I am Ella and I am not finished here.

I have good people in my life. They continually lift up. They are God’s hands holding my knees steady so I can stand.

14.04   +10    #txtp
To Editors of Websites Thinking of Publishing “You Should Date an Illiterate Girl.”


It is one thing to post the incorrect version of “Illiterate” out of ignorance and laziness—the sort of dismissive apathy and indifference to source fidelity that causes this error is pretty common in the age of one-click reposts. But to knowingly misrepresent my work while still affixing my name as if I claim it as my own, and then to profit from that misrepresentation without nary a link in return seems like a pretty big insult to an author you claim to admire.

Here is “You Should Date an Illiterate Girl” in its original form:

Date a girl who doesn’t read. Find her in the weary squalor of a Midwestern bar. Find her in the smoke, drunken sweat, and varicolored light of an upscale nightclub. Wherever you find her, find her smiling. Make sure that it lingers when the people that are talking to her look away. Engage her with unsentimental trivialities. Use pick-up lines and laugh inwardly. Take her outside when the night overstays its welcome. Ignore the palpable weight of fatigue. Kiss her in the rain under the weak glow of a streetlamp because you’ve seen it in film. Remark at its lack of significance. Take her to your apartment. Dispatch with making love. Fuck her.

Let the anxious contract you’ve unwittingly written evolve slowly and uncomfortably into a relationship. Find shared interests and common ground like sushi, and folk music. Build an impenetrable bastion upon that ground. Make it sacred. Retreat into it every time the air gets stale, or the evenings get long. Talk about nothing of significance. Do little thinking. Let the months pass unnoticed. Ask her to move in. Let her decorate. Get into fights about inconsequential things like how the fucking shower curtain needs to be closed so that it doesn’t fucking collect mold. Let a year pass unnoticed. Begin to notice.

Figure that you should probably get married because you will have wasted a lot of time otherwise. Take her to dinner on the forty-fifth floor at a restaurant far beyond your means. Make sure there is a beautiful view of the city. Sheepishly ask a waiter to bring her a glass of champagne with a modest ring in it. When she notices, propose to her with all of the enthusiasm and sincerity you can muster. Do not be overly concerned if you feel your heart leap through a pane of sheet glass. For that matter, do not be overly concerned if you cannot feel it at all. If there is applause, let it stagnate. If she cries, smile as if you’ve never been happier. If she doesn’t, smile all the same.

Let the years pass unnoticed. Get a career, not a job. Buy a house. Have two striking children. Try to raise them well. Fail, frequently. Lapse into a bored indifference. Lapse into an indifferent sadness. Have a mid-life crisis. Grow old. Wonder at your lack of achievement. Feel sometimes contented, but mostly vacant and ethereal. Feel, during walks, as if you might never return, or as if you might blow away on the wind. Contract a terminal illness. Die, but only after you observe that the girl who didn’t read never made your heart oscillate with any significant passion, that no one will write the story of your lives, and that she will die, too, with only a mild and tempered regret that nothing ever came of her capacity to love.

Do those things, god damnit, because nothing sucks worse than a girl who reads. Do it, I say, because a life in purgatory is better than a life in hell. Do it, because a girl who reads possesses a vocabulary that can describe that amorphous discontent as a life unfulfilled—a vocabulary that parses the innate beauty of the world and makes it an accessible necessity instead of an alien wonder. A girl who reads lays claim to a vocabulary that distinguishes between the specious and soulless rhetoric of someone who cannot love her, and the inarticulate desperation of someone who loves her too much. A vocabulary, god damnit, that makes my vacuous sophistry a cheap trick.

Do it, because a girl who reads understands syntax. Literature has taught her that moments of tenderness come in sporadic but knowable intervals. A girl who reads knows that life is not planar; she knows, and rightly demands, that the ebb comes along with the flow of disappointment. A girl who has read up on her syntax senses the irregular pauses—the hesitation of breath—endemic to a lie. A girl who reads perceives the difference between a parenthetical moment of anger and the entrenched habits of someone whose bitter cynicism will run on, run on well past any point of reason, or purpose, run on far after she has packed a suitcase and said a reluctant goodbye and she has decided that I am an ellipsis and not a period and run on and run on. Syntax that knows the rhythm and cadence of a life well lived.

Date a girl who doesn’t read because the girl who reads knows the importance of plot. She can trace out the demarcations of a prologue and the sharp ridges of a climax. She feels them in her skin. The girl who reads will be patient with an intermission and expedite a denouement. But of all things, the girl who reads knows most the ineluctable significance of an end. She is comfortable with them. She has bid farewell to a thousand heroes with only a twinge of sadness.

Don’t date a girl who reads because girls who read are the storytellers. You with the Joyce, you with the Nabokov, you with the Woolf. You there in the library, on the platform of the metro, you in the corner of the café, you in the window of your room. You, who make my life so god damned difficult. The girl who reads has spun out the account of her life and it is bursting with meaning. She insists that her narratives are rich, her supporting cast colorful, and her typeface bold. You, the girl who reads, make me want to be everything that I am not. But I am weak and I will fail you, because you have dreamed, properly, of someone who is better than I am. You will not accept the life that I told of at the beginning of this piece. You will accept nothing less than passion, and perfection, and a life worthy of being storied. So out with you, girl who reads. Take the next southbound train and take your Hemingway with you. I hate you. I really, really, really hate you. 

13.04   +70


Lil pattern I did for the folks at Moonlight Market, should be out in the next year on some bedding!

13.04   +8361    #i want this on some bedding #or a tapestry #probably a tapestry


Delilah (/dɪˈllə/; Hebrew: דלילה‎ Dəlilah,
meaning “[She who] weakened”). She
whom Samson loved and who was his
downfall. Delilah, born into wife, who
is never named. You angel, you child, 
Delilah: you discover the secret of
every one of us, pieces of silver and
a false answer: "If they bind me then
I shall be weak as a man.
If they bind
me fast then I shall be weak as a man.”

