An incomplete list of things I loved and found in 2015

I can’t believe the year’s almost over. I’m nowhere near almost over it. This year, especially, art seemed to rescue me. That’s in small part because the my days were messier and more uncertain than they’ve been in recent years, and in large part because (I’m convinced) we’re living in some kind of revolutionary era, with exciting and original voices emerging and cracking the canon, expanding the shape and size of space. Here’s to no one feeling small in the new year, finally, unless its via experiencing art, which makes you small in a good way—with an awe that makes you more a part of things than you were before.

Fave Fiction

  • Ling Ma – Los Angeles, in Granta
    “The house in which we live has three wings. The west wing is where the Husband and I live. The east wing is where the children and their attending au pairs live. And lastly, the largest but ugliest wing, extending behind the house like a gnarled, broken arm, is where my 100 ex-boyfriends live. We live in LA.”

Fave Essays

Fave Poetry Books

  • Liz Howard – Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent
  • Ben Ladouceur – Otter
  • Bardia Sinaee – Blue Night Express (chapbook)
  • Nick Flynn – My Feelings
  • Carl Phillips – Reconnaissance

Fave Poem 

Fave Albums

Fave Song

Fave Films

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“That ‘You shall sorrow’ is both true and beautiful. I do not have the right to harden myself against the pains of life, for I ought to sorrow; but neither have I the right to dispair, for I ought to sorrow; furthermore, neither do I have the right to stop sorrowing, for I ought to sorrow. So it is also with love. You have no right to harden yourself against this emotion, for you ought to love; but neither do you have the right to love dispairingly, for you ought to love; just as little do you have the right to misuse this emotion in you, for you ought to love.”


—Kierkegaard, Works of Love




listen, please, close
your eyes—can you hear it? We think our souls live

in boxes, we think someone sits behind our eyes,
lording from his little throne, steering the fork to

the mouth, the mouth to the tit, we think hungry
children live in our bellies, clutching their empty

bowls as the food rains
down, we sometimes think we are those

hungry children, we think
we can think anything & it won’t

matter, we think we can think cut out her tongue,
then ask her to sing


– from “self-exam (my body is a cage),” by Nick Flynn




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Studs Terkel to James Baldwin, 1961: “Who are you, now?”

Baldwin: “Who, indeed. Well, I may be able to tell you who I am, but I am also discovering who I am not. I want to be an honest man. And I want to be a good writer. I don’t know if one ever gets to be what one wants to be. You just have to play it by ear and . . .    pray for rain.”


Taken from this couldn’t-be-more-wonderful piece.


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