Ariana Reines

  • slant May 22, 2020

    School Spirit

    for Timea Szell

    “Jabès and Semprún both said that language was their only homeland [....] Why is it so difficult to be alive to what happens?” - Paul B. Preciado, An Apartment on Uranus


    The first time I heard a mourning dove

    I thought it was an owl

    The first bunny I ever saw

    Was hidden in a bed

    I think it was a bed of “Impatiens

    A word shaped like my grandmother’s hands

    But is there such a thing as a bed of “Impatiens

    Or else it was it a bed of pansies

    The sound of the owl had a smell, I thought

    I mean I thought that what I smelled

    When the mourning dove moaned

    Which I thought was an owl

    Was the scent of

  • slant April 22, 2020

    Reborn AgaIn

    IT IS EARTH DAY, and at the New Moon in Taurus tonight, the Sun and Moon will be in a wide conjunction with Uranus, about whose tenure in Taurus I have written a lot, over the past few years, for this publication.

    I am thinking about the phrase “enriched Uranium” and about true wealth, true value. I am thinking about Venus, who rules Taurus, about Ferdinand the Bull, about the sensuality of moving slow and steady, and about the full moon in Scorpio May 7, a day I hope to write you more fully.

    I warned you last month that I would deprofessionalize and that the way I write was likely to change.


  • slant March 23, 2020

    Our Crown

    “ALL OF HUMANITY’S PROBLEMS stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone,” wrote Blaise Pascal, but it is the peculiar trick of his—will it do anymore to call it “Occidental”?—culture, whose principles and values have crept in everywhere, to make it seem as though it invented the idea that any of us belong in a room alone ever, for any reason. 

    Yet here we are, living out the apotheosis of that. And whether we’re in the room alone or not, the psychological task, the spiritual task has been universalized. In order to handle it, the luckiest among us—those of us who are staring down

  • slant February 14, 2020


    I WAS IN LOVE WITH TWO PEOPLE and I had traveled to their country to be near them. 

    I already had a lover, with whom I had been suffering a disappointment, and I had just completed a large and demanding work of art, so in many ways I no longer knew who or what I was, or what good I could possibly be to anybody. 

    I am only telling you these things, and in such a dispassionate way, because I want to tell you about a dream I had, in which my great-grandfather appeared, and his many progeny—

    But the dream won’t make sense unless you know I had traveled a great distance to be near these people, that

  • slant January 10, 2020


    Sometimes I think this entire culture five thousand years was just a rehearsal for the wrong apocalypse

    Our original owners siphoned up an energy from colonized doomsday preachers

    Whose own religion, a strange affair of a flame language incantations leather straps 

    Amulets camels & tents

    Must have seemed a bizarre perversion to the successful, to worshippers of gods

    Some will tell you the alphabet was a secret math

    Some will say our speech was a bovine eructation

    A kind of polluting fertilization

    Ferreting out of the air

    A weird palazzo of the air

    An edifice of clouds and hierarchies of heaven


  • slant December 31, 2019

    Alchemy Forever


    I had an experience of a country

    Which is a place on planet Earth

    Of wild beauty to which no word in the English language

    Can accurately be appended. It was a romance

    That I was taken into, which made me wild and humbled me beyond all speech

    A legend that grew into facts, ravages of ravages

    I doubt I ever will be able to speak to

    I knelt in love, I crawled for love, I too had had dreams of revolution

    But I would not pretend to powers

    That lord and lady I lacked

    There are histories of magic speech

    That should not be written down




    Look: I was a woman with a problem

    I did not come all this way to deceive

  • slant November 01, 2019

    Lightning Rods

    IT’S THE SEASON OF FIRE, but you don’t need me to tell you that. It’s the season of electric, abyssal love, but you know that too. Since the sun’s ingress into Scorpio hit the Promethean lightning of the New Moon opposite Uranus in Taurus, the pit has opened, and the yawning abyss of true democracy beckons like a confusing form of lust. You can feel it pulling on you, like gravity itself. As things collapse we will be able to right some things while others, like what has happened—for now—to the bright career of Katie Hill, will be temporarily, and apparently, very wrong.

    Imagine yourself as Alice.

  • slant October 24, 2018



    after the rain hit

    the creosote the sun

    hit it & a fragrance

    wild & sweet was hitting

    me, a springtime

    sensation of rising seed

    confusing the seasons

    undoing the doom i clasp

    & unclasp like the warm

    gem in the keats poem

    but this was not the prescription

    you asked for

    & the moon is full

    not new. i came to truth or

    consequences for my

    own safety. i had passed

    thru the doors of bellevue

    under the sign “EMPLOYES” (sic.)

    to face my parent

    in donated shoes, without

    her wig, clothed in hospital

    issue pajamas & all her illusions

    scummy, like an old fish

    cooked to death

  • slant September 07, 2018

    Days of Awe

    ONE TIME WHEN I WAS ON MUSHROOMS Richard Pryor took possession of my body and proceeded to give a lecture to me and my friends on the origins of hot peppers and the true meaning of wheat.

