f e b r u a r y
the days lengthen, just a bit. the sun glitters just a smidge brighter, the birds wake just a bit earlier, the air smells just a bit fresher, clearer, crisper in your tired lungs.
for me, january is a rest month, and february is my fresh start. you might have noticed the lack of newsletter in january, for instance. it’s something i stress about, even as i try not to. but between the holidays, the travelling, working retail over the holidays, etc, etc, i come into the new year incredibly drained. it’s not exactly something i want for myself, and i’m working to fix it, but right now i find it best to take it easy for the first month of the year and really attend to my needs, and i hope you found time to do the same.
peeling the yellow wallpaper has been officially released on amazon! as i mentioned in my december newsletter, i hate amazon as much as the next indie creator, but this does help make my book more accessible and allows me to purchase my own copies at about 1/4 of the price. shop indie first, always, but if you can’t, there is another option!
to rule the desert, my sapphic desert gothic novella reimagining the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice, has a release date set for may 18th! the release party will of course be held at The Spiral Bookcase, and copies will be sold there and potentially at other shops in the area.
i’ll be running an intro to poetry workshop at The Spiral Bookcase in early march, where we’ll focus on making poetry more accessible and less scary. look for more information coming soon!
things i loved this month
Sister, Maiden, Monster by Lucy A. Snyder, a horror/fantasy/science fiction/ religious trauma/post-apocalyptic conglomerate that i’ve mostly failed to describe accurately, but that was a wild ride from start to finish and had some of the wildest queer rep i’ve read lately. would highly recommend! this one comes out february 21st, so keep an eye out for it.
the New Cosmologies series from Sword & Kettle Press, which i’m definitely biased about because i’ve been working on it with them for quite some time, but i’m really excited for the rest of the world to experience it! this is a hand-bound chapbook series about personal mythologies and creation myths, and the crowdfunding campaign launched today, with books slated for release in january 2024. donate here, or check out their other works here.
Preacher’s Daughter by Ethel Cain, which i’ve been listening to as i write all of my gothic fiction/poetry lately, and it’s really working for me.
And Yet by Kate Baer, a pandemic-era poetry collection that speaks to female experiences and struggles in the pandemic in an accurate, beautiful, accessible, & and deeply non-vomit-inducing way (if i hear “unprecedent times” one more time…). i reviewed it here as well!
Tina Figarelli, & specifically this painting, which i now own a beautiful, framed print of to add to my collage wall. Figarelli is a realistic figurative artist inspired by classic 19th century works, and i love everything about her style and her work. i wish i could buy it all!
this short story by Victoria Mier, a beautifully immersive slice of fantasy that sticks in one’s mind long after the tale has ended. Mier has an absolute talent for making the strange her own, and it shines through quite vividly in this work. very much worth a read!
this article in the New Yorker, which is not new, but is new to me. “the case against the trauma plot” delves deep into my least favorite trope in literature and film in a way that was incredibly interesting and encompassing.
is there a place you return to often in dreams or in memory? where is it? what is it like? what’s the significance of it?
email me with your poems, your prose, etc and let me know your thoughts!
the poet will be offering typewiter poems (love poems or not, your choice!) at The Spiral Bookcase on 2/14, where Spiral will also be doing the annual “Blind Date With A Book”.
& don’t forget, i also offer custom poems online in my Etsy shop if you can’t make it out in person! (or are devoted to staying home. i get it.)
knitting the red blanket, my proposed sister chap to peeling the yellow wallpaper, is halfway written! i’m also working on a painting to include as part of the original artwork aspect, though i assume this will take me much longer than the writing will.
i’m currently sending out ARC’s for review of to rule the desert. if you’d like to review a copy, please let me know! i’m also looking for bookstores that would be willing to carry the book, and other news/media outlets that would be interested in covering the release.
finishing touches are being put on the official to rule the desert cover, with the help of some very good friends.
i’m still shopping around another full-length poetry manuscript, and hope to have good news on that soon!
i’m not the kind of person to say things like “this year will be better!” at the beginning of the new year. i think that’s a bad idea for so many reasons. but i do like to meet with myself, to settle into my goals, to reassure myself about what i do have, to consider my hopes and dreams and goals. it keeps me focused, and more importantly, it keeps me hopeful.
i hope that you can be hopeful this month. i hope that you can meet with yourself and consider your goals, to dream about your endeavors, to plan your experiences. i hope that this year IS better than last year, and i hope that you find yourself surrounded by friends and family that will accompany you in this year’s new journey.
and if you ever feel alone, unsupported, you can always pour out your thoughts in my inbox. i promise i won’t tell a soul.
some light reading to leave you with…
In the woods there is a telephone pole, standing upright, lonely, and forgotten between the trees.
Passersby, seldom but not never, walk along the sunken trail running parallel to the creek bank, the abandoned mill a hulking shadow at their backs, and find their chests heavy with the strange feeling of loss and wonder inter-mingled as they stare at it, half-obscured between dead branches reaching for a pale grey sky.
The wire still runs from the pole, a black, snaking relic that extends sharply downward and across the rocky path, tangles in the branches, and presses itself deeply into the hillside opposite. What those passersby cannot see is that the wire, inside of the hill, runs through the worms, detritus, and dirt to connect to an old rotary dial phone on the other side, hidden in a nearly impossible to reach hollow. Nearly.
There is no number on the phone, the cord is frayed, the buttons faded, but it is given a wide berth by those creatures that call the forest home, and it lay entirely untouched in its hollow until, on one very strange afternoon, it rang.
Thanks for reading l u c e m! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.