Ferrante Fever

Yes, I hold that male colonization of our imaginations—a calamity while ever we were unable to give shape to our difference—is, today, a strength. We know everything about the male symbol system; they, for the most part, know nothing about ours, above all about how it has been restructured by the blows the world has dealt us. What’s more, they are not even curious, indeed they recognize us only from within their system.

Elena Ferrante

Confrontation with My Own Innocence

“Poetry  aims for an economy of truth–loose and useless words must be discarded, and I found that these loose and useless words were not separate from loose and useless thoughts.  Poetry was not simply the transcriptions of notions–beautiful writing rarely is.  I wanted to learn to write, which was ultimately, still, as my mother had taught me, a confrontation with my own innocence, my own rationalizations.  Poetry was the processing of my thoughts until the slag of justification fell away and I was left with the cold steel truths of life.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me

Reading this Friday in Philly!


I am reading this Friday for Bloof Books as part of the Philalalia Book Fair.  If you happen to be in or around Philly, come say hi.

Otherwise, things around here have been quiet. It’s that feeling of not knowing what is supposed to come next. It’s that feeling of needing to keep moving forward anyway.

Oh, but I have been reading Elena Ferrante’s Neopolitian Novels.  I just started the fourth and final book in the series yesterday. I am sort of obsessed.  In a way it reminds me of when I read Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook, the way it felt like a fever as I moved through the book, transposing my existence with the text, uncertain which one was more real.

How isolated the woman’s mind is, how it is so hard to remember to pay attention to one another, to alleviate each others’ inherent loneliness. As I get older I am ever more grateful for the women in my life.  I don’t know who I would be without them.