January 19, 2018. Photo: Ariana Reines.


Aquarius, the water-bearer, rules the ankles and the transmission of information in waves.

Sound currents; electrical currents; the seeming suddenness with which the spirit of the times commands new social orders.

Inspiration, and inspiration’s consequences.

Inspiration, and inspiration’s consequent gossamer and fiber-optic structures.

The idea of the internet and the internet itself.

Elvis Presley, “How the Web Was Woven,” 1970

Not so much the waters of Rome, but the imperial aqueducts and plumbing. 

Less the exploitation of resources than the exploitation of information. The idea of information itself…

Aquarius is ruled by Uranus, the Promethean planet that presided over the age of democratic revolution here on Earth, and which continues to carry the spark of wisdom, of social conscience—and the often violent transformations ushered in by that spark—in a given era’s collective consciousness. (I’ll say more about Saturn in the Aquarian mode next week—Saturn ruled Aquarius alone until the discovery of Uranus in 1781...)

Uranus is part of the negative space against which we live; the fertile silt where the lotus roots, the neglected wisdom that falls to the bottom of riverbeds and ocean floors only to be thrown up again upon dry land, with only apparent suddenness, to be tilled by the masses and irrigated to the billion outposts of our every mind through a vascular structure with all the perfections and imperfections of our times.

The process by which the unconscious becomes conscious only seems to flower suddenly.

If water, as we’ve noted earlier, represents Emotion in Astrology, then the water-bearer is the transmission system of Emotion. Thus, social networks and especially electronically-mediated social networks.

In Egypt and Babylon, Aquarius was associated with flooding: the story of Gilgamesh; the annual flooding of the Nile. In Ancient Greece, it was Ganymede, the handsome young boy whom Zeus either became an eagle or sent an eagle to abduct into service as his cup-bearer. The Egyptian god cognate with Aquarius was Hapi or Hapy, an intersex figure, blue in color, with breasts and a beard, representing both divine fertility; mystic moisture, and its judicious application on the ground. Making water in the desert. Thinking of Hapi I find myself circling back to Tiresias “with his wrinkled dugs,” as T.S. Eliot put it, the blind prophet blessed to experience sex as both a man and a woman; a memory of wetness, a whiff of humidity, carried into the airy realm in which experience is put to work for the collective, as knowledge.

The dry applications of prophecy. The idealism and patience it takes to weave a web. Generational achievements; collective traps. The “nets” of culture and social order James Joyce sought to fly “by” and fly beyond.

There is always more to be said than can be written in a single morning.

As I rooted through all the available mythology, something felt off in all of it. And then again, because Aquarius is often said to be “from” the future, I want to add, Aquarius presides over that which does not yet exist as an archetype…

The handsome cup-bearer, the emphasis (I stand by it) of the plumbing and the aqueducts over the water (or whatever substance) they transmit, electroacoustics before and beyond music, the vibration of mantra as primordial music. Special deliveries from the future; alien downloads; nonmonogamous yet eminently high-fidelity systems; the things you can only learn by being alone with your computer…

There’s so much more. See you next time.

Ariana Reines

January 19, 2018. Photo: Ariana Reines.

Ariana Reines is a poet & playwright. She astrologizes at lazyeyehaver.com.

January 18, 2018. Photo: Ariana Reines.

I’M CURIOUS if you’ve ever found your soul upended by an image. By a single image.

This is the one that did that to me:

A frieze of Doubting Thomas from the cloisters at the Santo Domingo de Silos Abbey in Spain.

It was something about the awkwardness and rhythm in exact proportion—something about the Christ, in half-crucifixion position, offering his wound to the probing Jupiter finger of the Apostle Thomas—strange enough to verge on the sexual, awkward enough to wedge itself through the joinery of my skull, crack open my begging bowl, & let the light pour in.

I’m not Christian at all, but I did watch a lot of Nick at Nite when I was little, and my friends had stuff like this in their houses:

I mean, ew.

You imbibe certain gaseous forms of Christianity just existing in the United States.

But the various forms of Christianity aren’t my point—and it’s not my intention to insult anybody’s religion. It’s more that, because I’m Jewish and Judaism, like Islam, doesn’t like graven images or the depiction of divinity in anything like human form or humanoid terms, I was something of a tabula rasa for the various iconographic codes of Judeo-Christian Capitalism.

But I know you don’t need me to tell you those enamel angels look like the sex dolls of a pedophile. And I know you don’t need me to tell you that, when obscenity—sexual exploitation and rapacious war—is simply the background, the negative space against which we take our every breath, the space of reverence within us, almost imperceptibly, and even without effort, finds itself doing an unplanned and self-taught gymnastics, guttering and flickering like an insistent flame—to keep itself just strange enough, just barely-beyond our ken enough to evade the fornicating maw of the real.

Blessed guts: Eskill & Vicky Accompanied by T.P. Poly Rythmo, “Ecoute ma mélodie” (Listen to My Melody), 1980.

To return to the “Incredulity” of Thomas above—I see that moment, in which he demands to touch the wounds of the risen Christ, as a gorgeously weird instance of generosity, of lesbiating intimacy, and a hilarious conflation, on the part of mainstream Christianity (if the thousandish-year repertoire of Thomas Incredulities can be believed) of sight, touch, and belief. How generous, to offer your body yet again, after you’ve already poured out your life’s blood on the cross. How daring and brave, to bear witness to the enormity of a miracle by admitting you can’t believe it, while your comrades, in their neat rows, are acting all pious and docile.

I’m fascinated by the hypnotic encoding of those image repertoires we have no choice but to move through, and then the power of certain instances—in image, or encounter, or sound, or breath—to crack them open. I won’t waste this space posting images I consider forms of exploitation hypnosis. You’ve seen tens and hundreds of thousands of such images. I know you know what I’m talking about.

But I’d really love to hear about the images that make you feel un-hypnotized. That make the beelzebubs immediately stop feeding on your face, that banish the scums and the demons from your mind, that return you to your sovereignty. Write me at lazyeyehaver@gmail.com or letters@artforum.com.

See you tomorrow.

Ariana Reines

January 18, 2018. Photo: Ariana Reines.

Ariana Reines is a poet & playwright. She astrologizes at lazyeyehaver.com.

January 17, 2018. Photo: Ariana Reines.

A NEAT GASH OF SUNLIGHT is widening across the sand. We talked late around the fire all night, trading origin stories. An Egyptian god spat into his hand and had congress with himself and made two sons. When things began everything was darkness and goo. A woman took a boat to heaven and got drunk with God and carried all his powers down to Earth. The feminine principle accidentally emanated a son then hid him in clouds; he didn’t know he had parents when he created us; there was much he did not know, in spite of his capacities as a fabricator, hence the world we now know and inhabit. Adam and Eve each came into a jar and waited. After a time Adam’s jar had a baby in it and Eve’s was filled with worms. The planets are the wheeling gears of some obscure machine. Ants led people up a reed that and emerged onto the floor of the Grand Canyon and that’s how life in this world began, but there had been three failed worlds before this one . . .

Maybe it’s mendacity that makes the universe expand, I wrote one time in Tasmania when I was freaking out. And I wrote, the sky is like a child’s cheek, delicately veined.

