In 2016 I went to Le Thoronet, a Cistercian abbey in Provence. My late mother Vicki gave me a book about it, and, stricken with the loneliness of her absence, I visited, feeling she had somehow invoked the journey. The Abbey prompted my essay "The Beatitude of Nowhere," which is in the Spring 2018 issue of The Georgia Review. It's about the nowhere places that invite a confrontation with existence, and it traces my aesthetic preoccupation with nowhere via the Abbey, Edward Hopper, James Turrell, a childhood haunt (the field pictured here), a cancer hospital, and the Indianapolis airport.
"Self Storage" is a memoir piece in the Winter 2018 issue of the Iowa Review. It’s informed by compulsive readings of Lucretius' On the Nature of Things. It's what came out of a tangle of meditations on grief, storage spaces, obsolescence, grave sites, ataraxia, and (naturally) two very heavy garden ornaments, a hippo and a dragon, pictured here.
“Lighter than Air” is forthcoming in Salmagundi in 2019. It considers a collection of vintage opera glasses liquidated for assisted living care as a case study in the illogic of both the sign and exchange values of commodities.
“Parrot on a Stone Plinth” is in the Winter 2018 issue of the New England Review. It's the sixth in the collection I'm working on about objects inherited from my parents. In this case, the object is a pet: an irascible, operatic parrot named Aria that I bought for my mom while she had cancer and that I inherited--to my dismay--one year later. I use Aria as a comic muse for my essay, but I also consider her more seriously as a colonized object, as one of a series of images that point to how inextricably colonization and exploitation permeate everyday surroundings and objects.
A meditation on grief, old postcards, and pets inspired by Barthes in Hotel Amerika’s Winter 2016 issue.
An essay about outsider architecture published in The Normal School in 2014.
A collaborative media/writing project with Sarah Nelson Wright about the human and environmental toll of the fashion sector.
I used to compose, and I like to write about sounds.
Music and new media criticism for I Care if You Listen.
Dissertation on everyday noise in Western art music.