Friday, September 17, 2021



Dear Curious,

I think you are ready.  I know you are ready.  If you don't like it, you can find some other feet to give those roller skates to!  It's been 1200 days for me, and tomorrow could be day number one for you!  This week I am on the injured list, and so my daily skating has been appallingly brief, but I really look forward to it, because it's kind of a habit that I really love, and while I am malingering, I am imagining the not so distant future, when I will be out and skating the fresh pavement again.  There is a beautiful new parking lot not far from here, with little swales, and not too much tree litter.  I love to set my teeth, roll up and into the shallow ditches and jump a little bit, at the crest of the thing.  

If you are not quite yet ready, check out Skatie and Appelusa; perhaps these two lovely skaters can convince you where I have failed.

If you are already skating your garage, your kitchen, your side porch, and your nearby basketball court, then good for you and I hope I see you out there!

Monday, September 13, 2021

Cello Sweets.


Dear Secret Aspiration,

I have your cello song of the day right here.  I hope you enjoy it.

One day, one day I will get myself a cello, and I will make these kind of singing sounds myself.  Yes, it will be a kind of anti-climax, because I have none of the skills or patience necessary to play 'good,' but I know I can play bad, and I am sure that it will be fulfilling to play the cello, no matter how bad.  Why, you wonder?  Take a look at that embrace.  Look at that relationship, that huge hollow breathing space, which can only be filled by hands on the neck and the bow.  Why would one resist such an intimacy?

And no, I do not want lessons, I want cellos.  One for you and one for me.  A cello in every hall closet.  And I will not play it, but I will make sound, and there is no music without sound.  

Monday, September 6, 2021

fall back in circles


Dear Lovelies,

A song for you, for certain; and an update.  You know I am trying to quit my job at A & G (Assumptions and Generalities), and I have cut back my hours, but we are hung up in battle over the severance package.

Leaving, you see, positions me outside of the social circles that seemed so vibrant to me, but have paled and frayed since the plague.   I keep thinking, though, of the mystics, of how much is possible.  I think of "radical unknowing."  While I am trying to chip away at institutions from the inside, I am also fooling myself into thinking that an institution is big enough for me and future-filled.  It isn't, really, and my days are numbered, just like yours.

Meanwhile, the question, as always, is what to do today?  Today, I will tidy up, sort things into piles, correspond, and roller skate.  It should be a fine day for it!

Thursday, September 2, 2021

The word.


Letterpress print by artist Sam Winston.

Dear Letters,

Are you busy forming words today?  Making concrete poetry, I hope?  Here is your song for today, and please also enjoy this example of concrete poetry, titled, Fingers Remember, by poet Marilyn Nelson.

       Long     fing-     ers,       how
       signals   flow      up         them
        from      tip       and       finger-
         print      all       the           way
          up         the      arm        and
          the       neck     to          what
          ever     magic   light       takes
          flame   so       touch      ignites
          as the   palm    smooths    warm
         from one person to another, passes
         sunlight one skin has taken in, which
          the other receives like thirsty soil gulps
          rain and infinite generations of ancestors
           yawn awake asking if it’s time for the line
to         miracle up a new life. They were so young,
and     innocence is a birth gift intended all along
to be    opened with love, promises, and blessing
as you enter the future that only exists if you live
into it. His name was John. His moving muscles
 formed shapes she had not met before. Green
  time laid its fragranced landscape before them.
   So they entered. Married. Irene came soon.
   At eighteen, Gussie was widowed, with a
    toddler older than her youngest siblings.
     The family’s hand opened and closed
       in welcome. But fingers remember.

Source: Poetry (December 2019)

Monday, August 23, 2021

Friday, August 20, 2021

the waiting


Dear Typists and Sketchbook Users,

My typewriter was out; getting cleaned and repaired.  It's back now, and I used it to finish up my sketchbook to be sent to the Brooklyn Art Library.  They have this great sketchbook project, see, where you can purchase a little empty book, fill it up, and send it back to their shelves where it can live, waiting for someone to look at it.  

It's a beautiful notion, and I hope someone will go and find my little book.  I put some velvet on the cover, imagining that would be nice for this person to feel when they pick my book up off the shelf.  I do wonder, though, if anyone will pick it up.  I mean, they have an awful lot of books there!  

