Nov 4th, Future Now Reading: Gustavo Hernandez, Rosie Alonso, & hector son of hector

Join us in-person and on Zoom, Thursday, November 4th, for a new installment of our monthly reading & open mic series, Future Now, hosted by Assistant Editor Nikolai Garcia & the Dryland team. This month we are featuring SoCal Poets: Gustavo Hernandez, Rosie Alonso, & hector son of hector.

This will be a hybrid reading & open-mic event as it’s happening in-person at Re/Arte Centro Literario, located in Boyle Heights, and virtually via Zoom if you are able to join us online!

When: Thur. November 4th, 7-9 pm PST.

In-person locationRE/ARTE  2014 1/2 E CESAR E CHAVEZ AVE. LOS ANGELES, CA 90033

Zoom ID: 878 8950 0444

Fill out this google form to sign up for the Open Mic. Whether you’re attending on-site or via zoom you’ll get a chance to share your poems. Only 10 spots are available, sign up as soon as possible!

Open Mic Guidelines:

  • Be ready to unmute yourself when your name is called and please mute yourself again once you are done sharing. 
  • Open-mic readers will have three minutes to share. Please be respectful of our other readers’ time. We will use the mute button at our discretion. 
  • We will not tolerate any hate speech. (No racism, sexism, homophobia, etc). 

Help us get the word out by sharing the flyer on Instagram, FB, or Twitter and invite a friend to come hang out! This is a great opportunity for anyone looking to showcase their poetry and connect with artists of the Los Angeles community and beyond.

Gustavo Hernandez

Gustavo Hernandez is the author of the poetry collection Flower Grand First (Moon Tide Press). Gustavo holds a degree in creative writing from California State University Long Beach, and his poems have been published in Reed, Acentos ReviewSonora Review and other publications. He was born in Jalisco, Mexico and lives in Southern California.   

Rosie Alonso

Rosie Alonso (she/her) is a poet and English professor from East LA who resides in the San Bernardino (Cahuilla land). She is a part of the Los Angeles Poet Society and the chief editor of Acid Verse Literary Journal. Her first full-length poetry book, The Cockroach Manifesto, is forthcoming. She believes in giving the land back by all means necessary. Her hobbies include cruising on her skateboard and sneaking her cat into Walmart. 

hector son of hector

hector son of hector lives in Oakland, CA. He is the child of Mexican immigrants, currently works in a hospital, dreams of short stories and writes poetry in secret.

Sept. 7th, Grito de Boyle Heights Featuring Luis J. Rodriguez

Join us this Wednesday, September 7th, at Re/Arte Centro Literario for a reading & open mic featuring former L.A. poet laureate Luis J. Rodriguez!

Grito de Boyle Heights happens in-person at Re/Arte (2014 1/2 E. Cesar Chavez Ave. LA, CA 90033) every second and fourth Wednesdays of the month. Sign ups for Open Mic start at 6:45 PM, so we recommend arriving early! When you’re there, enjoy a cup of coffee catered by Mobar Coffee & Market.

Luis J. Rodriguez was born in El Paso, Texas, and grew up in the San Gabriel Valley of East Los Angeles. He is a Poet, novelist, journalist, activist, critic, and founding editor of Tia Chucha Press, and co-founder of Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore in the San Fernando Valley.

He is the author of 16 books in all genres, including the best-selling memoir, “Always Running, La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A.” His latest memoir is the sequel, “It Calls You Back: An Odyssey Through Love, Addiction, Revolutions, and Healing.” that recount his experiences as a former incarcerated individual and dealing with addiction and gang violence. His last poetry book is “Borrowed Bones” from Curbstone Books/Northwestern University Press. In 2020, Seven Stories Press released his first book of essays, “From Our Land to Our Land: Essays, Journeys & Imaginings from a Native Xicanx Writer.” From 2014-2016, Luis served as the official Poet Laureate of Los Angeles.

We will have copies of Luis’s books in-stock at Re/Arte if you would like to grab a copy!

We also offer writing workshops every 2nd & 4th Wednesdays of the month at 4 PM, on a donation basis, with Chicano political poet Matt Sedillo at Re/Arte (no appointment necessary, drop-in). Other times for workshops check more details here.

See you soon!

