Saturday, March 31, 2012

Invented, cont

There's a cinematic end; I picture it just right—
             Having trouble with the right words
There's something good I've missed; something I can't find—
Do you believe me now?
Can you see it in my eyes?

Friday, March 30, 2012


You're always in my head
You're just what I wanted
I live in constant debt
                 to feel you
i n v e n t e d.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Love Soon

"I understand I wasn't part of the plan; a dollar short, a minute early—but I am your man."

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Don't spend your whole life holding on.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Answer: "Write Like a Motherfucker."

Dear Elissa Bassist,

When I was 29 I had a chalkboard in my living room. It was one of those two-sided wooden A-frames that stand on their own and fold flat. On one side of the chalkboard I wrote, “The first product of self-knowledge is humility,” Flannery O’Connor and on the other side I wrote, “She sat and thought of only one thing, of her mother holding and holding onto their hands,” Eudora Welty.

The quote by Eudora Welty is from her novel The Optimist’s Daughter, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1972. It was a book I read again and again and that line about the woman who sat thinking of only one thing was at the heart of the reason why. I sat like that too. Thinking of only one thing. One thing that was actually two things pressed together, like the back-to-back quotes on my chalkboard: how much I missed my mother and how the only way I could bear to live without her was to write a book. My book. The one that I’d known was in me since way before I knew people like me could have books inside of them. The one I felt pulsing in my chest like a second heart, formless and unimaginable until my mother died, and there it was, the plot revealed, the story I couldn’t live without telling. My debut.

Rumpus Advice Column Question

Dear Sugar,

I write like a girl. I write about my lady life experiences, and that usually comes out as unfiltered emotion, unrequited love, and eventual discussion of my vagina as metaphor. And that’s when I can write, which doesn’t happen to be true anymore.

Right now, I am a pathetic and confused young woman of 26, a writer who can’t write. I am up late asking you a question, really questioning myself. I’ve sat here, at my desk, for hours, mentally immobile. I look up people I used to love and wonder why they never loved me. I lie facedown on my bed and feel scared. I get up, go to the computer, feel worse.

David Foster Wallace called himself a failed writer at 28. Several months ago, when depression hooked its teeth into me, I complained to my then-boyfriend about how I’ll never be as good as Wallace; he screamed at me on Guerrero Street in San Francisco, “STOP IT. HE KILLED HIMSELF, ELISSA. I HOPE TO GOD YOU ARE NEVER LIKE HIM.”