It's enough, though, for me, to imagine it there, waiting, for someone's hands.  

Tuesday, August 17, 2021



Dear Dodoistes,

Did y'all see this sky a few nights ago?  All these little chunks of cloud, set out in rows?  So lovely!

Friday, August 13, 2021

New toy.


Dear All,

Think of it is an upgrade to your service here on the Dodo.  It's my first digital camera, and it's a new toy.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

House of the Illustrious.


Dear Radio Dodo Listeners,

Here is your song for today.  

Now, while that is playing, take a look at these sculptures of Nancy Rubins'.  I can't decide if I like them or not.  Whatever, you may say, who cares if I like them or not?  Well, that's a good point, but I am still looking to be moved by artwork, even after so much water under the bridge of meaning, the market, and whatever 'self expression' is.  (Now I think they call it 'personal narrative,' which we do care about, but only in as much as we can say we are listening.  I don't think we are supposed to want to make one ourselves; or, if we do, can we please just do it quietly?)

Now, while you decide if you like those sculptures, you can think about this photo of Josephine Baker.  What I am thinking, is this: what is it about this photo that makes it belong here, now?  I am not sure why it wants to be here, but I read a short while ago that she lived in a castle, and I have wanted to tell you so.  (If you would prefer, you can make a very short personal narrative instead of reading about the château.  This should be no more than a page long, very quiet, and written in pencil so history can erase it easily if finds your narrative inconvenient in the future).

À la prochaine!

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Good Fortune!


Dear Radio-Dodo Heads,

My DJ just played this amazing version of one my favorite songs, and I ran to send it to you, post haste!  Play it loud and see you soon!

Sunday, August 1, 2021

lost stone


Dear Shangri-La,

I had a thing I was saving for you.  A thing about the beauty and perfection of a stone.  It meant that the stone was the symbol for all things made by processes of the world.  By extrapolation, it meant we (you, me, the stone) were all beautiful and perfect, not because we thought we were, but because processes had made us so.  Made it so.

All that is what I think it meant, anyway, because like I said, I lost it.  I thought there was a slip of paper marking it.  It's in Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse; so if you really want to, you can go searching for it.  I decided that it's importance was better served through my telling than my searching.

But, I don't feel all that confident about that, and it might be just another miss.  The book's world is very complete, very livable, while you are there, anyway.  But once you leave it, you notice some fraying, or maybe I have frayed?  It's a pretty parable, but don't you already have a drawer full?  I do, and I am trying harder than ever to internalize the messages, the directions, the instructions, and the good advice of so many compelling and enchanting voices.  

In any case, read this instead, if you are looking to read a thing:  Thick, by Tressie McMillan Cottom, because it will rock your tiny boat in a fabulous sea.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Just jealous.


Dear Radio Dodo Fans,

I got your letters- thank you; it means the world to me that you are listening.  I love that you are feeling this music, this sound, these words, with me.  Here is your song for today; it's one that really slays me, no matter who is singing it.  It's so immortally honest.

Here is another, if you feel like it, and another. And this one, too.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Hey, Sugar!


EVOLUTION  (2014) Brendan Jamison and Mark Revels.

250,000 sugar cubes. 130 x 480 x 360 cms.

Sugar Hill Museum of Art and Storytelling, Harlem, NYC

Dear Sweet,

It's been a long time between recipes here, but here is one I hope you will try:  Butter Mochi Cake, from Hawaii.  Whenever you read the words "from Hawaii" you are bound to bust out in sugary jingle song (if you had a television in the 1970's, anyway- and yes, I am aware of the destructive colonizing power of the sugar trade, but I am offering you this cake and this jingle with apologies for all of it).  When you are done singing, watch this tour of a C & H sugar factory, and then get back to your baking, if you choose to.  Or, watch another old ad for sugar, if you like.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021



Dear Today,

I have another trio of songs for you.  My DJ played them in just this order some time ago, and I have been planning to give them to you here.  They constitute a marvelous totality which I know you will enjoy!

