We were floating toward the lights of a white-hot city when I noticed that the springy lady to my left, the one with the happy hair and the window seat, was bleeding.

The blood pooled beneath a homemade bandage and began to drip to her ankle bone and, though I can never remember what that bone is called, I’ll never forget my alarm.

Does she need help? Does she need me? Does she need me to help?

I’m ashamed to admit that my first impulse was to ignore her. In my defense, I just wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt, to believe that she was a woman of consequence and agency and that she didn’t need to be diminished by my concern.

And then, in an instant, I knew that this was not our story so I gently turned my head to the side and asked if she was okay.

She was, she said, though she was hurt and bleeding more than was fair and she had never bled on a plane before and was growing concerned but she had a plan for when she landed and she would be okay and thank you for seeing me and thank you for asking and thank you and thank you and thank you...

One month later I was floating away from the lights of a white-hot city when a happy lady with springy hair sitting in the window seat began to bleed.

The wetness pulled beneath her eyes and began to drip onto the delicate bone of her ankle and, though I may never remember what that godforsaken bone is called, I’ll never forget my alarm.

Do you need help? Do you need me? Do you need me to help?

My first impulse was to ignore her, to give her the benefit of the doubt, to believe that she was a woman of consequence and that she needn’t be diminished.

And then I knew that this was only a story so I gently turned my head to the side and asked if she was okay.

She was, she said, though she was hurt and bleeding more than was fair and she had never bled from her eyes on a plane before and was growing concerned but she had a plan for when she landed and she would be okay and thank you for seeing me and thank you for asking and thank you and thank you and thank you...



My work explores the potential for Mutually. Assured. Seduction.

I’ve flipped this sentence over in my mind so many times it feels like the pins and needles of a limb that’s fallen asleep — dull yet tingly under the weight of its distracted owner.

The phrase came one day lying on the floor after a hard workout. Since then, I’ve whispered it to myself as I lie awake at night. I’ve said it aloud, with purpose and velocity, to no one in particular. I’ve inspected it’s rhythm and resonance to feel how I feel as the words float out of my face’s lips and into the air.

I don’t exactly know where it came from but I’ve become so attached to the words that I can no longer feel their boundaries. Where do I begin, where do they end? I want to know.

Of this, I am certain: I am obsessed with seduction — as an idea, an act, an object, a promise, a threat, and a game.

Somewhere along the way, I began to recognize that my time in the studio (and my life?) can be reduced, quite plainly, to an exercise in seduction. And while it’s not exclusive to creatives, I’m sure it’s a common tie that binds making anything at all. I’m getting to something, scouring scientific papers trying to work it out:

The “art of pleasure” requires a careful plan of behavior, which has communicative relevance, and simultaneously must be able to elicit an emotional response. If it can provoke not only an interest, but also attraction, then it can create or increase a feeling of desire or need.

To seduce, to attract, to be led along, quite simply, “somewhere else.” Heart over mind and conversely, or, better still, passion bound with knowing one another… Sensual involvement.

And of it’s inherent reciprocal nature …if the seductive game is to be effective then it must involve a degree of flexibility that of being able to harmonize and synchronize with the partner. Every move must be carried out and evaluated according to the partner’s response.

What are we if we aren’t slow dancing, intensely, with another human?

Even if I am convinced that I’m making art for myself — producing the kinds of things I want to exist in the world — it’s impossible to deny the fact that I’m still making this for you too, whoever you are.

And what turns you on and how can I make you desire and need what I have? And isn’t what I have, in essence, what I am, ultimately, turning myself inside out and putting myself on display as the object of desire? And is what I have to offer intoxicating enough to create a meaningful connection to you without betraying what is real and honest in me?

The realization that the work I create is a mutual exchange with you — that I desire your quickening pulse and a shift in your face as your eyes dilate. That I want the surface of you to come alive, to reverberate, to know that you are receiving my signal. That I need you at all…

A friend recently gave me a book written in celebration of the desert, understanding that I’ve recently developed a torrid fascination with the desert or, more specifically, the idea of myself in the desert. I want to thrive here. I want to shrivel up in the white hot light of here. I want to make the loudest noises here and I want to make no noise at all here. The book is aptly named, “Because It Is So Beautiful” and speaks to the love of place, or topophilia. (Note: I make a part-time job of looking words up and the double meaning of torrid was an accident but then there really are no accidents, are there? See for yourself.)

