Tree of Life Review



AIRMAIL: Bodhi Blues — A Year in India: Questioning The Maitreya Project by Jessica Falcone

COLUMN: Storiedmusic — The Night I Walked Out by DJ T’challah

NOVEL EXCERPT: In a State of Partition by Aneesha Capur

UP THE CREEK: Editor’s Notes — Art, Yoga, and Abu Ghraib


Knees bent, you tip your pelvis slightly
toward the immaculate bowl
and with the same hand that stroked me last night
extend from its sheath the pink bud of your penis.
For a minute, I think of Narcissus
looking at Narcissus, his vision forever grounded
on the shallows of that glance.
But there is no limit like self-love in your act,
only those always gentle fingers
on your penis and the golden piss
arcing from your body what it does not need.
I lean against the door jamb
breathing in the scent of your beautiful excess.
Your hand slides back to the taut perineum
pushing up until the last drop falls.
Urine of the gods.
I say this knowing you are not Uranus,
not Jupiter Pluvius, certainly not a shaman
making water on my naked body
in order to charm the rain.
You are clearly not, as Freud would rush to note,
a girl with a garden hose snaked between her legs.
No, you are the man Paul was too blind to be,
flesh filled with light: atoms pulsing, nuclei of cells,
neurons, dendrites, retes — all light transmitting light.
My golden husband pissing in a porcelain bowl.

5 A. M. I:i, 1987.

J. C. Todd

J. C. Todd’s poems and translations have appeared in the anthology Shade 2004, and in American Poetry Review, The Paris Review, Prairie Schooner, Crab Orchard Review and other journals. Pine Press published two chapbooks: Nightshade (1995) and Entering Pisces (1985).

Awards include a fellowship in poetry from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, two awards for poetry from the Leeway Foundation, a Virginia Center for the Creative Arts international artist exchange fellowship to the Schloss Wiepersdorf colony in Germany, a scholarship to The Baltic Centre for Writers and Translators in Sweden, and a stipend from the Latvian Cultural Capital Foundation. Her poems have received five Pushcart Prize nominations.

She is an associate editor for the poetry web magazine, The Drunken Boat (, where she has edited special features on contemporary Lithuanian and Latvian poetry in translation, and she was guest poetry editor for the Summer, 2005 issue of The Bucks County Review, and co-editor of “Recurrence in Another Tongue: Poets Translating Poets” that appeared in Frigate 4 in 2003.

A lecturer in Creative Writing and in the Writing for College program at Bryn Mawr College, she has an MFA from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

SPOTLIGHT: The Quiet Maverick — An Interview with J. C. Todd
POETRY: Instant of Turbulence
POETRY: Men Kissing
POETRY: Necklace of Silence
POETRY: Nightshade
POETRY: Pissing