Whenever I finish a project, I feel empty. It’s not a scooped out feeling, it’s more of a “I’m not here” feeling. It’s like existing in a sensory deprivation tank. Finishing the last draft of my novel after 8 months of work was similar. When I was done, there was no fanfare or feeling of elation; instead, it was like I had been editing someone else’s pages, not my own, like the pride belonged to someone else. Why is it so difficult for me to feel proud of anything I write? Why does it feel like this draft is only tangentially attached to me instead of an actual piece of my spirit? Is this me rejecting my child? Am I a bad mother? Or have I experienced enough rejection and lackluster responses that I don’t want to run the risk of growing emotionally attached to something that is so…me?
I’m passions paled away ashy, waiting / for a word to flutter, hinging on this
It's funny how quickly we bond, to the point that we get so used to life together that it seems impossible to live any other way. The Bond House is a place where that happens with some regularity. When we got started in early 2018, there were 8 of us: 8 strangers who agreed that living in a totally-not-haunted house was a good idea. We were the ones who put the House's heart together, helped shape it into what it is now, and have become closer than many people are with their own families. Now our rooms are full, but the cast is different. Most of the original 8 are gone now, or are permanently traveling, and I have to say that it's hard. Even harder still is that this original number dwindles still. Theresa is leaving today.
Gideon's fur finally grew back, / two years after you shaved him / that summer, despite his undercoat.
This is for your mother, Kathleen. Even after I stopped loving you, I couldn't move her from my heart. This poem was written when my relationship with words was rawer, but the sentiment is still there. May she sleep in peace on this crisp Mother's Day. The world has been a colder place without her.
After I tell him I'm tired of crashing / into someone else's desperation, I reach / for you and conquer misplaced loyalty
Since the rousing success of Fonduesdays in December, many of us here in the Bond House have agreed to be a part of other challenges and month-long themes. While Vegan February was left up to the likes of Lark and Brennan (though the rest of us did gladly eat whatever they made), we have found other ways to engage in communal activities. March, for instance, was a speed-reading month, a skill that I was forced to learn in college and was willing to exercise in solidarity. I'll let you the secret to learning this invaluable ability: read things you truly do not care about. This month's fodder? Romance novels.
My piece "in conversation with yet another therapist i stopped seeing" was announced as a finalist in the Lascaux Prize in Poetry competition. To rank in the top 16 out of 2000 is to realize that I may, in fact, be a poet. The work will be published later this year and I am STOKED.
I can't believe that I've actually had 10 pieces accepted this year. After setting the goal for myself at the end of July, I never thought I would actually accomplish it; and yet, here we are. For the first time in my life, I am proud of myself as a writer. Please, be a part of my joy and check out my work: "Polytrauma" and "A Great Greco-Roman Romance" are forthcoming in Chantwood Magazine. "Hooping" with be out with Streetlight Magazine. "Interlanguage Fossilization" is out today with Into the Void.
When I was growing up, I had no idea that people traveled in August. Where I'm from, vacations happen in June and people spend their time on a beach without sunscreen. It wasn't until last year when I went to Paris did I become aware that entire cities basically shut down so people can escape the heat for a few weeks and unwind. What a concept. This past long and lonely August, the Bond House may as well have been France.