Delilah, asleep on your knees! Delilah,
put out his eyes and
grind in the prison
house! You, 
a dead tree wound. You,
the debilitating power of the fruitful
woman. The fountain that overflows
and seeps away into the ground.
The misguided. The foolish.
The temptress. Treacherous.
Cunning. Femme. Fatale.

13.04   +89
13.04   +27937
i’m not interested in competing with anyone. i hope we all make it.
13.04   +6080    #i want us to all make it #one hand up #one hand down #to pull up and to be pulled up #please


Dawn Giant and Winter Giant by Matthew Griffin

Prints available at BigCartel

Artist: Behance / Website

13.04   +8323


It is easier to write about the deep bottom
than it is to describe the ladder-
how each rung was steeper than the last,
how you had to catch the next by your single stretched toe,
that it does not end but goes upward and upward.
You do not like the word “recovery”
think it’s too many syllables, fits into nothing.
And you are afraid you will not remember those nights anymore,
when this is morning and you are awake now.
Before all else you are addicted to tragedy.
You wanted to be a short, sad song.
There is a sexiness in dying young,
in erasing your body from its own weight,
in being an object someone can write a poem about.
It would have been glamorous.
This is not glamorous.
Improvement never will be.
This slow upward slog through quiet miles,
The way you’ve been told to lift yourself by your heartstrings,
how minute by minute you learn to be strong.
What can you offer that insatiable hunger now?
You trade in dignity, maybe safety.
Hope it will be enough to service the gaping wound,
that history of need.
When you were young you did not imagine your life this way.
You imagined someone different, more poised.
sometimes you could imagine no one at all.
But this is the compromise,
the only miracle you can offer witness-
no illusion. Hand over hand. Upward, away from nothing.

13.04   +9

The song is “I am Gonna Hoodoo to Get Your Love.”

The dance is blues.

12.04    #ellamoves #me #blues dancing #amateur improv blues
All I ever did to that apartment was hang fifty yards of yellow theatrical silk across the bedroom windows, because I had some idea that the gold light would make me feel better, but I did not bother to weight the curtains correctly and all that summer the long panels of transparent golden silk would blow out the windows and get tangled and drenched in afternoon thunderstorms. That was the year, my twenty-eight, when I was discovering that not all of the promises would be kept, that some things are in fact irrevocable and that it had counted after all, every evasion and ever procrastination, every word, all of it.

"Goodbye to All That," Joan Didion
12.04   +1729


The past few months I delved deep into experimental portraiture, alongside this good ol’ evermorphing contemporary art that just wriggles when you try to pin it down. Portraits in flux started to emerge. I thought I’d share a step I took along the way for this recent exhibit at the Ice House in Sarasota- A draft gif that eventually inspired a continually looping stop motion.

My sister modeled for me. I think it’s fun to share that. Because it really just started with static photos, frozen moments. Just as it did with Talbot and Stieglitz and all the photographic torchbearers. I’m hoping to keep them from rolling in their graves but it’s a bit late for that perhaps, or a bit irrelevant. Who knows.


12.04   +3601
We live in a modern society. Husbands and wives don’t
grow on trees, like in the old days. So where
does one find love? When you’re sixteen it’s easy,
like being unleashed with a credit card
in a department store of kisses. There’s the first kiss.
The sloppy kiss. The peck.
The sympathy kiss. The backseat smooch. The we
shouldn’t be doing this kiss. The but your lips
taste so good kiss. The bury me in an avalanche of tingles kiss.
The I wish you’d quit smoking kiss.
The I accept your apology, but you make me really mad
sometimes kiss. The I know
your tongue like the back of my hand kiss. As you get
older, kisses become scarce. You’ll be driving
home and see a damaged kiss on the side of the road,
with its purple thumb out. If you
were younger, you’d pull over, slide open the mouth’s
red door just to see how it fits. Oh where
does one find love? If you rub two glances, you get a smile.
Rub two smiles, you get a warm feeling.
Rub two warm feelings and presto-you have a kiss.
Now what? Don’t invite the kiss over
and answer the door in your underwear. It’ll get suspicious
and stare at your toes. Don’t water the kiss with whiskey.
It’ll turn bright pink and explode into a thousand luscious splinters,
but in the morning it’ll be ashamed and sneak out of
your body without saying good-bye,
and you’ll remember that kiss forever by all the little cuts it left
on the inside of your mouth. You must
nurture the kiss. Turn out the lights. Notice how it
illuminates the room. Hold it to your chest
and wonder if the sand inside hourglasses comes from a
special beach. Place it on the tongue’s pillow,
then look up the first recorded kiss in an encyclopedia: beneath
a Babylonian olive tree in 1200 B.C.
But one kiss levitates above all the others. The
intersection of function and desire. The I do kiss.
The I’ll love you through a brick wall kiss.
Even when I’m dead, I’ll swim through the Earth,
like a mermaid of the soil, just to be next to your bones

The Archipelago of Kisses, Jeffrey McDaniel  (via maerincerise)
12.04   +88    #jeffery #you really are too good
12.04   +932
Rudeness is merely the expression of fear. People fear they won’t get what they want. The most dreadful and unattractive person only needs to be loved, and they will open up like a flower. I’m reminded of a verse: ‘The painter’s brush touched the inchoate face with ends of nimble bristles.’

M. Gustave - “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (via thee-thou-thy)
12.04   +74

Fold laundry and then solo blues in my room until I can’t move.

12.04   +3    #txtp #maybe i will post a video of me dancing