Pocket full of mermaids

Pocket full of mermaids

Library apprentice. Narcoleptic grad school student. Paid to sing in public.

I am the mermaid that lives inside your pocket.

Review
3.5 Stars
In a Dark, Dark Wood - Helen Ruth Elizabeth Ware

Nora wakes up injured in hospital bed with no recollection of the events of the bachelorette party that landed her there. Unsure if she can trust her own mind, Nora must piece together the puzzle before it’s too late.

 

Nora, a crime fiction writer, is perplexed to receive an invitation to a hen do (bachelorette) party for a friend she hasn’t been in touch with for a decade. At the coaxing of a mutual friend, Nora decides to attend the weekend getaway in the English countryside. In a remote cabin deep in the woods, Nora is sequestered with five other guests. Struggling to put the past behind her, moments she thought were forgotten start to creep into to the present. Soon, the guests realize something is not right about the party. Nora knew she’d have trouble getting through the weekend, but she never thought her own survival would be at stake.

 

Recommended for fans of suspenseful, psychological mysteries with a female lead such as Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, and I Let You Go.

"In the Waiting Room" by Ruth Moon Kempher

Prints of shadow under waiting eyes are naked bruises

where thumbs of love have ground impatience. Hands folded

                                                                                       like petals

hold back fear. All the people going by remind me of others known

back home, or somewhere, as if I'd met Everybody in the World

one time or another, polite, by a river--They look in, with pity

as if they knew something. But no one does.

Someone ought to tell that lady not to wear those argyle socks.

Someone ought to tell that those orderlies not to bang the door.

I ought to think of you less often. I should pray more.

 

Forgive all this. I brought asters from my garden

but left them by our bed, wilting. Stepped on your foot

upset the drinks, and the blossoms snickered.

I was thinking that I grew up like brambles, thrashed around

wild, uncultivated, ungraceful. River images rose up

because I'd been reading Lorca, dreaming blood--

a bitter cup. You were always unintended, a gift

sent by a stranger, as if that stranger knew 

I'd need your touch.

 

You are sudden notes of whistled song, or rain

that slips into the river with a gentle hush--

now here, now gone.

 

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My short skirt is not an invitation
a provocation
an indication
that I want it
or give it
or that I hook.

My short skirt
is not begging for it
it does not want you
to rip it off me
or pull it down.

My short skirt
is not a legal reason
for raping me
although it has been before
it will not hold up
in the new court.

My short skirt, believe it or not
has nothing to do with you.

My short skirt
is about discovering
the power of my lower calves
about cool autumn air traveling
up my inner thighs
about allowing everything I see
or pass or feel to live inside.

My short skirt is not proof
that I am stupid
or undecided
or a malleable little girl.

My short skirt is my defiance
I will not let you make me afraid
My short skirt is not showing off
this is who I am
before you made me cover it
or tone it down.
Get used to it.

My short skirt is happiness
I can feel myself on the ground.
I am here. I am hot.

My short skirt is a liberation
flag in the women’s army
I declare these streets, any streets
my vagina’s country.

My short skirt
is turquoise water
with swimming colored fish
a summer festival
in the starry dark
a bird calling
a train arriving in a foreign town
my short skirt is a wild spin
a full breath
a tango dip
my short skirt is
initiation
appreciation
excitation.

But mainly my short skirt
and everything under it
is Mine.
Mine.
Mine.

Eve Ensler, The Vagina Monologues

Quote
Lesbians have historically been deprived of a political existence through "inclusion" as female versions of male homosexuality. To equate lesbian existence with male homosexuality because each is stigmatized is to erase female reality once again. Part of the history of lesbian existence is, obviously, to be found where lesbians, lacking a coherent female community, have shared a kind of social life and common cause with homosexual men. But there are differences: women's lack of economic and cultural privilege relative to men; qualitative differences in female and male relationships--for example, the patterns of anonymous sex among male homosexuals, and the pronounced ageism while suckling her own child, perhaps recalling her mother's milk smell in her own, to two women, like Virginia Woolf's Chloe and Olivia, who share a laboratory, the the woman dying at ninety, touched and handled by women--exist on a lesbian continuum, we can see ourselves as moving in and out of this continuum, whether we identify ourselves as lesbian or not. ... As the term lesbian has been held to limiting, clinical associations in its patriarchal definition, female friendship and comradeship have been set apart from the erotic, thus limiting the erotic itself.

Adrienne Rich, "Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence"

Quote
Black and Third World people are expected to educate white people as to our humanity. Women are expected to educate men. Lesbians and gay men are expected to educate the heterosexual world. The oppressors maintain their position and evade their responsibility for their own actions. There is a constant drain of energy which might be better used in redefining ourselves and devising realistic scenarios for altering the present and constructing the future.

Audre Lorde (via my Politics of Gay Marriage Class, contributed by a classmate who found it on tumblr)

Quote
Be a good steward to your gifts.
Protect your time.
Feed your inner life.
Avoid too much noise.
Read good books, have good sentences in your ears.
Be by yourself as often as you can.
Walk.
Take the phone off the hook.
Work regular hours.

Poet Jane Kenyon's guidelines for writers

Quote
There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action. And because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not hear it. It is not your business to determine how good it is; nor how valuable it is; nor how it compares with any other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even need to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.

Martha Graham to Agnes de Mille (quoted in Still Writing: The Pleasures and Perils of a Creative Life by Dani Shapiro)

Quote
I was in the middle of my second novel and struggling. Instead of engagement, I felt a nagging worry. Had I lost my way? Maybe I had taken a wrong turn – but where? One afternoon, I met a friend of mine, a poet and novelist, for coffee.

'I feel like I'm in a boat in the middle of the ocean and there's no land in sight,' I told him.

He took a sip of his drink and peered at me over his glasses.

'Yeah,' he said. 'And you're building the boat.'
Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life - Dani Shapiro

Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life by Dani Shapiro, page 91

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via the Which 'Once Upon a Time' Character Are You? quiz.

Quote
I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat . . .

Rebecca West, 1913, The Clarion, Nov. 14 ~ via my Feminist Theory textbook

Quote

Let me say at once, then, that you need not expect any continuous or connected theme. This is simply the private journal or ‘commonplace book’ in which Marcus Aurelius jotted down from time to time anything that struck him worth preserving.

Introduction to Meditations of Marcus Aurelius