Tribute to Thomas Lux

I just learned that the poet, Thomas Lux died yesterday. I first learned about this lion from Faith, who was a student in his Sarah Lawrence University MFA program. We invited him to teach at Cranbrook. He was all outsized energy. The lines of his poems strutted like a Sonny Rollins solo. The man was fun. He pitted the poets against the fiction writers in softball tournaments. He yelled out the names of specific poets to make Faith swing harder: John Ashbery, James Merrill! In Detroit, he and John Skoyles took us to Tigers games in the old and new stadiums. At dinner, he pulled his chair up to the table and knocked his long mane out of his eyes. He fulfilled the David Lettermen requirement for success: he always arrived with a story. At Sarah Lawrence, he was allowed research assistants who would delve into science and history to pluck out details that delighted him: slugs, plague victims, and god particles became the topics of poems. At his readings, he was all readiness. He could be loud hitting those lines. He could be beseeching even when he wasn’t asking for something. He was protective. He knew to nurture. He marveled at misspellings-spray-painted-over-highway-overpasses. He cared about the condition of things. He cared about the street corners where we miss and meet each other. What a goddamn loss for the planet.


Girl in the tree! Girl in the tree!

From my friend Sri in NY: “it’s 2 p.m. we are between the vets and the union plumbers, in the march but moving very very slowly—-soooo many people! to our left, there was a girl up in a tree, probably about 12 years old, chanting her little ass off. She had a bunch of posters and kept switching them up, changing the chant with every poster, and she was LEADING the crowd. She was fearless and untiring. Because of the slow momentum we were there for quite a few minutes and she led maybe ten rounds of chanting. After a while, in awe of her and in love with her, the crowd started chanting, “Girl in the tree! Girl in the tree!” #resist

Seven Fires for cooking

1) a parilla grill with a mother fire supplying it with charcoal.  2) a chapa griddle.  3) horno de barro, a wood oven. 4) caldero cauldron. 5) rescoldo, cooking in ashes. 6) infiernillo, cooking between two fires.  7) asador, cooking things standing over a fire on an iron cross.


Chef Magnus Nilsson.  Sweden’s Fäviken restaurant.  Mind of a Chef. Season 3. Episodes 9-16.  He ponders: 1) the sources of influence, 2) the crunchiness of electricity leaving the body of a trout, and 3) the ways that limits provoke creativity. I also love the Norse origin myth where a cow, standing at the yawning gap of nowhere, licks a block of ice until Ymir falls out of it.


The word, disaster, comes from combining a latin word for stars (astrum) with a prefix (dis) which means a “lack of” or “distance from.”  Disasters, then, indicate our distance from our stars, sources, heat, primary orbit.