Don't Forget the Margins

I’m Actually Just Beginning.

2016-02-01 11.56.03The end of my MFA program is nearing and while I don’t think I expected to feel any particular way by this time, I am surprised by how it feels less like an event on a timeline and more of an inevitable coming together of parts of myself. There is the slightest speck of relief but mostly what I feel is excitement, like I am beginning and not ending something.

How to Start Again, and Again.

There’s the concept of the mind as a well, the imagination as a spring: liquid metaphors for the finite and the soon to be dry. It’s about watershed management, isn’t?

That’s why, one month ago, I bought a handful of brass finished, perfectly round, 1/2 inch in diameter magnets from the boutique next to my work. I took them home and put them on top of my desk. When I look at them, sitting there in the limited variety of shapes they make, I remember that I spent 15 dollars on decorative magnets. This feels like faith and tells me that I must be a believer.

This is when watershed management turns into pantomime.  But then of course, it’s never been about anything tangible. It’s belief.

Writing, Obsession.

First of all, the fact that I’m even dealing with the word obsession, is stressing me out. This is not me being obsessed with my writing. This is me writing at my obsessions. Not about. At. This isn’t skimming the surface of old habits, this is going back and holding on tight.





An idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person’s mind.


Writing into my hard spots is making me wish I’d never made that pact with myself to stop writing about love and romance.

This was me: In the style of Miranda July’s short story “It Was Romance— Hard Times. Love poem. Break up? Love poem. Relationship. Love poem. Real life. Love poem. Restaurant Job. Love poem. Car Breaks Down. Love Poem. Genocide. Love Poem. Queer Politics. Love Poem. Parent’s Divorce. Love Poem. Decrease in Minimum Wage. Love Poem. Sex Worker’s Rights. Love Poem. Paleo Diet. Love Poem.

At least I knew where I was headed when things went badly. Writing into my body issues, my near constant fragmentation of self, insistence towards using my mind to reason through the unreasonable is like unwinding a yarn ball that’s been sitting in an abandoned wet then dry again then wet again desert shed for 15 years. It may have at one time been your grandmother’s but nature has taken over.






Thoughts on The Desert and Making More Space.

I just got back to Tucson after 10 days or so in the tree cover and green of Vermont. It’s a slow adjustment. While I was there I hiked twice and hardly saw any wildlife: just flying insects, in my ears, around my head and birds. At night there were fire flies, which I didn’t realize were fire flies at first and I thought I was witnessing a miracle. In a way, even in my knowing, it still feels like a miracle.

I commented on the lack of wildlife to my MFA peers. One responded, “This trail is the highway of this forest with tons of tourists like us tracking through. Would you want to be seen if you could be hidden?”

I want to be seen no matter what.

photo (8)

Goddard College, Plainfield VT

The desert has few places to hide. It’s all space and water retention. I was walking up Tumamoc Hill the other day in the afternoon heat and I saw everything. I remembered what it felt like to be so uncovered. The tree-lined heart doesn’t usually survive in the too hot desert, so I made sure to make space on the way up. I moved my arms all crazy, like I was trying to push and pull all the universe at the same time, because it was the middle of the day and I was alone. On the way down, more people came, so I stopped.