read more / no metaphor by Laura Kochman

My new daily ritual is starting my car and driving it in what feels like an endless journey to find a new parking spot, because my car battery is dead and driving will apparently help it last until Saturday, when I can get it fixed. I am not enjoying this ritual, and I'm going to resist turning it into a metaphor, even though I know exactly how it would play, and I bet you do, too.

Instead: this list of 30 poets we should all be reading is pretty great. Some of these writers I'm quite familiar with, but I'm very excited about the ones I know less about. For example, I've been meaning to read more of TC Tolbert's work since discovering it in The Volta Book of Poets (oops, I'm slow). I've also been waiting on Christopher Soto's undocupoets feature at Southern Humanities Review, which is now live. The LitHub has me convinced I should read Layli Long Soldier, and reminds me that people keep talking about Robin Coste Lewis. I'm super into the description of Solmaz Sharif's forthcoming book, and I'm super embarrassed by how long I've been meaning to get into Douglas Kearney. I just keep circling the block on that one—OH NO there goes the metaphor. I'm embarrassed. Constantly embarrassed by my lack of knowledge. But it's because there is just so much to read, and how lucky we are for that. Because I missed the AWP bookfair, I'd say I'm due for some internet book-ordering (!).

on women and silence by Laura Kochman

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?