With so many planets in hardheaded Capricorn I intimate every kind of accusation against such fabulation. But I cannot live without wonder. It comes easy when you can see the stars. It’s weird to hide from the stars in cities, and then go to the Internet to get them back. It is like everything the networks and structures take from us, and then we feel lucky when, on occasion comes the privilege to buy back pieces of ourselves. I’m really craving privacy this morning. And down in the arroyo, enjoying it.

Venus moves into Aquarius at 8:43 PM EST; the Sun, Pluto, Mercury, and Capricorn are still surveying the lay of the land from on high in the palace of chronology and executive power—the young moon moved into Aquarius early in the ambrosial hours.

As the Sun’s time in Capricorn dwindles, a word about the mountain goat’s mysticism, often paid short shrift. There’s a lot to be said for climbing to a certain height, the better to gain perspective. There are things you cannot see when you’re down in the goo, in the muck, at the beginning of the world. Capricorn is often depicted as a goat crawling out of a seashell—he carries the memory of the sea, and likewise the memory of feeling, all the way up to the severe heights where he’s comfortable. There is tender pilgrimage behind the severity he’s known for.

Ariana Reines

Mama Cass, Mary Travers, and Joni Mitchell, “I Shall Be Released” on The Mama Cass Television Show, 1969. Via Hedi El-Kholti.

Ariana Reines is a poet & playwright. She astrologizes at lazyeyehaver.com.


January 16, 2018. Photo: Ariana Reines.

“analogies are dangerous”

Muriel Rukeyser

I ASKED MY TEACHER how he came to learn astrology. Misery he answered. Misery is a good school I said. The best, he answered. Laughter. 

I asked him how he’d made my chart eight years ago, whether he worked with an ephemeris in some form. He doesn’t have Internet now and he certainly didn’t have it then. I asked the planets where they were when you were born, he said. I rather believed him, while disbelieving, or I believed him with a sense of humor, the only way one can believe anything, perhaps the only way one should believe anything, including the world in front of one’s nose, the falling bombs, the bugs skittering across the prison floor...

OK, but I let my two normcore assimilationist brain cells think their obligatory thoughts: that he must own an ephemeris, that he might have had access to one, that he might even have put my birth data into one of the innumerable chart-generators online, at someone else’s house, in someone else’s office; why not; he may well have done so and nevertheless also asked the planets where they were when I was born. 

When I read a book, he continued, I’m not exactly reading, I’m comparing. I’m comparing what I know innately to what’s written on the page. 

I know that kind of reading. That’s poet’s reading and I’ve been doing it forever. I think it is more and more common, though the metrics by which to measure innate knowledge against delusion and quackery are only in very early stages of beta testing.   

What I was really after was ordinary, practical information about how he integrates astrology into everything else he does when he heals. I didn’t have to ask this question aloud. He heard it. On this path, he began, using a construction I have never known him to use, on this path humility is essential, and your first task, always, always, is to help.

Humility is surely required if you have the power directly to quiz planets as to their location at such and such a moment. The Greeks and their old, forever unheeded counsel against hubris is likewise well known. In any case.

I’m not sure the asceticism of Misery School or the extreme humility required if one intends to hold and make longterm use of, offer longterm service by the employment of divine gifts is for everybody. It might come off a little gray, like the Internet gray of today’s sunrise, cut by a single clitoral glow.

Nevertheless I believe we all have these capacities. Whose infrastructure must be rebuilt. This stern New Moon is commanding both ambition and an ethics.

And so, from the bitcoin of the mind, with eclipses in view as well as an array of other gifts I’ve prepared for you this week, and even though I thought I’d be writing you something different this morning, two tiny things.

1. Don’t look back. Not today.
2. Things are grim, I know, but they’re also ridiculous, thus not without erotic promise.  For example, here is Capricorn Marlene Dietrich, looking back to mourn without directly doing so, turning her excellent bones toward the absurd kleig lights of the future, like the hard femme moon giving birth to herself above us and below us in a few hours.

Rest in Power, Dolores.

Ariana Reines

Marlene Dietrich sings Pete Seeger’s “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” 1964. Video, black and white, sound, 4 minutes 27 seconds.

Ariana Reines is a poet & playwright. She astrologizes at lazyeyehaver.com.

Love’s not Time’s fool (Shakespeare, Sonnet 116). Photo: Ariana Reines.

THE NEW MOON occurs tomorrow, January 16, 2018, at 9:17 PM EST, at twenty-six degrees & fifty-five minutes of Capricorn.

As the Sun’s tenancy in Capricorn nears its end (he enters Aquarius on January 19—preceded by Venus, who moves into Aquarius on January 17, and Mercury sails thataway at the end of the month) this New Moon lovingly invites us, once again, to initiate the structure, discipline, sobriety, & integrity heralded by Saturn’s return home to Capricorn late last year, & by the mystic marriage of masculine and feminine pulsed into us by the Cancer Full Moon on the New Year.

Mars is hanging out with Jupiter in Scorpio till January 26; Jupiter perfects his sextile with Pluto in Capricorn today: it’s time to be the best boss of yourself, to transform all the vicissitudes of shame you’ve ever wallowed through into patient, grown-ass care for your finances, your professional situation, and the profoundest aspect of the heights of your worldly ambition.

Remember that whatever Saturnine work you’re putting in, you must be doing it for Love. And if Love is not to become Time’s fool, she needs to work out a schedule she can live with.

This might be a slight deformation of a Kabbalistic formula I once heard Leonard Cohen describe, but basically if the King and Queen aren’t both sitting on the throne up there in the cosmos of your brains, there’s no creativity, no magic, no beauty— nothing works in what you do, no matter how hard you may labor at it. So it’s not that I’m suggesting merely working harder. This is a year, to paraphrase the graphic novelist & artist Nomy Lamm, to undertake and profit from your hardest & your softest work.

Daddy’s home. His car is in the garage, he’s doing work on the house, fixing the plumbing, mending cracks in the wall & holes in the roof. He’s clearing debris out of the garden and massaging the overworked fields. Maybe he’s been a shitty dad for most of your life, but he is listening to your grievances now. He is eager to do what can be done. He is not the apologizing kind, but he is examining the old charts and tables. He is drawing up new charts and tables. And when the Sun and Venus move into Aquarius, they’ll both be looking to entirely untested and from-the-future answers to questions so deep we’ve already spent all our tears and our suffering and our longing on them. Maybe emotional exhaustion is a good thing. I’m looking forward to looking, with you, more coolly, more structurally, more galactically at what we’ve done to the planet, to ourselves, to one another.

Nina Simone sings “Pirate Jenny” at the International Jazz Festival in Montreal on July 2, 1992.

There’s more to say about the heavy wages on the ledger for the slavers, the frackers, the incarcerators, and the rapers of the kingdom of this world, but I’ll save it for tomorrow. The sun has just risen, and I gotta go.

Ariana Reines

Ariana Reines is a poet & playwright. She astrologizes at lazyeyehaver.com.

Chögyam Trungpa. Caveat emptor.

