I. “…it’s the body’s language that articulates the most. It’s the held hand, or the head in hands. It’s the leap of joy. The knees of grief. It’s the mouth that holds the voice that holds the feathers that give flight to sound. It’s in the body first, all tied up in the world, before it’s ever on the page.” Devin Kelly’s tender and powerful essay “Plie, Tendu, Degage: 3 Meditations on Dance” at The Fanzine.
II. “It’s unnerving, standing inside the aftermath before the event even arrives. But I haven’t answered your question.” The vulnerable collaboration between Jill Talbot and Justin Lawrence Daugherty continues with “On Leaving: A Conversation” (hint: the conversation at the end is beautiful) at The Account Magazine.
III. After leaving, wandering. Jill and Justin go on to write of words and places and where they intersect over at Phoebe Journal. “It’s true, isn’t it? How we all live in our own cities, built from what we have found, and who we find ourselves next to, what doors we duck in and out of daily.”
IV. “I almost step into the ocean for the first time at thirty-two at Mendocino Point, the westernmost point in the continental United States, but even in July it is too windy and cold and the water too volatile, and what I remember most are the cattle nearby, so close to the ocean.” Justin dives under and resurfaces in his essay “Invasive/Invading” at JMWW and it feels like drowning, but his words will save you.
V. “I have empty streets inside me. Streets that have built cities, maps of trouble. With the slightest turn of direction, I can be back on any one of them.” Jill and Justin are on a roll with words that make you ache. In her short piece “On Trouble, Like Dust” at Ghost Proposal, Jill goes deep into her (and our) inner maps of desire and longing.
VI. “On good days I submit to being a committed student of the heart. On bad days I am paranoid and anxious about my heart being kidnapped by intruders in blue uniforms…” “Women Are Doomed to Be the Angels of Love” by Nikki Wallschlaeger at The Georgia Review is a poem that you’ll want to sit with and turn it over and over, it contains more than multitudes.
VII. “A space for beauty alone then, for movement. A space for beauty itself rather than a single image, which in time must vanish, become the ghost of a forest.” Melissa Wiley explores memory and that space “quiet place behind [the] sternum” in her essay “Swallowing Needles” at Phoebe Journal. (Her book, Antlers in Space and Other Common Phenomena, is sitting in my reading stack and I cannot wait to get to it.)
VIII. “My depression is a sinkhole in the desert, filled with oily tar. Deep, endless black with iridescent blues and purples swirling. Placental.” This vulnerable and visceral essay by Lisa Mecham about depression and anxiety at Proximity Magazine is so important. (Read, always read. Then write, if you can.)
IX. “I study my bookshelves in the dining room, an array of units picked up from garage and estate sales, the books stacked carelessly, my mismatched furniture. I feel the pressure of the room in that moment, the pressure of my life folding in on me, the isolation.” In Pithead Chapel, Robert James Russell’s look at isolation, the space between each of us and others, and the Shakers is beautifully woven and honest. (Also, his dog sounds like the best.)
Here are some newly released issues of journals I love, I’ll be reading through them this next week. Am I missing any that you love? I’d love to hear about them.