Writing & More!

How I Composted the Stinky Guck of my Cult Experience into Fertile Soil (guest post for Godless Mom, 27 January 2020)—What did I do to turn my pile? What grew out of my pile, as I turned it? Read this piece for answers!

Fifty Shades of Community (the Foundation for Intentional Community blog, 5 April 2020)—What’s the difference between a cult and a community? How, when seeking community, can you avoid hooking up with a cult? I offer helpful hints, drawn from my involvement with a cult, a community, and something in between.

Towards a Joyful Economics (Communities magazine, Summer 2017)—A Gift Circle in Brooklyn leads me, in a roundabout way, to an experience of villaging, in gift-flow, at Earthaven.

A Tangled Web: Sex at Zendik Farm (Communities magazine, Summer 2019)—I summarize the sex scene at Zendik, as I knew it, and reflect on how it’s affected me, in the decade and a half since my departure.

Getting Down—with Dmitry, Derrick, and Teddy K—Dmitry Orlov. Derrick Jensen. Ted Kaczynski. The three horsemen of my recent bout of apocalyptic reading, in which I learned, among other things, that Teddy K is not crazy.

Swing low, sweet war machine – and let me out!—In a dream, my plane makes a crash landing. Unperturbed, I get out and walk.

The Dream of Descent—In waking life, I fear descent; in dreams, I embrace it.

War Machines Make War. Not Butterflies.—The war on Standing Rock is neither an anomaly nor a mistake. It’s written into the job description of industrial civilization.

Beyond Bounded Choice—This last election, and its aftermath, have confirmed for me that yes, industrial civilization is a cult, and yes, its true believers experience, and act from, a condition of bounded choice.

Meet Me in the Meadow of Miracles—Fellowbeings, let’s not settle for a slightly better story. Let’s re-imagine the whole darn thing.

Derrick Jensen and Charles Eisenstein Fistfight in Heaven—White light? Or bloody knuckles? Cathedral or hovel? How do I hold two dueling stories that both sound true?

I Heart “the Environment”—And little pink whiz-bangs and bloom-toodles too!

“Development” as Home-icide: Cover Your Eyes—At least, since November 8 in America, it’s become harder to pretend there’s nothing wrong.

It Takes a Village to Raise a Dictator—Fascism (which needs foot soldiers) thrives on the survival trap of industrial civilization.

The First Step Is Admitting Civilization Is the Problem—In A Language Older Than Words, Derrick Jensen says, “The nightmare cannot be defeated on its own terms.”

A Killer Career—Fun with the One Percent: Veterans’ Day at the Harvard Club.

It’s Our Party, We’ll Squawk If We Want To—Mama-birdroid has flown the nest (no more frankenworms!). It’s just us chickens.

Angry? Sad? Depressed? It’s Dandelion Time.—Read The Dandelion Insurrection, by Rivera Sun – it’s the perfect antidote to Dollary Clump.

Grateful for a Miracle—I’ve been in an abusive relationship with the publishing industry; I choose to get out.

Bookbeing Seeks Body, Home—Absent a book deal, I’m forced to ask: What matters?

Poop to Table—Bored with kohlrabi fettucine and carrot-top pesto? New Brooklyn eatery Poop to Table takes the locavore (bowel) movement to a whole new level.

What I Do for Money—Step away from the morality trap! Remember the nature of debt-based currency.

In the Haven of Earthly Delights—Weed salad, jungle gardens, clay-smeared skin – and other yields of two late-summer weeks at Earthaven.

Team Human, Team Earth—What does the web of life want from me? What does it want from my species?

A Path to What the Soul Knows—It winds alongside open and honest questions; it dead-ends in advice.

The Greater of Two Goods—How I currently make money seems like the lesser of two evils. Can I even begin to imagine a joyful relationship with currency?

The Genius of Crisis—Crisis spurs us to do what we want to do anyway. Thank you, crisis.

Tunnel to Prairie: Escaping My Story—I’m stuck in a dark tunnel that may lead to publication. Does it? Will I stick around to find out?

Cult Stories: Novels vs. Memoirs—Cult memoirs tend to be poorly written; cult novels tend towards caricature. Where’s the sweet spot?

What Does Water Want?—Not to be shat in, for starters.

