"Cats don’t get minestrone soup. Maybe you should’ve thought about that before you were a cat."
-me, to my cat
“Don’t come upstairs,” my mother hollers down,
“I’m in a bra trying to dye my hair.”
“Well don’t come downstairs,” I yell back up,
“I’m trying to write a poem and I’m on the last stanza.”
so much stuff: a haiku
there’s just so much stuff
that people care about that
I don’t care about
Anonymous said: hey what's up
ah hello anon I don’t really keep track of msgs on here so I don’t know if this was 2 minutes or 2 years ago but all is good here, I have assigned myself interviews of my favourite authors to read from the paris review for homework over the summer and it’s working out well. I really recommend the one with ray bradbury, he’s quite a card
In the heat of June I discovered that Buchanan
was the only president from Pennsylvania. I don’t know why
this struck me so; I imagined him in different states
of solitude: sipping a brown iced-tea from a tall
see-through glass with a little paper umbrella protruding
from the top like a sweet mushroom; standing
on a giant map of the continental U.S. chalked on
playground asphalt by children, while scratching one leg pensively
with the other. A crowd of portly men in double-breasted
suits, gold pocket watches dripping down their thighs,
jeers at him from Virginia and Ohio. James Madison
insults his mother, and McKinley flips him the bird.
Sometimes, Buchanan has Woodrow Wilson (the only
president from New Jersey) over his house for tea and strawberry
scones, and when neither of them, in a feat of contrived
maliciousness, is invited to the birthday parties
of George Washington and Harry Truman, they go
for a walk down the middle of the Delaware, scuffing
the cartographic line that divides the river into Camden
and Philadelphia, like a silver knife through a muddy cake.
I don’t know why this struck me so: how Buchanan must
tuck himself into bed every night, listening to Pittsburgh
hum in the kitchen, making sure the nightlight of Harrisburg
is on in his blue-tiled bathroom, and watching the flicker of
Ulysses S. Grant’s television from across the street; the sound
of a bottle being thrown on the floor. I don’t know why,
but it did, and I’d like to tell Buchanan now,
as I walk my bike along the bank of the glittering Schuylkill,
the pillars of the art museum glowing softly, like marzipan,
and the smoldering fire of Centralia burning somewhere
west of here with slow determination, that I know exactly
how he feels, sometimes; that we in the Keystone appreciate him
very much, and that he’s welcome to join me for a ride
through Fairmount Park anytime he likes; perhaps
on the back of a white-tailed deer, the state animal, or,
if that proves too troublesome, on my sister’s light blue Scwhinn,
which stands ready in the kitchen and has, as far as I know,
only two speeds.
To Whoever Keeps Leaving Their Teabag in the Sink: A Haiku
Please stop leaving your
teabag in the sink. It does
not need to be washed
In Steering the Craft, you say—and you seem to be speaking as both a reader and a writer—“I want to recognize something I never saw before.”
It has something to do with the very nature of fiction. That age-old question, Why don’t I just write about what’s real? A lot of twentieth-century— and twenty-first-century—American readers think that that’s all they want. They want nonfiction. They’ll say, I don’t read fiction because it isn’t real. This is incredibly naive. Fiction is something that only human beings do, and only in certain circumstances. We don’t know exactly for what purposes. But one of the things it does is lead you to recognize what you did not know before. This is what a lot of mystical disciplines are after—simply seeing, really seeing, really being aware. Which means you’re recognizing the things around you more deeply, but they also seem new. So the seeing-as-new and recognition are really the same thing.
Could you elaborate on this idea just a little?
Not adequately! I can only muddle at it. A very good book tells me news, tells me things I didn’t know, or didn’t know I knew, yet I recognize them— yes, I see, yes, this is how the world is. Fiction—and poetry and drama— cleanse the doors of perception.
All the arts do this. Music, painting, dance say for us what can’t be said in words. But the mystery of literature is that it does say it in words, often straightforward ones."
Ursula K. LeGuin in her interview with the Paris Review
I think it’s time I did something with my life.
I think I’ll have to write a novel.