Things For Which I Am Grateful, Presented In No Particular Order

Thanks

The rise, fall, and (most importantly) triumphant return of Ms. Britney Jean Spears; the honorific “Ms.”; Ms. Magazine; my parents for buying me copies of Ms. Magazine at the Hoover Barnes and Noble when I was in 8th grade; having survived 8th grade and every other awkward adolescent year; the terrible, awkward, beautiful experience of 8th grade and every other awkward adolescent year; my parents; my parents; my parents again, in so many ways for which we haven’t even invented the language; my right to read what I want and write what I want and to read what I need and to write what I need; having a voice; others having a voice; my right to have a voice about what happens to and inside of my body; my right to protest; my right to feel anger and love and empathy and the importance of feeling all three at once; Cholesterol Leave-In Deep Conditioning Treatment; chocolate covered pretzels (white, milk, and dark); my beautiful and creative friends from high school, and for all of the struggles and triumphs and glories we experienced inside of that concrete art factory, and for the amazingly beautiful and creative people they have become; honey roasted peanut butter; antibiotics, antiperspirants, and antacids; Sarah Lawrence College (and the Teahaus blaring Hendrix and the Coffehaus parties where we danced to Pulp and the waffle bar in Bates and the time someone hid a boombox playing “F*** the Police” on repeat in the wisteria trellis and all of my teachers and conference classes and all of the talks and all of the late nights with charcoal and ash trays and Zoo Tycoon and so many of the best people I have ever known, who are so astoundingly brilliant that they leave me speechless and inspired and so proud to have occupied the same space with them); for my teachers, my teachers, my teachers; for Phenergan and forgiveness; for Skinny Peppermint White Chocolate Lattes and poems and verbs; sometimes even for adverbs; for emergency medicine and nasogastric tubes and the way it feels to ride in a wheelchair down the hospital hallway and out the door you thought you might never pass through again, for the way it feels when you step out of that wheelchair and onto the sidewalk after you thought you might never step out of a wheelchair and onto a sidewalk again; for the Grinders who’ve written day after day after word after word with me; for glitter, sequins, sparkles, and faux fur; for Martha Goddamn Stewart; for my graduate school friends and all of the times we fought with each other and with our words and came together again because we loved the same thing, which was language, which meant that even if we didn’t for the moment realize it, we also loved each other; for all the Wilmington nights we spent out singing loudly but terribly, playing pool loudly but terribly, until the street lights gave up control and blinked as we walked-sung-laughed-stumbled-walked-again by; for my students and everything they have taught me and for the fact that – believe me, believe me — they have taught me more than I could ever teach them; for hummingbirds and hummingbird cakes; for birds and all of their Top 40 melodies and Tin Pan Alleys and B-side songs; for friends who call to talk about MH370 and whether language is a trick and if that even matters if it leads to such beauties and mistakes; Siri’s beautiful mistakes; for maps and for legends; for yarn and crochet patterns and YouTube videos; for Lana Del Rey’s unreleased tracks; for, moreso and forevermore, Beyoncé; for love and for the way one’s definition of love changes as you get older; for the love of getting older; for Anne Carson and Emily Dickinson and Gertrude Stein and Jacqueline Susann, and for the ability to list them all in one sentence without shame; for cats with literary names, and for the namesakes of cats with literary names; for Internet cats, including Henri and L’Imbecile Blanc, and Yasss Cat and Heavy Breathing Cat and Chairman Meow, may he rest in peace; for the sublime and the revised sublime; for families and couches and how in our shared familiar living rooms on shared familiar couches with shared familiar foods and coffees and cookies and cocktails all of the years and miles we’ve counted between us are suddenly struck out of the equation and we are laughing about the way Maw Maw danced in her Muu Muu with a wooden spoon in each hand to keep the babies from crying; for grandmothers who dance in Muu Muus with spoons and for the babies who really actually did stop crying; for rain and its intricacies of quiet; for quiet; for everyone who will read this and everyone who won’t and for this strange and terrible but amazing online space that brings us and our words and our images together, no matter how far apart we may seem.

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Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Tokas, showing Thanksgiving how it is DONE.

 

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