The work we shared was blunt, poignant, often brilliant. We wrote about the perfect day in the future, the stress of food shopping, the disruption of our lives, but also the poetry and unexpected grace of a bird or a hike through the Calfornia desert. We wrote about our children and our lovers. I chose Prompt 3 for this issue: Describe the world outside your window because, in the new normal, the world had taken on a new shape—paradoxically familiar but also very strange
EB: I love the brilliant and playful way your feminist deconstruction of A Streetcar Named Desire approaches these questions. What are your ways of thinking about autobiography versus fiction, “real” versus imaginary or invented? How do you use yourself in your work? How does your work change and shape your life?
On Groundhog Day, I read that the movie, Groundhog Day, is considered a Buddhist meditation. My brother talked about it in the weeks before he died. He liked watching it, and liked comparing himself to the hero.
Everything is green, too green. Even Demeter is dying. Here in Westchester, 20 years after the marriage ended, there’s a heat wave, and thunderheads in the still, blue sky. There’s a different kind of stink, not like the city, but still sweet. Things rot in this heat. Only yesterday, I finally took out the garbage, it was starting to ferment. This is the apotheosis of high summer. It is that space, where the wheel of the seasons is on the brink of shifting again. You can stand the heat, because the smell of things rotting is also the first sign of re-growth. Wallace Stevens wasn’t wrong, because the quiet death of all green things, in high summer, late July, is sweet.
I have big plans to wash clothes and bedding, and mop the hardwood floors. Instead I roll a joint on the desk in the large empty living room. It’s the only piece of furniture in this room; not counting the kitchen chair where I’ve propped a large framed photo of the Rolling Stones at Altamont–a gift from my late brother. The very same picture that fell off the wall the first day here, and completely shattered a glass topped coffee table. I didn’t have a broom, never mind a dust pan. It happened at five in the morning, still dark out. My first thought; I’m taking this fucking picture and throwing it in the river. Because once I started to let go of things, it was hard to stop.