Categories
#poetry

Who am I?

I ask,
& you tell me:
I’m your oldest & dearest friend,
I’m a reader, a singer, & a mathematician.

When I wake in the night,
(disoriented, drenched in sweat)
you’re there to hold me,
reminding me that you’re here,
& remind me that it’s over, it’s over, it’s over—

In these moments,
when I’m running (wildly) lost along a dirt road,
you call my name,
drawing me back onto the correct gravel path,
drawing me back into myself:
You’re the guiding lamp leading me home.

As I follow your words—
the bobbing light in front of me—
I come back to myself:

I am Jude St. Francis.
I am your boyfriend.
I was treated horribly & came out on the other end.
Most importantly, I was always me.

If I am Jude, then…
Who are you?
I ask,
& you tell me:

I am Willem Ragnarrson
& I will never let you go.

M.B.B.
10/4/2020 (edited & expanded upon 10/5)

Notes: This is one of my favorite scenes from A Little Life. When Jude, who is plagued by nightmares, wakes up disoriented, he “wakes so far from himself that he can’t remember who he is.” Willem, his boyfriend, chants “him back to himself.” (Pgs. 607-608, Kindle version.) The italicized lines are either directly from this scene, or paraphrased slightly to fit the poem. As always, thanks for reading!

Categories
#personal

What inspires me as a writer

Jude &
JB &
Willem &
Malcolm.

Categories
#poetry

Dear Jude

I miss your cleaning. I miss hearing you trot out arpeggios in the middle of the night on the piano, when you can’t seem to grasp reality. I miss your cooking. I miss the sound of your voice, even when you’re angry. I miss the looks you shared with Willem; I miss you looking at the rising sun at the office. I miss your smile, hidden behind your hand. I love the sound of you singing in German. You’re one of the smartest men I know. May I give you a hug? Would you want to go for tea sometime? I miss the sparkle in your green eyes. I love how ruthless you are in court, how you glue everyone’s eyes on you. Don’t let the old bastards get you down. I love the way your hands move across the keys of a piano, how they finely chop onions or carrots. You’re the most sensitive person I know. Don’t worry, JB was right: It will get better.

Thank you for your life.

I miss you so much.

Love,

M

Categories
#poetry

The Boys of Hood Hall

Jude &
JB &
Willem &
& Malcolm.

You are a found family of Peter Pan’s
a brotherhood built from the ground up in Hood Hall,
friends through shithole apartments
& ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends,
starting at the bottom of the law firm/art/architecture/film ladder
& working your way up to the top floor
to push your way out onto the roof
standing side-by-side, fists raised in triumphant

You boys have consumed me with your
houses, art openings, films, & your presence in the court room.

I love you all & hope you’re doing well.

I miss you all.

M.B.B.
7/18/17
edited & expanded on 5/5/2020

Categories
films, music, video games & more!

A Beginner’s Guide to A Little Life

  1. You will become obsessed with the characters. That’s a given.
  2. Be prepared to cry. Have Kleenex at the ready.
  3. If you don’t love the name Jude, you will be the end of the novel.
  4. If you don’t feel bad for these characters, then you’re heartless.
  5. You’ll feel the aftereffects of the novel days, years afterwards. It’s that powerful.
  6. You’ll want to re-read the book, even though it’ll destroy you again.
  7. You’ll want to visit New York and find the streets mentioned in A Little Life.
  8. You’ll want to buy an actual copy of the book. I know I do.
  9. You’ll probably become obsessed with everything related to A Little Life.
  10. The emotional roller coaster in other books pale in comparison.
  11. The 724-pages fly by.
  12. x = x.
Categories
#personal

On Coloring & Listening

I’ve been coloring while re-reading A Little Life. It keeps me going, even when the pages keep getting darker. I’ve missed coloring, it’s been something to help keep my hands busy. (I know I’ve been writing waay too much about my reading experience with A Little Life, but I seriously can’t stop obsessing over it.)

The imagery and the bright colors help me focus: bright red, light blue, a light shade of brown, a golden splotch here and there–

I’ve been able to distance myself from the pain. Coloring animals is my way of staying focused as these characters go about their lives.

With each color picked from the palate, I feel a little like a painter, naming my creatures afterwards. I.E. “Horse of the Forest.”

Coloring helps me entertain myself as I listen, throws some light on the shade of the pages. I’ve been down this road one before, but in my head, I change the story. (I actually have a happier version that I’m writing, just for myself. Working on this fan fiction, sticking to the bones of the real story, helps me heal from the tragedy of the real novel.)

For me, coloring and reading is the new knitting. Just a different task.

Categories
book reviews

A Little Life

I’m re-reading A Little Life, because I love the characters, and Oliver Wyman brings their voices to life.

Rereading A Little Life isn’t as difficult for me as it was the first time. The first time, I was too close to the characters and their plight–especially Jude–and couldn’t take a step back and enjoy the story. I thought that Hyana Yanagihara hated Jude, but upon re-reading the novel, I see that Jude is too encapsulated in his own misery and the trauma of his abuse to see the good in his life.

Categories
book love letters

A Love Letter to A Little Life

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Hello, dear reader!

Note: the book cover is an alternative one. the original features “the orgasmic man”

This 724-paged novel captivated me, chewed me up with its rawness, spit me back out, and came back swinging with fresh emotions and intense feels. Hanya Yanagihara’s work is akin to an MMA fighter: Once you’re in the cage, her characters punch, kick, and grab you in a merciless headlock and refuse to let go. It’s the saddest, most visceral book I’ve ever read as an adult–and yet there’s bright rays of humor, friendship, love, and hope.