The Looking Glass

TV image, first ever, 1926
It was how
we decided to see ourselves,
tailored to a fit
of original distortion,
which, over time,
would be clarified
to a point
of unimaginable error
and distraction.


(First ever TV image, 1926)
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Rending on High

The angel is not nice,
nor sweet as pie in the sky
or Disneyified to package
the ecstasy as something
more benignly palatable,
no, the angel is radically
explicit, unfiltered,
and true to its cause,
the swiftest
deepest means
to ennoble rapture
with no mortal recourse.


(Image: Bernini’s “Ecstasy of St. Teresa”)
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The Calling

To live by a code,
riveted to Fate’s decree–
sword dipped in moonlight.
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Ryokan Was Here

Is it lonely, hmmm?
Single tree fondled by the
moist fingers of mist.



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A Girl Goes Into the Forest

Review of Pel Alford Pursell’s A Girl Goes Into the Forest.
In the dream I was sitting with my mother in a restaurant lobby, waiting to be seated for dinner. The hostess came over, asked me my name, which I confirmed, then told me to follow her — I had a phone call. At the hostessing station, I took the black phone with the cord and on the other end of the line was my sister’s voice: tremulous, distraught. She told me she was lost, could I come get her? I asked her where she had gotten lost. She said she couldn’t remember, and when I asked her what was around her right now, what did she see, she told me that she saw trees. Lots and lots of tall trees. She said she was in a forest and she was beginning to panic because someone had told her that if she was there after it got dark it was going to be really hard to find her way out. And it was starting to get dark. She begged me to find her before it was too late, and then the line went dead. When I awoke from the dream, I understood that my sister, who in this reality had been mired in the living hell of drug addiction, had been calling out to me from the forest in which she found herself, her soul-being, lost and desperate, without a single bread crumb to orient her movement and recovery.
Peg Alford Pursell's A Girl Goes Into the Forest is reviewed at Riot Material magazine, LA's premier art magazine for the radically leftThis, the unmappable forest, a vegetative X-ray detailing the hinterlands of one’s interior, belongs to a place outside of time. This is where Dante eternally carves Beatrice’s name into granite bark with a bloodied fingernail; where Red Riding Hood, remixed in a narcoleptic loop, repeatedly falls asleep on a bed of pine needles and dreams of axes. This is also the limnal territory which Peg Alford Pursell stalks in her new book: A Girl Goes Into the Forest.
Read the full review at Riot Material.
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Cuckoo for Cinema

film reel
As a lifelong fan and lover of cinema, with movies of all kinds being a nourishing staple in my diet, I am excited to announce that I am going to be directing a short film I wrote, titled: Ballad of the Cuckoos. An existential torch song meets Laurel and Hardy in the Twilight Zone. Or: A man and pregnant woman find themselves trapped in a children’s room, with no memory of who they are and how they got there. What ensues is a surrealist romance in which full lives are created inside a single-room universe.
The film will star Rita O’ Connell and Clint Murphy, and I am grateful to have the experience and technical savvy of longstanding industry professional, Troy Paff, who will be the film’s Director of Photography and Camera-man. The film score will comprise original compositions from my Brooklyn brother and childhood pal, Anthony Distefano, an amazing musician and composer, whose haunting and etheric soundscapes were tailor-made for cinema. Cuckoos will also feature the bittersweet dreamfolk of Taos-based band, Art of Flying.
We will be launching a fundraising campaign at the end of June, as it takes a village to raise indie projects into the light, and in this case it will take a village of cuckoos to wing along with us and help raise our baby from the conceptual ground floor to the big screen. Our goal is to shoot the film late summer, and we will be assembling a tech/production crew, which will include a set designer who will be constructing our customized, one-room “set” from scratch. There’s gonna be a lot of folks involved, and a lot of creativity shared, in making this cinematic Cuckoo fly, and I am psyched for the process and its many cycles and phases.
I leave you with the fool’s wisdom dispensed by Mr. Ray Bradbury many moons ago: “If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go into business, because we’d be cynical. Well, that’s nonsense. You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.”
May your wing-building and cliff-diving be graced by spirit and charged by heart. And may you become brightly, radically, unrepentantly you. God & goddessbless!
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The Source

Their hearts, registered
as infinite beacons,
have gone gently
and luminously into nights
not so good and pitch-black, braving
flytrap folds and god-awful rows
to soothe, mend and
restore the bruised vitals
of daughters and sons;
they go, infused with bright rage,
green force driving home
nocturnes and hymns–I will sing for you,
child, in your gravest moments of fear,
when mirrors forcecast darkly,
follow my notes, gonged and trilled,
lisped and cracking, a gospel rush
of crumbs guiding you, measure by measure,
into the milkdeep arms of safe harbor.
When lost, we set our compass
to Mother, the truest needle forever pointing North,
a fixed constellation
wedding orphans
to an infinite charge,
how light travels
at the incalculable speed
of love.
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Ray Bradbury Presents…

and again
on the way
to Imagination’s standard
and grinned
while risking
it all
on the first
and last word.
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Nine Lives Minus One

Primer Cumpleanos
For its last supper
the cat asked for a cupcake–
Christ, look at that flame!


(Artwork by Conrad Cooper)



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Paradise Found

Decisive moment,
revised throughout melting years–
Love can be stunning.
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