the other book by Laura Kochman

The other book I'm currently reading is Deep Secret, by Diana Wynne Jones. Here is the cover from the version that my local library had, which I read a lot of times:

Pretty great, right? Very 90s. This is actually a fantastic book, and it's the only one I've ever read that is centered around a conference, so this is what I thought AWP would be like:

Then I discovered that the ceiling of the hotel foyer was a mass of mirrors, large and small. The entire confusion of folk was reflected there, upside-down, milling about, sort of hanging there mixed up with trees in urns and piles of suitcases. There were the three people with the baby again, passing the baby chair round from one to another so that they could hug someone they had just met.

It wasn't that inaccurate. I love this book. In among all the thinking about self and body and space and other and ekphrasis and the death of the author, I also still love the fantasy novels that I grew up with, which taught me worldbuilding and rulebreaking. And I think that's important—to have a narrative to come home to.

on women and silence by Laura Kochman

the wound that cannot be seen by Laura Kochman

I finally finished Annie Liontas' Let Me Explain You, sort of quietly in the dark morning-time, which felt right, and now thinking of the wound that cannot be seen. And the act of always reaching toward it.

This week I have some time to myself, to do all of the things I put off, I hope. I bring you:

This interview I did with The Cloudy House
This review I wrote for PANK, of The Volta Book of Poets
These poems of mine at Yes Poetry

In this quiet in-between week, I'll see the beach for the first time in several years, and visit a friend that I miss so much, and sit and drink coffee looking out a window onto an empty square with an empty Word document in front of me. I'll meet an old friend and a new friend to talk about writing. I already rode my bike in the city for the first time, less scared than I had thought I would be, and we rode to the Schuylkill and out over the water on a concrete boardwalk, into a headwind. Another old friend is here in the city for a month. In general: trying to gather back the pieces of myself, and to remember how it feels to speak them. Writing more. Riding more.

One year in Philadelphia. by Laura Kochman

there is no document
of civilization that isn't also its ruins.

—Natalie Eilbert


Last night I dreamed that I went back to the Margate house, a thing I said I'd never do, and it was spliced and repainted, turned into a sort of house-hive with the other houses around it. All the windows were bright, and the decor was minimal. People swarmed in and through its doorways, talking loudly about how upscale the space had become, how clean, how large. I ran around it frantically, looking for traces of the old, dirty architecture. The only thing that stayed the same was the beach.

This morning B and I are sitting at a coffee shop around the corner, reading and working on a book review and chatting about Jane Jacobs and the possibility of reparations. It's nice to slip back into these modes that I am always fearing I am losing. I'm not. It comes back. The beach stays the same, underneath, though it shifts. One year in Philadelphia.

by Laura Kochman

I finally got a chance to really get into The Volta Book of Poets  tonight and so far I, uh, love it. When I am done I will write a highly passionate review. It will be like a love song. I will talk about how I am reading through this anthology like I am eating something delicious and complex. If you've seen me delicately eat brie with my bare hands, it's like that.

ugh yes by Laura Kochman

Reading is anguish, and this is because any text, however important, or amusing, or interesting it may be (and the more engaging it seems to be), is empty—at bottom it doesn't exist; you have to cross an abyss, and if you do not jump, you do not comprehend.

—Maurice Blanchot

by Laura Kochman

I am beloved and she is mine. I see her take flowers away from leaves     she puts them in a round basket     the leaves are not for her     she fills the basket     she opens the grass     I would help her but the clouds are in the way     how can I say things that are pictures     I am not separate from her     there is no place where I stop     her face is my own and I want to be there in the place where her face is and to be looking at it too     a hot thing

—Toni Morrison

I'm embarrassed to say it's taken me this long to read Beloved. I feel like an idiot about it. What is there to say but that it is beautiful and drowning?