Weekly reading 2

Another round up of articles, ideas, and even a video.

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Dancer Merce Cunningham, left, and writer M.C. Richards met at Black Mountain College. The two were lifelong friends and collaborated at times, though Cunningham was known for only caring about dance, while Richards was interested in the ways various creative disciples informed each other.

• “Going It Alone” by Rahawa Haile in Outside: “There were days when the only thing that kept me going was knowing that each step was one toward progress, a boot to the granite face of white supremacy. I belong here, I told the trail. It rewarded me in lasting ways.” Continue reading

Weekly reading

I opted out of the Goodreads challenge this year not because I’m not that into reading, but because in January I issued myself a different sort of challenge: Read more work by writers of color, LGBT writers and differently abled writers. It’s taken my reading in interesting directions — into more non-fiction and into more magazine and blog articles (as opposed to just books).

Here’s what I’ve been reading and thinking about this week. If you check any of these links out, let me know what you think.

pulitzer winners

How America Fails Black Girls (New York Times): “Mainstream feminism has historically ignored the issues facing runaway and other missing black girls as well as most other issues regarding women and children of color.” Continue reading

Bus ride to Glasgow

An essay constructed from notes written in Scotland, March, 2013

The bus departs from the station in a belch of diesel exhaust. Only the locals board there. Tourists are oblivious to the city busses as they wait for their carefully mapped day excursions. Some plush coach that picks up at the Quaitch Guest House.

72415_10151514836280218_601959733_nQuickly multistory apartment buildings give way to squat stone cottages with neat white doors. A pair of bay windows on each, because light matters. Old mixed with new, sometimes gracefully, but the city’s growth at its far reach is an ugly gash of mud and large equipment. Power lines across a gray sky, bus shelter at the end of the world.

Norton House Hotel, Ratho Station. A guy boards with a short Mohawk and someone’s initials — perhaps his own — inked behind his ear. D.W. in script. Villages rise and fall beyond the bus window. They are stunted and napping, like villages everywhere. Towns don’t buzz like cities do. Cities never sleep. Towns keep hitting the snooze button. Continue reading

Winter writes to spring

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Is it okay to be happy today, when
the world is so sad? To fold into the arms
of pink and yellow, to carry my grief
like an Easter egg — fragile but vivid.

Maybe I’ll leave this sorrow among the leaves
of new grass, its green the pulse of breathing
and of ceasing to breathe; of all that ebbs
and flows again. Maybe I’ll string this sorrow

among the branches of the cherry trees
for the birds to weave into nests, or for the wind
to carry away. Maybe I’ll plant it deep
in the still-dreaming earth

and see what blooms.

A Valentine’s Day poem. Sort of.

VALENTINE

This is what you named the rat you bought
from the pet store. White fur and red eyes
that narrowed and darted and never met yours.

Because you couldn’t afford a cage,
Valentine lived in a cardboard box
though it took him less than one night

depressed-runaway-teenager-in-backyard-picture-id175482777to chew his way out and move into the cupboards.
But the apartment you shared with three other girls,
none of you yet eighteen, was empty of food

and furniture and parents and anyone
who could make a decent decision. You lived on
school lunches and leftover desserts

from the restaurants where you washed dishes. You slept
like four orphans curled together on one mattress.
You read poetry sometimes, for entertainment, Continue reading