For all the artists out there. xoxo
I agree with Natasha! Make stuff even if it HURTS! <3
Things I should remember
If it’s one drink, it will be two. Wisteria tangling
around your wrists. Here is where you buried your
father. Here is where you buried your brother.
Here is where they will bury you, when the
time comes. No wonder you drink yourself down
toward the earth. Home is where the shovels lie.
Earth and earth and earth. Stones crowd your sleep.
Granite and salt, sand giving birth to
the fortress where even your lovers sigh. Silent
underfoot. You dream yourself toward them.
You are foxfire, you are phosphorescent. Your
mouth like whiskey. Your eyes like whiskey.
You baptize yourself in sorrow, again and again.
You baptize yourself with bourbon and brandy.
You swim downward, fast salmon, heedless, handsome,
death is in you, it has captured your ear. You have your
father’s jaw, your brother’s chin. When you were born
they bathed your small body with their fears.
Each scar they’d earned became manifest on your skin.
Their love aches like a badly set bone. When the river takes
you, it will be no new baptism. Just that same, ancient sacrifice.
Just that rush, that rushing, and then you are gone.
— jen silverman
Father Cahir kept us holy.
He smoked cigars in the confessional.
He had a distracted air about him,
as though he wasn’t sure what
he was supposed to do next.
I don’t remember what he taught.
History, probably. It was his
liberal attitude as a confessor
that made him a legend.
No matter what you confessed to,
he always barked out the same penance:
“Three Hail Marys and a Good Act
of Contrition. Next!” So we tested
this leniency, confessing
to rape, murder, burglary.
Cahir paid no attention.
He knew we were a bunch
of high school punks.
Puffing his cigar,
he’d issue his standard
penance and absolve all sins,
real or imagined,
with godlike aloofness,
his vast indifference to
or total acceptance of the darkness
within the human soul
exactly how I hope the deity
regards us. Take forgiveness
any way you can get it.
Last night I had a
terrible nightmare that
my mother was dead.
I dreamed my cell
phone rang and my
came across the line
like a babbling brook,
and only a few words
the worst words got
through. Breaking and
entering. Can’t find
who did it. Your mother.
I dreamed I called my
grandmother, and I
wailed, like a wounded
thing. Her voice was clear
broad, vast as a gale
down a canyon.
She said, “I loved her
too,” in my dream.
And then my mother
was really dead.
I screamed over the
line. I screamed,
pinched my thighs
in the dream and begged.
I awoke. Relief was
cold and painful as my
sweat, as all that pain
evaporating in an
I was like a newborn
calf, all trembles, and
knocky knees on my way
to the bathroom.
I barely comprehended
reality and looked in
the dimmed mirror,
wondering what would
happen if it was real.
If that was a dream,
what will become of
me when it isn’t?
I laid in bed the rest
of the night, willing
the phone not to ring
counting the seconds of
silence like a poor
their very last pennies.
“how to be a writer”
find a tool and surface, make your mark
ink is cheap, but runs. blood lasts longer
skin and paper work equally well, especially when wrinkled
but most important, the marking
remember, you’re changing the tool, the surface, yourself
be unafraid to throw down gauntlets
and stir words
be even more unafraid to pick up gauntlets
and let words stir you
kick, bite, throw your head like an unbroken horse
chomp the bit, throw the rider
be toothless and gentle as an old dog at the bed’s foot
sit close when invited, cultivate loyal quietude
break left when the group goes right, find wilderness ways
be always in rebellion
follow beside, keep up, stay with, lock step, get along
be always in harmony
listen to everything, consider all advice, take all comers
keep the doors open
shut out the noise, keep your own counsel close to the chest
shutter the windows, shush the world
stay young and agile and spring-green and newish and unmarked
emerge cocoon-fresh each day
get old while you can, press smiles into the skin of your mouth and eyes
be gray as owls and wintery trees
contradict contradictions, rule rules, catch and release
have everything, have nothing
most importantly: when you see giant footsteps, step up
do not be overwhelmed by the difference in size
repeat as needed; as possible.
touching you i say(it being Spring
and night)”let us go a very little beyond
the last road—there’s something to be found”
and smiling you answer “everything
turns into something else,and slips away….
(these leaves are Thingish, with moondrool
and i’m ever so very little afraid”)
“along this particular road the moon if you’ll
notice follows us like a big yellow dog. You
don’t believe? look back.(Along the sand
behind us,a big yellow dog that’s….now it’s red
a big red dog that may be owned by who
only turn a little your. so. And
there’s the moon,there is something faithful and mad