by.

“Yes,” she says.

“Oh please, please, please I like that! It’s my favorite!”

She doesn’t stop, eyes on the glass of the passing storefronts.

Now wimpering,

“Please please please,”

now yelling,

“Why can’t! you!”,

now growling,


There’s fire in that mind.

In 100 on November 5, 2021 at 11:51 pm

“Confessions of a Mask”, she told me, “by Yukio Mishima.”

“What’s it like?”

“Emotionally devastating.”

I read it in one sitting. Well, rarely sitting. At times I paced, but devastation is best experienced low: quarter-fetal on the floor or melting off an ottoman, that sort of thing.

The protagonist was coming of age, gay, in Japan around the Second World War. His mind existed entirely of a violent thunderstorm. A turbulent existential hell. From the day he was born, he was completely and totally fucked. He never knew it could be any other way.

It took me weeks to recover.


In 100, by Wyatt on November 3, 2021 at 10:20 am

“Do you have space?”

“I’m pretty full, but I want you to have a place to stay. Let me see what I can do.”
She went back into the motel’s office. He waited in the lobby. Rain smashed against the windows, headlights glided past. 

“I can squeeze you in with two Germans. They said they’d host you in their room in exchange for a free breakfast. I’ll roll out a trundle”

“Are you sure it’s not too much trouble? I can just set up my tent outside. 

She raised her eyebrows.

“Thank you. I didn’t know who else to call.”

A Week of Spells

In 100, by Wyatt on November 3, 2021 at 9:59 am

“Oh my look who’s here.”

“Cutie patootie aren’t we having such a time!’

“Hi hello gorgeous pie”

“Goodness such a floofy featherbutt, well here we go!”

“Mmmm jooga jooga jooga.”

“It’s a noodle!” 

“Yes yes yes I know, my sweet.”

The first words uttered after waking up are an incantation. Subconscious, or preconscious. The most important words she speaks all day.

Because she comes into the world each morning forgetting the truth. Failing to remember the simplest fact. Amidst face licks and warbling growls, the enthusiasm and wisdom of a sweeter creature reminds her: they might never have woken up.

super subtle spring pt 1

In 100, by Nora on March 10, 2021 at 11:15 am

i’ve sort of come around to spring. i used to hate having to wait, when all i wanted was to sweat through my linens and be out all day and all humid-limpid night. after the great slow down, the great blanket of darkness, the great retreat: the achingly-slow putting on speed. watery sunlight weak and shy, almost blushing with modesty. tepid or bleak or trying. cruel gusts of wind piercing through your hopeful wardrobe selections. pallid feet unsocked too soon. make up your fucking mind, ok. it took years to see that slowly, for my vision to encompass glacial-pace change.

like spring like water

In 100, by Nora on February 14, 2021 at 1:39 pm

like spring the glisten thawing, building, slowly gathering speed, cresting, not an instant flash-change

like water flowing down from snowed peaks, solid to liquid, fluid, filling spaces

like water gathering its bits into a wave imperceptibly

not like spring: my cold heart thaws. not like water: drawing breathing after being underwater

sun-limning life, not fundamentally changing or fixing it, its form sublimating, sublime

what is there like this? can this be metaphor-stretched from nature?

and ice is not the enemy: delicate brittle-hard lace tracing firm around air, the eye’s impression of diamond but the feel tender melting to the fingertip-touch

strange being the only one who stays on the road pt 4

In 100, by Nora on February 3, 2021 at 9:26 am

flash floods scatter the cars but i push through, finally some spanish radio, kissing ciudad juarez through el paso. the skies yawning, opening up endless, unblemished above honest workaday trucks and rolling scrubland. injury lawyer ads give way to corrugated steel and fences, tiny metal windmill, far off bluish mesa lines in arid-fuzzy air; alone but for a gentle highway patrol officer. then the largest never-worked-a-day-in-their-lives trucks, bulbous tanks, aggressively stickered, parking backwards. finally crossing into california, i’m back to the familiar self-congratulatory teslas, aggressive audis, and old mitsubishi trucks bursting with gardening gear, my roads. this is my stop.

