Over the past decade, as my love life has stabilized, my writing has gravitated toward two subjects, two obsessions. One is the death of my mother. Forgive me – she is still very much alive and in fact successfully managing two careers, in addition to a thriving garden. But she will die someday. We’ll all die someday, but her death is more threatening. Her health is tenuous; I can’t be sure that she will live into her 90s or 80s or even 70s, and the knowledge of this haunts me, when I don’t suppress it entirely. The other obsession is my brother; we were once very close, but our relationship began to deteriorate in my mid-20s, and though we’re now in a place that is civil and mostly free of contention, we rarely speak or see each other, and the memory of our former friendship – or rather, a connection that was more than friendship, and is now less – haunts me too...You can read the full piece (which includes the text of real private email chains!), as well as responses from Kathleen Rooney, Rebecca Hazelton, Elizabeth Hildreth and others at the Michigan Quarterly Review blog (be warned, it's a scroller; my piece is second in the sequence). Thanks to Virginia for including me!
Also, today is the last day of my guest-editor stint at Everyday Genius. Thanks again to Adam Robinson for letting me take the reins. I was so happy to be able to feature work by poets like Jason Labbe ("I don’t have your best interest anywhere / near the still sunken portion of my chest. / Unless ruined, and so overrated, you fester."), Darcie Dennigan ("Yes, yes, yes, the film is about loving this world. Though who can stay long enough in it. The bells that call you to heaven call you to the next available agent."), Fani Papageorgiou ("This is the hurt which drives everyone mad in books and although I don’t feel it yet / I am being in the know / Life will be tenuous and always in faded pale blue—the color of ice. / Write down what you love."), and other clever people.
This is a picture of the back of my head. That's John reading a poem in the background.