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Mike Lala

Mike is a poet and writer for performance, and managing director of The Slowdown. He’s the author of Exit Theater, which won the 2016 Colorado Prize for Poetry, and The Unreal City, forthcoming from Tupelo Press in 2023.

Mike Lala's Articles

The “shite” (primary performer) in “Makura Jido” (“Chrysanthemum Boy”). (Photo: Yutaka Ishida. Courtesy Japan Society)

Ever Heard of Noh Theater? Our Primer to Three Major Productions Arriving in New York City This Fall

Two winters ago, I picked up a copy of Penguin Classics’ Japanese Nō Dramas, a volume of two dozen translations by Royall Tyler I’d been meaning to read since tearing through Yukio Mishima’s Five Modern Noh Plays a decade previous. I had moved into a New York City gem (an apartment with a fireplace), and with Covid cases skyrocketing and temperatures dropping, I decided that a winter fireside with a handful of centennia-old ghost stories (cat in my lap, or reading aloud to a friend) might carry me away from the pandemic—from Brooklyn, 2020—to somewhere entirely distinct.

Toto Washlet C200

The Boundless Benefits of a Bidet

2014 may have been the year of the booty, but it took me six cold and less-than-sterile more (plus 2020’s lockdown) to get mine into the warm seat of a Toto Washlet C200, my top pick in this rotund—or rather, well-rounded—assortment of bidet toilet-seat attachments—and love-letter the form.

Coconut pandan cookies from New York’s Kuih Café. (Courtesy Kuih Café)

The Sweet, Adaptable Aroma of Southeast Asia’s Pandan Plant

Perhaps each of us has a Proustian trigger: a sensation that suddenly uncovers a memory buried in time, and by meeting our tongues, eyes, ears, or hands—or in this particular case, my nose—the trigger reveals a moment we’ve forgotten.