diebenkorn pt one million

In 100, by Nora on January 21, 2021 at 1:08 pm

facing west on Washington, at the top of Nob Hill, the street falls away in front of me as I ease my way down the pavement, leaning back against the gravity, knees bent. I can see down into the flat valley of mildly-insipid shopfronts on Polk and the unfriendly, muscular, constantly-under-construction Van Ness. And then the snap-break in common-sensical reality: the street rears up again, straight into the air in front of me, the horizon higher than the peeling eaves of the apartments I’m passing. the absurdity of a folded-up landscape on a rigid, man-made grid: how is man rational?

strange being the only one who stays on the road pt 3

In 100, by Nora on January 16, 2021 at 1:07 pm

Still i’m driving, skirting from south to west i’m tangled in a rash of highways intertwined and overcrowded, darker cars, fancier cars, lower cars, cars speeding in and out tailgating heavily, never using turn signals, honking. I collect assholes, accruing them and letting them fall away, but I stay. I’ll be on the road long after they’ve reached their places. Kudzu proliferates around me along with american indian names, Chattahoochee and Chattanooga and Waxahatchie. Winding roads become flat and straight again, cotton bales and floating puffs, straight-piped mobile homes, jesus 2020 signs, evangelical preachers re-congregate on the radio, again. I drive.

thank you baby

In 100, by Nora on January 7, 2021 at 4:46 pm

pearl strings of words in each story and memory bursting full, hearts opening violet reveal

storm torrent trickle, silk threads and sparks cradling sweetness and tough jerky leather

iron bleak and beautiful watery oceans held back by a string

shining knife horizon but it’s only more ocean, forever

but never the same a thousand billion gallons constantly roiling foaming lapping rocking thrumming idling lulling gently caressing imperceptibly shifting into another unknown ocean

sometimes blue-dark rough with jagged fear

for a long time for a long while maybe always

this ocean-wet dirt between my toes that grip the olive tree trunk

once again (washington square 12/15)

In 100, by Nora on December 18, 2020 at 11:54 am

i instantly felt the mood and the energy of the air change, settle into something menacing, something at my expense, something that made me an object.

i couldn’t even hear what he was saying, becoming deaf to it in defense. i honestly couldn’t tell if he was slur-pronouncing me hot or hideous; the meaning was the same:

shut the fuck up, i get to tell you what to do and how to be and whether you matter. you don’t.

& there is no “correct answer” – that split second instinct to somehow defuse, evade, respond – gut-punching impossibility. just grin and bear it.

fog bois

In 100, by Nora on December 13, 2020 at 4:40 pm

i’d like to be a cheeky droplet of water, so small that gravity pulls at me lazily – so nonthreatening that it doesn’t feel the urgency to pull me to its center – so that i float, buffeting and zagging in the prevailing puffs of wind, joining forces now and then with others like me, following and moving and clinging to their motions like a bird or a fish (the fauna of fluid dynamics), colorless & completely clear but somehow obliterative when amongst my peers, and perhaps – for a time – spreading myself unimaginably thin, soaking, glistening, lacquering, sheening across crackled and rippled surfaces.

strange being the only one who stays on the road pt 2

In 100, by Nora on December 4, 2020 at 11:51 am

I’m still driving. just as the mesas receded with the Spanish names, now the corn is giving way to burgeoning granite and reddening trees. the roads finally begin to wind again, radio & landscape twangier and country-thrush, the cars get smaller, more beat-up. abandoned, rusting cars appear on the side of the highway as if it was a reasonable place to park. billboards for injury lawyers promising thousands and thousands. Red and yellow speckled forests densify and the air outside my cracked windows congeals and condenses and moistens, almost misty. Others exit these highways, but I turn south toward humid air.

strange being the only one who stays on the road pt 1

In 100, by Nora on December 3, 2020 at 2:36 pm

In the West, I’m dwarfed, surrounded by vans and RVs and towed teardrops with mattresses, people who spend their dusty lives tracing canyons, looking for BLM land, staying at hot springs, the journey is the destination, the road is the hotel. As I move East I gain more hills and aspens root beneath the road and eventually evangelical radio preachers accumulate. Trump signs, anti-choice, AR 15s for sale. The cars become boxier and more performative, tow-trucks that don’t actually tow, 4-wheel-drives only used for playing pop country extra loud. Corn arrives, unending sentinels along disturbingly straight road. I keep driving.

