Essays.

Nobody’s Wife: Kiki Petrosino Is Over It

My way into KiKi Petrosino’s latest collection Witch Wifewas through the poem “Afterlife.”  Thanks to this poem, I realized the book was about getting dumped. And dumped. And dumped. But also about rising above the heart carnage to transform hurt into a magical handbook for survival.  Petrosino is a witch whose wand is language, and who waves it deftly […]

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What I Learned in Junior K

Other than deep respect for carpool done well, I owe Junior K a hard-won lesson: don’t ask the teacher about your kid. My kid is an obviously hyper, rebellious, willfully foul-mouthed five-year-old boy. I have no business asking his teacher how the day went, particularly when I barely made the after-care cut-off. Seriously: what do […]

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Everyday Poet, Everyday God

Pope Francis is to the Vatican as Bob Dylan is to the Nobel Prize in Literature. Both represent a promise, long overdue, finally made real. In the case of the Vatican, the overdue promise is to embody Jesus’s goodwill. In the case of the Nobel Prize Committee, the overdue promise is, in Alfred Nobel’s own words, […]

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The Difference between Coolness and Artness: What Turns Everyday Objects into Art

Inevitably, many of the highlights at this year’s London Frieze are works that turn common objects into art. To enter the Fair, visitors must walk by a courtyard and  up a narrow hallway where Martin Soto’s pantyhose installation cuts the sky into the vaulted Gothic cathedral lines of a sacred place of worship. The Gagosian is the first gallery one meets, featuring the works of Edmund […]

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