The wrong way to take refuge involves seeking shelter—worshipping mountains, sun gods, moon gods, deities of any kind simply because they would seem to be greater than we. This kind of refuge-taking is similar to the response of the little child who says, ‘If you beat me, I’ll tell my mommy,’ thinking that his mother is a great, archetypically powerful person. If he is attacked, his automatic recourse is to his mother, an invincible and all-knowing, all-powerful personality. The child believes his mother can protect him, in fact that she is the only person who can save him. Taking refuge in a mother or father-principle is truly self-defeating; the refuge-seeker has no real basic strength at all, no true inspiration. He is constantly busy assessing greater and smaller powers. If we are small, then someone greater can crush us. We seek refuge because we cannot afford to be small and without protection. We tend to be apologetic: ‘I am such a small thing, but I acknowledge your great quality. I would like to worship and join your greatness, so will you please protect me?’

Surrendering is not a question of being low and stupid, nor of wanting to be elevated and profound. It has nothing to do with levels and evaluation. Instead, we surrender because we would like to communicate with the world ‘as it is.’ We do not have to classify ourselves as learners or ignorant people. We know where we stand, therefore we make the gesture of surrendering, of opening, which means communication, link, direct communication with the object of our surrendering. We are not embarrassed about our rich collection of raw, rugged, beautiful and clean qualities. We present everything to the object of our surrendering. The basic act of surrender does not involve the worship of an external power. Rather, it means working together with inspiration, so that one becomes an open vessel into which knowledge can be poured.

—Chögyam Trungpa, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism (1973/2002). Shambala Classics, Boulder.

See you tomorrow.

Ariana Reines

January 14, 2018. Photo: Ariana Reines.

Ariana Reines is a poet & playwright. She astrologizes at lazyeyehaver.com.

Early flight this AM. Heading toward Mountain Time. Photo: Ariana Reines.

Things that are sinuous are the rivers of the land
Women stalking with the ripple of cats
Along the leg and movement of the body
In deep eddies in silk transparencies
Rivers of the tumbled slopes
The flatlands to the west
Tidal-rivers licking and drawing back
The whole weight of protuberance toward the sea.
Marking a salt ridge in the bright flush of the flats.
O sea grasses waving in the high of a quickened
Sea grass wavering in the high flush of the flats.
They are women with the bare and subtle feet
Of brooks or rills of mountain lakes
Of turbulent cascades of torrential moments
Of long coil tenuous drift with one still cloud
Sucking from rim to rim of that insoluble thing
It was down to the river and the beat of the river

—Joan Murray, [Untitled]. Joan Murray: Drafts, Fragments, and Poems: The Complete Poetry (2018), edited by Farnoosh Fathi with a preface by John Ashbery. New York Review of Books Poets.

Abbey Lincoln, Wholly Earth, 1999.

Special thanks to Dana Ward.

Ariana Reines

Ariana Reines is a poet & playwright. She astrologizes at lazyeyehaver.com.

Edouard Glissant, Monsieur Toussaint, 1961, stage set for a 2017 adaptation by The Living & the Dead Ensemble. Grand Cemetery of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, December 15, 2017. Photo: Ariana Reines.

“Poetry’s circulation and its action no longer conjecture a given people but the evolution of the planet Earth.”

Edouard Glissant, Poetics of Relation

SPIRITUALLY, ETHICALLY, ENVIRONMENTALLY, AND ARTISTICALLY, whiteness, or the culture of abstraction, or high capitalism or necrotic rape-based capitalism or whatever you want to call it at this point—is the shithole.

It’s the eighth anniversary of Haiti’s earthquake.

There are countless ways one can see the future in Haiti. It has always been ahead of its time. Saint Domingue was, statistically, the most rapacious consumer of African labor and destroyer of black lives in the colonies; likewise it produced the most wealth. Haiti’s was the third democratic revolution on the planet, and a military triumph against the planet’s most powerful colonial powers. The first truly successful slave revolt on the planet. The first judicial attempt to vanquish color-based racism on the planet. The magic island upon which Christopher Columbus first set his damning foot.

The place where, heaven help us all, the New World began.

When I was there last month, I spent a lot of time with artists. I saw devout commitment to vision, reverence for the visible and invisible worlds, damning humor, brilliant satire, genius, and collaborative genius. I saw love. I also saw the mystery of withdrawal from an insane reality, the better to nurture poiesis and romance (they go together—hi Venus) which paradoxically need a little distance from the merely real, the obscenely real, in order to better make love to it. Survival by what Glissant calls opacity. An artists’ separatism; an artists’ marronage. A thousand modes of separatism, of marronage, in a given instant, in a given situation.

Haiti has a lot of experience with the insane effect mad rulers have on reality itself. We are somewhat new at this in the USA, or rather, we’re pathetically new at facing, collectively, this fact. And yet, slavery was mass delusion: a mass delusion arguably more psychotic and damaging than the ones we’re contending with now, which obviously include slavery’s billion consequences. How long will the reckoning take? When will the revolution take? When might a “shot heard round the world” actually root itself in the heart of the matter. Why don’t we study more how suggestible, eminently mislead-able, and idiotic we are as a species? And also some of the unaccountable and the weird ways we have been wise.

It has often seemed to me, not only since last January but really, since 9/11, that we Americans have finally been plunged into the boiling baptismal font of the real truth of the New World. How do you protect what’s sacred when horrible things are happening all around you? How do you know what is sacred when you’re an accessory to constant war, mass incarceration, and state murder? How do you remember what’s sacred when you have so totally ceded your sovereignty to machines you find yourself trying to add it to your shopping cart, even though you know better? You try, you fail, it makes you crazy, you develop a kind of sanity—inevitably, a mysticism—and you serve that. You turn inward. No matter where else you turn, you are also turning inward. The solitude your machines bring you compels it. The insanity and dismay all around you compels it. The oblivion all around you, the bad music compels it. And all this also compels the yearning to collaborate you feel. I don’t mean collaborating with the evil regime that’s over you. I mean collaborating with friends and enemies, with family and family ghosts, while political talk radio plays all day long in your studio.

There is a majesty that goes way beyond a given zeitgeist and somehow, somehow, that majesty is in some art. It is in the devoutness required of the artists to survive so they can give life. Seeing this again and again last month in Haiti made me wonder anew at art’s timetable, which suddenly seemed, again, a lot more obscure than the orthodox calendar of careers and exhibitions and movements and trends.

As always, there is more to say than can be said. I am no historian, no expert, no scholar. I’m talking to you as a pilgrim.

“Transparency no longer seems like the bottom of the mirror in which Western humanity reflected the world in its own image. There is opacity now at the bottom of the mirror, a whole alluvium deposited by populations, silt that is fertile but, in actual fact, indistinct and unexplored even today, denied or insulted more often than not, and with an insistent presence that we are incapable of not experiencing.” (Glissant, “Transparency and Opacity”, ibid. 111)

When Uranus enters Taurus on May 15, to be in residence there till 2026, it will be an era of earthquakes. It will also be an era, as everyone seems to be singing in unison, of the growing stability of the rising global currency. Of fertile silt bearing fruit and of convulsive beauty.

Ariana Reines

Ariana Reines, January 12, 2018, 2018, video, color, sound, 11 seconds.