the earth is not flat (oct 19)

In 100, by Nora on December 2, 2020 at 2:54 pm

not a square inch of flat surface on this seemingly level grassy meadow. nothing moving but everything quivering twitching humming, nothing silent but not a sound. zinging bees and minuscule flies, birds flitting and landing and unfurling wings. the only weight the weight of my body on itself, which is to say nothing, no weight at all. an empty sky, pierced by innumerable cloud wisps, trails of plane exhaust, a blue smoke rising intentionally from one property over. completely alone, idling, on my frayed turkish towel nestled in this meadow in the blue ridge mountains. empty but also completely full.

night hike (oct 1)

In 100, by Nora on November 30, 2020 at 2:58 pm

after many dragging hours working, writing, physics, math, hiding from the merciless utah sun in the rickety airbnb, we pile into the truck, wedging pots of air-cooled savory beans and crusty bread and dripping melons between bare, prickly legs. the light starts down-shifting as we reach the lazy colorado river, perch on hulking red boulders sluiced by purpling water, canned beers drained and crushed, bats swooping. then further into the darkness in the undaunted truck, up looping rocky roads until the night is velvet. a warm wind winds between monumental sentinel rocks more sensed than seen, the silence is softness.

kudzu to cotton (AL, 10/21)

In 100, by Nora on November 29, 2020 at 6:23 pm

there is something dripping here. even in the dry plywood and concrete and gravel, there is ooze just under the surface. Perhaps the viscosity only works in the 4th dimension: it may not feel sticky to the touch, but its sticks back to the past, gumming to the violence and glory of a racist seceded nation, 4 years in sovereign existence but hundreds in conception. the clinging kudzu has been displaced by fields of cotton, innocent cloudy puffs of dazzling white, that likewise insidiously stick to their stalks, necessitating the inexhaustible, infinite hands. an open mewling maw, still seeping dank sweat.

leaving atlanta (10/21)

In 100, by Nora on November 28, 2020 at 5:04 pm

it’s early in the morning as i free myself from the multi-necked highways hydra that clutches the city, boa-constricting it. i surf the radio for something weird – college radio, 20-year-olds deep into 8-tracks set loose upon the waves – somehow finding myself inside what seems to be the soundtrack for an avant-garde film. as the late-october sky lightens, i’m immersed in a mist, looming with bushy trees. creaky strings build in ominous, erratic tension, then mollifyingly spool into a playful jaunt, then lushly build again with heartfelt emotion; i am now the protagonist, my drive momentous, my future a living mystery.

nice to meet you

In 100, by Nora on November 27, 2020 at 12:04 pm

sometimes you are dazzling, orange-creamsicle quilting the dimming sky. sometimes you creep slickly over the hills, engulf sutro’s spindly tower, slide down its contours, unfurl into basins crenellated with pastel ticky-tack houses, blunt muted stucco further diffused, pointillated into dew-drops, swallowing light, from image to absence of image. sometimes you hover haughtily above the bridge, maintaining a discreet shape though made of nothing, just billions of millions of droplets, stitched together fluidly. sometimes you scurry in puffs past the windows, especially in the evening when the yellowing streetlights cast you into visibility, smelly musty or milky. i guess you’re karl.


In 100, by Nora on November 24, 2020 at 12:32 pm

LIFE starts at CONCEPTION (billboard, KS)

Every tongue will confess Jesus as Lord even the Democrats (big red devil pitchfork) (illustrated church billboard, KY)

WE SELL GUNS – AR-15s – Ammo – SHOOTING RANGE (multiple billboards in a row, KS)

WARNING: Jesus is coming. R u ready ? (church, KY)

Freedom. Family. Jobs. Trump. (billboard, TN)

ASAP: always say a prayer (church, GA)

We believe in Jesus. DON’T YOU (church, AL)

Trump 2020: it’s America vs communism – paid for by the Chinese American Republican Committee of Georgia (billboard, GA)

JESUS 2020 (lawn sign, MS)

