“Should I have known or been better? What does it mean when a man cries for a dog, but not for a child? What does it mean when a man shoots mapgies to show his daughter he loves her, but doesn’t say a word of it, and she never figures it out until she’s been writing about it for years. Whatever holds our grief is massive. It’s big enough and wide enough to hold the ocean. This is why I’m here pacing and writing and doing. I’m building something big enough to contain it.” – Jenny Forrester
The beautiful Michelle Gonzales, the author of Pretty, Bold Mexican Girl invited me to read in Oakland. All love and gratitude to her. I’m going to read about sin and shame and how funny all that is. Come visit! Margaret Elysia-Garcia will also be there. We’ll be reading from this or in some manner related to it or not. But here’s a picture because you’ll want this book and I haven’t posted it for at least a week.
I also hear that Ariel Gore will be there!
And Rad Dad, Tomas Moniz!
FB Event info here:
I’ve been told I was ruined.
I’ve been told I can find redemption by the book or the lash or some combination through religion or pop culture or social evolution.
I’ve been told to get over it, to toughen up, to let go, to open up.
I don’t want to get over it or adjust to it or be open to it or any other euphemisms for taking it.
I don’t want to be a good wife or a strong wife. An understanding wife.
I don’t want to be your baby. I don’t want to re-enact my powerlessness or yours when we were children.
I don’t want you to cage me so you can free me.
I don’t want to have a safe word.
I want, though. I want everything else.
I want you to love my flesh, all my flesh, and my hair, all my hair and my toes and my tears and my soul’s words and the ringing in my ears. All of me.
I want to see your mind’s sky and hear the echo of the chambers of your heart.
I want the long low train whistle in the distance coming on and the lightning strike and the thunderstorm in the saguaros and the open road and the fireweed growing back and the spring rain and the deep and wild forest. Sometimes all at once, but not necessarily.
I want the dirt and the mud and the moss.
I want to watch you plant a tree.
I want to hold your dirty earth hands and kiss your muddy face.
I want to watch you paint the house and change the light bulbs and feed the cats.
I want you to take out the trash.
I want you to hold me as it all composts around us.
I want to become earth with you.
Click here for KBOO station information and information on the show!
The Listen to Your Mother Show in the Oregonian. If you scroll down, you can find my reading video.
I’ve recently been published in an anthology about motherhood – having one, being one, not being one, etc…
Mine is about the day my mom and I got honest with each other about our lives.
The book is really lovely and Putnam published it and in the mail, when I received the contributor’s copy. The package included a letter and at the bottom of that letter was a penguin. A PENGUIN! You know – Penguin, as in publishing and New York City. Putnam established in 1838. Wahoo!
There’s still an opportunity to enter the cash prize writing contest through this subscription drive for Hip Mama!
Thank you to Carrie Seitzinger, Matty Byloos, and everyone at Nailed Magazine for publishing American Charity! I hope you enjoy the story.