Ramona and Rumi: Love in the Time of Oligarchy by Edward Vidaurre

Reviewed By: Nikolai Garcia

Edward Vidaurre’s latest chapbook, Ramona and rumi: Love in the Time of Oligarchy (& Unedited Necessary Poems), Hercules Publishing, 2018, is a bit oddly constructed, but full of love language.

The Prologue poem introduces us to rumi and Ramona, Both/ running scared/ crashing into each other. The first half of the book is all about them, and in 24 poems we witness their amusing daily interactions, their uncontrollable lust for each other, and their eventual break-up. (Love—this intense—just cannot last, it seems).

The book is filled with great lines like: I fell in love with your ancestors [“The Talk”]; rumi throws the moon back/ & one by one kicks the stars into the night [“Meeting At Night”]; her virgin bloom, sap-filled/ mouth, letting out a/ souvenir of promises/ of sure agony [“Equinox”]. But, what really makes this collection stand-out is the magical surrealism world that Vidaurre has built for these love poems. Take, for instance, “Early Morning”:

He plants squash for his foes

she picks up a rock to stare at her reflection

rumi raises owls, feeds them plantains

they bring him cantos in exchange

Ramona, plants the songs next to a rosemary garden

in a month, teething children will sing the harvest

These playful scenes can be found throughout the first half of the book. They help give the characters life, makes their love seem more real, and make the poems more enjoyable to the reader.

The second half of the book is different, but just as creative. It consists of erotic poems inspired by heavy metal music. The poems are “darker,” which some might consider to be the right amount of kink, while other more sensitive souls might need a trigger warning. Take for instance, my favorite poem from this half of the book, “Kiss”:

I want to kiss you in the middle of a nightmare

when you bleed, when you bleed in my mouth

I want to kiss your mouth while I massage your rug burns

when you carve my name into your thighs

I want to kiss you in dark places, no light, just voices around us

when you feel a knife to your neck

I want to kiss you at a funeral as they lower the casket

when flowers whisper “I love you”

Vidaurre has a gift of taking the erotic to write lines that create great visual images in the mind, like in this ending stanza from “Mouthsong”: I think of your tongue/ how it traces the island around your lips/ destroying yesterday’s promises. That last line is amazing in the way that it tells us so much in just three words.

My only complaints about this chapbook is that there were no page numbers and one of the illustrations in the book partially omits some lines from a poem—but these are no faults of the poet.

Our contemporary poetry world currently highlights confessional poetry and political poetry, (rightly and righteously so in the latter’s case) but it is always good to relax and revel in a good collection of love poems. With his latest chapbook, Vidaurre gives us a collection worthy of being on a bookshelf right next to love poetry books by Nikki Giovanni or Pablo Neruda.

Edward Vidaurre is the 2018-2019 McAllen,Texas Poet Laureate and author of five collections of poetry including: I Took My Barrio on A Road Trip, Chicano Blood Transfusion, and Ramona & Rumi: Love in the Time of Oligarchy & Unedited Necessary Poems. He is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee and writes from the front lines of the Mexican-American borderlands of El Valle in South Tejas.

RAMONA AND RUMI: LOVE IN THE TIME OF OLIGARCHY is available for purchase on Edward Vidaurre’s website.

Cruel Fiction by Wendy Trevino

Reviewed by Nikolai Garcia

Wendy Trevino’s debut poetry collection, Cruel Fiction (Commune Editions, Sept. 11 2018), is a confrontational book. It wants to remind us that the world we inhabit—the one that praises artists like Michael Jackson and Prince—is the same world where anti-blackness prevails.

Trevino opens up her book with “128-131” [From Santa Rita 128-131], a sort of list of observations that she witnessed while being detained at Santa Rita Jail, (in northern California), with a group of over twenty women. Although the reason for arrest is never mentioned, one can infer that she was part of a mass arrest at a demonstration. The alleged crime, however, is not important because the point is to show us how people are treated in jail—in particular, women:

I met at least 3 women who were menstruating.

Bridesmaids came up 1 time.

I was 1 of at least 2 women who had seen Bridesmaids.

Kreayshawn’s ‘Gucci Gucci’ came up 1 time.

I heard 1 woman sing, ‘One big room / full of bad bitches.’

Aquaman came up 1 time.

I saw at least 5 drops of fresh blood on the floor in the hall.

I saw at least 7 spots of dried blood on the wall of a tank.

