know when to hold em




Only winning gimme hands

Playing soft mostly

Sometimes fast n loose but

Bluff on me and i turn tail real fast

(it feels more ethical that way)


Im just a casual ultradella ultradellaing my way through the world when and where i can

On every message board and online platform that feels right

Where the handle meets the body

Where does the handle meet the body?

Where does the one end and the other begin?




Guess a number between 1 and 23

The most common choices might or might not surprise you

When guessing is collective, it converges, in certain cases,

Where it’s incentivized

(My game theory depends on what kind of game it is)


The consistent enfolding, in-folding, doing doughnuts on the inside

Searched “tori” in the patent database and found out it was the plural for torus, the cosmic or platonic doughnut

All the time i’ve been living this way and now i know a little more why


Tori turning, tori spelling

Many a doughnut doughnut-holing

Memories rolling and spilling across the surface

Dripping inward, some flung out and away

An inflatable mascot skyward in a windstorm


The year of tilts and shifts, tilt-shifted & pitch-

The kitty found a bottlecap to bat around

It sounds across the laminate


Do I lament enough? Am i too bright & breezy?

For what it’s worth i’m not sure for whom the bell tolls

Or which metaphors to make oblique

So you can catch glimpse, dear reader, of deep-fam familiarity

The hyperreferential outward-facing incrowd


Where do i go besides both backwards and forwards at once?

And in every direction?

For whom does it matter,

For whom does my silly lil bell do its thing




Forward, backward, awkward, onward

Inside outside upsidedown

In 2023 i want to be more jestery, or harlequin

Go on fool’s errands for funzies

The kind that lead somewhere besides where i intend  

And end up way better than i planned


Who doesn’t when you put it that way, maybe

For me it’s about superserendipity, in 2023 and always

The fateful overlaps,

Choose your own narrative arc


Rest on the blanket, fall asleep in the car

Lend me your sweatshirt you might have a friend for life




Engage in this rhythmic cadence with me and yes again 

Iambic pentamatrish

Or something 

Some loping sense of internal dynamics, of boom and bust

Of breath and let-go

I’d say the rhythm is always with us but it’s so obvious

And intrinsic



A heartbeat every second or so

Yards of muscle twisted into a moebius strip

Chambers every now & then

Aging & also pacing


Prufrock and the jaguar locked in a test of wills

Do i dare disturb the universe? Do i repeat myself?

Very well i yearn into a sea of faraway stars

I rilke continuously


2010 again

2010 again and it feels like the future

was this optimistic maximalist thing

smearing or exploding off the ends of my outstretched fingertips

freshly singing in neverness and everywhere

sloshy glinting, oily, raw

confident jostling

what kind of hopes did i still have back then?

overflowing, keep going and going

the year’s pitches hints half-hidden

caught whiffs from across the

sloppy heaven

space station

workspace or workstation

stay spacious, staycation

should i talk about mars? should i talk about afar?

should i talk about kuwait–

i told her, “i made out with a guy at the gay bar, his name is Meshal,”

as we both half-smiled with hungover likeness recognition

at the lake beach i didn’t feel beautiful but he smiled at me knowingly anyway;

showed me the video of his Miami toe-catch

the circus, the cinematic toxic

the paranoia, the Bushwick Balcony Collapse of 2022

Elsewhere, Ghost Ship

passing thru my heart in the night


I told her, “I’ve always been this way!” but didn’t qualify which this-way

that way, when i went to clarify a week later, he said, overhearing;

“one of those conversations you’ve been replaying over & overagain in your head,”

so friendly and so knowingly


one of those aging women who finds meaning in everything,

has a self-published book in her car to bring into the pair of kindred spirits at the Sandy Action Center

has a set of familiar yearnings, to be seen & held & the like

what was i trying to say? about distance? about little handfuls of memory?

nerves of spent metal, steel ever-milder or rot thru with rust

pockets of weakness, sharp-edged and more dangerous

moments of weakness, soft hands on the dancefloor

cat ears on at least one of the DJs

pocketknives folded inward, wellbehaved puppy

calling all the angles, let’s match up after all

comfort lattice


we stood in the river and he told me

what i had told her, indirectly, and i’ve told you before, maybe you heard me:

shovel a tunnel to the center of yourself,

or, walk backward through the halls of your thoughts to where they start (origin story)


did you see the pirate ship, he said to me the next day (today), and i said yes, even tho it had been in the dark and i had more felt than seen it, sixteen years ago in colorado

layers of familiarity somehow, cousin megans again and again

weddings again and again, edgefield another recurring character;

that is to say, awash in something shared, some deeper layer peeking thru, calmly


spend time with the sides of yourself that you like, like, do things infused w yr god side i mean good side i mean