Ariana Reines is a poet & playwright. She astrologizes at lazyeyehaver.com.

January 11, 2018. Photo: Ariana Reines.

MERCURY ENTERED CAPRICORN nine minutes past midnight EST. Goodbye purple prose.

The Moon is void-of-course in Scorpio from 9:54 AM EST today till she enters Sagittarius 2:05 AM EST tomorrow morning.

It takes just about twenty-eight days for the Moon to complete her orbit around Earth. She spends about two, two and a half days in each sign of the Zodiac. You know this, but I’ll remind you anyway: She pulls the tides and the water in your body; seeds turn with her, whether in your belly or in the ground. Because she has no light of her own (but rather reflects the Sun’s light) and because she’s just a tiny thing whipping around us (the analogue to our orbit around the Sun), she oughtn’t, perhaps, be so important. And yet everything that happens on this planet happens under her aegis. She appears, when full, to be just slightly smaller than the Sun. What fortune in our cause could possibly have made us worthy of such mysterious symmetry?

It’s practically an invitation to Science Fiction. Or mysticism.

Herein lies a key to astrology’s peculiar factual yet extrafactual relationship to The Truth. While the Moon is just a moon—a consort, a plus one, a sidekick, a supplement, arm candy, bla bla bla (Jupiter was long thought to have sixteen, and in the last few years twenty-three more have been discovered), I invite you to speculate on what Earth might be like without her. What would the ocean be? There would be night, but would there be dreams? Would there be gender? (Another day I’ll talk about stories and traditions in which the Moon is male, in which there’s a Man-in-the-Moon, etc.) How would things change, how would things grow? With nothing pulling the waters on this planet, which are also feeling, what would govern them? I can only picture a nightmare of “pure reason.”

Francisco Goya, El sueño de la razon produce monstruos (The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters), 1799, etching, aquatint, drypoint, burin, 8 x 6". From the series “Los Caprichos” (Whims), 1799.

When the Moon is void-of-course, she’s completed her last major aspect to the Sun or other planets in a given sign and has nothing left to do except coast into the next sign. Void-of-course is a fancy phrase for something that happens all the time. It’s not a good time to ask a Horary question (google it) and it’s not an auspicious time to launch anything, like a business or whatever.

Some astrologers say you might find yourself feeling kind of floaty or empty when the Moon is void-of-course, and I can kind of corroborate this. But again, I am a suggestible being just like you are, and prescription-by-suggestion of how one might feel, per yesterday’s column, is not my favorite.

What about this: Today’s a great time, as the Moon goes on wanting, to think about what you’ve accomplished since the turning of the year, but also in the last couple of days during the Moon’s tenure in heavy-metal Scorpio—think about how much you’ve changed these last few days, and back to the start of the year (fuck what came before), and all the ways you’ve cultivated life. Eating food, sleeping, breathing, being at all kind to your pet, being at all present to the ones you love or present to and respectful of your longing to love—all these and suchlike would count as accomplishments. There’s crap and waste draining out of us as the Moon shrinks. Great. Achievements in the dark and achievements witnessed: you can turn these over all day today in your perfect mind, and press the goodness in. I invite you to do likewise for lovely sensations. Whatever marvelous thing you might have felt, however fleeting, bid your consciousness absorb it. Marry it a little.

Ariana Reines

January 11, 2018. Photo: Ariana Reines.

Ariana Reines is a poet & playwright. She astrologizes at lazyeyehaver.com.

M. Geddes Gengras, Magical Writing (Side A), 2011. With thanks to Alexandra Leon.

IT OCCURRED TO ME YESTERDAY the cosmos might be too wide for a proper writer’s slender gift: the duty one has to the ever-neglected miniscule majesties and tragedies of Earth stuff. We are supposed to know ourselves. We are supposed to study each other.

Which is why I had always been reluctant to apply myself as a writer of prose, which I also don’t officially consider myself to be, to matters heavenly. I have adopted this affected tone because it has just now come naturally to me. Writing so well as to write almost purposefully badly.

Some part of me thinks she can fatten certain wraithlike and exceedingly tender elements of the kind of receptivity bordering on self-neglect that I require of myself in order to then reap, when I can reap, some majesty of an impression to which I can be confident I have been just. I’m talking about poetry again, about the way it makes you throw yourself around, and treat yourself like an idiot, and treat yourself like trash, and ignore yourself, and worship yourself. The way these holy offices make you spill out into some form of untoward possibility, like milk over tile, spreading milk ordered by the grid of the grouting, in the manner of the artists of the 1970s whose mystique was that of the raw fact, chapped lips on a beer can in the cold, or else some stiffness in you, the part of your intellect that wants things distinctly drawn, that wants to distinguish itself from the charnel ground you’re wading through, at least crane its neck for some kind of perspective, demands that if you still refuse on principle to make sense of it all or even of any of it, you could at least say something if not true then in the prosody of truth.

I can relate to anything. I can relate in some form to anything. This is my problem, and it is also yours, and this is also a gift we share. Isn’t it weird to relate to what doesn’t speak to you, to be called to relate and to be in constant relation, to accept and admit it all while protecting something at your innermost—or trying to—proceeding both open and closed, both melancholy and hopeful but not wanting to hope? It may occasionally be fascinating. It is so much confusion and error. It is the intricacy of how we’re becoming. We have by now had some practice watching the poles to which millions and billions pay their attention. We have practiced testing these poles on our own soft targets. Nothing, absolutely nothing can replace your sovereignty.

I almost wrote that it goes without saying—but in these times nothing does—that some form of daily meditation practice is going to be infinitely more nutritious to you than everyday consultation of horoscopes and astrologers.  

The tarot wizard and poet Geoffrey Cruickshank-Hagenbuckle once explained to me that “they,” though they are always giving of their infinite bounties, get annoyed if you knock too often. Geoffrey’s they was the they of “Spirit” or spirits, the they of the infinite, whosoever’s vast consciousness we consult when we divine, the name of that which is beyond all naming . . .you know who I mean.

Even though many of us, each astrologizing with every sincerity, are meditators and variously devout ourselves; even though it is our earnest wish to encourage you through the glories and warrens of your day; even though we, like you, believe in the making of meaning and in the wisdom of a wider and more generous context than what the feeds want us afraid of, or buying—I have often wondered at my own appetite for being told how I might feel, for being instructed as to how I would or could feel were I properly aligned with things heavenward, my own willingness to be reminded, as though I weren’t already doing it, to “just breathe through it when shit gets gnarly,” or insert here any other variation of the tarted-up universally good advice diviners wring from themselves on your behalf (at least hopefully) daily.

Once, when I was on mushrooms, Richard Pryor took possession of my body and used it to give a sermon about the sacred nature of hot peppers and the history of totalitarian states—chiefly Ancient Egypt and Imperial Rome—which intentionally used wheat as what he called “slave food,” as the American bread basket continues to do today, and everything he had to say about bread and circus, ergot and the witch trials, mass delusion masquerading as reality, and the true—grim—meaning of the wheat staff when you find it in state iconography—it all rang true. But having had such an experience (it was fun) doesn’t, duh, qualify me to tell you what’s true.