We’re closed but god is always open (church, TN)

JESUS CHRIST. (church, KY)

another blue morning (oct 23)

In 100, by Nora on November 22, 2020 at 3:47 pm

Waking up in the warm dew-wet blue New Orleans swamp air, on the top level of a wooden shack with an open mosquito net tumbling onto me, a translucent gecko clinging to its folds, two screened windows open to the jangling church bells at 6am, Cajun piety amidst the sultry swelter. behind my head, the screen climbs with the bright green heart-shaped leaves of a vine. A vase with a single carnation, a magazine cutout of the dalai  lama, a crystal-edged mardi gras mask. at my feet, the screen flows into purpling sky, a city languorously unfolding to buxom life.

the loopiest loop pt 2

In 100, by Nora on November 20, 2020 at 6:02 pm

finally curving, from east to south, to almost west, toward the edge of the world, my edge of the world, following kudzu to cotton through alabama to mississippi to new orleans, finally facing full west, loping lethargically through the dripping atchafalaya swamps to houston, rolling through rugged hill country, dashing through the desolate west texas dark to glistening, glittering rain-slicked new mexico, waking up in the snow-dusted gila, its water-gutted canyons trying to hold me, giving me quiet & caves, reluctantly trundling down into the baked-hot creosote arizona lowlands, not onward but not backward either, the loop is closing, almost home.

diebenkorn pt 9 (one year later)

In 100, by Nora on November 18, 2020 at 11:41 am

a year ago i boarded a plane thinking i’d be back in the gloating springtime of may, six months later, to drop in cheekily on my old new york life, the thing i’d built over a decade.

a year ago i sat in this bizarre glass box of an apartment, thinking i’d spend a few nights a week here maximum, as i scuttled between my childhood home and my newly-chosen mexico city.

a year ago i thought i’d be done with this diebenkorn city by the fog-tickled summer.

instead this city has enwrapped me in its pastel-dewed arms so tightly

the loopiest loop pt 1

In 100, by Nora on November 17, 2020 at 2:26 pm

i’m on the longest largest loop i’ve ever looped, gunning resignedly through flat nevada on the country’s loneliest highway, pausing bewildered in the xeric shrublands and red dust slooping canyons of utah, dabbling into aspen-carpeted colorado, dazedly & determinedly boring a single long corn-edged tube through kansas missouri illinois indiana, slowing into stillness in sloping afternoons of pin-quiet appalachian pines & quivering hickories in kentucky & georgia, east always, early mornings a squinting affair, late afternoons buffeted forward by the sun pushing me away from home, farther from my birthplace of gusty woody garrigue, my humble hardy chaparral, my coastal sagey matorral, onward.

smashing pumpkins after the polls close

In 100, by Nora on November 16, 2020 at 11:03 am

enraged guitar keening, screaming joyous abandoned

emptiness is loneliness

driving fast from a place i hope never to see again, where hate oozed from spitting mouths, gaping with entitlement, hands clutched pearls in racist fright and guns in violent spite and ballots in oxymoronic self-certainty

loneliness is cleanliness

dark dark dry air crackling with arizonan heat, seeping from the cracked red earth, precipitated in the hardiest shrubs

cleanliness is godliness

words ripping from my grinning mouth out the burst-open windows, wind unfurling hair matted from fourteen hours under two masks, gloves, face shield

and god is empty, just like me

(sept 19) lake life

In 100, by Nora on November 15, 2020 at 5:54 pm

sun-honeyed water foaming over toes

being towed behind a boat, clinging onto the air-taut plasticky tube, wind wrapping around my arms fluid like water

as soon as your body moves this fast, unencumbered through space, you are small again. only children can feel how fast they move through space truly, wonderingly. because they are small, all speeds take the breath in check, shock into laughter

smooth broad skin shifting tautly over blunt arms, round-ended fingers, freckles and inflected freckles – melanin skips, negative space

wind rips laughter from our lips, waves bite, the most pliant substance made solid by our inertia

blue morning (oct 17)

In 100, by Nora on November 13, 2020 at 6:26 pm

my fog-dampened mind is slow blue like the dew-greyed mountains framed in the window at the foot of my bed. incrementally wakening, my body floats among the trees; the slim pliant trunks wave gently, dignified, in the dark. tiny, quivering leaves cling and brush. the blue begins to resolve into three, then four folds in the land before me, the closer a textured emerald, the further unfurling and condensing its own fog. the leaves are greening and yellowing, dappling themselves, painting themselves colors as light begins to creep into my room, lighting my toes, up against the impossibly clear glass.

