Posted by: Dan | November 1, 2019

New Website

I’m now writing at

Posted by: Dan | October 31, 2019

A Dream Once Had While Waking


I am falling through time-space. I have been falling for a very, very long time—the falling feels eternal, as though it originated before and outside of time-space proper as we know it. I pass through a long series of lives like a cannonball falling through tautly-held sheets of tissue paper (with each sheet representing the span of a single life). But always, outside of all these lives, I am in space and I am falling. And I am alone and I am suffering. Ever since the beginning, a very, very long time ago, I have been falling and I have been alone and this falling-loneliness, this lonely-fallenness, has caused me to feel a seemingly endless amount of pain and suffering. I pass through another long series of lives. Many of these lives take non-human forms and exist prior to the formation of the earth. I am a star, a rock, a plant, something non-material. But in the span of time-space that I have fallen, none of these is longer or thicker than a single sheet of tissue paper. Before all of these lives, I was and am.

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Posted by: Dan | October 28, 2019

We are Those Who Aspire

We are those who aspire to sleep through the night.
…..Untroubled by the stress of our jobs
…..our ever-growing debts
…..the bullies at our children’s schools
…..the nightmare-shadows of men who hurt us as children
…..and the fact that the world and everything in it is dying
(and, apparently, this is all our fault).

We are those who aspire to okay-ness.
…..A coffee on the porch in the morning
…..a night out at the movies
…..small gifts that makes our kids happy
… afternoon nap
…..and a pill for everything else
(no more anxiety, no more depression, no more sorrow, no more dread).

We are those who aspire to make it through the day.
…..Without suddenly crying
…..without having to call a friend to rage and rage about the latest injustice
…..without losing time because we are overwhelmed and exhausted
…..without relying (overly much) on screens
…..and without saying or doing things we know we will later regret
(I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry).

We are those who aspire to remember.
…..What it is to love and be loved
… a world that is full of wonder
…..where everything is going to be alright in the end
…..because we’re all in this together
…..and I’ve got your back, like you’ve got mine
(that would be nice, that would be so nice).

We are those who aspire to be forgotten.
…..we are aware of our superfluity
…..we are aware of our complicity
…..we are aware of our limits
…..we’re so woke
…..that we haven’t slept in days
(“Going three days without sleep profoundly limits the ability to think, especially executive functions such as multitasking, remembering details, and paying attention. This level of sleep deprivation can make it difficult to see even simple tasks through to completion.Emotions are also affected. People who have undergone this level of sleep deprivation may be easily irritated. They may experience a depressed mood, anxiety, or paranoia. Research has also found that sleep deprivation makes it more difficult to process others’ emotions. In one study, participants with 30 hours of sleep deprivation had difficulty recognizing angry and happy facial expressions. Finally, several days of sleep deprivation can significantly alter perception. You might experience hallucinations, which occur when you see something that isn’t there. Illusions are also common. Illusions are a misinterpretation of something that’s real. An example is seeing a sign and thinking it’s a person.”)

We are those who aspire to die in our sleep.
…..Because we’ve done enough hurting
… our waking hours
…..and we’ve done enough fighting
… our lives
…..and now we aspire to not aspire
(to fall asleep and never wake up).

Posted by: Dan | October 25, 2019

At Night We Fall Asleep

At night, I read until my eyes are heavy and then turn off my lamp.
Rolling over, I kiss you between the shoulder blades, smell the small of your neck, feel your heat mixing with mine, your skin against my skin.
I follow the curve of your side, your ribs down to the valley of your waist and the sudden, impossible rise of your hip.
I press my face into your hair. You shift slightly, pushing back towards me. Mixing up where I end and you begin, who is you and who is I, and whatever makes us think we are anything more than one.
I massage your thighs, loosen the tightness in your hamstrings, run fingers across the lines that mark out new shapes where your legs meet your body.
A single person’s body is an endless space of curves and edges, risings and fallings, textures and smells. Here a swoop, there a dropping off, and there again a
sudden stop.
We are skin and bone and hair and blood and breath. We are earth and stars and water and light. We are yesterday, today, and forever.
Side by side. My arm between the fullness of your breasts. Your fingers entangled in mine.
We fall asleep.

Posted by: Dan | October 16, 2019

My Dog Pulls Hard on Her Leash

My dog pulls hard on her leash
She wants so bad to be free
Free to run into traffic
Free to run and never look back
(A ten year old boy chasing her, tears streaming down his face, heartbreak in his voice as he calls her name)
She wants to be free to run after squirrels, after cars, after people, after other dogs, and most especially after the big tractor trailers that rumble down wellington road, pitching around the curve by our apartment, sounding like they are full of bones and scrap metal
My dog wants her body to be found by the side of the road with most of her broken and blood from every orifice coagulating on the pavement
Like that woman I found on pender street in vancouver one night around eleven pm
Between two parked cars
I thought she was a rolled up carpet someone had thrown in the gutter
But then I saw mini skirt and halter top and a mouth covered in sores
No response no breath no pulse
Me wondering if I should let her die or risk getting herpes
(and wondering what wondering about that said about me)
Her suddenly shuddering and gasping and rising like a corpse from the grave
No ambulance, no ambulance she said as she tried to run away
To run and never look back
To run into traffic
She wants so bad to be free
She pulls so hard on her leash

Posted by: Dan | October 1, 2019

September Reviews

Discussed in this post: 13 Books (The Cultural Politics of Emotion; Disagreement; Hyperobjects; The Fire Next Time; Half-Breed; Bad Feminist; Speak, Memory; If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler; The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick; My Life in the Bush of Ghosts; Cathedral; Turtle Island; and Calling a Wolf a Wolf); 1 Movie (Alice); and 3 Documentaries (Patagonia Rising; Lorena; and Voyeur).

