publication news

"In AP Environmental Science, my best friend speaks about sky & age & forests." (a poem for you)

Good morning, loves! I am in Jogja now, on a rather impulsive trip full to the brim with good coffee, brick walls, mellow afternoons, art museums, bubble baths. I am thinking about projects for 2019 & spending much time by the pool & celebrating Half Mystic Journal’s Issue VI release & eating lots of room service. It’s a good thing, floral & myth-stained. I think I needed this moment away, a breath of tenderness all to myself.

So pleased to be sharing a new poem with you today, one written quite a while ago now (my junior year of high school—AP environmental science seems like a foggy dreamscape now!) but only having found a home recently. “Species Interactions” was a birthday gift for my darling Tanvi Dutta Gupta, a longtime friend who documents her adventures up trees & at sea in stunning words & photographs on her blog. It was originally highly commended by the Ginkgo Prize For Ecopoetry; you can read the full anthology right here, featuring so many stunning pieces by fellow wonderers of the universe.

I do hope you enjoy this piece, my friends. Here’s to birdsong & skystuff & all the things that lie in-between. xx

Species Interactions
for Tanvi

In AP Environmental Science, my best friend speaks
about sky & age & forests. Shows me a photograph on
her computer of a bird she chased for an hour before
finally getting close enough to touch or shoot or love.
Look, the photo’s too blurry, she tells me, points out the fuzz
around the edges of the bird’s wings. I think it’s beautiful,
I say, & she tells me to shut up, & this is our love language,
this is our ecosystem dreaming into being. Today we’re
learning about solid waste & it’s so easy to lose myself in
hopeless, hearing about trash compactors & landfill seepage
& all these methods of coming closer to the end, but the
teacher passes around a wallet made of Capri-Sun wrappers,
tells us how green taxes are becoming more effective & that
our school just installed new solar panels on the roof, &
everything feels a little quieter. We watch a documentary
about air pollution. My friend fusses over her photograph
& I want to say shh, I want to say it’s perfect, but instead I
crumple up the empty soda can on my desk, throw it into
the recycling bin & not the trash. Outside the window
it’s monsoon season. The sky relearns the language of
eutrophication. The rain sings over everything, divides us
into individual parts. The birds sleep like saints, soundless
& infinite, like they trust the storm will pass soon,
like they don’t realise how it has only just begun.

Vanitas: poems of love & mortality

"the darkness is coming, / please, how can i escape — / a voice with no soul whispers / call it by name,"

Friends, I have some enormously exciting news for you today! For the past few weeks, I have been working hard on a project in collaboration with a group of my dearest friends: an anthology of poems on love & death & beauty as terror.

I’m to tell you that after weeks of work: the project is out now!

It is anthology of poetry written by myself and nine others, centred around the theme of vanitas: an art style popular in the Netherlands that examines death as an inevitability, and the pursuit of human achievements as rather trivial in the face of all that the universe holds. It is truly a fascinating theme to work with—especially for a soul like my own, so immersed in the beauty of smaller wonders. To look back and weave both coldness and comfort into the idea that all of this will mean nothing in the end is a challenge I had such a beautiful time tackling.

I hope I have not disappointed. And I know that the other poets have spun words that made me tremble in my own smallness.

You may pick up the collection for free—including a never-before-seen piece written by myself, entitled “Reaper”right here.

If we cannot live forever, at least the poetry will remain still, if only to bring us back, if only to guide us home. If our actions are trivial in the end, at least the darkness holds the words we found comfort in when the light turned blinding. Beauty exists as much in death as in wanting.

This is the spirit of vanitas. This is the legacy we are leaving behind. 

(p.s. these lovely projects are made possible by the ones who support the magic of my creations. if you have the means & the will, please take the time to support me on patreon. this is the way i am able to bring such light to you.)

Snapshots | April 5th

Many long nights lately. I am on new medication—my old antidepressants have not been working, so the doctor prescribed another sort—and insomnia as a side effect has hit me hard. Upside: restless poetry sessions, penned with only the stars for company. Downside: drooping eyelids in classes the next day. And so far no signs of great improvement, depression-wise. Still: I hold out hope, as always. I am sure there are brighter days on the horizon.

And many beautiful things that have happened since I last shared life updates with you: most notably, I have been published in two of my favourite journals of ever, The Rising Phoenix Review and Hypertrophic Literary. These are rather belated announcements, but I assure you, most definitely no less excited: my pieces “Cherry Blossoms” (on spring & girls loving girls) and “The Wolf Pack Welcomes November” (on anxiety & winter winds) are published in these gorgeous volumes. Do give them a look, loves. You will find such enchantment tucked inside.

And—last announcement, I promise!—another luminous piece of news: I was lucky enough to be the recipient of a national gold medal in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, for the third year in a row. I am absolutely blown away to be honoured once more, especially alongside so many other talented young writers. While the past two years have been for poetry, this year one of my fantasy pieces was chosen: How to Talk to Imaginary Things. It was an older piece which I revamped for the awards, and I am so very delighted to hear that it paid off. Will be sharing the refurbished piece with my Patreon lovelies soon.

Other than these wondrous things, mainly I have been hard at work studying for AP mock exams. I am taking AP classes for the first time this year, and so I must admit I am slightly (read: immensely) nervous; good vibes would be so appreciated. School ends in a few short months, and I am clinging on by my fingernails until it is over at last!

And how have you been going lately? To my fellow writers, is Camp NaNo treating you well, if you have chosen to undertake it? Do share with me; I would so love to hear about how things have been in your part of the universe. xx