Make it Easy

Go Home

Holy Lighter


Maybe you can't get enough, maybe?  Of Go Home?  Here are six more; if you only allow yourself one further, take the last one, and write me and tell me you were not overcome by the beauty of those voices.







Thursday, July 8, 2021

Identity Pie


Dear Friends,

Today I shall be sharing my secret recipe for Identity Pie.  It's a no recipe recipe, I guess, but as I said before, I want you to enjoy making yours, so feel free to measure exactly, or find another recipe for it.  In any case, this pie will only feed one, so you will have to get together with more folks if you want to make a dinner party out of it.  If it doesn't seem like much more than a list of things, that's because I am trying to include all the things that I did not when I was asked to make it before.

sitting around with a cup of coffee

watching birds, animals, plants, the sea

sewing things like clothes, pillows, stuffed mice

other needlework like knitting, crocheting, quilting, embroidering, weaving

baking bread each week

making fermented hot sauce

being in open spaces

buying lipstick

loving shoes and clothes and temporary tattoos

singing and playing guitar

speaking Spanish & French




taking photos




looking up words

playing solitary games

watching junky, old, television, with questionable white, male protagonists

liking chrome

hating cleaning

liking wine




cutting my hair

appearing knowledgeable

appearing interested

appearing polite


Monday, July 5, 2021



Dear Muttering,

Why do you or I matter?  Well, in geologic scale, we don't.  It's okay to say that.  No, it's actually quite good to say that.  Why?  As insurance against being used.  I don't want, in my desire to matter, to do a heap of unnecessary emotional labor, or to go around working for The Man, our Robot Overlords,  Capitalism and godknowswhat all garbage.  Just exactly why would I try to 'matter' in some ill-defined way which is controlled by the human construct of 'civilization.'  What, I say, might matter to a rabbit?  To a beetle?  A poppy?  A child?  A lightening strike?  A puddle of mud?

Yes, yes, I know, it sounds too romantic for our world of contemporary knowledge; it's just another way for you to put your head in the sand, you say.  But, I do feel that a map, a guideline, a test, is a very handy item to have as we travel through the seasons and years.

One thing I am going to use to shape my meaning and my mattering, is this mantra:  I will not be told to clean things.  I have a coffee table filled with magazines that tell me what to do, and most of the admonitions revolve around cleaning.  Declutter, degrease, simplify.   Exfoliate, shed, let go of.  Organize, dust, deep clean.  Store, fold, be mindful.

These actions do give a nice sense of being in charge, and they seem to need doing, so that's a nice feeling.  A feeling of mattering, a feeling of having control over dust, objects, wilted leaves.  But, mightn't it cause me to focus only on the dead and dying?  Are you simply, in life, making a mess or cleaning a mess?  That seems a bit thin, doesn't it?

Here I am at the end, again, and I still have not given a list of things that I like to think (pretend?) make me who I am.  Up next, the fourth and final episode in this discussion: baking an Identity Pie.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Not Doing


Dear Reader,

Recall our last discussion- on what we should do, and by extension, what we should not.  I am going to put some space here, in which you should consider the question, let it sink in; selah, in the musical pause sense.

Ready?  I will go first; I think we should try to do what we like, even though that will mean a certain amount of secrecy.  I would also add that I want to work to be less secret.  What does that mean, you ask?  I am not sure, but I think it means that I will tell you what I am thinking and feeling without filtering it so much that I mediate myself into your acceptance.  Hmm, that makes it sound like I am spoiling for a fight!  Maybe I am.

Okay, you next.  What should we do?

Recall also my pathetic wheel of identity, as I tried to craft a persona that said "I matter and this is why."  This topic will be broadened in our next meeting, titled, Mattering.

Monday, June 28, 2021

A case of The Shoulds.


Dear Betty,

I never knew, as a youth, while enjoying cooking and baking, that I was a part of the gender role wars.  I just liked it, and I didn't concern myself with the notion that I might be enslaving women with my pleasure in cooking.  I have asked myself many times since "what have I done?!"  And I have seen also that being good at something can often make you an object of envy and hatred.  And so, so what?  So I only cook for a very few people, and I keep it a dark secret that I enjoy it.  I don't go quite so far as to complain about cooking, but when pals start to talk about cooking, I don't join in the conversation, and I don't let on how much I know about reduction sauces, pâte à choux, or making tortillas.  