    He explained that how hot peppers got hot was terrible things were done to them, especially with fire—they were horrifically burned, in sick and twisted ways—which led to great strife and suffering on the part of the peppers. He continued that indeed the only way for a piece of matter to transmit heat and energy is for great heat and energy to have been transmitted into it. All of this was communicated not the

  • slant August 10, 2018

    In the Skin of a Lion

    LATE IN THE SUMMER OF 1999 I was in love with a crust punk. We met one night when he and his friend panhandled me after I couldn’t get into a nightclub. Well maybe it was more of a bar. I don’t know because I couldn’t get in. I didn’t have a fake ID. Anyway, the friend was pale and skinny, scabs up his greenish arms. He just made the guy, who said his name was Johnny, look better. Johnny was hale and tan in his boots and ripped t-shirt. He got kicked out of seventh grade, he said, for reading Isaac Asimov, and out of his girlfriend’s Boston College dorm because he wanted her to open her eyes

  • slant July 12, 2018

    All My Trials

    THE MATERNAL BODY INCLUDES THE CHILD. The maternal body includes the dilated aura inside and outside the body that admits, and nourishes, another: thus it is also the enveloping aura into which consensual lovers are welcomed. And the magic space that is ripped open when thieves enter looking for easy wealth and plunder. The cultures now ruling the planet treat it similarly.

    Textbook medical astrology will tell you Cancer rules the breasts/chest, the stomach, and the alimentary canal. Which, it seems to me, would include not only what extends from the buccal opening but also our first channel for

  • slant June 13, 2018

    Festina Lente

    MY BREASTS & THE BASE OF MY ABDOMEN & THE FLESH AROUND MY KIDNEYS are filling with particles of sorrow. This is what gets disbursed into me monthly. It is my most reliable wage. The languishing weakness that presses down on my inguinal hinge. The gently eviscerating heat and dread licking up at my root from my inner thighs. Humiliating it gently, without words or situations, drawing upon it as an insect might draw from a flower, bidding me procreate.

    Welcome to my minimum monthly allotment of suffering.

    Welcome to the technology by which I feel the world, which comes through me by nothing but the

  • slant May 15, 2018

    Diamond Cutter

    SIX HUNDRED AND FORTY-FIVE YEARS AND SEVEN DAYS AGO, in the city of Norwich, a recluse named Julian beheld the whole of creation in the palm of her hand, in an orb the size of a hazelnut. It was here that W.G. Sebald taught for forty years, at the University of East Anglia, and where, in the opening pages of The Rings of Saturn, we find him prostrate in a hospital room—and then standing at the window there—having collapsed a year and a day after a summer’s walk across the county of Suffolk.

    I am writing you from my office at UEA, where, rereading The Rings of Saturn, I seemed to smell the rising

  • slant January 30, 2018

    SUNRISE: January 30, 2018

    Forsake thy cage, 

                 Thy rope of sands, 

    Which petty thoughts have made, and made to thee 

    Good cable, to enforce and draw, 

              And be thy law, 

    While thou didst wink and wouldst not see. 

    —George Herbert, “The Collar”

    AT 11:41 AM EST, THE MOON MAKES ITS LAST ASPECT IN CANCER, an opposition to Mercury in Capricorn, to go Void-of-Course over lunchtime 'til she enters Leo at 1:53 PM. 

    This interval is a wonderful opportunity to be silent, or at the very least to slow down your speech (Mercury in Capricorn) and train your inner dialogue on your heart of hearts.

    Mercury will enter

  • slant January 29, 2018

    SUNRISE: January 29, 2018

    fer dans notre coeur (St. John Perse, in a poem I haven’t read in a decade, which I might be misquoting, which I might have invented)

    I'M THINKING ABOUT THE BLUE BLOOD that flows through the heart of the queens and kings of the jungle, the blue interiors of your body, the blue light that spreads behind your eyelids when you’ve seen too much sun. When light is suddenly thrown on you after an accustomed darkness: the blue-white of the shock. The blue haze that hovers around the Alps in real life, making them resemble old photographs of themselves: because that haze is the exact blue hue of decomposing

  • slant January 26, 2018

    SUNRISE: January 26, 2018

    IT SEEMS TO ME THAT MANY, A GREAT MANY SENSED THEIR—BUT I DON’T WANT TO USE THE WORD INCOMPLETENESS. A certain discontinuity in themselves, an opening, a sense that somehow between their skeletons and the flesh there was work to be done, a sense of something insufficiently-come-into-being—not merely the personality, but something else. I think they felt this from the very beginning.

    And I suppose the old sages filled this space with breath, which carried God, I guess, to every cell of the body—commanded God back into the flesh: a kind of mystic remarriage after the necessary divorce

  • slant January 25, 2018

    SUNRISE: January 25, 2018

    SORRY I'M LATE. I'm on a plane. Woke up to coyotes laughing like emphysemic old ladies, rattling their teacups, rattling their big costume jewelry. Orion's Belt was so frank in my dull city eye, like the silver belts studded with fake turquoise they sell at the airport under glass: sometimes it's hard to believe how much you're allowed to have for free you find yourself paying for the knockoff. Being A Parody Of Heaven, a memoir. The virility of “3.” Mercury sextile Jupiter in Scorpio today should have you feeling a little clearer and less freaked out/grossed out by some of the old yous and

  • slant January 24, 2018

    SUNRISE: January 24, 2018

    THE MOON entered Taurus at 8:41 AM EST squaring the Pluto-Mercury conjunction in Capricorn, forming a trine to Saturn in Capricorn, inconjunct Mars toward the end of his run through Scorpio. This is a day for forensics. The Moon attains First Quarter stage at 5:20 PM EST: this represents the first parry, or the first big question put to what you seeded at the New Moon. The seed of the Capricorn New Moon is turning and, to quote Huey Newton, “contradictions are the ruling principle of the universe:” ambition and executive capacity meet an audit both practical and spiritual today.

    1. To find the