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Posted by: Dan | September 25, 2019

August Reviews

These reviews are very late and, due to my busy-ness at the moment, are very brief. Je m’excuse. Mentioned in this post: 13 Books (Critique of Black Reason; Vibrant Matter; The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis; Becoming Human; On Balance; McMindfulness; The Medicalization of Everyday Life; The Overstory; Nadja; On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous; Night Sky with Exist Wounds; Cascade Experiment; and Calligrammes); 1 Movie (Us); and 1 Documentary (Chicken People).

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Posted by: Dan | August 18, 2019

On Fascism, Gender Theory, and the Vatican

  1. Introduction: Masculine Totalities

Ce qui y tombe et qui y vit c’est une sorte d’ êtres laids qui me font mal et qui viennent de je ne sais où.
~ Guillaume Apollonaire, “Dans L’Abri-Caverne.”

In the second volume of Klaus Theweleit’s Males Fantasies series—wherein he examines the devastated and devastating masculinity that came to the fore in Germany after the First World War, as Freikorps of embittered Veterans formed and roamed the Weimar Republic, while the Sturmabteilung and the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei began to take shape on the horizon—Theweleit examines the “soldier male,” who had been shattered by the betrayal that came from far behind the lines, giving birth to the loss of the war on June 28, 1919 although “the German Army was never defeated.” This male, Theweleit argues, is constantly driven to avoid the experience of fragmentation by “fusing himself into a unity” (“the troop, the Freikorps), “in which he remains on top. Only this can make him whole.” Here, a relationship of hierarchical domination is experienced, by the soldier male, as “wholeness.” The soldier male both experiences wholeness in the company of his fellows and in society divided into two parts: those above who possess power (the soldier male), and those below who are required to sacrifice (e.g., the “good woman”) or die (e.g., “the Jew”). Therefore, and this point is critical, “[t]he harmony of the whole is never harmony among its parts; it is a harmony imposed by hierarchical orderings.” Furthermore, if this (oppressive) social harmony is not maintained, if “diverse social organizations and groups split the wholeness” of the arrangement, the soldier male experiences this as a rupture within his own totality. It is existentially and very intimately unbearable.

It is hard not to think of Joseph Ratzinger, who grew up in this milieu and who joined the Hitlerjugend at the age of fourteen before briefly serving in the Luftwaffenhelfer and the German infantry, when reading this description of violent men whose fractured sense of self leads them to pursue any and all forms of violence in order to maintain an always precarious sense of wholeness, both within one’s self and within society.


Joseph Ratzinger.

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Posted by: Dan | July 30, 2019

July Reviews

Touched upon in this post: 14 Books (Phenomenology of Spirit; “Society Must be Defended”; How to Kill a City; Darkness Now Visible; Why Does He Do That?; Misogyny Re-Loaded; Feminism Seduced; Black Leopard Red Wolf; Berlin Alexanderplatz; The Complete Short Stories of Marcel Proust; something bright, then holes; The Latest Winter; bad animals; and Seeking Refuge): 2 Movies (The Beach Bum and Under the Silver Lake);and 2 Documentaries (If I Had Four Camels and The Wonderful Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl).

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Posted by: Dan | July 29, 2019

I Have Watched the Blood of a Young Black Man


I have watched the blood of a young Black man fill the cracks in the sidewalk and then, viscous, not yet coagulated, overflow the curb and drain like a curtain of paint into the gutter, mixing with grit and oil and cigarette butts, down into the sewer. Later, a fire hose washed everything clean—except for the body of the young Black man which, at that time, I imagine, was lying on a tray in a fridge at the city morgue.

Later that month, a young White woman pulled up her short shorts and showed me a series of small round scars pockmarking her inner thighs. Nasty pink things, overlapping one another, too many to count all at once. She explained that her dad liked to smoke after sex. She was the ashtray. And the sex.

A few years later, I watched a client fold in on herself, a body collapsing around itself, a body no longer possessed by herself, a self no longer capable of sustaining a body, a self no longer itself, as she eventually managed to explain that she had just been raped in an alleyway one block away from where I worked. At the time that she was raped, I think I was eating potato chips in shift change and listening to a co-worker drone on and on and on and I thought maybe his drone was going to last forever. But it didn’t. Nothing does.

I don’t know how many of these stories to tell. I carry so many of them inside of me. I don’t know if I should tell any of them. Who deserves to read them? Who has the right to tell them?

A month ago, I was camping with a dear friend who was reeling from all the deaths of loved ones due to the current fentanyl-related crisis among people who use drugs (which is really a Rule of Law crisis, not a drug crisis). It seemed to me that his grief was overwhelming him, that he was barely keeping it together—and that’s when he was drunk. I’m not sure if being sober was even an option. Probably not for very long.

“You need to find a way to bury your dead,” I said to him. “You can’t carry them all around with you. Create your own rituals if the regular mourning practices don’t work for you. Find whatever works. You can’t carry them all. They’re too heavy. It’s too much. It will annihilate you.”

And, me? I’m pretty good at burying my dead. I’ve learned how to let my dead be dead. I just struggle with letting my raped be raped, my tortured be tortured, my abandoned be abandoned.

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