I. “Meaning we would have to abandon this land just like them, find some new trees to brew her elixirs, new forests to take from, to uproot.” The magical and haunting short story “Tree Rot” by Alvin Park at Wildness.
II. “What a landscape
in the symbolic distance…”
While you are at Wildness, read this beautiful poem, “Lacrimae,” by Maggie Smith.
III. “We are not dreamless objects—
We are other worlds.”
I dare you to read the three poems by Terrell Terry in the current issue of Split Lip Magazine and to not be shattered. And then to not go find more of his poems.
IV. “The loss was not knowing past sight
& sound. Summer was on us
I did the work for you, here are some more poems by Terrell Terry in Literary Orphans.
V. “what you lack and the punishment for your
lacking are the same”
I can’t get enough of Kaveh Akbar’s poems. This one, “Portrait of the Alcoholic with Moths and Rivers,” in Thrush Poetry Journal is so fucking beautiful.
VI. If you love that poem, you should probably pre-order his book, Portrait of the Alcoholic, coming out from Sibling Rivalry Press.
VII. “We move and we take our lives, the ones we’re leaving, the ones we’ve lost.”
The always poignant Jill Talbot writes moving, loss, memory in “Lonely Things — A Series” at The Collagist.
VIII. “Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.”
Let’s remember kindness. Over and over. This poem by Naomi Shihab Nye has been a refrain and has me writing more letters to those I admire and love.
IX. “The only thing that confused me wasn’t even counted. No matter how it was phrased I never knew the right answer: “
A form of kindness is putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, seeing the world through their eyes. Telling and reading stories are a powerful way to do that. At Split Lip Magazine Michael Schmeltzer writes us toward the other, powerfully – especially today.
X. “You have to tell your own stories simultaneously as you hear and respond to the stories of others.” -Elizabeth Alexander Listen. Listen. Listen. And then write to be heard, to converse. Repeat.
XI. Here’s a story that needs to be heard: “How brave you were, holding it together all day while you sat next to him in the well-lit waiting room. How easily you talked, how selflessly you kept it from being sad.”
Kate Elizabeth Russell writes about abortion in Split Lip Magazine. Another important story.
XII. And this piece by Toni Morrison in The New Yorker. Read it. Let us not abandon our humanity.
XIII. Art by Kara Walker. The Emancipation Approximation (Scene #18).