I heard the riddle ‘What is brown & sticky?’ 2 times.

A six-page, double-spaced poem is not something I usually look forward to, but Trevino makes it work. Her way of pointing out pain and injustice, and drawing it out using humor, make this piece a powerful way to open a book. In between serious images, the poet shows us women talking, singing, and discussing popular culture. It’s as if the poet is telling us pop culture happens in doses, and in between struggles.

Indeed, this book is filled with struggle. The very next piece [Poem [[Santander bank was smashed into]], a short piece about taking a break from reading and taking to the streets, features these wonderful lines: there were barricades in London/ there were riot girls drinking riot rosè/ the party melted into the riot melted into the party –If that doesn’t want to make you be part of direct action, then I don’t know what will.

In another piece from the first section, [Poem [then you’re there & you’re unpaid]], the poet seems to be commenting on people going along with the status quo: peaceful fascists & riot police work together/ the video goes viral, not so much to convince, but for history/ nothing personal, and ends the next stanza with, horoscopes call for more of the same. A sober man ponders a missile. Trevino relies less on rhyme and alliteration, and more on cold simple facts that leave the reader with images to ponder.

The second section of the book is thirty poems (all sonnets, 14 lines each), filled with musical references and important questions. In [If a woman illegally crossing], one of the many questions posed in the piece is: What if that scene in Reservoir/ Dogs where Mr. Blonde tortures a cop had/ Been choreographed to “Bidi Bidi/ Bom Bom, instead of “Stuck in the Middle/ With You?” Besides Selena, some of the other musical artists mentioned are Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, Tom Petty, Joni Mitchell, Rage Against the Machine—and even a lesser known political punk band from Mexico, Tijuana NO!, gets a nod.

Trevino is not just name-dropping. She has a lot to say and uses popular culture to get some of her points across. Not only does it help to get into heavy topics like American consumerism, racism in Latin America, or violence at the border, but it also makes the poems more relatable to the reader and enjoyable to read. As she says in [JClo says what “rage most wants”]:

More importantly, what he says helps me

Think about this bad feeling I tend to

Get when I explain what I do in terms

Of popular culture—maybe it’s just

Culture. It’s recursive & fucking fun.

The last section of the book is made up of thirty more sonnets, all of which are composed of 14 lines, 10 syllables each. One can imagine that the poet chose not to follow any rhyme scheme so as not to limit herself as she gets into understanding our views of race and class. Trevino also doesn’t confine herself to just one poem, as most poems flow directly into the next—she lets us know there’s a lot to explore.

In [When I said race is relational], she begins to speak on power relations within ethnicities: It isn’t enough to not like/ Mexicans. Where I’m from, many of us/ Mexican-Americans resented/ The Mexicans who came to South Texas/ To shop for designer clothes. Trevino follows this up with a sonnet about Mexican teens shopping in a U.S. mall, buying expensive clothes with their parents’ credit cards; which is then followed up with a sonnet about how White people from Latin America can separate themselves from other Latinx, but still not be considered “white enough.” This sonnet leads into a poem about Afro-Latinos, which in turn leads us into the next sonnet [Our friend Becky has blocked out her memories], which tells us:

…Mexican is not a race either.

Even when Rob Wilson would get angry

& call my childhood friend Messcan

Even when he told me he liked me but

Couldn’t date Mexicans, Mexican was

Not a race—even in the 80s.

This last section of the book is put together in this way as it gets into the problems of mestizaje, nationalism, and the Multiracial Movement. And we are along on the journey, from poem to poem, delving from one intricate layer of each topic to another. But my favorite of these poems, which tie everything up, is [A border, like race, is a cruel fiction], which ends:

…We are who we are

To them, even when we don’t know who we

Are to each other & culture is a

Record of us figuring that out.

Trevino writes with the fire of a Bertolt Brecht and uses pop-culture as artfully as her contemporary, Michael Robbins. Her fresh, non-traditional approach to poetry is very much welcomed in a world that—at this very moment—needs more than just poetry.

CRUEL FICTION is available for purchase at Commune Editions and AK Press

Revelations by Ruben Quesada

Reviewed by Dryland Staff

Ruben Quesada’s chapbook, REVELATIONS, is a collection where poems about angels, Christ, and crucified gods mix with poems about heroin, erections and dead birds; the holy and the unholy.

