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My husband and I love to go thrifting when we travel. We do it at home, too, but there’s a special thrill in doing it in new places; unfamiliar country. Some of the coolest things we own, and some of the coolest things we’ve *seen* together, were in thrift stores, antique malls, secondhand shops up and down the coast.

This past year I find myself spending more and more time moving down the clothing aisles in these places, wistfully fingering things that couldn’t possibly fit me now. If I ever had a style it would be this: Bohemian. Borrowed. Eclectic collage. Thriftstore chic. Once upon a time I bangled, layered, wafted my way through the world in vintage glamour. Oh, I how I miss that.

Oh how I miss me.

What I want, more than anything, is to be a part of the world again in this way: I want to dress in found drama. I want to reflect back the joy of life, the fun, the romantic and the frivolous, the freedom in an outfit meant to be performed.

I want to perform again.

I want to be part of the tribe again. The poets and writers. The artists and songsters. I want to go under the lights in something that sparkles. I want to do that again, and often, for many many many more days. When I’m gone, I want my children to say that is how I spent my life.

Not like this. Not in this trauma body, here in this soft chair, in the same few house gowns, clothing picked for how it accommodates pain rather than how it will frame me on a stage.

Once, my mother lit up any room she entered. Once, she carried the glamour. Once she performed, in her own way.

But my mother got so sick that she never left her chair again. She lost touch with who she was, and her light went out. All I have of her now are far away memories, a grief that wants to swallow me, and her things–my favorite parts of her wardrobe stuffed into a closet now bursting with drama I can’t wear, for a life I too misplaced because of disease.

I can’t control what’s going to happen. If I can’t get better, maybe the best I can do is be grateful for what was, and honor it by letting it go with grace. Like my mother did. I fervently hope it won’t come to that anytime soon. But if it does.

Remember me as I was, not what I’ve become. Dress me in layers and treasures, the more eclectic the better. Dress me in poems.

Dress me in light.

Had a private yoga session today.

I used to love yoga. I was super stretchy and capable. Now, though, thanks to my various Conditions and traumas,  I have a totally different body. I have a pain body.

One Thing I’m beginning to realize: since I’ve essentially been ignoring my body for so long–ten years now–re-learning it is going to mean tapping into ten years’ worth of repressed pain. I found myself crying by the end of the session–not in distress or anything; just over-full, like a drippy faucet.

I suppose if I don’t find a way to modulate all that pain as it comes out, it could flood something.

Hmm.

 

 

Yesterday a really smart lady I know argued that the “for a cost of a cup of coffee” phrase in fundraising is a guilt-based trope—it’s better, she says, to focus on all the good things your cause has done already, and how much more you could accomplish with monetary support.  So, for the last day of the Riddled with Arrows “Feed the Writers 2018” crowdfund campaign, that’s what we’ll do!

The Good We’ve Done So Far:

Riddled with Arrows Journal was launched this year in order to fulfill a unique niche in the literary landscape: we exclusively publish writing about writing.  That is to say, our interest is in metafiction, metapoetry and writing that celebrates the process and product of writing as art. No other literary magazine on the scene today serves this genre—in fact, many markets actively discourage writing about writing.  With Riddles with Arrows, we aim to provide a safe haven for poetry about poetry and prose about prose. More than this, we seek to compile a body of literature that flies in the face of this arbitrary prohibition against Writing writing.

Thanks in part to the generous support of our friends and fans, we were able to produce three gorgeous issues in 2017 (plus one forthcoming), featuring award-winning authors and never-before published wordsmiths, genre writers rubbing elbows with literary literati, weird fiction romancing ars poetica, inspirational illustrations, and interactive hypertext—everything we’d set out to do and more.  We nominated for the Pushcart and other prizes, and earned recognition as one of Duotrope’s fastest-responding literary markets.

Riddled with Arrows was also designed  to be a writer-friendly market, and we remain committed to that goal.  As such, we:

  • never charge for submissions
  • offer at least a token payment to all contributors
  • encourage simultaneous submissions and reprint submissions
  • require no period of exclusivity after publication

How your contribution could help:

In 2018 we hope to produce at least three more issues of Riddles with Arrows, including both themed and open issues as well as a summer contest with cash prizes. We want to expand our non-fiction offerings with lyrical essays, weird scholarship, and other I-don’t-know-what-to-call-this artifacts.  We have plans for a virtual library, a blog, and more hypertext hijincks—goals which can be made all the more meta-tastic with contributions from our literary friends and family.

If you’re a fan of writers and the work we do, we’d be thrilled if you’d consider sharing a few dollars to help us reach our goals.  To find out more, click this link now!

I usually have my hand with me when I go places, and sooner or later I’m bound to look at it. So if I need to remember something really important, that’s where I put it. Note to self: Library! Call Mom! Shadow People! (wait, what?)

The dangers of being forgetful AND having an active imagination, though… The other night I looked down at my hand and saw THIS – with no recollection of having put it there, or why.

proof

So I’m like, Proof… of what?

It was funny, for the first few minuets – but the more I tried to remember what it meant, the more I had NO IDEA. 40 Proof? Proof… of aliens? Proof of life??

I mean, where would YOUR mind go?

After about twenty minutes I remembered – oh, right. I needed to get off my ass and respond to the proof of a poem I have in an upcoming magazine issue.

Which is good, because I was beginning to think it got all MEMENTO up in here.