Grief does not absolve you.
The neo-Nazis were having pizza too. My French student sat at the table next to the Nazis with her girlfriend and child but she must not read the newspaper or follow local social media because she didn’t seem to know. The neo-Nazis’ pictures are all over the place. They are quite famous in our little town. They remind me of the bikers I hung out with, years ago. The bikers […]
I wrote a novel based on eugenics, but my agent didn’t like it. Once she didn’t like it, I found that I didn’t either. I thought the backstory was more interesting than the front story. I thought the whole section that takes place when the protagonist lives with a male prostitute in New York City was just an excuse for me to write about when I lived with a […]
Yesterday I heard about a man who stole a can of beer from a convenient store in Georgia and went to jail for a year. I heard the story of the shootings in Santa Barbara. I heard a school official saying we just can’t do anything. Australia did, you know, but no one talks about that. I heard the story of a girl and her family who couldn’t afford housing and […]
To the black man in the blue van on the road when I was walking. This is an apology. I was walking and looking at the big houses. I was listening to a tape of a novel about a serial killer by the Norwegian writer Jo Nesbø. I was thinking about being a white woman in the United States. I was thinking if I was a young black male, I […]
It’s Sunday, poetry day. This is from Sara Backer. INMATES I heard there was a fat skunk, all white, who waddled in the yard followed by two kits the men called babies. I heard about a pair of chipmunks and raccoons that hung around the kitchen. A hummingbird appeared one morning, a gray-tailed hawk at noon, and at night, feeding on mosquitoes, bats carved dark curves in the darker sky. […]
Can hate become a habit? Do I always need someone to hate? My former boss was hired to talk to teachers about what it means to be white. Somebody paid her for this. I thought she should instead have given a talk about what it means to be a sociopath.
I recently visited my mother who lives not far from Beardstown, Illinois. Beardstown is the town I model Palmyra after in my first book. My mother still cannot understand why people in the town are not more enthusiastic about that book. My book is a little mean about the town. It neglects the kindnesses you find in any little town: people who love their families, who help their neighbors, people […]