Frivolous Universe

All winter I ruminated on the past like a dog rolling over in something dead.


Tentative mountains springs teach us that there is a boundary zone between the old life and the new. Snow clings on peaks. Lupine blossoms in the sage when it’s still cold enough for fox fur.


In a sage forest the witch casts her spell.


That some people will die before we can see where they came from.


April in Hailey, Idaho. You can rock in the red chair on the front porch of the house Ezra Pound was born in.


The Parallel is an imaginary line, invoked by signage. On one side we are closer to Helsinki, on the other side, Kuala Lumpur.


In May we test the mountain roads. They are almost passable.


And spring arrives like a Cymbalta ad, full of hyperbolic promises.


turquoise sweatshirt: James Perse; teal green jeans: Russian Market, Phnom Penh; wool hat: Calvin Klein; Thai silk top: vintage; turtle amulet: Amulet Market, Bangkok; black cargo pants: Paige; black coat: Made in the Ukraine; Spanish riding boots: Frye; fox fur collared coat: charity shop, London


Screen shot from



Photography: Ned Evett



When I lived in Washington D.C., back in ’07, I used to sit on my orange and white duvet in the steadily-being-gentrified neighborhood of Brookland and listen to Nada Surf’s song Always Love. Yes, the name betrays an unforgivable sentimentality, but the lyrics had a hook that I couldn’t get over:
“I’ve been held back by something.”


I listened to the song so many times, that, today, as I listen to it at my desk, I am transported to the city that changed my mind. I smell the inside of my frozen nose in the brutal, wet winter. I hear the sleepy, monotone chants in the Catholic cathedral on the Sunday morning of my last church service ever.


I’ve been held back by something. I laboriously copied it in the front cover of each Moleskine notebook I’ve filled with my thoughts over the last six years. I saw it every time hot tears gave way to blue ink and were mollified.


I’m twenty-seven years old. Which, as it turns out, is not too old to start exploring the depth of my childhood fears of being rejected, of being alone – the fear that the real me isn’t worth loving.


I have loved. At least, I think I have. The English language plays a tremendous trick on us, throwing out these insane generalities like “love” and “freedom” and “goodness” without qualifying them with specifics. What factors contribute to love? How can you tell when you’re in love, after all?


Granted, I have never understood the burning blackness, the insanity that consumes the consciousness at first blush of true love. But I have always been a sensible person. It was no surprise that I would be immune to the romantic possession of the soul that dominates our popular mythology.


Romance has always seemed “dramatic” to me.


In my free time (and it’s all free time), I like to memorize Leonard Cohen poems over green tea at local coffee shops. One that I have clung to is called The Drunk is Gender-Free.


I’m angry with the angel who pinched me on the thigh.
And made me fall in love with every woman passing by.


I know they are your sisters. Your daughters mothers wives.
If I have left a woman out then I apologize.


It’s fun to run to heaven when you’re off the beaten track.
The Lord is such a monkey when you’ve got him on your back.


The Lord is such a monkey. He’s such a woman too.
Such a place of nothing. Such a face of you.


The Lord is such a woman. And so am I. Whatever am I going to do with myself?


I took all but one of these shots in New York City, Chicago, Eagle, and Boise, Idaho. Edited by me.


The FU Manchu ladies are back after a long winter’s nap! For three months we’ve been pigging on polenta fries and popping tags like Macklemore. But if you think not having a pot to piss in means looking bargain basement, think again.

Check out our YouTube for a peek at coming distractions from FU.


Nothing beats a tea party to cure me of a bad case of March ides. For this shoot I grabbed two bolts of my best Balinese batik and headed out to Eagle, Idaho, to meet Ms. Kelly Lynae on her favorite horse ranch.


And I’ll be damned if that girl doesn’t know her way around a safety pin! Kelly took my vintage batik swathes, procured from a tiny shop in Ubud, Bali, and swaddled the two of us in torqued elegance. I cast my bra aside because it’s April and time to let the minimalist fashion games begin.


This was the moment I decided to hell with scarves. I transformed the natty red scarf I’d been tortoising around all winter into a plunging halter top. Kelly styled me in thrift store belt and then we tried our hand at interpretive dance.


Why? Because we live in Idaho. Because I don’t own a TV or a salad spinner and most everything in the great Gem State, including entertainment, is DIY.


And here are the lessons I took from the long, harsh winter:

1) You will fail along the way to creating something new.


2) What other people think of you is none of your business.


3) Do what you love every day. The secret to any great performance, after all, is muscle memory.


vintage Indonesian batik from Ubud, Bali; cotton scarf-cum-halter: India; 100-year-old Turkmen necklace: Armor Bijoux

Photography by Kelly Lynae

Videography by Ned Evett