Poems are grouped together by titles of his translations of works by Luis Cernuda, a Spanish poet who was exiled from his home country in 1936 at the start of the Spanish Civil War, and one of the first openly gay poets of the 20th century.

Except for the opening piece (“Angels In The Sun”), all the author’s poems are titled by way of roman numerals. Poems I through IX are all prose pieces; psalms that offer a window into a soul that has witnessed and experienced much pain and sadness.

What impacted me most from these prose poems were the endings. Some, just a few words, but each more melancholic than the last. For example, a haze of zinnias hushed in the rain, and later, body turned to ash, and, nothing more was said.

Cernudas’s poems share the themes of nature; the changing seasons; and life and death. Here, some lines from “Desire,” my favorite of the translated pieces: from the yellow poplar/ a leaf like a broken star/ spins toward the earth. And this stanza from, “Fall Feeling,” another translation, and the final poem in the chapbook:

Upon the old ruins it rains,

The autumn still green,

Odorless, dreams blossom,

And the body gives in.

Quesada carefully chose which poems to include with his own, and the four translated poems complement his own language well. For instance, compare the previous cited lines with these from poem, “X,” sunsets were plum colored lights kissing snow/ covered rooftops joy was a love letter, and this first stanza from poem, “XIV”:

Beneath sunsets like wildfire

an alchemy of traffic in orange

and red on the 405 in Los Angeles

Both poets know the importance of color to set the mood, and both are masters at describing everyday natural occurrences in nature and life that make the reader want to stay in that moment.

At only 38 pages, this chapbook is a bible tract, but not the kind handed out by Christian zealots trying to save you from the eternal flames of hell. This is a religious text for all who can feel September quietly transform from summer into autumn, and for those who believe in the beauty of words.

REVELATIONS is available for purchase at Sibling Rivalry Press

Dated Emcees by Chinaka Hodge

Reviewed By Amanda Hildebrand

Poet, activist, educator, and spoken word/rap artist Chinaka Hodge has gifted us with her first book, Dated Emcees (City Lights Publishers, 2016), and shows us how hip-hop’s biggest names are history’s most tragic lovers, cheaters, victors, and martyrs, spitting and singing side-by-side with us in this terrible love game. Hodge takes us through her dating history of ex-emcees and emcee-exes a poem at a time, one for each lover and lesson, bouncing between the boundaries of literature, verse, and memoir.

Dated Emcees is a book of love poems, all things considered. If you feel lost in lovesickness, Chinaka Hodge knows where you’ve been. These are the everywoman’s love poems; poems for the infatuated woman, the dumped woman, the other woman. Hodge lets us into her personal memories of heartbreak that may feel all too familiar, and the reader pictures themselves alongside her in those lonesome gray days, counting quarters for the laundry and waiting for a call back.

Her stories are centered around women’s issues, speaking particularly to black female readers, as she challenges misogyny, violence, and colorism that permeate a popular culture centered on light, white, and straight-haired beauty.

Hodge’s confessional anecdotes are spaced between pieces about, inspired by, and dedicated to legends of hip-hop of now and days past. Haikus for Biggie and couplets for 2Pac; an internal monologue from the mind of “Mr. Carter” on the day of Blue Ivy’s wedding; an interview between Drake and Pac that night in Vegas, the two glaringly different artists reciting together in those last moments: oh my god/ oh my god/ if i die/ i’m a legend. Even though there are pop culture references buried in almost every stanza, you don’t necessarily need to be well-versed in hip-hop or its surrounding culture to understand Hodge’s message; but, as Hodge alludes to, there’s a difference between understanding and knowing. She writes to us as if we know, and we either keep up or we don’t.

Hodge is perhaps most well-known as a spoken word poet, especially for her past appearances on the HBO show Def Poetry Jam. You can hear that influence in Dated Emcees as the poems rush to sound in your head, kicking and jerking, pumping through your chest, begging to be read aloud:

i date lushes faded like grandpas
who crawl sixteen bars and get twisted
they run tabs more than they spit
swallow fake beautifuls
hen and mott’s apple
juiced stuck slurs stirs
one finger skyward
(from title track)

Hodge writes of past loves as if they were songs, their memory reverberating and echoing forever through her story, their words tattoos in Sharpie on the binds of history books, where the people will see them. Her subjects are saints enshrined in the timeless art of hip-hop.