Recently, I was asked to use a little paper wheel with spaces to fill in the things that made up my 'identity.'  Well, like anyone would, I crafted this thing oh so carefully!  I kept out anything that might make me look house-wifey, or home-makery, or crafty;  everyone hates Martha Stewart Perfection, and creative, expressive women who are doing the 'real' work, women who are 'leaning in' do not have time for such things.  Consequently, this wheel was missing a lot of the things I like to do on it.  I picked only the most boyish and intellectual of the things I spend my time on.  I avoided anything that smacked of excess or obsession, and tried to stay inside the tidy lines of 'passion.'  I am not proud of my fabricated self as detailed in the identity wheel exercise, and looking at it, I didn't even like this safe, careful person I had built of six safe, careful hobbies.

And so, again.  I am enjoying (from a comfortable, safe distance, and behind my blind of anonymity), the shifting sands around cooking these days.  I hope you will read this article by Laura Shapiro about Sam Sifton's cookbook and popularity.  Shapiro has excellent criticisms, and worthwhile issues to consider.  I also sympathize with Sifton, and I enjoy his relentless positivity and cajoling.  He reminds me of these pages, in fact.  And so, I hope that I haven't, in my enthusiasm, produced a case of the 'shoulds' in you.  As in, you should cook without (or with) a recipe, or you should read the article mentioned above.

Watch for more on my favorite topic of Not Doing soon!

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Becoming one.


Ana Montiel

ECHO: Psychical Continuity Is Not a Given but Something Constructed

Acrylic on canvas, 95 x 99.5 inches, 2021.

Dear Listener,

Today, on Radio Dodo, a trio of songs on the theme of fading: into and away.  I bring these songs to you with great affection, and I imagine you out there, waiting to hear them.  But, maybe I am more like Marta Beckett, in my opera house, painting my audience on the wall.

To fade, away or into, has me recalling those times, which might be the best times, when your skin seems inseparable from the rain and air; or when you look out into the distance, and the landscape dissolves and expands through the space to meet you.

Not Fade Away

Bell Bottom Blues

Fade Into You

Don't you forget now, my love is bigger than a Cadillac.

Monday, June 21, 2021

an eyeful


Dear Simpatico,

Today I got an eyeful in my inbox!  Perspicacity was the name of the day.  One of the things that (as they say in journalism) 'landed' there was this word of the day, "myology" from one of my favorite internet things, AWAD.

I know you also will appreciate it.  This is your re-direct of the day; should it be a regular feature?

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Cultural Appropriation.

Dear Friends,

I have been an interesting conversation about cultural appropriation recently.  I don't know if this happens to you, but words that people say often stay with me, for months, years, forever; and they shape my thoughts ever and anon. 

So, what to do with this song, Apache, by The Shadows?  I offer you this bit of reading on the topic of cultural appropriation in pop music; and now that you have read it, you can decide what should be done with the song, in a cover version by The Ventures.  Or try this one.  And this one.  One more?

I think what I would do, is apologize, publicly retract the title, and choose a new one for it:  How about "Reparation?"

Friday, June 11, 2021

Deadline & Dandelion: A poem.


Deadline & Dandelion

I was looking for direction, an answer: a word; it began with d.

Discussion, downturn, diffident.

700 thousand silver marks?
A room, papered in maps?
A suitcase, with words on it?

I packed the case, began the journey and arrived at the snow;
an avalanche.
I retreated; 
walked back through the seasons, the fall, the summer, the spring.  
Time is not a spiral after all; it is a pendulum swinging into 
winter over and over.

Deaden, dredged, double-dip.

I painted on my suitcase large words of resistance:





Tuesday, June 8, 2021



Dear Skaters,

Today is day eleven hundred!  Doesn't time fly when you are having fun?  I have two films for you today to hopefully inspire you to 'lace up' as skaters like to say.  

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Square cats.


Dear Kitties,

All you cats are going to love this cube car; just love it!  It is your film of the day.  It fills me with joy and possibilities.  It came to me from a member of the intrepid Dodo staff.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

An installation of ideas.


