Early on the morning of Saturday, April 19, 1969, in a heavy mist that would soon yield to freezing rain, five students in Cornell University’s Afro-American Society entered Willard Straight Hall, the school’s student union, through a back door left …Read More
Soon after I purchased land in southwestern Wisconsin, a stranger from Missouri called me. “I’m your farm’s manager,” he said with a drawl. He had helped the widow who’d owned my property before me. Would I like to keep him …Read More
Much has only gotten worse. In 2015, by the count of the people at the Gun Violence Archive, there were 335 mass shootings. (This term continues to have no set definition. For the GVA it is “four or more shot …Read More
Magic These Days
How can we believe we are magic if our hearts are constantly being shattered? Last April, Auntie Carol, who turned an abandoned lot into a community garden next to her house, stopped eating and willed herself …Read More
If ever he writes a memoir, it will reliably contain the falsehood that in 2019 he quit the United States for Côte d’Ivoire to sit out the coronavirus pandemic. Also, perhaps that he wished to elude a great—and imminent—North American …Read More
Here’s my question. How do we keep doing this—making art? My question can be understood in two ways: what keeps us alive in our art, on what do we draw, year after year and project after project, to keep doing …Read More
I spoke to Adrienne Rich just once, after a reading she gave at the University of Virginia in April 1998. The line in the auditorium to have her sign my copy of The Fact of a Doorframe was long. …Read More
Every man and every woman is a star.
—Aleister Crowley, Liber AL vel Legis (The Book of the Law), I:3
Hey little star, don’t be afraid
We all fall apart and make mistakes
—Robyn, “In My Eyes”
In telling the story of where I went wrong, my mom drew two lines to mark the turning points that led me down a singular, inevitable path toward a male babysitter who drew no lines at all.
One “if …Read More