ripe blackberries leaking purple, handfuls up the heavy hill

whole life story spilling out on the way down, somehow i could tell they were actually listening

then the river running thru it


my mixed bag of knives

simplicity patterns–

racks of lace all almost the same;

some slightly shinier than others, glittered threads


still almost impossible to choose;

and yet, choose we do






repotting memories

ocean shadows, river glimmers

fish eating me instead of vice versa

the fish that ate itself, the girl that chased her tail, pout spiral

lips curling backward, rock lips, cliffs or caves (almost wrote cages)

soft pockets with very hard edges, solidly rimmed

in dreams they say that water means emotions

dreamworld mapped close onto dayworld, some kind of small psychic bubble or aura

defiant silence, mine is a hard quiet

mine is a scratchy bra on a softening body

mine is a backyard game of catch with a stress ball at early sunset, the colors almost but not-quite catching the clouds

agony’s alchemy, minor or detatched agony, sideways refusal or sidestepping

should have said no to my senior prom date, my freshman boyfriend

his little sister was much cooler

should have listened to her i mean me

repotting my memories into a hyperbenevolent could-be

a new present, pitchshifted

she said we are both on the tone-deaf spectrum, tone-deaf is a spectrum, she said, and it felt wise & deep

if you’re going to misunderstand me, misunderstand me benevolently

boring energy generator ballchain friendship necklaces

boring energy generator ballchain friendship necklaces

trying to do everything at once, as usual

energy generators a la the orgone ones my mom’s best friend’s husband used to make in the early 00s, designed to save the world with their reverberations;

these ones are time capsules or place capsules, homeopathic, holographic in that they contain the multitudes;

shiny found scraps in resin, held together a la bugs in amber, haptic poetry

ballchains in honor of my raver days, a quiet symbol of ravery

also the ballchain hallway at burningman annie and i encountered, swept ourselves thru, at dawn on the salt flats in 2005

friendship because it’s sometimes all i can think about, my friendships in their various states of vigor or decay, the tenuous links that hold us together, the memories, the shared experiences, the connections between us that can activate or fail to, how connections persist across distances, space and time

the times we spent together as silly-little capsules, little nests of nearness but never quite merged, always at a little distance, together but still at least a little apart

boring because i’m in boring, oregon, my hometown; i have a peculiar relationship to boring and to the boring, boring like boring holes and tunnels, boring like a yawning, a yearning, maybe a calming or a peace-space in an abstract way,

so in honor of all this i made 49 boring energy generator ballchain friendship necklaces, seven series of seven, thinking of rhizome’s seven-on-seven again, something about that exercise excites my sense of possibility, stays with me

also the scene in “there’s something about mary” where the serial killer waxes on about “seven minute abs”

i was always a bigger fan of 0 and 9 as numbers go but for this project, seven times seven felt right

do i still have 49 friends? did i ever? how many friends did i have on myspace?

i made seven series of seven boring energy generators each, each with a loose theme curdled or accumulated around a loose-knit friendworld, a friendzone, a type of friendships i want to honor and hold close, have held close

for each set of seven i gathered silly-little remnants that reminded me of said friendworld, the friends in that space, then wrote a seven-line poem as a reflection of and an offering to that friendship, cut it into seven lines, then submerged the poem-lines and the silly-little remnants in 2-part resin, molded them into silicone shapes, threaded them onto ballchain, gathered them together, over time until there were 49 to send out to my friends in the world (and a few more for Samimi)

here below you can see seven slideshows, each with eight slides, one for the poem held line-by-line inside the concomitant energy generators; the other seven for the aforementioned energy generators, each in a kinetic scan, kind of capsules in and of themselves.

  1. charming local field

charming local field, or, the gift of the gathering, late April 2021

this series comes from a walk in the field and stand of trees behind my house, the field i would walk across to meet jenie in middleschool, the field me, jenie, major, and tyler walked across the summer before sophomore year of highschool one night high on black pyramid, the field i know by heart. embedded in these energy generators are things i found in the field, beneath the trees: hawk feathers, foil from a birthday balloon, a chip off a golf ball, green tie tape, mole dirt; and body glitter from the stick of glitter tyler shoplifted me from Clackamas Town Center in 1999.

