Vagina Dialogue

This entry is part 23 of 29 in the series Conversari


A college roommate once confessed
he fantasized about growing a vagina
on his shoulder: It would be

so handy, right there
whenever he needed to whisper
in its big wet ear.

John loved redheads & disliked feminists.
One woman informed me
he had “bedroom eyes.”

Where would the uterus go? I asked.
He laughed. It wouldn’t need one—
it would have me.

What about the pillow talk?
It would sing me to sleep, he said,
with its pulse of surf.


See Rachel’s photographic response, “Salty.”

Sugar Pill

This entry is part 16 of 34 in the series Small World


Is it or isn’t it?
The sugar pill isn’t saying.
The line that bisects it
was intentionally left blank.

It’s a go sign, perhaps,
or a one-bead rosary.
Its zero gives birth
to all other numbers.

Since opposites attract within
bounds of reason & good breeding,
it must be in love
with a salt tablet.

It can be anything
the salt wants,
including another condiment
that cures vagueness.

Who do you say
that it is—
a prophet or the platter
for his savory head?

Like a double agent,
it forgets who it’s working for.
It’s either about to smile
or about to weep.

Yes, or No

“When the bee comes to your house, let her have beer.
You may want to visit the bee’s house someday.” ~ Congolese

Or it may be that the honey in the cells
has foamed to froth, has risen above
walls that could no longer contain
that sweet— So the hand that tried
to stay the overflow withdrew, gold-
sheathed. May such abundance visit
your heart today: not rue, not pity.


In response to Via Negativa: A beer thinker's guide to life.

The future of copyright copyrestriction

Mike Linksvayer:

Although it is often said that a work is protected by copyrestriction, this is strictly not true. A work is protected through the existence of lots of copies and lots of curators.


Free and open source software has demonstrated the ethical and practical value of the opposite of copyrestriction, which is not its absence, but regulation mandating the sharing of copies, specifically in forms suitable for inspection and improvement. This regulation most famously occurs in the form of source-requiring copyleft, e.g., the GNU General Public License (GPL), which allows copyrestriction holders to use copyrestriction to force others to share works based on GPL’d works in their preferred form for modification, e.g., source code for software. However, this regulation occurs through other means as well, e.g., communities and projects refusing to curate and distribute works not available in source form, funders mandating source release, and consumers refusing to buy works not available in source form.


This entry is part 35 of 47 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Summer 2012


Today, ambiguous rain. Clouds that screen the view— dark, light, broody, indecisive. Through my fourth floor office window at noon, the screech of tires carrying from the boulevard. Water scales and fish-tails down the panes. Who sees our faces from this height, behind refracting layers? I too am often pulled in several directions, though this is how most of it should go— the daily work taken up and borne, repeated, repeating. Long hours, hot taste in the mouth, the tremble in the tired and fevered wrists. My children’s godmother writes: This is how we made our way: one suitcase in each hand, an envelope with letters of introduction; a nondescript address, a name. A taxi ride at midnight after a 21-hour flight. The driver pointing out the monument— a spire gleaming across the river; bridge, underpass, and finally a chain-linked driveway at the destination: Good luck, lady, this as far as I can take you. At such an hour the long view of years has not yet kindled. Bills and change, counted out. Pockets full of change that can be used at pay phones, even for long distance; that could buy fruit from a corner store, toiletries, water. The little metal wheels clattering as you pulled your luggage in the dark.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.


This entry is part 15 of 34 in the series Small World


of the realm

even when plucked
from a magician’s ear

or exchanged
for better weather

its very ununiqueness
gives it value

its modularity
makes it fit to toss

edged in ridges
like a worn gear

it’s what one does
to new phrases

hoping they’ll
gain currency

mettle tested
between the teeth

unreal moon
eyelid for a corpse