I believe all diviners and all astrologers and really the entire spectrum, from the worst of the bro shamans proffering acoustic guitars, to the most shopping-addicted of Insta-witches, the vampirists of your deepest pain you believed were “intuitive healers,” the past-life regressionists, the numerologist root chakra penetrators and faith-based dieticians, the hypnotist comedians specializing in “cunnilingual release,” the receivers of direct transmissions from Sirius B and the speakers of fluent Galactic, the ones who will tell you they have seen unicorns, the ones who remember Atlantis, the ones who were on Mount Shasta in the heady last days of Lemuria, the myofascial masseuses and the rolfers of your broken dick—mediocrities of the world, as Salieri said it in Amadeus, I absolve us.

It is good to be suggestible. It means you are not a rock. It is good to want to connect. It means that in spite of what you’ve been through you still partake of the sweet, creaturely, frolicksome, childlike nature of the morning of the human spirit. Horoscopes suggest correspondences that, though they may ring true one tenth, even one fiftieth of the time, we nevertheless consult, because it is nice to have a map.

And yet, as sages have been reminding us for ages, the map is not the territory. Consciousness, gazing so intently on its own reflection, finds itself suddenly distorted. Drunk on our longing to resemble what we wished to resemble, we found ourselves electing the ugliest side of every truth in us.

I wouldn’t have agreed to write daily in some kind of dialogue with astrological doings if I weren’t curious what I might learn from the process; if I didn’t hope I might discover good things to impart. Ten days doing this has made me think a lot about my own suggestibility, my appetite for pablum, my sense of discipline, and to think about what feels like the future. It has also made me warier than I even was before—and I was—of knocking daily on the door.

Do your meditation today. Do your writing, your singing, your constructing and painting, your prayer. Feel free to keep sending me stuff. And I promise I won’t tell stop telling you stuff about the skies, even though nothing (to me) is better where that’s concerned than a real good relationship with your own birth chart, which I likewise encourage you to periodically ignore.

See you tomorrow.

Ariana Reines

January 10, 2018. Photo: Ariana Reines.

Ariana Reines is a poet & playwright. She astrologizes at lazyeyehaver.com.

January 9, 2018. Photo: Laurel Hayne-Miller.


            January long light
            Janus     I see you
            God of locks and doorways
            two-faced looking in Capricorn
            Capricorn like the snowy owl
            We fear heavy body collisions

            January     time of doors
            time looking back on itself
                        God of gates

                        spelt and salt

            They say when you
            walk through a door

            you can forget what
                        you came for

–Hoa Nguyen, VIOLET ENERGY INGOTS  (Wave Books, 2016)


he’s    using his phone to choke
&    kill small animals

but    I....but I

to    be free.... she protested...
she    was lying, cousin

of     explaining
Laura     Dern’s hair

subway     in which not poems
but     the idea of poetry’s been deployed

to     sell life insurance
both     a boring & morally

disquieting     thing to buy     intimating
the     entire orchestra

melting     asphalt in

you     would take it very
seriously     a Barthes an anthropologist

would     you would
you     would likewise    

tune     it out     we would   we all work
hard     smoking the steam

off     longing
you     can’t spend

fried     sacred bird    
Laura     Dern’s hair  

a     cooked
black     vein wheeling

into     the bulging bloodshot
eye   of the lotus     I’m keeping

this     left

so     they won’t complain
too     much laying it out

this     one more truthful because
more     sensual

a     room full of beautiful women in black
but     I am an actor too     she protested

see     how I dissemble in the dark   to my very
organs     even to my owen

soul     Salvador Salvador
I     think I know     he works all night

the     rest of them made alone inside the same
device     I too carry

the     single

good     reason to be combed
from     a thousand  

apposite     but dead

go     within my child
said     the parody of a guru


in     snow


now     in the door


Thank you for all the peacock stories, parents narratives, sunrise (& sunset!) photos, & all the music! Keep it coming: lazyeyehaver@gmail.com or letters@artforum.com.

I swear I didn’t do anything to my phone except mentally recite the phrase “warmest sunrise of the year” as I hit record.

Ariana Reines

Ariana Reines is a poet & playwright. She astrologizes at lazyeyehaver.com.

W.B.Yeats reading his own verse in 1932, 1934, and 1937.

...and hid his face amid a crowd of stars
—W.B. Yeats

ON FRIDAY IT HAPPENED that a few of my natal chart clients were in Dublin, & just as I was finishing a Skype with the last one, an Irish director walked in off the plane & into the house where I work. He took a nap in an efficiency apartment adjacent to my workroom, then commenced rehearsing a Yeats play with a troupe of actors in the salon upstairs. I had no idea this would be happening. That’s the kind of house this is. It might be one of the last genuinely “bohemian” households in Manhattan. Thespians and poets are always climbing up and down the stairs, nurturing and collaborating on difficult and improbable projects with mystic lineages, living the complicated itinerant lives of passion I guess pilgrims have always lived.

It made me want to wonder formally why the theology of Yeats was such a turnoff when I first encountered it at seventeen. Growing up in Salem with a schizophrenic mother I was acutely aware that any mystic impulse in myself would need to be sheathed in a prophylactic of unadorned “reason,” lest I be accused of merely “hiding” my feebleness of character in fantasy, clothing feminine instability in the pathetic convulsions of the vaguely witchy, etc. I didn’t want to be put in a mental hospital, the way my grandmother had done to my aunt, the way my dad had done to my mom, the way, I guess, that was the way of Massachusetts. See the Confessional poets, who at least went in voluntarily. See Cool for You by Eileen Myles. Anyway really it was a double prophylactic and I don’t remember how young I was when I started wearing it: body condom one, to parry the propensity of older men to condescend to your intelligence by keeping your woo under wraps, and condom two, to ward off rape. Anyway, whatever, this synchronicity made me accept I need at least to try to read A Vision. Have you read it?

I think to some degree astrologers—all pilgrims—are like the disappointed lover in the Yeats poem “When You Are Old,” hiding his face in a crowd of stars. The impulse to look for God, or causes, or some way of actually feeling one’s place in the cosmos, would have to come—however much innate aptitude one might have—also from some sense of the wrongness of things.

The danger, for me, or what disgusts me when I get too far into esoteric study, or the bore of being made to talk astrology at parties (I don’t want to look at your esophagus when we meet socially), is that it all starts to seem like a convolution of spectator culture, except that somehow spectating the heavens is supposed to be more spiritual than spectating Us Weekly. That and the fact that astrological jargon has replaced the Freudian lexicon—not only because clinical psychology and psychiatry have so colossally failed us as a society, but also because, soft and make-fun-of-able as it might be, we are people and we periodically need to refresh the language by which we try to fucking get a grip on how and why we are the way we are.

It’s weird though, because I’m not particularly obsessed with astrology. You could find more devout practitioners. Easily. I started studying it because after I was in a car crash in Haiti, a Houngan (Vodou priest) tore a sheet of paper off his Bank of Haiti desk blotter and did my chart with a ballpoint pen, and because a possessed Mambo (priestess) had thrown down a card and groaned at me, cigarette in her mouth, bottle of rum in her fist, and her groan was translated as follows: “You have a talent big like mine. Why you don’t use it.”

