Because no one is down sick or dead
tired, the black patron saint of sadness
tells me I’m not allowed to weep.
So here I am, all manners and no accent,
sitting here in the land of field peas and saltwater
fish, not weeping but watching
my cousin in ACT I of motherhood
as she pulls the pink taffy from her fingers
and stuffs it in her twins’ mouths. They stretch
their necks like stunted giraffes. We can’t afford
sadness on this wide street of abandoned
school buses where we both stole
our first sip of Crown, where a neighbor boy crashed
my cousin’s dirt bike into the tree and she cursed him
out like a drunk uncle
until her mother dragged her
into the house. We can’t afford it
as we sit in the foliage of willows. We must
enjoy a gentle sweat. The leaves
are so green and cover us both
like Baptist hands, no one hears us
sing of our no show siblings with a Motown
grief. No one can look at us and know
we are as lonely as every room
without a piano. We know too
much and not enough about
our faces and who gave them to us.
My father now lives
in the letters on my cousin’s calf
and I visit him when I can.
Her father joined him this year,
and I have not offered my skin
as a canvas for a needle’s pinch. I know
they both went into a light, my father breathing,
until not. Her father breathing then thrashing
into it like their pet pit hit
by the mail truck. Her puppies left
to house in their peeling garage.
I’ve been running from what needs me.
I refuse to make either of us cry in this poem so
I’ll just tell you that the willow weeps.

Karisma Price

Lost

October 10, 2019

So who’d come looking for you if you decided to lose yourself?

The divine feminine

October 10, 2019

Women are magic to me. I’m forever in awe of their power and the ways in which they express their own definitions of femininity — in my experience, it’s the marriage between an unstoppable force and an openness and gentleness of heart. That’s what intrigues me, and that’s where the magic lives for me. Throughout folklore, I can usually find some connection between women in their power and their connectedness to the earth — for instance, the link between the moon, the tides, and so on. The divine feminine offers me a grounding place from which I can begin to explore and reclaim the power and magic in myself — that same connected force that I feel society has always tried to separate from women. I’d love for someone reading this book to find some glimmer of recognition in that, to realize how amazingly strong they are despite everything, how capable they are of living unapologetically.

Tamara Jobe
Interview with H/M

look at the ocean

October 10, 2019

It was a party that had lasted too long; and tired of the voices, a little too animated, and the liquor, a little too available, and thinking it would be nice to be alone, thinking I’d escape for a brief interval, those smiles which pinned you against the piano or those questions which trapped you wriggling in a chair, I went out to look at the ocean.

There it was, exactly as advertised, a dark and heavy swell, and far out the lights of some delayed ship moving slowly south. I stared at the water, across a frontier of a kind, while behind me, from the brightly lit room with its bamboo bar and its bamboo furniture, the voices, detailing a triumph or recounting a joke, of those people who were not entirely strangers and not exactly friends, continued. It seemed silly to stay, tired as I was and the party dying; it seemed silly to go, with nothing home but an empty house.

Alfred Hayes
My Face for the World to See

Death in love

October 10, 2019

Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can.

Yann Martel
Life of Pi

six stages of book-reading

October 10, 2019

It occurs to me that there are six stages of book-reading: The first is picture books, then 2) books with more illustrations than words, then 3) books with more words than illustrations, then 4) books with no illustrations, just a map maybe, or a family tree, but lots of dialogue, then 5) books with long paragraphs and hardly any dialogue, then 6) books with no dialogue, no narrative, just great long paragraphs and footnotes and bibliographies and appendixes and very, very small writing.

Intellectually speaking, I’m still stuck somewhere between ages four and and five.

David Nicholls
Starter For Ten