So now when I ask myself why I am doing any of this, especially when it’s hard to do and there are so many other worthy, worthwhile things that come naturally to me, the answer is and will be, forever and ever, because it is so beautiful.

Because when a certain mark or shape or brush stroke exits my body and lands on a surface and the sight of it makes me weak… When a pool of pigment is so lucid that I can hardly believe the power to orchestrate its arrangement was ever in me at all… That it’s possible that there is beauty sliding around inside of me — that my guts and liver and blood could be so beautiful.

And, what’s more, that even if the marks and shapes and strokes fail to resonate, my white, hot, burning desire for them remains. And the seduction of that, too, is beautiful and that is all and that is everything. In turn, Siri Hustvedt offers “A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women:”

“Searching, meeting, seduction, rejection, and retreat evokes ongoing rhythmic narrative of our undying physical need for other human beings, a need that is forever impeded by obstacles, both internal and external... reminiscent of dreams, and by their nature dreams are more emotional than waking life... often erotic and destructive pulse of human desire...”

I temporarily lean on this as a statement for my work — an undying physical need for other human beings, akin to an erotic dream and potentially destructive, that I’m attempting to process through multiple prisms: Manipulation. Order. Control. Progress. Self-Improvement. Desire. Attachment. Work. Survival.

Each of these touchstones is a sidelong glance accompanied by a distinct, but related, body of work. Work that I intend to mount and exhibit at the end of the year, sink or swim. An audacious goal, I am relying on the depth and intensity of a lifetime practice and deference for making to get me there. Focus and grit with a dash of hustle. Combined with a newly discovered connection to materials from the natural world: Just pick up a stone and let your body make a mark with it because it is so beautiful.

And I’m beginning to recognize these impulses for the proverbial ‘carvings on the cave wall’ that they are. That scratching of “I Was Here,” no better or different than running my nails down your back.

Yet, what I could possibly have to say is of far less significance than the fact that I’m right here, right now, standing before you to say it. That I didn’t let the immensity of the wall, or the darkness of the cave, frighten me back into a corner. Instead, I was seduced into the white hot sun, the earth in my hands, to make my mark.

Because I was here.

Because I am here.

And so are you.

And together we are so, so beautiful.




I had a dream that “synonym” died.

The kind of rolling reverie you have as your body slides toward sleep.

I woke to the thought, “What if words could die?,” feeling the kind of sadness you feel when your dreams reveal the melancholy of your life. 

But synonym didn’t die as much as it fell, or sank, an unfertilized egg dropping from the womb — essential — then useless and no longer welcome. Crestfallen for being only a half-word. The kind of word that knew its limitations. Iterative, derivative, referential…

What if words could die?

Like, what if they hung on just long enough to be necessary and needed but, eventually, everything that was propping them up — and being propped up by them — no longer existed, or mattered, or both.

What if words could die?

Would the shape of them still make a sound if someone was lamenting how much they were missed? Like if someone said, “Remember when people used to say synonym?” though I imagine it would sound much different then because people would be using all sorts of newer, better words to talk to one another.

I wonder if people will still talk to one another?



Not Even Evanescence

This Woman’s Work   GOLD LEAF + CHARCOAL ON PAPER  11 X 14 IN

This Woman’s Work


11 X 14 IN


Feels like I’m storm-chasing

caging beauty before it escapes,

watching precious flakes of metal

get swept away 

like fireflies on the breeze.


But I know, now, that nothing eludes

nothing evades.


Not the essential,

the essence,

not even evanescence.


It’s inside

of me


a kind of palace.



With Altitude



I am a teenager
for the first time,
Out here —
a ripe mango
in the wild

I left on a Friday
By Saturday I was pumped full
With altitude
With air
With a delirious appetite

I imagined myself
floating above him
Like I did when we first met
in his truck, at the lake
On the roadside
At the ocean

My hair licking him clean
His hands,
two hands,
both hands —
All hands
on my hips

Before he knew it was my weakness
my undoing
I ached for him
a teenager
with visions of movies
and stars
to hang my lust upon

We moved like music
all waves and electricity
The outside of him