My lover is a suit of clothes
And the three of us —
my dimensions,
her weave,
our fit —
are a Trinity:
Equal, distinct, inseparable.

Were I like Fred Rogers,
Weighing in at 143 pounds of
I-love-you every morning of
My life, I would have
But one love
To fit me like a glove
’Til death do us part.

But seeing how I wax and wane
Like the moon,
I must wear flowing dresses
That let me breathe,
And run away
Until we snag on thorns and
Fall apart, and I’m left
Joyously naked, moonlit.

Else I must accept…


Don’t be a physiological response to advertising

A supernormal stimulus is a decoy that exaggerates certain aspects of the real thing it represents to the point that it provokes a stronger response than the real thing. For example, biologists have observed that most birds prefer eggs with more exaggerated markings, more saturated colors, and a larger size than their own eggs — to the point that birds will choose to sit on plaster decoys with garishly fake markings that are so large that the birds slide off them.

Other examples of supernormal stimuli in action are our human preference for fast food over more nutritious choices, or…


September 11, 2001

The five-building factory complex sat at the Brooklyn end of the Brooklyn Bridge, and was surrounded by the cobblestone industrial alleys of the Dumbo neighborhood, a place where one could imagine Al Pacino filming his Scent of a Woman Ferrari test-drive scene, or buy a quart-sized styrofoam cup full of rice and beans for a dollar from the small Caribbean kitchen (“Abichuelas rojas o negras!?” they would bark, Dominican soup-nazi style, and you’d better know if you wanted red or black beans).

Every morning, after attending breakfast and Morning Worship in the subterranean dining rooms of the Home Complex in…


I often picture
the emergence of AI
as a monolithic event.

But what if it's more
like the story of organic life,
with matter evolving
into intelligent systems
gradually?

(A long time ago,
unicellular life organized
into more complex systems
until, eventually,
a human was born)

At a different level of
magnification
A human still looks like
a complex system
of unicellular organisms

What I'm saying is:

Humanity at a high level
could be evolving into
a new life form,
and we might not notice it
from our individual perspective.

The same could be true of AI.

What if, while…


When I was a boy, he began,
after a thousand false starts,
We had everything; I was nothing;
I had nothing; we were everything.
Yes, even now.

A barrier of sorts.
Conditions preexisting:
A storm inside and out.
A knock at the door.
Rain tapping at both sides of the pane.

Inside, a samba danced
by twos and ones and threes —
Counting made simple,
and the math adding up
in funny ways.

Lulled by the easy swaying beat of shuffled cards and shuffling feet, the sound of wind, the music in the bubbles of a pot, a gurgling bath…


“He’s stuck,” she said, and for a second I thought he might be, because he was wiggling several of his legs but hadn’t moved a millimeter. Then I saw his eighth leg move and realized he was having a hard time with the slick surface of the cellophane tape along the edge of the cardboard box.

“He’s not stuck, honey; he’s just slipping.” The spider gave up and rappelled down to a section of bare cardboard below. “See?”

The next day the spider was there on top of the same box. Lily said hello to him on our way out…


The room was well-lit, medicinal. A slab of a table, beveled like an emerald, held her, and while the doctors droned on about the patient I couldn’t hear what they were saying because I kept worrying that everything else — the heavy table, the winsome expression of her shoulders, the snappy overhead lights — that it was all too slippery sterile and any second now the green hospital sheet would slide to the floor.

A few days later she and I occupied a room simultaneously again. She was conscious but non-verbal, observant. I had been watching a woman who presented…


Un dimanche après-midi à l’Île de la Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat

Say mean things to me when you’re being nice to my body;
I’ll say nice things to you when I’m being mean to yours —
I feel uneasy when an outfit is too matchy-matchy.

Sunday at the park, dressed to the nines,
Is the best place for the filthiest whispers.
But when we’re up to our elbows in each other’s grime,
May the words on our lips sparkle and shine.

Pulled in close and pushed away, like a tango —
Isn’t that just like me?
I always laugh when dishes get broken
And cry when people are whole.

Oliver Gifford

Always waiting; sometimes writing.

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