enough to be carried, but I, five years old and fluorescing
in my white skin, had to hold hands with a người lính
whose face I couldn’t see but whose gun I could."
—from Kyra Scrimgeour's poem, "Dylan"
Field Notes, Staff Picks,
Caught up in the everyday dread and surreality of life in quarantine, it can be hard to remember the beauty of our past lives or the small joys the world has to offer in the strangest, most idiosyncratic ways.
Arts & Culture, Field Notes,
In the name of productivity during social distancing, Porter House Review is republishing Matt Bell’s first exercise from his Writing Exercise Newsletter, which is based on a sentence from Carmen Maria Machado’s story, “The Husband Stitch.”
When I was tapped to give my recommendations and favorites, I felt overwhelmed, so I gave myself some rules and parameters. I had to focus on places that are easily accessible to where AWP 2020 is taking place.
At last call, she leaned over. I regret leaving, she said. I always have. You nodded, vision blurring with tears, scribbling ink on a napkin: Maybe leaving is a kind of loving.
Writing poetry in times of upheaval destabilizes and dismantles, but it also grounds and connects. It frees us. It’s an art that cannot be extracted from its creator.
Lately I feel like a Hopper girl, face
turned away from the happening, adrift
between birth—that inaugural death—
and after. Mostly I worry my hair
is thinning. Glances in the murky glass
partitions confirm I might exist: real