i woke to the voices of unseen crows at 3:03 ante meridiem

crying out, cawing out

i know the voices of my dear familiars,

and this is unnatural

unsettling an already-unsettled human woman

these crows see me unsettled on my feet

the gods see me unsettled in my dreams

crying out, calling out in my wilderness

i sit here in this dark room in my white chair by this open window looking south into the black night

Continue reading “unseen”

song[s] of my self: epigenetic lamentations

During the summer of 2017 – a time of significant change in my life – including the rupture of my marriage, an upcoming milestone birthday, and a relocation to a quiet rural place with dark skies and an abundance of fauna and flora — I literally heard myself: I had unconsciously begun a meditative practice of singing or humming verses and melodies of sorrow, wonder, gratitude — or of the mundane. They were autonomic and presumably original, lamentations.

Serendipitously, I retroactively encountered a May 2017 piece published in Yes! magazine about the revival and history of “lament singing” in Finland. To find that I was actually participating in a Finnish tradition that I had never experienced or heard of — but that was somehow still in me — in some cellular, trans-generational or ancestral place — felt like a bridge to my lineage — to all my unknown women-kin.

The lyrics and tunes occurred spontaneously over several months, and I often automatically repeated the same one over and over while working, cleaning, cooking, gardening, walking or driving. I sung or hummed them mostly while alone, but sometimes they would emerge aloud in public places — I didn’t realize that I was in song or know how long I had been doing it.

People who laugh, cry, sing and talk to themselves aloud in the street are not “crazy — we are comforting, raging, celebrating, mocking and mourning ourselves, our lives, our experiences and the world.

The lamentations seem similar to freestyle rap or improvised jazz — where if the flow is interrupted or one becomes too self-aware or self-conscious, the rhyme, run, beat, cadence or magic can be lost.

I’ve long wished that I had recorded myself singing or humming these songs when they were so reliable and prolific for me — I treasure those impromptu lyrics and melodies that buoyed me during that hard time — even though I can’t remember them.

My songs, which sung themselves out — over hours, days or weeks are now mostly gone — but occasionally one of them will revisit me — like a surprise visit from a long-lost, dear friend. Recently, I had the epiphany that maybe these lamentations intentionally – as in metaphysically – resist being recorded or remembered — that maybe they’re meant to be ephemeral and recalled epigenetically only as the authentic and urgent need to soothe, praise, thank, confess or cope arises.

“In Finland, the ancient musical tradition known as lament singing is seeing a revival. In the past, the custom was observed at funerals, weddings, and during times of war. But today, practitioners have a modern application for it: musical therapy. By providing an opportunity to process emotions through song, lament singing can confer mental health benefits to modern practitioners.” – Tristan Ahtone

“How an Ancient Singing Tradition Helps People Cope With Trauma in the Modern World”
Yes! Magazine

Song of Myself, excerpt from verse 6,
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

I perceive after all so many uttering tongues,

And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths for nothing.

I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men and women,

And the hints about old men and mothers, and the offspring taken soon out of their laps.

What do you think has become of the young men? and old

And what do you think has become of the women and children?

They are alive and well somewhere,

The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,

And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it

And ceas'd the moment life appear'd

All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,

And to die is different from what any one supposed

and luckier.

stop praying for what you want

the birds’ choir
is a mockery outside my window, eight different species on the sill — eight — for gods’ sake!

these days when the
Sun’s arc is long
and the soil is warming for the season and permanently

i am in my bed with lead bones
annoyed that i woke up again, and guilty with ungratefulness about it

my steady lament is sung out loud — but still unheard
i counted my mistakes like sheep, to sleep again
they didn’t wander away though
they stay close to their shepherd, always

they say Death comes in threes and that’s true
but it still hasn’t chosen me
instead, conscripting two complacent men, known to me, thirty-six, fifty three, in one week’s time — why???
while i’m out here volunteering for the cause
it cruelly searches elsewhere to complete their trio

of course i’m still fucking here
the gods won’t give you what you pray for

courage, love, fidelity, life, death

they’re full of motherfuckery
they know exactly what i — and what you, want most — of all

so they sent these birds here to taunt me

so they keep me here to taunt you

Continue reading “stop praying for what you want”

Ƈɾօղҽ chronicles: from the inner city to the outer rural

a fotografic series of bucolia

night falls

comfrey: a mf’ing show-off

Earth tones 🌍

2023 bird house crafted from 2022 bottle/bird house/calabash gourd harvest
“who could ask for anything more?“

Continue reading “Ƈɾօղҽ chronicles: from the inner city to the outer rural”

soul mate

sit with me, straddle me
don’t say a word
hear my heart with your heart
let mine hear yours

look at me, into me
like a Magic Eye
until the real me comes into your focus
our definitions no longer concealed

listen to me, read me
my words are my knowable mind
come, know what i know
and be known by me

lay on top of me
our mouths open
breathe me in slowly and deeply
let my pneuma impregnate you

i want to make you the father of my art

Continue reading “soul mate”

a roof with a view | baptism by kettling

Eleven years ago this week, ahead of the NATO Summit in Chicago in May 2012, I wrote messages with spray paint on the roof of my home in my Portage Park, Chicago neighborhood for world leaders to read as they traveled in military helicopters passing low and loud overhead en route to the Summit venue at McCormick Place.

