Saret Pizza

Lebanese people of a certain age can often be found expressing their frustration at the sheer audacity of the accumulation of circumstance with two half-moon gestures encircling an invisible drain, indicating the metaphorical girth of just how badly or how far the matter’s gone. “Tekhnet.” It has become quite thick. Lebanese people of a slightly younger age will widen the gyre, indicating that matters are so out of hand that the axes have collapsed and the pipe has transmorphed into “pizza.” Two fingers on two hands in the shape of an L around a very large O, wlo, “saret pizza.” … Continue reading “Saret Pizza”

Year Zero in Review

“When the snake sits on the right The truth is always the anti-venom The snake sits on the left The truth is always the anti-venom The snake sits on the right The truth is always the anti-venom The snake sits on the left.” x x x At the start of this year, I wrote about a question that someone asked me: about the word I’d choose as the masthead for the year to be. A word was spoken in my ear as clear and as distinct as any I would assume resounds in a revelation, & that voice urged: “wholeness.” … Continue reading “Year Zero in Review”

Resurrecting The Matrix

I’ve seen some grumbling headlines about Matrix 4 and I really couldn’t care less what the fundamental subject/hyperobject of the film itself has to say, but here’s what I feel like sharing today: this is a film for a very particular kind of person. Maybe you were planning to meet up with school friends at the cinema, but no one had a cellphone so they ended up heading there early and seeing something silly like You’ve Got Mail, or whatever it was, so you watched The Matrix by yourself and had your tiny brain blown. Maybe, some years later, in … Continue reading “Resurrecting The Matrix”

The Meaning of 888

For years, a running joke I told was that I was born on Antichristmas—June 25, the symbolic antipode of Christmas Day. And while the season’s greetings I text my friends have become a lot less sarcastic, I am beginning to see a lesson in the turning of that wheel, again & again, and the spiral path it’s made. As a species we seem to be formed by contrast. “Kikhhh,” the Lebanese mother will sound out to the child who has tried to taste something he’d picked up off the ground, establishing his boundary between clean and unclean. If this line … Continue reading “The Meaning of 888”

The Meaning of Six Six Six

And what spot does X mark? X is you and I, the coming together of diagonals—an intersection and ideal symbol for the very search for meaning. X can mean the unknown variable or the buried loot at the center of a treasure map; X is both a placeholder and a destination—a deliberate holding pattern, or, perhaps, a refusal to land on familiar terms. In our cultural consciousness, we have Generation X, The X-Files, and Malcom X. Let your eyes shift back & forth between these correspondences. Contemplate their polarities—if strange patterns emerge, what you are now experiencing is what Umberto … Continue reading “The Meaning of Six Six Six”

The Meaning of 1, 2, 3

Knowing thyself can serve a practical purpose as well; it’s a shorthand that short-circuits the rookie writer’s evergreen anxiety: how to tell a story that is not a long series of introductions introducing more introductions. I-dentity draws the “I”—a line in the sand—and brings the point to focus. I am traveling with another; this is my story. And yet, as with all quick-fixes, identity begs more questions than it answers. Where exactly is the starting line? At a recent staff retreat, I came ill-prepared to a team-building session with a scrapbook as my story-prompt that I planned to turn into … Continue reading “The Meaning of 1, 2, 3”

The Meaning of Zero

What is the meaning of life? If I were trying to be funny, I’d respond to that question with a “yes.” Because, yes, that is exactly it—meaning is the “what” of life. We seek it, we make it, we unmake it & remake it—we are compositional beings all the way down. Even when rejecting meaning, as in the convulsions of postmodern nihilism, we are reacting to that very same “what”—what? “Why, it’s nothing,” comes the answer. The what is no-thing and so—wait for it—that “so”? That’s meaning. If you are reading this, you are making sense of it under the … Continue reading “The Meaning of Zero”

INTRODUCING INCONJUNCT

I want to tell you about a little project called @INCONJUNCT. But first, a few words about “inconjunction,” a technical term from astrology that’s neither “conjunction” nor “opposition.” It might not even be anything at all as, indeed, it wasn’t for ancient writers like Ptolemy who called it a “non-relationship.” To understand the concept, you may want to hold in your mind a certain metaphysic of cosmic influence—as above, so below, etc—but even that is not entirely necessary; you may choose to follow the symbolic geometry instead: “Dividing a circle into two parts creates a diameter and two points on a circumference separated … Continue reading “INTRODUCING INCONJUNCT”

#AdventWord 2021

It’s November and in a couple of weeks, it’ll be Advent, the countdown to Christmas that for the past five or six years, I’ve marked by participating in #AdventWord in some shape or form. I looked forward to this time and task much as I look forward to the long stretch of autumn rituals and feasts. Last year felt strange, as though Advent had arrived too quickly or something; I wasn’t ready, but I was still inspired. This year feels worse. I thought that maybe I’ll gain motivation by meticulously planning what I want to say; I looked over the word list … Continue reading “#AdventWord 2021”

Hexed Writing

I heard about a professional poet who was fired for her poetic rumination on the irrelevance of poetry the other day. I didn’t dig too deeply into the full story; I wanted to avoid taking away from the poetry of that brut fact—a profession, arguably founded on the two-faced angst of expression, closing ranks when foundational angst is expressed, does feel pretty two-faced, to me. The clickbait writes itself: from rumination to ruination—and you won’t believe what happened next. Wild Words, HEQ #5 (Read more…) This is a piece that came to me in a flash a couple of days … Continue reading “Hexed Writing”