It’s been six months since I last updated this site and a few things have happened since then. I’ve begun grad school, finished my first semester, and gained a few more publications. I’d like to say thank you to (b)OINK Zine, Molotov Cocktail, and The Coil for choosing to publish my works. I will also be published in Number One Magazine, a publication of UMKC for UMKC students, which I am delighted to be a part of. Additionally, I have begun writing a novella or possibly a short novel. We’ll see. This is something entirely new to me, and I am learning so much as I go.
The work takes place in a college town as the protagonist serves on a museum internship, struggles to make ends meet, becomes acquainted with museum staff, local artists, patrons, and others. It is a portrait of a town and a portrait of an institution, both of which are less benevolent than they portray themselves to be. There’s activist organization, queerness, art in its many forms, and liberation in its many forms.
Here is a very short excerpt:
Here is the European medieval gallery, named after a local banker. Here is the ancient, here is the modern, here the contemporary and here the Asian. Each one named after some mega-rich person, usually a guy, who gave half a million to have this gallery titled after them. There were fifteen galleries of Western art and three others. The museum was three floors and a mezzanine, with a café and restaurant on the latter. The gift store was labyrinthine, full of books, postcards, t-shirts and hoodies and scarfs with prints of a sculpture on them, chocolates, model Buddha statues made of green plastic, etc. There were two buildings posing as one, which made up the museum. The first was a Neo-Classical building of sandstone with ivy-decorated columns, the latter was a post-modern building of glass, snaking its way down the hill in angular protrusions.
Replacing the uneasy thrumming of my heart, awe took over. I was brimming with anticipation, like I truly was occupying sacred land, melding my flesh with that of the old and treasured.
During the tour, I paid attention to the people, too. It was a Friday, the busiest weekday for a museum, and throughout the galleries I counted around three hundred: families, singular wondrous spectators, artists hunched on benches, mimicking their masters, clusters of children in matching uniforms carrying pencils and paper or iPads or mp3 players listening to the audio tour.
Then there were the security guards, or more appropriately, the visitor services officers. Each gallery had at least two if not three during busy hours. Each guard was clad in black slacks and a plain black sweater with a white collared shirt underneath, handheld radio fastened to their belts. Some sat on rigid metal stools, reading. Others stood erect, grazing their eyes across the crowd. A few guards spotted my staff lanyard and nodded to me in recognition.
Reads I loved:
Department of Speculation by Jenny Offill
“Crayola Kind of Love” by Mercedes Lucero, Occulum
“I Have Not Pushed Back My Cuticles with an Orange Stick Since the Nixon Administration” by Kathy Fish, Monkeybicycle
“Cat Person” (of course) by Kristen Roupenian, The New Yorker
“Poisoned Apple” by Kate Welch, Split Lip Magazine