What are you working on? What’s on your desk?


Industrial aluminum tape—a variety of adhesive that doesn’t peel paint but that does administer brutal deep cuts to one’s hands—affixes scribbled-upon manuscript pages and related miscellanea to the largest of my tiny apartment’s walls. Edward Weston’s 1924 portrait of Nahui Olin, the under-documented genius rebel of the mid-twentieth-century Mexican avant-garde and a central character in my novel-in-progress, reigns queen of the taped-up hodgepodge. A little box of Choward’s Violet Scented Gum is taped next to Nahui’s portrait as an offering for sweet mercy. Also near Nahui’s portrait is a photograph of Gluck—the yum transgendered 1920s British artist (born Hannah Gluckstein)—dressed in a dapper suit. Although they never met, Nahui and Gluck would have most certainly made a ginger-peachy duo. And Frank, the modern-day grunge-dandy eco-terrorist protagonist of my novel, would kill for a girl like Nahui and a wardrobe like Gluck’s. Introduction to Botany (1914), a sweetheart of a research book for Frank’s eco-terrorist projects and my favorite means of procrastination, sits on my kitchen counter/desk. When I bore of tasty chapters such as “Mosses, Liverworts, and Ferns,” I unpeel and reorganize items on the wall. Eventually I write. Aluminum tape rocks.

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