"Appeasement is an exercise in bad faith..."
"I am fascinated by socialization, behavioral economics, epistemology, neuroscience, cultural conventions, religious fundamentalism, and bounded rationality. I cannot muster a solid line between the intimate and the political."
(Interview with Rob McLennan)
"I maintain a collection of talismans against the evil eye."
"Even sunlight in a scrapyard is tainted by the industry of what we want from it; or the way in which fantasies create expectations."
(Noble Gas Quarterly)
"I'm that crazy woman you see who keeps whipping out a notebook to scribble as her kids choreograph rain dances in public parks."
"My first encounter with poetry is in the Romanian language... In America we really have the ability to write as intense a poem as we want and I think I am grateful for that and I participate in it."
(Present Tense Podcast)
"As a human, you learn from the sore places. As a writer, the scars are a seam through which poetry emerges. So love is paramount— love is the penultimate precipice."
"Though we like to pretend we are a nation of nonconformists, I think watching our children tells a different story. Herd mentalities cover everything from fashion and fitness (think about the latest trending diet/exercise craze) to sports."
(Speaking of Marvels)
"What part of “I” is mine? And why? What does integrity mean for amnesiacs? These are questions which fiction allows me to explore as a girl who has been forged from a distance."
"You are the anxious mother of three American children who express selective preferences about chicken nuggets brands."
"It’s a gruesome thing– not the writing, but publishing. You already feel naked (you laid it out on paper) and then you have to pretend you know what you’re talking about to convince people to look at you naked. The contortions are indirectly related to cricks in the neck. Today, I am poultry. But then I write."
(Survey Time Quarterly)
Co-Organizer and Founder of 100,000 Poets for Change Birmingham; Organizer for Magic City Poetry Festival; Poetry Editor for Pidgeonholes; Publicity Manager and Board Member for Alabama Writer's Conclave; President of Alabama State Poetry Society; Organize of Writer's Resist Tuscaloosa; Member of Sister City Spoken Word Collective; Avid Tree-Hugger; Indivisible Stalagmite; Woman in Pajamas Raising Her Fist and Screaming at Folks Who Drive Too Fast Down the Neighborhood Street
I am talkative, over-effusive, a girl with a foot in her mouth, fingertips aching for flowers. Someone who believes others must also be heartbroken by war, rape, violence, and ongoing ecological destruction. Someone who gets stuck inside her own head, imagining conversations. A person who believes in ghosts vividly enough to write them, to translate their voices. A female who imagines a world in which her sex and/or gender is not held against her-- a world in which humans need not define themselves by controlling how she defines herself. A world of tolerance, empathy, and fluid borders. A world unhitched by boundaries. I want us to read history so our children don't repeat its most craven, demeaning mistakes. I want to know how to think not what to think-- Hannah Arendt over any talking head. I want to feel something for the native plant, the unfashionable weed, the wild places from which we are gathered. I am chatty and silly and far too serious about things that others find funny. I am suspicious of canned laughter, and petrified of canned hatred or canned bigotry or any feeling which comes pre-packaged for public consumption. I don't believe we are going to get away with any of this shit. I have no respect for the powerful given what one must sacrifice its sake. I don't believe in the God of Good Progress since Progress usually includes bombs and missiles which have the power to kill more and more human beings in one fell swoop. I believe we are just as likely to destroy the world as to improve it. And yet I cannot be cynical because there is this thing with feathers that perches in the soul...... a loud, chatty, chirping thing. Because hope speaks louder than fear, I am draw to strangers and faces worn true by sadness. Motivated by the hearts of those who lack power. Riveted by the thought that demons and angels present themselves as visitors from foreign lands. What Italo Calvino describes as this "constant cloud of discontent" fueled by the change in consciousness unmatched by a change in habits or social conventions, this is both poignant and present. I see the cloud dragging its puffy white corpus collosum over consumertopia. I catch myself lying beneath the cloud, engorged by products which stuff the mouth that would otherwise speak. To say something. To keep on saying and speaking and seeing and tasting. I have spoken to Musil's anarchists behind lampposts and learned so much from ailing light. I have taken the wrong roads passionately if only to discover that any road is a trap-- all roads being routes to destinations manufactured by others. I want to meet you in the space you have invented. Not the exit ramps of what is supposed-to-be but the secret shades behind backyard trees. I am dumb beyond my years and wise with childhood's unregrettings. I am a person you have seen on the street, trying to imagine where to go next.