The Unregistered: Glances Toward and Away

PANK, June 2019

Glance #1 If looks could kill, goes the expression, and in fact they can and do. To glance means to glide off a struck thing, to strike obliquely. We are talking about weapons now: to dart, to shoot, and about light: a blinding shine. Men have a way of glancing at women that lets us […]


Introduction to Focus: #MeToo

American Book Review, May 2019

I will never forget where I was when the Senate voted to confirm a twisted, white, rapist to the highest court in our nation.  On October 6, 2018, my “#MeToo as Literary Form” panel at the &Now Festival of Innovative Writing assembled to address the very brand of predation epitomized on the national stage.


Consider the Sex Offender

The Spectacle (reprinted in The Notre Dame Review 48, Aug 2018), No. 4, 2017

I don’t think of it as I’m driving my 12-year-old to her first sleep-away camp, two and a half hours north of our home in Michigan. It comes to me that night as I’m falling asleep, in the dreamy limbo just before sleep, in the enchanted hour of exhaustion effortlessly turning to panic, in the […]


It’s Gonna Rain, An Essay

CURA: a Literary Magazine of Art and Action , No. 17, 2016

The largest porch in the world wraps around the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Michigan. From this porch and its hundreds of rocking chairs, as you look out over the great Lake Huron, and say it looks like the ocean, a sense that anything is possible deepens the sun spreading on blue water. For […]


Ventifacts (excerpt)

Conjunctions, 64

We name our winds for elsewhere, and ride them like a song forward into an aromatic future. Yet the time wind inhabits is too slow and spacious for the human eye; its undulations span generations and its unrelenting nature cannot begin to comprehend our puny endurance. An immensity of alien time pulls at the lithic […]


Cruise Ship and Target

Poor Claudia, 2016

When Netscape took over the landscape, we had to remind ourselves about the cure for seasickness. Look up and out as your screen turns into old-fashioned glass, invaded by white clouds and rainbow panoramas. What happens when sublime, mesmeric smears of open sea and wind get squeezed into the palm of your hand?


On Some Teachers

A Manner of Being: Writers on their Mentors, University of Massachusetts Press, 2015

It’s not that Athena never had a mother, but her father would like us to think so. Athena—a patriarchal displacement of the trinity Goddess Athene-Metis-Medusa who predated her—sprung full-grown from the head of Zeus. She was a thought that materialized, allergic to interiority, and she knew how to throw her own thoughts out through the […]



The Petroleum Manga: A Project by Marina Zurkow , Punctum Books, 2014

Plastic plummeted us into a collective dream, a heritage of magic we thought was dead, coming to life in perplexed new forms. We projected ourselves into plastic’s material will to change. Yet plastic is, Roland Barthes notes, “the first magical substance which consents to be prosaic….for the first time, artifice aims at something common.”