coming of age


so much reading and re-reading this week. bone black (bell hooks' memoir), coffee will make you black (novel by april sinclair), the joy luck club (amy tan's acclaimed novel), a collection of poems on the MOVE bombing by one of my hedgebrook sisters, daughter's mother (a play by amy evans, also a Hedgebrook alum). so i have been shedding tears on the 5-train home to the Bronx after work.

bell hooks writes prose poetry full of mystery and myth and a clarity i've never found in her nonfiction. i think, if i never read another "love" book of hers i will have learned all i need to know in this. she embeds a child's hope, terror, and frustration in each chapter, reminds me of that helpless feeling i am still shedding. amy tan reminds me of my mother's investment club, the susu women, who would break bread at each other's homes after a long meeting.

she reminds me that my mother is forever gone and i am left with a stack of black and white photos, the trails of the few stories she told, most locked tightly away in her soul's memory. and the MOVE poems. lives and loves burned up in fire. these poems haunt me, stories beg to be told.

lately i have been seeking coming-of-age stories to give some perspective on my novel. there was a collection of stories i read at hedgebrook, coming of age around the world (ed. by Faith Adiele, also an alum), which lead me to some really great writers. each one i read offered something i had forgotten or never considered.

and i now ask myself why i am writing this novel the way i am writing it, why i am not turning the bucket upside down before pouring in the water. there is something in soaking the floor, in seeping into all the hidden crevices that you can't even see. without conclusion or direction like the stories my father tells, one long thread running from my childhood up til now.

hoping to spend some good time this weekend just staring into space and letting the words appear. applying for a bronx council of the arts writing grant due next week. but really the application is just an excuse to sit with my writing. we have been too distant lately.

You Might Also Like


Popular Posts


+1 347 857 9224