My latest flash, “Kidding, Kidding” and “Plucking Away” up at the lovely Jellyfish Review are my first (self-acknowledged) creative nonfiction-ish pubs. All my recent work is mined from my life and I used to spend a lot of time negotiating the boundaries between fiction, non-fiction, and poetry before submitting, but life and art feel too variable to worry about this anymore. I’ll say these two pieces are close to my real biography, and it is simultaneously easy and uncomfortable to see this work published. I’ve pushed myself to be more explicit in my recent pieces, and I can’t tell if the discomfort stems from “the mortifying ordeal of being known,” or if my implicit writing really is more porous, holds more space for many truths.
Maybe it’s only needless self-deprecation to say the truths of these pieces don’t feel as truthy because they are so fixed. (I know I’m really selling these publications.) My favorite thing about “Kidding, Kidding” is how easy it was to write. To me, this is a light-touch piece about negotiating sexual power as a young girl. I’ve been surprised (and honored) to see that it has been received as something more solid than that. I am more self-conscious about “Plucking Away,” a breathless prose poem-ish about over-plucking and assimilation. It is my most middle-class #diasporaproblems publication, and is what some parts of literary Twitter would call “mango poetry.” I’ve definitely personally lost more than my eyebrows to assimilation and I’m still finding the right way to tell those stories. It feels a little silly to publish work about eyebrows at all, but maybe a writer can have a little fun, as a treat. I hope you read and enjoy, too.