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June 8. 2018

Thoughts of the Week


It's been four years since I graduated college. I've been out in the world for the amount of time I was in college! The past four years have been a whirlwind, packed full of people and things I've accomplished, but it's hard to visualize it all. I want to find new ways to record my progression in life—ways to record my goals and determine if I fulfilled them or if I changed my mind about what I wanted. A way to reconnect with my past self and connect with my future self. That's why Ava Gordy's video (below) interested me so much. Maybe one day, I'll do a "Dear Future Me" video.

I read Candice Marie Benbow's account about leaving Princeton's Theological Seminary. It's an example of how institutions of Higher Education often fail minorities. Her experience is heartbreaking and another enlightening perspective of the #MeToo movement.

I also saw Boston Review's decision to keep Junot Diaz as their fiction editor, despite various harassment accusations made by women. Three poetry editors resigned in response. Many literary magazines have come forward to condemn the Boston Review's decision, but resoundingly found this to be a teachable moment. 
The Five Senses
I love the way photographer Nathalie Geffroy displays Parisian food. Her sultry color palate displays fruits, vegetables, meats, and desserts. 
"Love is attention." 
Ladybird (2018) written and directed by Greta Gerwig. A lovely film about adolescence and mother/daughter relationships. The coming-of-age story is hard to do nowadays without cliche and Gerwig does a realistic spin on it. 
 
Amsterdam, originally by Gregory Alan Isakov performed by Mandolin Orange.

All inside our Amsterdam she flies
Hoarding the kites
That howling wind, she'll take everything
But she's easy on the eyes
Paper snake plant (and other paper things) by Raya Sader Bujana
Ava Gordy, an internet comedian, has a little series where she talks to her future self each year. In this video, she watches her old video (her 22-year-old-self) and discusses her successes in dance performance and struggles with her gender identity. Then, she tells her future self (her 26-year-old self) where she hopes she will be and what she's doing in two years. 
 
What I'm Reading

Books:
 
Vicious by V.E. Schwab: "The absence of pain led to an absence of fear, and the absence of fear led to a disregard for consequences.”  After watching V.E. Schwab's lecture In Search of Doors, I wanted to finish one of her novels. Vicious is a more realistic take on superheroes (called ExtraOrdinaries) and the discovery that a human becomes an EO after a near death experience. Schwab creates a pretty intense world and her characters are very fleshed out. I highly recommend Vicious for those interested in superheroes and superpowers but who are tired of the hero. 
 
Wolf Inventory by Zefyr Lisowski: "/...The smell inside the glen, between the bodies, it's smoky and like a tongue. .../...Beneath your teeth are more teeth—an arithmetic of addition,.../...I surround myself with goo, bone broth, hoard facts like they could ever keep me safe.../" 

A part of Ghost City Press's micro-chap summer series, this microchap depicts a surrealist account of sexual assault. I wrote a small review about it here. Lisowski challenges beauty: she uses strange, overt words and manages to make her descriptions beautiful and haunting. 

There Are over 100 Billion Stars in Our Galaxy by Canaan Anthony Whitston: "/...an ocean opening with room for only us.../..heavy hands pulling at loose strings.../...I built you a boat that sinks.../...a new moon is just as bright as a full moon, it just shines in a different way.../"

Another book in GCP summer series, Whitston talks about the divides love and desire creates. Whitston sets a big stage for his descriptions, and the drama he creates is a great read. The title of the chapbook is no exaggeration. My review for it is here

Casserole by Sara Adams: What a fun read. Another GCP summer series chapbook. Adams does erasure poetry from Stephen King's Cujo except with GLITTER. That's all that really needs to be said about Casserole. My review is here

Articles:

The Busboy Who Cradled A Dying RFK Recalls Those Final Moments: A beautiful, brief memory of Bobby Kennedy's last moments. Romero's guilt is heartbreaking and is an echo of the empathy Kennedy displayed in his life. Storycorps, who talked to Romero, has done some great interviews. Their mission is to "preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world."

Vladimir Nabokov Taught Me How to Be a Feminist: Adrienne Celt explores what it means to hold one's favorite writer on a pedestal and have them thrown off it. She discusses his legendary relationship with his wife, Véra, who licked his stamps and likely saved Lolita from destruction when he wanted to throw it into the fireplace. 

Time's Up, Bill: Bill Clinton was unprepared this week when he faced questions about the #MeToo movement and his past with Monica Lewinsky. Rebecca Traister doesn't hold back and discusses the disproportionate power men often have and how women are often left dependent on them. "And that means women, including feminists, are bound to those men such that censuring them is not just difficult, but politically — and therefore practically — perilous."
What I'm Writing

Lots of little blurbs and book reviews, most of which are linked above, most of which are reviews for Ghost City Press's summer chapbook series. I can't express how great this series is. GCP is promoting free poetry by young writers all over the country. Please take a moment to check it out if you haven't already. You can also sign up to have the chapbook delivered to your inbox here

I've been writing about dreams. Often, they are vague and dull, like I'm viewing them over a webbing. But sometimes, my dreams are distinct, thick, and colorful. Recently I've had some of those intense dreams, and I've been able to take stories from them. 
Poem of the Week
Alexandra Kesick is the author of I Knew You Once and the forthcoming Deep Gentle Blue, published by Ghost City Press.
Copyright © 2018 Alexandra Kesick, All rights reserved.

Wanna chat?
alexandrakesick@gmail.com

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Alexandra Kesick · Harvard Business School · Boston, Massachusetts 02163 · USA

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