They weren’t telling me specifically that I should study astrology, but a couple of other synchronicities—for example I fell in love with a guy whose grandmother was a pharmacist astrologer in Paris—made me think it might help me heal my anxiety that an avowed interest in “the occult” (rather than my very real, but disavowed interest) would turn me into a catastrophe like my mother.

During the period my mom’s schizophrenia seemed to be setting in, she was in a phase of manic creativity—writing screenplays, doing physics and AI research, and obsessively astrologizing on what was then called her “Word Processor,” using what I imagine must have been Robert Hand’s Astrolabe software. More on this tomorrow.

The Sun, Venus, and Pluto are entering a stunning conjunction in Capricorn, perfecting tomorrow, sextile Mars and Jupiter in Scorpio. Total-body romantic and erotic transformation, X-ray vision, the capacity to see where you’re going and the rocket fuel to get there, the poles of masculine and feminine within us somehow recharged and rebalanced, bride and bridegroom at their chemical wedding, two crackling Tesla coils firing hot and bright in the planetarium of the soul...

See you tomorrow,

Ariana Reines

January 8, 2018. Photo: Ariana Reines.

Ariana Reines is a poet & playwright. She astrologizes at lazyeyehaver.com.

Terry Riley, A Rainbow in Curved Air, 1969.

Democracy isn’t efficient, and the only politics I recognize lies
between us, undefined, requiring no casting of votes. It asks that we
admit we’re both present, all present, in the same multiform space—
within me or you. I would never ask you to follow me; I will never
acknowledge a leader. I am my president. But also, I am
everyone, trying to be with you, because I exist, and always have

Alice Notley, “Two of Swords,” p6. Certain Magical Acts. Penguin, New York: 2016.

VERY STABLE GENIUS: It’s kind of beautiful. I mean, the mental health industry is pretty insane too. This is shadow Mars conjunct Jupiter: the mental fitness of the meathead gangster president (Mars rules the HEAD) attacked by Ph.D. grandees who earn their living guarding the perimeters of sanity, amending their ever-fattening DSM. May they smash their heads together hard enough to bring down both the fiefdom and the kingdom. Or whatever.

The psychiatric community was not just complicit with waterboarding and other forms of torture during the Bush administration; they advised that administration on which modes of torture would have the greatest efficacy. There have been apologies and reckonings, but between the torture, the pharmaceutical industry, and the fact that most of the mental health professionals I know are incredibly depressed, the good will of certain therapists, like the good will of certain Democrats, has nevertheless paved the road to hell.

I’m not saying the orange one isn’t crazy. But the question of his sanity seems way beside the point: our order is crazy, and if so many people feel they’re living in a mass hallucination, it’s because duh we are. Anyway most people are variously neurotic, miserable, and insane, and we have good reason to be. That’s part of why it’s so important to try to be nice. It’s also why you should quit alcohol and drugs. Sanity is really interesting. It’s the holy grail of our time.

The “very stable genius” defense is the defense of the artist. Maybe that’s why I like it. Trump is a comedian. Poor guy.

This presidency has taken an axe to what the collective has heretofore been willing to admit into the real. This has been a convulsive era of fiction, toxic brain waste, reeking effluent from the collective psyche geysering up into a reality once domesticated—also oppressively, so don’t get fucking nostalgic on me—by neoliberalism.

Aside from the frontal attacks on the lives of immigrants, Dreamers, the incarcerated, the nonwhite, the trans, people with wombs, the sick and the potentially sick, this presidency has gaslit and freaked out millions who either are or could potentially become the targets of his spume and flunkeys. But instead of hating him for it, which is a waste of your precious energy, I recommend one, quitting drugs and alcohol, and two, reading and writing more poetry.

I get why so many people are suddenly buying crystals and consulting astrologers. Yes, some of it might be hysterics, a symptom of the spiritual starvation of the American experience, but my clients are some highly critical and brainy people, and my sense is, they, like me, yearn to align their existence to channels of energy and rhythms of life—likewise to laws—that are older, deeper, more universal, and more inexorable than the bilge in every clogged pipe of our current system. I’m not going to make a claim for astrology’s legitimacy. I’m a poet. Worrying about legitimacy is death in my art.

I think people are starving for reality, not for fantasy, and all the crystal-buying and scrying isn’t so much the mass cretinization and return to superstition that Carl Sagan warned against, but rather a search for roots. Few if any can really say who we are, or what our universe is, but there are traditions that have painstakingly described its structure and sought out its laws. It’s a course of study. I’m a student. I think you are too.

Karen Weiser and Alice Notley, introduced by Fanny Howe at the Woodberry Poetry Room, Harvard.

Ariana Reines

January 7, 2018. Photo: Ariana Reines.

Ariana Reines is a poet & playwright. She astrologizes at lazyeyehaver.com.


A MEATHEAD CARTEL LORD walks into an S&M brothel with a genial jetsetting billionaire. The brothel is “over the border” in some more lawless territory and it has a hardcore; excellent reputation. The meathead is well-known there, they treat him like royalty, call him by pet names, mix his favorite cocktails; the billionaire might have been there once or twice, but he travels so much he can’t say exactly when. The Brothel’s Yelp reviews are all like “Holy fuck” and “I’ll never be the same again.” This is a fairly new bromance, but thoroughly in the old odd couple buddy flick tradition. The billionaire is gregarious and thrillseeking, eminently moisturized, an epicure of any and every possible form of human experience, he wants to be and is a Renaissance man, which can seem kind of annoying at first but his genuine love of life and all forms of human encounter actually make you feel wealthier just being around him, like he’s sincere, so it ends up being ok. Anyway the thug has good qualities too. He’s emotionally direct, has a visceral kind of charisma, and is no fool. OK but he’s also macho, has a really short and really bad temper, he is old fashioned—to put it mildly—in his ideas about gender, and VERY old-fashioned in his ideas about power.

Anyway what the thug prince and his friend don’t realize is that somehow, by walking in together, this extreme-to-the-point-of-religious-experience type brothel morphs into a full-on temple, and who formerly were eminently capable whores and pro-dommes are now priestesses and mages. Going into this temple together puts a new spin on both the gangster and the metrosexual’s sense of manhood. It’s kind of queer, kind of homosocial, as these things tend to be, but what happens once they cross the threshhold together is beyond description: a manhood rite of the highest order, an overwhelming encounter with an energy far vaster than the human pulse of sex and death, an experience of radical surrender, a violent yet ecstatic ordeal in the world beyond the grave and before the cradle that has the mystic effect of teaching both what feminine power is really all about, while simultaneously, somehow, making them at last—let’s admit it, masculinity’s been in a gnarly situation lately—feel like real men.

This is pretty much what I have to say about the conjunction of Mars and Jupiter in Scorpio, which perfects at 7:35 EST this evening. The Cancer full moon that brought us into 2018 pulses womb magic into this unlikely pair’s adventure in the underworld of the cosmic, and heretofore incarcerated feminine. The deep sexuality of all power dynamics is stripped bare, two modes of masculine power get chummy while in this state of transformative surrender, and this yields both a euphoric sense of manly power and is also somehow what the normies call “a gamechanger.”