Dear Like Minds,

These are images of an installation of ideas on slips of paper.  The ideas were thought of and recorded in a class I teach each Spring.  I never knew, when I first looked at Joseph Kosuth's One and Three Chairs, that I would arrive at digging conceptual art; promoting it and assigning it even.  It grew on me, I guess, like moss and Absurdist literature. 

The way that ideas, and manifestations of ideas, circulate and fold out and in and recombine is really a beautiful thing.  I have mentioned it here before, and what is the word for it?  Happenstance?  Coincidence doesn't seem quite right.  The thesaurus offers 'concomitance,' 'concordance,' and 'lumping together.'  The first two are a little officious, and the last implies a lack of elegance.  Happenstance will have to do.

One thing that lumped together to manifest as this project are the Paul Thek Teaching Notes.  Here is a place you can read a little about them, and you can look at the notes, here.  Then you can answer them, make your own list of questions, or manifest some other happenstance entirely. 

Friday, May 21, 2021

Another list.


Dear To Do,

1.  Listen to this.

2.  Consider carefully these words.

3.  Assemble a group of photographs.

4.  Make a cake.


Yes, I am sorry, you will have to register for a free account to read those words, but it won't take you that long.  If you end up extra time leftover, you can send your own condolence to insecurity!

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Clarity: As easy as falling off a log.

Dear Seeking,

Today I begin my letter to you with a few lines of introduction, or maybe it's a list.  Or maybe it is subject headings.  Or maybe it's the condensed version of the paragraphs that follow.

Give a little bit of your time to me.  Give a little bit.  

I don't mind you coming here, and wasting all my time.

The last place I lived was called Clarity Acres.  It got me to thinking, recently, about whether I had been clear with you here.  These pages suggest a lot of ideas and projects, and places to go to, but I think what I am really hoping you will want to do is jump on in with me.  The water is fine! 

Let's go over it, then, in detail.  This thing is a blog, which is short for Web Log.  What is a log?  Well, if you watch Star Trek, you'll find that the Captain's Log is a nice place for some exposition in the narrative.  A log can be a journal, but the best logs aren't merely lists of what you did and when you did it.

The blog can be a kind of a bulletin board, where you might find a scrap of paper selling a used bike that you are interested in, or a notice of an upcoming Barn dance you'd like to attend, or an idea you'd like to mull on further.

I was dismissive of blogs for many years, because they seemed very dull to me to read (no, the irony is not lost on me!).  And, I also felt very awkward at the confessional position many of them take.  But, like so many things, what is fun to do is not as much fun to watch.  So, you know what I am saying, right?  I am saying that you must be the blog you wish to read.  You must beautify the world of the virtual, collective mind by making your contribution to it.

Well, go on then.

Thursday, May 13, 2021


Dear All,

Here is your tiny short, on atoms, for the day!


Sunday, May 9, 2021

Your Chant of the Day.

Dear Mothers,

Your song for today is a chant from Nina Hagen.  

Feel like more chanting?  

Saturday, May 8, 2021

A favorite.


Dear Radio Dodo Listener,

This song, this song!  It is your song of the day- sing along with these beautiful voices!  I have loved this song since 1979, I think, but I lost my notebook: the one that I penciled the songs I loved into as I encountered them.  No, I never had such a notebook to lose, but if I did, what would I do with that list now?

Saturday, May 1, 2021

autre temps, autre moeurs


Dear Others,

I went hogwild this year on Zoom book clubs: three!  It was a bit manic, yes.  In one of The Groups (which I will call the English Professors & Librarians Group) we talk about 'othering,' meaning the process of talking, writing, and defining different (as in not your) groups as The Other.  Which has been specially verbed for this particular use.  Here is the rub:  Othering is bad, yep, no denying it.  But it is so pretty a word, so useful, so broad in what it can mean, which is anything.  Go get the other one.  Bring another one.  I like the other one better.  It's like the words 'stuff' and 'things.'  I can't live, if living is without them.  So now a sort of kind of (more words I must have!) short poem like (there's another one!) elegy to the word other:   

Other times

other manners

other ways.

Other other other.

