Are you sure this blue is the same as the
blue over there? This wall’s like the
bottom of a pool, its
color I mean. I need a
darker two-piece this summer, the kind with
elastic at the waist so it actually
fits. I can’t
find her hands. Where does this gold
go? It’s like the angel’s giving
her a little piece of honeycomb to eat.
I don’t see why God doesn’t
just come down and
kiss her himself. This is the red of that
lipstick we saw at the
mall. This piece of her
neck could fit into the light part
of the sky. I think this is a
piece of water. What kind of
queen? You mean
right here? And are we supposed to believe
she can suddenly
talk angel? Who thought this stuff
up? I wish I had a
velvet bikini. That flower’s the color of the
veins in my grandmother’s hands. I
wish we could
walk into that garden and pick an
X-ray to float on.
Yeah. I do too. I’d say a
zillion yeses to anyone for that.
Mary Szybist, “Girls Overheard While Assembling a Puzzle” (The Kenyon Review, Fall 2011)
I think that I’m drawn often to shorter works, works that feel focused, and earnest in trying to communicate something. I feel pretty content where others might not, simply glimpsing just a fragment of somebody’s life. I feel okay not knowing the character’s whole story. Instead, I like the intimacy of peeking in on a particular moment when someone is standing at a window, or walking along water, or trying to puzzle out some piece of their past that maybe doesn’t make sense. I feel excited myself by reading work that does that, even if there’s a kind of challenge in that. And writing these pieces, sometimes it felt pretty personal. So as a writer, there’s motivation there. Trying to capture a person, or even the idea of a person, in an important or strange or charged moment of their thinking—or just being—was enough for me.
The Rumpus Interview with Ashley Farmer (via therumpus)
She’s definitely talking about fiction here, but this is pretty important in nonfiction, too. I have a tendency to over-contextualize when I write personal essays because I always feel that the reader needs to know all these small details about me to understand, but really, when those details don’t point directly back to the aboutness of the essay, they’re totally derailing. My crazy-smart friend who’s editing my thesis said to me the other day, “This isn’t a get-to-know-you essay. Don’t feel like we need to know everything,” and I keep thinking about it, because he’s right, and I knew that before, but it had never been said out loud to me like that. Essays with personal material can be personal without needing your entire life story behind them.
is this a trailer for a wes anderson movie
(Source: unpopular, via leemavers)
The wounded woman gets called a stereotype, and sometimes she is. But sometimes she’s just true. I think the possibility of fetishizing pain is no reason to stop representing it.