(sept 9) a fire-burnished friend

In 100, by Nora on November 12, 2020 at 7:54 pm

salt-fattened hairs tickle his cheekbones. he stalks barefoot through his ash-spattered yard, tanned, smooth chest & tough feet bare. bonny doon has been decimated, but his beloved house still stands, reassuringly symmetrical, wide eaves a shading sanctuary from the heavy, still-laden air. he will nurture his garden back to life, feeding his sweat and labor back into the ground, just as he chainsaw-tore through & shouldered the brush from the nearby ravine, years of clearing that saved his home in one adrenaline-crisped hour. the last fire was not literal. rebuilding this place, rebuilding himself, had not been easy. he’s survived before, burnished.

there’s a laziness to power

In 100, by Nora on November 11, 2020 at 9:39 am

or maybe it’s just lazy when the power emanates from a heavy, black metal instrument hanging from your waist. its surface is so matte that all light and eyes are drawn into it. even after i look away, the fact of it is still there, deep, my heart beating more cautiously, aware of the predator in its presence. an empty parking lot in a long-abandoned strip mall, chipped orange stucco, a wire hanging aborted and frayed over the ghostly absence of the 90s-era LIQUOR sign. your eyes address mine arrogantly, your leering grin lethargically spreads, that weight giving you power.

xeric shrublands

In 100, by Nora on October 2, 2020 at 9:01 am

domesticated, rubber-encased feet pound the roan-red dust, following the just-discernible trail between fragile, frightening moon forms of desert crust. xeric, i learned, from an old word, greek – xeros – dry. over months and years, the dust masticates to produce these nubby forms, wherein precious molecules of wet hold and temper life. so powerful as to cultivate wisps of spiky verdancy in desperate aridness, so tender as to be vulnerable to an errant footfall. these feet hew to the trail churned by their most recent predecessors, trusting in their wisdom. stay on the path, feet, this earth surface is not only yours.

fog on fire

In 100, by Nora on September 9, 2020 at 7:34 am

i wake up in an orange darkness, a sepia-toned fog so thick that the buildings across the street are muffled against my eyes, the haze autumn-ripe and close. my fancy iphone camera refuses to capture it, resolving it into a grey like any other day, incorporating warmth as brightness, when in fact, it is darker than any blue or purple could ever be.

fires are burning somewhere

it has smelled of smoke before, ashes tucked into the million billion droplets in passing night puffs, seeping through cracks. now we can see it, in our mind’s eyes, a city in flames.

The ground is uneven everywhere I’ve ever lived pt 3

In 100, by Nora on September 8, 2020 at 12:29 pm

Da and Mennie’s house in Berkeley tilted up. The ground floor was a basement, packed earth floors smooth and almost-damp to the barefoot touch. The second floor, the actual house, was perched on top like a doll’s house on stilts. Peeling white-painted front steps led to a light blue door. It was sweetly clean and seemingly miniature, but, like my grandparents, somehow a little off: just inside, the floor sloped away almost imperceptibly, down toward the backyard, which technically straddled the Oakland-Berkeley border, pitching you into the book-filled, light-warmed home, to be offered diet coke, generous opinions, and riotous stories.

it was george eliot who said

In 100, by Nora on July 22, 2020 at 9:04 am

we could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it, if it were not the earth where the same flowers come up again every spring that we used to gather with our tiny fingers as we sat lisping to ourselves on the grass, the same hips and haws on the autumn hedgerows, the same redbreasts that we used to call ‘God’s birds’ because they did no harm to the precious crops. What novelty is worth that sweet monotony where everything is known and loved because it is known?

And each home-flight-return it’s clearer.


