Category Archives: prose

11/9/16

 

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I’ve been saying Fuck fear! to everyone today, especially myself. The surrealistic results of last night’s election were shocking and fostered images of increased violence, economic disparity, disenfranchisement, senseless cruelty and suffering in our country and beyond our imaginary borders…yet while out with our dog, I marveled at the stars sparkling as they have and will for eons.

So many compassionate people with social and historical understanding are scared, yet fear is how slave owners and terrorists, bullies and rapists, gangs and militias have gained and maintained entirely too much privilege for too long. Fear paralyzes. Fear wraps us in numbing behavior, PTSD and isolation. I’ve spent too much of my life focused on moving out of fear to embrace it now because our young nation is struggling with issues of entitlement and humanism; the ideals of capitalism and democracy; the definitions of freedom and propaganda. Fear locks the brain in a simplified fight or flight state rather than perceiving others through the complex lens of empathy and layered perspectives.

Fear, like anxiety, is a mighty imaginative force. If I let it root I’ll be paralyzed in ways I’ll be too blinded to even see, so fuck fear. We rise above bad circumstances and heal through love and connection so let’s make our way to 2020 as intact as we can as a nation, as connected as we can with our entire world and with as much deep listening, caring and intelligence as we can offer one another.

May all be happy, safe, healthy and at peace.

 

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Serpents

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Natalie longed for a permanent position so she could stop subbing classes the tenured ditched. When she asked the lithe Suzanne to give her oral report per the regular’s instructions, the class groaned like a sick wolfhound…Suzanne never glanced from her cards to notice even when a crimson snake’s head poked from between her lips, further impairing her enunciation…read full piece

Thank you to the editors of Doorknobs & BodyPaint for first publishing this piece and choosing it as the Dorsal contest winner.

This Edge of Sea

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  And it is a dream at sea such as was never dreamt, and it is the Sea in us that will dream it:

The Sea, woven in us, to the last weaving of its tangled night, the Sea, in us, weaving its great

hours of light and its great trials of darkness.

— Saint-John Perse, Seamarks

I’ve touched death twice and come back. I feel like a cat, though I’m not counting on nine. I was told as a child that I would not live even thirty years due to severe asthma. In my early twenties, I wheezed ceaselessly for two years, even with intravenous steroids during monthly hospitalizations. At this time I was told I’d be dead by twenty-five due to a rare form of asthma that afflicts fewer than two percent of asthmatics, most of whom are seventy or older. Now in my forties, I know that no one can predict another’s fate.

The first time I touched death, I was seventeen. After spending several days trying to stabilize a particularly bad attack, during which I could only walk with assistance, could barely eat, and couldn’t lie down, I called my physician, Doctor K, who wanted to meet me in the emergency room.

Driving proved slow and difficult with such labored breathing, but after I parked near the hospital’s entrance, I inched toward the automatic doors by leaning against cars, poles, the rough white wall for support, and paused to catch my breath after each step as if climbing at twenty-six thousand feet.  (More)

Thank you to the editors of Cezanne’s Carrot for first publishing this piece.

(This is a semi-repost from 10.10.09)

My 2012 in Pictures

The Losses:

My 84-year-old mom holding her 9-year-old self

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and two weeks before she passed, my father-in-law also did along with his pocketful of index cards and pens so he’d never lose an important thought

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The Blessings:

A week at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers

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and the crescent shadows during the solar eclipse

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The Joyous Victories:

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The Discoveries:

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Toni Littlejohn’s art

and Rain Fingerhut’s voice

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Peace to all of you throughout the New Year!

Elizabeth

The Screaming Beet

Emily’s mom left a month after Rose’s birth, two weeks after Rose started crying, not with the half-formed gaspy cries of an infant but with a determination reserved for two and three year olds. Emily woke several…

Thank you to the editors of Halfway Down the Stairs for first publishing this story.