(there’s always enough money for war)

On May 20, 2012, I also attended the mass protest and marched in opposition to NATO and its global hegemony and destruction.


Also on that day, in one of the most profoundly moving and humbling experiences of my life, while standing shoulder to shoulder with thousands of others, I listened to personal stories of war — of killing, death, rape, horror, pain, guilt and grief — from both U.S./NATO soldiers and the victims of those wars.

I witnessed from just yards away, as Jacob George, by then a warrior, no longer a soldier, along with warrior Scott Olsen (a former Marine, Iraq War veteran, Occupy veteran, and Oakland Police terror survivor) and 43 other war veterans-turned-warriors tossed their military service medals across the CPD police-enforced, Secret Service barricade toward the protected U.S./NATO generals, the policy-makers, and world “leaders” comfortably ensconced and insulated at McCormick Place at the NATO Summit in a gathering of war-makers.

“A warrior is someone who takes his orders from the heart, not some outside force." 
- Jacob George

The U.S./NATO war generals, in cowardice, would not agree to meet in person with the men and women who served in their wars and conflicts to ceremoniously accept the return of those unwanted, inglorious war service medals. Those medals were publicly rebuked and surrendered to the asphalt at Michigan Avenue and Cermak Road nonetheless.

on September 17th, 2014 
Jacob George
died by suicide.

After the act of disavowing the war medals, We, The People were told to disburse and vacate the area — when we didn’t — and attempted to march forward toward McCormick Place to encounter the World’s warmakers face to face — or at least be seen and heard by them, several hundreds were kettled by Chicago cops and Illinois State Police — resulting in resistance by We, The People and physical and verbal clashes, police violence and protester arrests.

Chicago cops at the behest of Mayor Rahm Emanuel insulated the NATO warmakers from being held accountable by the People who came from across the globe to confront them with the deaths of civilians, the occupation of foreign lands and the trillions of dollars spent on conflict, war, destruction and death, and with personal accounts and statistics of military rape, PTSD and
veteran death-by-suicide.
Continue reading “a roof with a view | baptism by kettling”

life support: the breath of words

We write to heighten our own awareness of life. We write to lure and enchant and console others. We write to serenade our lovers.

We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection.

We write, like Proust, to render all of it eternal, and to persuade ourselves that it is eternal. We write to be able to transcend our life, to reach beyond it.

We write to teach ourselves to speak with others, to record the journey into the labyrinth.

We write to expand our world when we feel strangled, or constricted, or lonelyIf you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write because our culture has no use for it.

When I don’t write, I feel my world shrinking. I feel I am in prison. I feel I lose my fire and my color. It should be a necessity, as the sea needs to heave, and I call it breathing.“

~ Anaïs Nin

Dream Gerund: being

Arte Digitora derived from the poems: “On Doing” & “Dream Gerund”

a poem by a self-described juggernaut

On Doing

I have a compulsion to do.

But sometimes/often just want recline.

And the softness [and] of being. Pulled tight into a cocoon & the doing hushed out of me and filled with prairie definitions.

My untold untyped Great/lake fantasies.

Fallen grass tufts and waterproof boot slosh and plant names and hours of dendrochronology with fantas/tical idealized notions of rubbing and human collision, of being.

July nothingness would be a dream come true I close my eyes to it and do and do and do.

~ juggernaut

On July 19, 2022, upon noting the correspondence between the words “doing”, “being” and “dream” in the above poem and the published poem “Dream Gerund” both written by the same poet — I created a digital derivative work – works which I now refer to by the neologism that I conceived:

Arte Digitora.

a digital derivative work (Arte Digitora) created on July 19, 2022 from shared media of the poem “On Doing” and photoshopped with printed text from two poems by the same author published in memotoallemployees, 1995)

I derived the new piece from digital media of the poem “On Doing” shared with me via Instagram direct messaging on July 10, 2022 — and photoshopped it with photos of printed text excerpted from the poems “Dream Gerund” (p. 23) and “Revere The Police, Disdain The Citizens” (p.35) published in the poetry collection book memotoallemployees (1995), which was gifted to me by the author-publisher.


the May plow

on the day they plow
the fields clear of last year’s stover
i stay quiet and invisible, indoors

there is a seen and unseen frantic attempt at evacuation, an exodus of

snakes, turtles, frogs, toads, rabbits, moles, voles, possums, weasels, marmots, skunks, raccoons, squirrels, mice, rats,

evicted without notice, again

geese and sandhill crane nests destroyed

winter graves defiled

and newly-born deer crushed, plowed over and under

/this, for corn to fatten confined

pigs, cows, chickens, turkeys, salmon, catfish, tilapia

for human gluttony/

if i just stay quiet,
quieter than the snake and mole i saw yesterday,
if i just stay inside, unseen, all day ‘til Sun’s set, like the possum i saw last night,
then kin will seek refuge, find sanctuary here

to catch their breath

some of us have forgotten that they too breathe

and fear, and wail,

run!!! come, here!!!
stay, please, because the road beyond also brings death!

i put all my faith into telepathy today

the gulls arrive
chasing and taunting the tractor driver,

he’s no farmer
his hands never touch soil or seed

a machine operating a machine guided by satellite

if only the gulls would pluck out his eyes when he dismounts

if only, i would.

Continue reading “the May plow”