Recommended Googling: Jean de Berg

Recommended reading: Diane Wolkstein, Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth: Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer

January 6, 2018. Photo: Ariana Reines.

Ariana Reines

Ariana Reines is a poet & playwright. She astrologizes at lazyeyehaver.com.

David Rattray reading “Mr. Peacock” in 1992 at Anney Bonney's studio in New York.

I’VE LISTENED TO THIS POEM a couple hundred times. And read it over & over too. I never get used to it.

It induces a kind of hypnosis; a lucidity on the edge of total oblivion. It’s not an easy effect to describe; I think it has to do with magic; I think it casts and means to cast a spell. And yet it is descriptive, direct, etched, and bright, like the plain narration of a thousand-year hallucination, like the Wikipedia entry for a dream.

Peacocks started showing up in my life in the summer of 2013. How do I explain “showing up”? All of a sudden I was seeing them, like they were everywhere in visions & dreams and also the birds themselves were around: a dead one in a beet field in Normandy, a pair of them on a beaded cloth from Gujarat, a pomegranate tree in a New Mexico colonia in late August, into which two bored & over it-looking peahens had flown to escape a horny male, who was spreading his tail . . . watching myself see. Watching myself see an overdetermined allegory for panoptics and visibility for the very first time . . . like an efflorescence of negative space: what I had thought was mere decoration, what seemed so badly to want be looked at that I didn’t even want to see it, was suddenly flaring like a signal of some fundamental process, as though, as John Ashbery put it, to protect what it advertised—the bird of all superficiality, it turns out, is ridden by gods and goddesses of wisdom and war, turns out to be the shrieking guard at the gates of eden, somehow has something to say about the cruel order of life on Earth these last seven thousand years or so.

Mere attraction is never enough. It seems to me we neither choose our animals anymore than we really choose our lovers. Likewise the bestiary of stars wheeling overhead, a refracting mirror to the plant and animal alchemy at work in our guts and souls.

January 5, 2018. Photo: Ariana Reines.

THE PERFECTING conjunction of Mars and Jupiter in Scorpio has something to do with both the martial and the wisdom aspects of this bird; the violent iridescence of death and resurrection. Heads of state tweeting about nuclear buttons: an avian parody of the radioactive waste clogging the gonads of certain persons; the Mughal peacock throne; the perverse realities of might married to wisdom, of wisdom having to apprehend the idiot realities of might . . .

Do you have a peacock story? Send it my way. You can use my personal email, if you have it, or letters@artforum.com.

Anonymous, Nadir Shah on the Peacock Throne after his defeat of Muhammad Shah, 1850, watercolor on paper, 12 1/8 x 16 9/16”.

Ariana Reines

Ariana Reines is a poet & playwright. She astrologizes at lazyeyehaver.com.

Guru Nanak, founder of the Sikh religion.

Whose multitudes are these?
The children of whose turbaned seas,
Or what Circassian land?
—Emily Dickinson

EMILY’S “TURBANED SEAS” have been roaring through me lately. I think because the thought of binding up the ocean is the kind of coil of imagination that seldom happens outside childhood and picture books—and so it calls to me, but also because it has been so cold in New York that when I close my eyes I see oceans roped in white ice, turbaned, as it were, bound up in some mystic freeze.

But it’s also, and possibly mainly, because just after the solstice I started doing Kundalini Yoga with my little brother. A room full of Kundalini yogis really is a turbaned sea.

(I will have to write more about Kundalini and my brother and turbans and turbines and growing up watching Bollywood movies with our Uncle Bikram, a rebellious Sikh who not only stopped wearing the turban in young adulthood, but dyed his hair blond and earned something of a salacious reputation as a photographer and filmmaker, becoming known in India as Blondie Singh.)

But for now—with my typing fingers as cold as bones, this Dickinson line “turbaned seas” from a springtime poem turning in me in the dead of winter – I wonder if it’s just the weirdness of her Orientalization of nature itself, turning Spring into a mysterious foreigner, with whiffs of Richard Burton’s Arabian Nights; the enchantment of Robert Schumann’s “foreign lands and places”—her line is also just the kind of strange imagination music that would take hold in the dark.

Maybe you’ve heard that “nature loves to hide.”

I sometimes feel that poetry loves to hide likewise, that a line’s favorite place to live is deep inside your untutored secretions, down in the dark, in your guts, in the peculiar rhythms of your untendable memory, your heartbeat, the soft little drums of your glands.

Lines have a way of turning like seeds. Part of the watchfulness, the overhearing in the dark or of the dark itself that I and all poets do, I think, is somehow farmer’s work; partakes, I feel, we do, of nature. Overhearing ourselves, letting all this linguistic fallowness lie around inside us and letting it think itself free and left alone, being kind of kind to it, giving it a sense of privacy in this least private of ages.

Before Emily Dickinson makes any sense to you, it might just sound like strange stiff crinoline, a boring period piece. But once you break in, it’s like hearing the whispering of your own corseted and antique soul—and it seems to me that in every age, in every incarnation, the soul is somehow bound; turbaned like a turbaned sea, bound into stays like Emily—or into a body, a gender, a language, a form, a norm.

When a line turns like a seed, it means it’s really part of me. I think of the prose of Michel de Montaigne, in which thousands of lines from antiquity show up—the guts of his prose like a teeming seedbed of the old. The real test of a poem, for me, is whether and how it lodges itself in my body.

The only thing in me from “The Waste Land,” for example is the world revolving “like ancient women / Gathering fuel in vacant lots.” But the quality of unconscious speech portentously overheard that runs throughout Eliot’s poem—that has a way of entering the memory, doesn’t it. With Dickinson, one feels one is overhearing the magic whispering of one’s own almost forgotten soul. Here I go binding parts of my experience in exotic garments—binding into stays the waist of my postmodern spirit, visualizing the tonsured heads of a pair of blessees in the Rider-Waite HEIROPHANT card, which has never been a favorite, more on that another time, but it showed up in my mind so here it is.

I WANT TO WRITE YOU MORE, but the sun has just risen, even though the light is still blue and dim and strange, as though it stayed down a little longer to let me finish, or bid you stay in bed.

But I’ll give you the whole Dickinson poem, which is basically a springtime poem. I have things to say about the rainbow and the peacock and the robins and what it means to “confidently see”; also I recently finished writing a fat book that’s basically about infinity inside the guts of birds. More on that and stars, warheads, thaws, talks, tweets, and everything else, to come.

See you tomorrow.

This is the blue of what they call “civil twilight.”

Ariana Reines

Ariana Reines is a poet & playwright. She astrologizes at lazyeyehaver.com.

John Giorno reads There Was a Bad Tree at the Poetry Project (2018).