In 100, by Nora on July 9, 2020 at 10:47 am

snaking dust-warm slot canyons to make richard serra jealous, pictographs, jumping sweaty into frigid lakes, scrabbling on slickrock, underwhelming driveway fireworks and benignly restrictive utah liquor laws, an oblong, yellow moonrise over sagey breeze, like a huge plate rising over the edge of the horizon, obliterating the gathering dusting of stars, greedily but evenly shared plates on a dark porch, music tinnily intruding from a spotifying cracked iphone, dusty legs on creaky floorboards and papery-thin cottons thrown over sun-warmed arms in a lazy attempt at shielding from the finally-cooling air, shivery rustles through the brush and grasses, bees now silent. 


In 100, by Nora on July 8, 2020 at 10:44 am

sitting on a shady porch in the lazy-warm sage-imbued breeze, looking at an absurd set of burnished and crumbling rock formations mesa-ing into the distance, monumental and wise but also constantly changing, bare, teva-imprinted sun-drenched feet, scrapes and bruises happily reminding my body of long childhood summers, when looking at plants and stars and bugs took up maybe 40% of my time; my laptop tries not to spoil the effect, obsequiously offering Google Sheets, wikipedia, and, as I compile a presentation about a convertible 18th-century walking stick/flute/oboe, an instrument for aristocratic pleasure gardens (ones so unlike my own, current one).

all the way west

In 100, by Nora on July 1, 2020 at 12:43 pm

it’s the second half of the day so i’m facing the sun, and when it dips between the cotton-candy-colored crenellated eaves and crinolined crests of bush and divis and golden gate, it glances off that supposed-to-be-covered bottom half of my face. i trail it, trace it, whether it knows it or not. i follow it into the redolent park, where it counterintuitively hides itself behind towering, alien eucalypta dripping with microclimate nasturtia, berries winking to burst. pleasant-surprise sand makes the shady path slower and softer, and when i find the sun again i’m at the end. all the way west.

for a minute there

In 100, by Nora on June 21, 2020 at 7:14 am

a disturbing dream wakes me up, just slightly too warm in the bed, 6am hazy, too-bright-already sunday in a san francisco june. the fog is folding in, sluicing down the bowl of the east bay, emanating from a gently throbbing sun, obscured two layers back in the fog, an unwrapped duvet, a creamy but ephemeral composite, creeping through the spires and guard-wires of the bridge, imperceptibly, caressing its laddered peaks as wisps of backlit fluff drift past from the south, gathering and consolidating all around (physics as a conspiratorial, social function) until the glass box around me is suddenly – afloat.

a new grove

In 100, by Nora on June 14, 2020 at 12:17 pm

I’d never find my way back here on my own – if I follow someone else all the cardinal directions vacate my senses, as if they were actually a reflection of my volition, of my body making its own choices – a grove somewhere deep in the park, eucalyptus-battered sunlight falling into a deep basin of incongruous reeds, lying fully flat on a sun-warmed fallen trunk, base of my skull not uncomfortably wedged against an aborted branch nub, a freudian chaise longue made of crumbly red bark. For the first time in months, I feel myself, my own self, unguarded scream-laughing self.

lemon sunlight

In 100, by Nora on April 1, 2020 at 1:09 pm

the feeling of the late march sunlight is like butter, or lace: delicate, so soft that it’s almost tasteless or weightless, so much so that it takes a few moments for the feeling to register, not urgent. it gently makes its presence known along the bottom of my jaw, along the outer fold of my right ear: the impression of the heat is like a curl of meyer lemon rind, like the curve of a little wing, of her little avian friends who flash by saying hello to her, trailing the smell of lightly damp soil, redwood, olive, cypress, oak.


In 100 on March 31, 2020 at 10:22 pm

The idea of going to a house party right now gives me the heeby-jeebies. Imagine it- humans… all around you – flagrant energies whizzing from every corner. 20 pairs of unwashed hands pulling from a single bowl of crunchy chips. Over in the corner, three friends shamelessly double dipping and digging their used cutlery into pulled pork.

And then there’s that one dude. The popular guy cruising from group to group, a super-connector, slowly making his way towards you, his hands reaching out…

Yikes! Give me the great indoors! Predictable climates. Lots of soap. Asynchronous communication. And quality time with me.