What's pink & shiny/what's dark & hard
The moment is so near. My chapbook, What's pink & shiny/what's dark & hard is going to be released any day now. I worked for a looooooong time on these poems. They are about my life as it was over 10 years ago--before my husband, before our children, before our idyllic (if still difficult) suburban life. Among other things, the poems are about: abortion, friendship, blood, love gone wrong, jail, poetry, and male nipples in triplicate. Soon you will be able to hold them in your hands, bound up with these gorgeous and slightly decaying peonies courtesy Nicci Mechler, the editor of and artist behind many of Porkbelly Press's tiny perfect chapbooks.
I'm pretty used to letting all my personal details flap in the wind at this point. Once, about a dozen years ago, I wrote a sex column for my college newspaper. Its first ever sex column. For The Johns Hopkins News-Letter. Turns out a TON of people read it, including alumni standing by their office fax machines (srsly, that's a story: me all sweaty and wearing tie-dye after working a restaurant kitchen shift standing in the doorway of a sick Upper East Side apartment filled with original art as a 40-year-old woman found my name tag and gushed that she read my column every week as it came in over the fax machine--just, whut, you did whut) and a writer for the Baltimore Sun and a DJ on Baltimore conservative talk radio. You can guess what the DJ and his callers thought of me. That kind of criticism I am used to--I've been getting slut-shamed since well before I ever even had sex, so come at me conservatives. Sex is natural, sex is good. Me and George Michael are right and you are wrong.
Because ultimately, having sex is not controversial. Having sex and then having an abortion--and then writing about it, a lot, without holding back--that is a different story. I wrote an essay about my anxiety over this chapbook coming out (as if many of the poems weren't already in the world, but whatever) just as I gear up my search for a full time teaching job--again, someone hire me already!--for Luna Luna: Both/And Being in an Either/Or World. There's no resolution this this anxiety, this fear of never finding a place where I belong, until I actually find a job. And that's fine. I'm happy (resigned? both?) to waiting for the school that is so excited to have me. But sooner would really be better if we're going to continue to support our little family.
In the meantime, preorder my chapbook! [Update: It's out! Direct order link here.] You should probably order Sonya Vatomsky's chap and E. Kristen Anderson's, too. And man, just really all of them. Then come see me read poems out loud in Philadelphia on June 20 and sometime in early July here in Pittsburgh, where you can buy a chap from me in person, if you prefer, and probably even get a shiny pink gumball to go with it.