Hodge reminds us of the comfort and healing that can be found in remembering pain as growth.

Female emcees are strangely missing from the armada of hip-hop figures filling the pages, despite the influence women in hip-hop have had on Hodge and her work. Perhaps she simply has never dated a female emcee; perhaps she wanted to focus specifically on masculinity in the hip-hop community. Her stories are centered around women’s issues, speaking particularly to black female readers, as she challenges misogyny, violence, and colorism that permeate a popular culture centered on light, white, and straight-haired beauty.

to make
no princess
tiana your
(from “light privilege or Lili speaks”)

The poems are tied together by the overarching idea that the past, and our ghosts from it, have direct influence on where and how we go in the future. If we watch ourselves make the same mistakes, forsake our histories, refuse to amend damaged pasts – then we’re resigned to the same heartbreak, over and over again. Hodge reminds us of the comfort and healing that can be found in remembering pain as growth.

Chinaka Hodge will break your heart, she’ll make you angry, she’ll make you guilty; but mostly, she’ll tell you the truth. Her confessions of heartbreak in Dated Emcees will speak to those who have loved, lost, and re-found themselves in the small places between the punchlines.

Dated Emcees is available through City Lights Booksellers & Publishers

Mortal Trash: Poems by Kim Addonizio

Reviewed By Amanda Hildebrand

Mortal Trash (W. W. Norton & Company, 2016) is a collection of handfuls: odes to old friends and family members, instructional poems about what poetry isn’t, simple pleads for answers. There’s a eulogy at the end, as if we’ve just died. We all follow Addonizio to heaven: “I saw God/ in a cumulus cloud./ Angels gathered on my library card.” And the big-kid concept of death is now so simple: a face in the clouds, a small square of plastic in your pocket.

And as soon as we stick our toes in, Addonizio won’t give us a moment of relief. There are no page numbers in the table of contents; each cryptic title is listed next to the digits 000. Nothing nothing nothing, again and again – and we’re lost with her in quasi-structured mayhem. A couple sections of poems with no uniform format and no collective motivation are followed by a section of fourteen maybe-randomly-numbered sonnets, a smack of structure in the middle of the collection. Mortal Trash is a collection of handfuls: odes to old friends and family members, instructional poems about what poetry isn’t, simple pleads for answers. There’s a eulogy at the end, as if we’ve just died. We all follow Addonizio to heaven: “I saw God/ in a cumulus cloud./ Angels gathered on my library card.” And the big-kid concept of death is now so simple: a face in the clouds, a small square of plastic in your pocket.

Addonizio’s style is ephemeral, but relatable as hell; it’s absurd, confessional, vulnerable, even silly. She presents abstract situations and concepts as ordinary objects and happenings, forcing our noses to the dirt to see the beauty there. Addonizio gives us structured poetic forms with mismatched, abstract content – a spaghetti dinner served on fine china but with no forks or knives to easily gobble it up; we’re left messy. Her settings are fantastic, in places where you hear “ominous sounds in the woods” from “[m]aybe/ wild animals, maybe lesser demons – / strewing the garbage, thieving chickens/ and itty dogs, clawing at the siding doors”; a place where “[s]omething flowers/ in the air above the bed but no one/ can say what”  (from “Stray Sparks”). This place is like a dirty fairytale, littered by mundane objects that Addonizio continuously points out: a box of matches, stove burners, a hospital chair. The fantastic decomposes, surreal, then belligerent, leaving nothing but ugly, material waste for us to stare at. The world is dissolving before our eyes, and our trash is unignorable.

“The fantastic decomposes, surreal, then belligerent, leaving nothing but ugly, material waste for us to stare at. The world is dissolving before our eyes, and our trash is unignorable.”

There has to be logic behind this mess. Addonizio is obviously a well-read fan of Anglo classics; canon literary references pop in and out of her poems just when we thought all we knew was lost. Her poem “Out in the Tranquil Bay” directly quotes Arnold’s famous opening line of “Dover Beach,” then slides straight from the tranquility of “The sea is calm tonight” into pointed, scattered declaratives that jostle us with accusation: “You are an infidel.” “This elixir tastes weird.” “You are on fire./ Put yourself out.” The economy of her words shows a methodology behind each seemingly dropped-from-ten-stories-above poem. Her use of references ground us, tap into our subconsciousness whether we like it or not, and force us to pay attention. She’s poking us in the chest with the most recognizable minutia of our everyday lives so we see the dirty beauty in our collective messes, and, particularly in “The Sonnets,” her personal griefs.