Shall We Nap?—Vietnam-era generals got promoted when body counts rose. Might this make us leery of the rush to achieve?

A Message from Dollary Clump—Fun with spoonerisms – and clutoprats!

Wild Hunger (You Remember)—Considering the toll taken by life indoors, after reading As the World Burns.

The Lottery, Writ Large—Motor vehicles plying warfrastructure kill tens of thousands of people in the U.S., every year, guaranteed. Why do we accept this bum deal?

Deliver Us, Lord, from Cracks in Our Story—What if recycling and related activities are better at preserving our stories than saving our lives?

Waste Management = Corporate Welfare—People aren’t slobs; corp(se)orations are. How about we quit cleaning up after them?

If Men Cleaned the World—A gross generalization: Men build the world; women clean it. What if homes were designed with ease of cleaning in mind?

Nothing So Human As Sharing a Song—Singing is a human right, a human gift. It flourishes when the passive audience gives way to the collaborative circle.

The Subtle Bodies of Coercion—Observing Notes of Dissonance, at my first Beacon SURJ meeting.

Our Settings, Our Selves—A catalogue of habits, a glimpse of better patterns.

The Single-Family Mystery—On the peculiar decision to live with just one other person in a three-story house.

What Wants to Grow, Will Grow—On growing food alone and in company; foraging for wild food versus being chained to the hose.

Roads vs. Paths—If a circulatory system privileging motor vehicles over humans doesn’t kill you, it’ll drive you crazy.

Every Seventeen Years—On reclaiming, cicada-like, the dream of the warmth of a tribe.

Social Nutrition – Time for RDAs?—To be socially healthy, we need to spend plenty of time with people we know and trust.

The Daily Weave of Love—Greater interdependence, among more people, makes for an exponential increase in options for giving and receiving love.

Ease of Meeting—What conditions make it possible to coordinate activity mainly by just running into each other?

Poop and Friendshit—How stewarding Medicine Wheel’s humanure system jumpstarted a pootiful friendshit.

Where Will We Gather? And How?—What would it take for my home city to revillage? A dispatch from the edge between Beacon and Earthaven.

Paths vs. Roads—Why don’t we walk more? Oh, right—because our roads want to kill us.

Imagine there’s no signal…—What if your cell phone didn’t work? What if no one else’s did either? Would that be a blast, or what?

Frequent, Casual Contact—Why human ties suffer when we have to make appointments.

Ten Percent on a Good Day—An outtake from MATING IN CAPTIVITY in which our heroine receives her first real dose of the toxin known as “input.”

Eric Herm Interview, Extended Version—A longer version of an interview I did with SON OF A FARMER author Eric Herm, in December 2012.

Weakness Leaving the Body—An outtake from MATING IN CAPTIVITY in which our heroine tries to warrior up, with the help of the Marines.

More Than Ninety Days—A meditation from the summer of 2006, when I’d yet to settle down.

Joe Namath and a Toad—What happened when I realized my lifelong dream of placing a personal ad in a newspaper (hint: it wasn’t pretty).

Miami Phish, New Year’s 2003—An outtake from MATING IN CAPTIVITY in which our heroine rises from the slough of despond to the high of kicking ass at selling.

The Gift Circle: A Space for Weaving Relationship—A talk I gave in November 2014 at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture about my experience leading the Brooklyn Gift Circle, and gifting’s broader implications.

The Trailer—An outtake from MATING IN CAPTIVITY in which we learn about the curses and blessings (mostly curses) of Zendik quarantine.

Canary in the Crosswalk—How I developed Pedestrian Terror Stress Disorder, while navigating New York City’s deadly streets.

My Cult and Infinite Growth: A Tale of Two Stories—Did you think cults were for idiots? Take a good look at the economy. Then look in the mirror.

These Wounds Won’t Seem to Heal—The ghost of an affair, in the rear-view mirror.

Trapped in a Forest of Little Chairs—A vignette from my time teaching English at a cram school in Bayside, Queens, circa 2006.

Zendiks vs. Christians in New Orleans—An outtake from MATING IN CAPTIVITY, in which our heroine squares off against a fellow zealot.

Stuffed Station Wagon Man (or, The Trouble with Hitching in the Yukon)—An outtake from MATING IN CAPTIVITY, in which our heroine falls in with a pack rat on her way to Alaska.