2. bad-kid corner

bad-kid corner, or leap second, safety third, early May 2021, made with leftovers from my beltane birthday party at Andrea’s house, when us friends-since-adolescence walked to the middle school across the greenspace and cut rowan branches off the nearby trees to wind red thread around along with our wishes for the next year, and tiedyed and bleachdyed tshirts together. these contain birthday scraps: red yarn, teal-dyed cotton, birthday-cake-flavored weed-cookie crumbles, crossword scratchoffs, rowan leaves, and more of tyler’s glitter

3. river/raver

river/raver, late May 2021, my two favorite venues to tempt fate & build trust in the cuspy 00s & onward; the casual dangerousness of ravery & rivery was always a draw for me whether I saw it as such or not, the near-deathness and the making-it-thru-togetherness, emerging on the other side both worse and better for wear. These ones have leftovers from my early raver days along with riverside groundscores from a trip to Dodge Park with my kid in Spring 2021: pony beads, elastic, gravel, bark mulch, crawdad claw, cigarette butt, daisies, bottle foil, and tyler glitter

4. alien radio

Alien Radio, or, Eugeneration, Eugene where I got to be friends with all the most beautiful & wild & weird women, always a bit unsure why they let me tag along with them on their adventures, all the established bonds and deep fam, Oregon Country Fair camps and Burning Man excursions and working at Ruthie B’s the feminist-casual tea shop and dancing frantically at 80s night at John Henry’s; and our own rituals, the bikini carwash and the Jesus sandwiches and the years just leaning into one another and going too hard or almost too hard, again that frantic near-death yearning. I dredged up some remnants from the archives to embed: carnelian beads & fluorite beads, cubensis, weed, an earring kt made, pine needles, denim scraps, burning man glass & dust, neongreen medusa’s makeup brand glitter from annie

5. doing other people’s dishes

These ones are in homage to all my work friends, all the ways that shared responsibility brings us together, all the strange bonds that I have built thru mutual reinforcement throughout my life. Especially during our era of social distancing, my current workmates (gruff as they may be) have been a strong social outlet, since we never much stopped working at the shop on the farm together. But in thinking of them I also think of all the friends I have made at all my jobs, from Paola’s Pizza Barn and Bi-Mart to Englishtime and AUW and LSI. The things in these objects come from my current job as a management assistant/parts chaser/central purchaser in the Hood Acres Shop at a wholesale shade tree nursery in Boring, where I encounter many appealing scraps and leftovers, industrial and agricultural remains: heat-damaged leaves, copper wire, spent lathe metal, printer toner, Brother labelmaker ends, and some tyler glitter for good measure

6. a flag that is also a pocket

i’m not sure how I made friends with so many artists but I think I know why 🙂 these are full of art scraps: fabric leftovers, seeds from Giovanna Olmos, lines from one of the things I wrote for Provision/Converge45, letter beads, shiny plastic cord protectors, glass beads from Garima Thakur, a qr code, more tyler glitter for more good measure

7. silly-little infinities

friendship is recursive, looping, returning-to and building-upon, as is this set of seven, made of leftovers from the other six, packing materials and things i forgot to put in: metal shavings from the locksmith, spent metal from the lathe, ballchain, old slivers of epoxy, bubble wrap, jewelry findings, sun-damaged gingko leaves, packing foam, and still more tyler glitter, for ever for good measure

❤ made with love in 2021 by Tori Reis

when in doubt

kiss wash, kitten-soft

little glimmers of love,

little like precious glimpses

good things, small packages


near repetitions, dancing patterns

almost aligning

almost a tunnel

a tunnel just for a split second–

a tunnel of light

cosmic pathway,

wormhole or whatever


scattered dreams stacking for a split second

scattering back again

dilated memories lining the edges

seeing neurons everywhere


boring empty poem

like, cryptic diary entry

some fun is hard to write about


she named her kittens Diva and Parkour

she says “ballyball” and “pole volt”

default style not set

where should i start?

show me, i would always ask the oracle, just show me

and i would look!

asemic chemtrails

patterns in the coulds i mean clouds

tacky memories

the clockworks where i first did it i mean did it til i felt it,

turned more part cartoon for a few, all backlit edges, smoothing tool

type to choose a block, i choose the sideyard

i choose the left speaker, right in front of it, speaker-freaking

when in doubt, dance memories, i mean, quantum ribbons

looping movements, dual tracks, something about the map and the territory

something about the mise en abyme, picture-in-picture, palimpsest, half-erasedness

crystal palimpsest, crystal palace, world’s fair, worlds of fun,

all the worlds-within-worlds, nested or wrestled together, nestled,

meghan’s bedroom nest again, “let’s make a nest,” she said, on camera, in 1999,

on a tape that’s lost to the ages

local dreamer

start with the building block of all narrative

the mommy blog a central character in her new story

the reverse-chronology scroll dives deeper into prophecy

she finds the mommy blog about echoes her own, perfectly

the mommy blogs find each other, recommend each other


their feedback loops leak into their authors,

who fall in love, obviously

tap on their laptops in matching slouch chairs at the local play cafe

running their fingers up and down their touchpads

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