What are you reading

the curmudgeon and babies screaming for their mothers

My mind is largely populated with ranters and curmudgeons these days, so I’ve stayed away from the world wide webs and let them do their thing, their tiny little boots tromping through the twisted neurons hacking away with their tiny little saws. They hate the Olympics and the compensation and adulation given athletes and think people who are not vaccinating themselves against the scourge because they don’t “believe” are dumb and selfish and in the spirit of equal opportunity they don’t believe anyone should mandate medical procedures even as they don’t care about ever going to a concert again or shopping in a mall or attending a sporting event or or or or or or or or. Such is the tiny little mother mind.™ I wish I could draw. It’d be all maroon and 1972 green Nova colored in there, nothing pretty except maybe a yellow bird flitting by and the occasional fish its mouth pursed like a kiss a Buddha maybe floating on a cloud.

What are ya’ll reading? I’ve finished a bucket of books of late. I absolutely loved Jo Ann Beard’s Festival Days, and I’m in the middle of both Marian Thurm’s The Blackmailer’s Guide to Love and Sonya Renee Tayi’s The Body is Not an Apology. I’m reading Elizabeth Street: A Novel Based on True Events with a bunch of my cugini. I pick up a book of poetry every night from one of the stacks around these parts and read some of the poems right before bed. The photo up there has two library books (the Jacqueline Rose and the Julie Otsuka) and two new ones that I caved and bought despite my proclamation to not buy another book until all the ones that are in the house are read. Please hold me to this, although my Bookshop account keeps reminding me that I have a bunch of books in my cart. I need some kind of Bookbuyers Anonymous program, I think.

Oh, have ya’ll read Carmen Maria Machado’s short story “Mothers”? Here’s the link before I start reeling — and here’s a passage to get you warmed up:

In the bedroom there is a queen sized bed, a raft in the middle of a great stone ocean. On the dresser rolls a lightbulb that, if held close to the ear and agitated, would reveal the broken filament rattling in the glass. Jewelry rope old wine bottles like nooses, frosted stoppers silence glass decanters. A nightstand that, when opened, reveals—shut that, please. In the bathroom, a mirror flecked with mascara from when Bad leans in close, the amoeba of her breath growing and shrinking. You never live with a woman, you live inside of her, I overheard my father once said to my brother once, and it was, indeed, as if, when peering into the mirror, you were blinking out through her thickly fringed eyes.

And out the door, nature. The spinning, breathtaking cathedral of the sky arches above the trees, trees that bend lush and neon green in spring—all buds, then bloom. Sudden rain breaks the tender leaves from their stems and lays the floor thick with a bright carpet. In the tangle of branches, baby birds—the gray and pink of half-cooked shrimp and with bones like dried spaghetti—scream for their mothers.