At the Base Of the Mountains

They say I was baptised, though I doubt anyone in my family actually remembers the event. I know my American grandmother and her best friend drove across the country from Meredith, New Hampshire to Pleasanton, California in order to meet my twin sister and me and to attend our bautizo. The dress I wore at…

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On Biblical Fan Fic

There is a real category of media called Biblical fan fiction and I have consumed all of it. The canonized pieces of course, Paradise Lost and Pilgrim’s Progress, and childhood adaptations, i.e. the famed Veggie Tales collection. I’ve seen Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, and I took my mother to see Book of Mormon when I thought it was actually going to be about Mormons. I’ve read the less well-known pieces too though: a retelling of Hosea set during the 1849 San Franciscan gold rush, Jesus’s crucifixion from the point of view of a Roman slave. Having grown up in…

Baby Blue Sentinel

She found sleepingly dead by the twisted tree in his backyard, curled so tightly into himself that she thought he must warmed in the sun to soften the architecture of his body, before the glacial night air had hardened him into that shape. He was the core of a cocoon of leaves, pressing so tightly…

On Hanging Poetry In Your Dorm Room

My freshman year dorm wall was, as most tend to be, a collage of magazine clippings and postcards and poems. The effort that went into the placement was haphazard, but the curation itself was meticulous. I had spent months beforehand filing the scraps away in a bright yellow folder emblazoned with my name in red marker that still sits (filled with rejected wall hangings) in my desk today. How do we choose what art we hang? The act of curating one’s dorm decor is complex. The dorm wall is intimate enough that it can only be inspected by those invited…

Dickinson, Unedited: The Significance of the Exhibit at the Morgan

When I saw that there would be an exhibit on Emily Dickinson at the Morgan, I was very excited but somewhat surprised. It’s exciting that many manuscripts, so instrumental to the study of a poet who herself never published, are so easily available to the public, and it’s honestly quite surprising that the Morgan managed to gather these items from the many institutions that hold them. Considering all the drama that surrounds Dickinson and her remaining physical possessions, it is monumental that this exhibit even exists. Dickinson never published during her lifetime. True, around ten of her poems were printed in…

Finding a Room of One’s Own in the Modern Day

As both an English major and a woman, Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own is considered in my respective circles to be something of a starter Feminist Bible. In it, Woolf suggests that a woman who wishes to write must have a room of her own, which is just a way of saying that she needs a personal physical space and the financial independence to obtain it. Because majoring in English means I’m also a frequenter of libraries and coffee shops, I find the literal idea of a room of one’s own to be increasingly attractive: there is a sense…

Ed’s Story

  Ed owns the road. I don’t. And he does the hard work. You can tell that by the cracks in his hands. He looks fearsome if you don’t know him with those pitted cheeks and hard stone eyes. He’s fearsome even if you do know him.   The title to that stretch of asphalt, route 87, is held by Ed when he grips the wheel of his old pickup, cranks it up to high gear, and rattles and rocks and farts his way to the next job.   He works for no one but himself, takes no shit from…