It irritates me to no end but I am slow. Slow walker, slow writer, slow to talk about my writing…but announcing “new” publications almost a year after their release is a whole new glacial pace for me. I’m almost impressed with myself!
In truth, it has been a good year, a good several years, really. Writing continues to feel smaller than my life–my relationships, my relationship with myself, a growing trust in my little world even as the greater world burns. My 2021/2022 publications mine fears and frustrations that feel distant, past–until the last few years, what is distant and past is what has felt most real to me. I don’t know if this writing excised things that let me move more into the present. Or if contentment means I need writing less. Or if therapy just really does work! I’m probably posting this now because I am slowly, slowly getting excited about some new work again. In the meantime, I’m proud of and still like these four latest publications (another fresh feeling for me!).
Continue reading ““New” publications: botany, recipes, road trips, and scams”
“My eyes are shut, the insides of my eyelids are orange in the light streaming through. I’ve come to believe orange is the color of vast, unbroken love.”
My latest hybrid/prose poem, Cactus, now up at matchbook, is to my mind, the third in my loose series of “orange prose poems” as the rest of the piece troubles the opening quoted above as well as the series’ theme of family and unbrokenness.
I almost didn’t publish this piece. It’s my first explicit “personal as political” publication, and I tied myself into knots writing, editing, and submitting it. I felt guilty using some of my family’s history, which may not be mine to interpret. I felt guilty about not explicitly naming the harms I dance around. Among other things, the piece is about guilt as a stalling act. Continue reading “New publication: family & fracture; third orange prose poem”
“Let’s say the wrapper was orange-yellow — the color of sunset on Galle Face Beach where you took me every Sunday, the color of the hibiscus growing by the tall iron gate of the last home I lived in with you.”
My favorite part of writing is learning the meaning of a piece on the long road between drafting and publication. This is partly why I hold onto pieces for awhile before submission. I wrote my latest prose poem, Let’s Say Your Arm is Long now up at Pithead Chapel, last summer. It is about my grandfather who died when I was five. My few memories of him are likely false ones. I didn’t know at the time that I was writing this piece to comfort myself but it has become a comfort: a sort of lullaby to myself; an elegy to him. Through it, I’ve come to know that mourning can be a way of continuing love, that your body remembers love your mind doesn’t. I realized writing this piece in the subjunctive mood made it possible to build a frame around a loss I couldn’t otherwise grasp. Continue reading “New publication: family & fraction; first orange prose poem”
Photo Credit: Simon Abrams, Unspash
Probably, a day will come when I don’t announce every new publication with a mini-essay on process but today isn’t that day. I’m proud and grateful to have my first microfiction appear in a press I just learned of and already love: 3 Micro-stories by Di Jayawickrema in Burning House Press.
There were eight years between my first publication and my second. I spent that period contending with the immigration system, and the process changed me in ways I still don’t fully understand. I didn’t write a creative word in those eight years. I do some community-based work around immigration now — in my view, immigration is a death spectrum — from actual death to death by countless cuts if you’re lucky, and I was lucky. It isn’t a coincidence that I only started writing again when I got my green card.
Continue reading “New publication: (in)completeness”