MORE BAD and really good (John Giorno)

There was a lot more than this the other night at The Poetry Project: CAConrad’s poem about human pelts; Eileen Myles, our genial dean in a twenty-gallon hat; Patricia Spears Jones’s stately sequence full of well-spaced air; Pierre Joris & Nicole Peyrafitte doing something confusing and sexy and great wherein Nicole ate black chalk & drew a red line down the center of her face etc; a dancer with an edible costume whose existential hunger turned out to resonate as basically the predicament of everybody in the room; Penny Arcade in the sovereignty of herself channeling Bodhi Tree Bookstore in LA; Anne Waldman & Fast-Speaking Music resurrecting John Ashbery; Joseph Keckler denouncing in song the hucksters of the 2012 Apocalypse. My favorite line was maybe “anal GPS” when Bruce Andrews said it: Here’s some audio.

January 3, 2018. Photo: Ariana Reines.

At sunrise today both the Moon and Sun square the Midheaven in Scorpio: a conjugation of personal ambition & creative partnership yielding, you might say, a shift in power dynamics at work or in professional life in general; Jupiter in Scorpio in strong sextile with Pluto in Capricorn is basically like, stop settling; there’s not much value in feeling like the old you, but that doesn’t mean devouring something or someone else to escape the past. As Conrad puts it in his poem, “Eat a chip of your own dried blood.”

Ariana Reines

Ariana Reines is a poet & playwright. She astrologizes at lazyeyehaver.com.

From Johann Daniel Mylius’s Philosophia Reformata, 1622.

Born without distinction & alone as was proper, emptied, the insides of your emptiness all polished & shining
Even having shared an egg conserving a certain apparent boundary
Human pelts meow like Conrad said
Dividing a truth from its advertisement
Or your constellation from the frothing lip of the beer
Brans & ryes, seriously any or all the old ways, all the exhausted weights & measures
Intoxicants like air & light a silvery effluent that hardens into frost on uncollected garbage
Alien machinery laying down the wheat
A pyramid of norms
Hippocratic clouds advancing new textures of hair and draping an old coat on the rack of your shoulders, the kind of elegance that breeds distrust, excitable membranes about the seed, watchful, at once suspicious & easily seduced, going argent in slanting light
Under which I “almost automatically” postponed our plans
The automatism of marrying while simultaneously postponing a meeting “the old you” had long misprized for foreclosure
And, like a precious thought the passing hordes had neglected to harm
Doing all the gentle little unhurt things that could be done in growing light 

The moon is about to set; the sun has just cleared civil twilight. I’m still writing under the blue smoke of parentage. The letters I got yesterday all variously complained of infant parents, Saturn, Venus, the Sun, & Pluto all in Capricorn constellated by the setting & now just-waning moon in Cancer say that we’d hate ourselves less if we could feel we have more integrity, & that Identity may be a dance of lies & conditioning, but Character, as the fiction writers say, is action. In other words, even though our flesh parents might have failed us in twenty million ways, the task is to command the mentorship of forces bigger than they are. A brief T-square between the Sun & Moon, (Mom & Dad, and this still applies to the adopted, to orphans, and to people who hate their parents) to Uranus in Aries reminds me that the womb of the soul, or I guess James Joyce called it the smithy, is also a forge—renovation & innovation are always possible. This isn’t me preaching something necessary. It’s more like I’m reading you an invitation to a really good party.

January 2, 2018, 7:20 AM. Photo: Ariana Reines.

Ariana Reines

Ariana Reines is a poet & playwright. She astrologizes at lazyeyehaver.com.

From the Clavis Artis, volume 2, 1738, page 166.

THE VEINS on the backs of her hands were raised and blue. To attain raised veins on the arms and hands. It seemed slender and remote; the prize of cruelty withstood; it had charisma. She was stretching her hands across an octave of piano keys or holding a menthol cigarette. No she was typing on a keyboard with the cigarette in her mouth. Blue smoke over the dining room table, trees out the window, the mound below her thumb: muscular, not to be argued with; she is waving a hard peach around, talking. The authority and relaxation of a grown person at her pleasure. Holding sour fruit is her philosophical gesture; drinking black coffee from a transparent glass. She bites her nails; she’s trying not to; she’s playing Chopin. She’s in the kitchen drinking a glass of vinegar. Two slices of rye in the toaster with cheese melting on them. Somewhere there’s a diet shake with a brandname like College. Loose white flesh over the band of her pantyhose, what happened to your tummy. These are called stretch marks. I got them from you. Tucking a pad into her underwear, what’s that, a napkin. Chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo with the other adults, in the other room. The sound of adults and their cutlery through doors and floors. She is putting her hand into a bag of cosmetics and the sound they make knocking together is voluptuous and secret.

He was further away. He was taller. I did walk up his legs and flip over while he held my two hands. I remember squirting honey on Chicken McNuggets, or the version you could get at Wendy’s where maybe the honey was; the stale smell of his blue Buick in winter, the blue light of television in winter, a gameshow host wearing white sneakers. Blue exhaust. We can’t go til I warm up the car. A few moles scattered like stars in the bowl under his ribs. Why can’t you rip that one off. It’ll just grow back. The doctor can freeze them off with liquid nitrogen. But aren’t you a doctor. Falling asleep a few pages into Doctor Seuss. A poem he wrote for my mother called “Ear” or a poem with a drawing of an ear. A piece of food in his beard. You could splash him in the pool and he’d laugh. Counting to three, then slapping me. Tickling me til I thought I would die. I think he was young. I think he might have been scared. I think I have his eyes.

January, 1, 2018. Photo: Ariana Reines.

The Moon is full in Cancer at 9:25 EST tonight (2:25 UTC) on January 2, 2018, while the Sun, flanked by Venus and Pluto is in the sign of the patriarch, Capricorn. In alchemical allegories, the Sun and Moon are depicted as primary parents—Adam and Eve, or a pair of coiling ourobouroi, or a King and Queen at their nuptuals. They rule the poles of our binary code, and thinking about them made me want to honor my flesh mother and flesh father a little at sunrise this morning, although one of the more liberating aspects of an apprenticeship to astrology is to discover and get to know one’s celestial parents. 

To begin the year so well mothered by such a feminine and wet moon, somehow fertile and febrile, at once nubile and crone, counting coin while gauging the mystical questions of how feminine power can be wielded (and would to wield even be the verb?)—while the Sun adds heat to Saturn’s recent ingress into his domicile of Capricorn, heralds a year (three years, actually) in which the notion of earned and deserved authority, of sobriety, of work done with fidelity and care, provide the structure and foundation for the soul, in all its colors and its yearnings, to sing, and dream, and give life, and let the giving of life be its own justification, the art for art’s sake of all living.

I want the discipline of the Sun in Capricorn. I want the sober mysticism and bodybuilding counterweight of Saturn in Capricorn to firm up the bloated body of infant adults sucking at the old fonts of power, I want a world turning toward the lungs of Eric Garner and the heart of Erica Garner, the fertile bellies of mothers and daughters in all fidelity to their own having-been-born, a world spinning androgynously toward the wedding of masculine and feminine within the human psyche, as day yields to night then subtracts itself from night, as night overtakes day like a lover and then withdraws.

This is an experiment. I’ll see you tomorrow at sunrise. If you like, write me a letter about your parents, the ones on Earth and/or the ones in the sky. Or write me a letter about anything: letters@artforum.com.

Ariana Reines

Ariana Reines is a poet & playwright. She astrologizes at lazyeyehaver.com.