Each poem in the section titled “The Sonnets” is numbered. Skimming through, they look like sonnets; their length, line breaks, and use of couplets loosely mirror the Elizabethan formatting. At face value, this section seems more structured than the others, and the call to Shakespeare immediately eases us into a familiar place – but we’re only comfortable for a second. The question is: are Mortal Trash’s sonnets supposed to “line up” with Shakespeare’s? In the Addonizio way – kinda.

Sonnet 130
my mister’s eyes are something all right
Mr. Johnson how do you do
his scleras oh they’re mighty white
float like a dead man sting like a wound
Captain Crow flew off up some tree
calls me names when Mr. walks with me
burnt roses at the florist stand greening
we went back in the dark singing

One of Shakespeare’s most quoted, memorized, and labored-over sonnets, Sonnet 130 is dedicated to a lover whose appearance is nondivine and repulsive, and still draws the narrator into a violent fit of fourteen-lined passion. You can see what draws Addonizio to this sonnet, and Shakespeare’s general out-with-the-old-in-with-the-nasty spirit. Addonizio’s Sonnet 130 calls to the original’s famous first line with a dry joke that mixes irreverence with the familiar to make us uneasy. Her sonnet feels shameful, with mystical Miltonesque characters called Captain Crow embodying concepts like judgment, creepy singsongy rhymes, and a general feeling of eerie off-ness, like a nightmare you had as a kid you still remember. It’s an uncomfortable ride through a distorted reality where sonnets are dirty, and not even Shakespeare is safe.

Sonnet 116 is elegantly begun by the Bard with the show-stopping riddle: “Let me not to the marriage of true minds/ Admit impediments.” Don’t spend too long racking those undergrad Shakespeare lectures in the back of your head, Addonizio wants to make it easy for you:

let me not to the pediment of two minds
admit marriage; love alter[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[=[====[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[]
Love is not love
stain remover will take that out
(from Sonnet 116)

In this sonnet and others in the section, txt speak and sporadic punctuation tantrums have swallowed strict rhyming patterns and measured iambs. It’s as if Addonizio dropped her forehead on her keyboard for a second to collect herself. We’ve boiled down to our gritty truths. Even Shakespeare seemed to believe in small hopeful ideas like love, but Addonizio has wiped the thought away, has blotted out that stain so we can see the ugly reality hiding between the lines. Her sonnets are at their cores about love, death, shame; they’re angry, and mournful; they’re almost guilty. She uses this traditionalist, structured space as a landfill to dump everything out – every bitter, ugly, ridiculous, embarrassing feeling that makes us squirm to read.

Addonizio’s musical background easily carries over to her poetry. It’s like we’re following an erratic drummer; the poem’s sounds are manipulated through strategic disjointed formatting and are aligned to an inconsistent beat. Thoughts and images stop staccato and harsh, or pour into each other over line breaks. They wax and wane, stop to breathe, and pick up again. Sometimes they wiggle around with nowhere to go at all. The secret to tying unconventional rhythms with the themes of Addonizio’s world of mess lies in her economic but impactful language, balanced on well-placed turns and bursts of simple imagery, all captured in the first poem of the collection:

This is me as a slowly-tearing-itself apart cloud
and marveling
at a fire palely and flamily
emerging from a bowl, wavering
up through stones of cobalt glass. The air
wavers back. This is me in love
with the beauty of blue glass in flames, this is me on drugs
prescribed by my doctor
as I try once more
to sneak into nights closely guarded city,
my hollow horse read

(from “Scrapbook”)

Everything has a message. Addonizio hints at hers, whatever it is, in “Sleep Stage”: “Dreams,/ what are they, anyway: collage art,/ trash bins, intergalactic interfaces,/ maybe random missile file/ from oppressed realities.” She wants our faces against our mirrors, she wants us dancing down in the mud with her. She wants us to see the meaningful in the simple, and wonder if something really loses its beauty after it’s been thrown away.

Mortal Trash is available through W. W. Norton & Company