And now on to another thing, that I know you will like: The The Guatelli Museum, which comes to these pages via a friend and colleague.

Friday, April 30, 2021

The Secret Life.


Pssst, dear Sewist,

Well, I have not, in all my miles of sewing, ever understood how the heck the two threads get looped around each other. 



A Dodo reader suggested this excellent show about the sewing machine- please enjoy it!

Wednesday, April 28, 2021



                                       Containers, ceramic and mixed media, 2020; a collaborative                                        artwork by Elliott K. Perkins & Marcia Harvey.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Sky Writing.


Dear You,

I wrote you a love note, on the sky; I hope you had a chance to read it before it dissolved.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Friday, April 16, 2021

A connected thought.


Dear Reader,

Several months ago, there was this post, and a response to that writing came a few weeks later; a poem by K. C. Trommer, titled The Couple.  Now, after a long time, I send it to you, too.  It's a fine poem, and I hope you enjoy it.  Long may we continue our conversations about love & care!

Monday, April 12, 2021

Love this now.


Dear Friends,

Love this now, with me, won't you?  Watch it, and then read maybe, or maybe not, my list of reasons to love this.


















Thursday, April 8, 2021

Two posters, two questions, no answers.


Barbara Kruger, silkscreen, 1989.

Dear To Whom it May Concern,

I am not always sure who you are; I am not even sure who I am, so forgive me for sending you things you don't agree with, or things you don't even know exist.  

I remember, more than ten years ago, explaining why a particular woman (Ms. X) was wearing a close-fitting dress to a woman (Ms. BB) of an older generation.  I said that wearing tight clothes like that, revealing clothes like that, body-conscious clothes like that, was a kind of rebellion, an act of resistance.  This made very little sense to Ms. BB, because Ms. X didn't 'have the body for those clothes.'  Ms. X was supposed to use pleats and tailoring to hide her shape.  Ms. BB was raised on pleats and tailoring, as tools to present her body in the "best" way possible.  Of course, the rebellious act of wearing clothes you are not supposed to is not just about refusing to meet people's expectations; there is an unspoken idea that women with the wrong kind of body are not even sexual beings; they are aberrations on every level.  They cannot 'control' themselves (I know!  Isn't that just great?  Wild, out of control, so best stay out of my way!) and they refuse to be 'good' (again, so delightfully delinquent!).

Well, that is your introduction to the following two articles, which I have been considering carefully, and asking myself two questions:  Do they hate my joy?  Do I want them to touch me?

Article One.

Article Two.

Ellen Hochberg, 2012.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

That's Ms. Mustang, to you.

Dear Sally,

All you want to do is ride around!  Will you put your flat feet on the ground?  I think not, maybe, because they don't own you.  

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

It ain't me, or you, or Cat Power.


Dear Radio Dodo Listeners,

My DJ played this song a few weeks ago; and as so often happens, I thought how can I have lived without this version?!  If that ain't you, and you have been happily listening to this song for the last ten years or so, then good on you!

Friday, March 26, 2021

double loop


Dear Darling,

We cantaloupe tonight;  Father's got the ladder!  Your songs for today are a beautiful pair of loops!

Loupe one.

Loop two. 

I could listen to these two songs until my cells divided to their rhythm!

Tuesday, March 23, 2021


Dear One Who Seeks Blossoms,

Here is your song for today, A Flower is Not a Flower, by Ryuichi Sakamoto; whose name, I am told, means 'one who lives at the bottom of the slope.'

Saturday, March 20, 2021



Dear Attentive, Careful, Sympathetic Listener,

Several years ago I heard this wonderful piece of music performed live; it is your song for this first day of Spring!  I have been saving it to give to you, but I was little reluctant to expose my ignorance.  You see, if I am giving you Birds in Warped Time II, shouldn't I also offer you Birds in Warped Time I?  Well, I cannot seem to solve the mystery of where, or even if, it exists.  

One thing I did find is a review of this particular rendering of the music that I totally disagreed with- in fact, I think it was total rubbish, and I won't even validate it by putting it here!  It had some swell music terms in it though:  portamenti, cantilena.

I also found, in looking for the possibly missing birds part one, this awesome radio station internet treat!  NTS Live.