Recommended Reading #7

  1. “32 Names for Future Hybrid Tulips” by Traci Brimhall
  2. “Magic City Ruse” by Ariel Francisco
  3. “The Field of Rooms and Halls” by Richard Siken
  4. “Kitchen Coven” by Avra Elliott
  5. “Vows (for a gay wedding)” by Joseph O. Legaspi
  6. “Adolescence” by Nin Andrews
  7. “Sea Church” by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
  8. “Essay on Craft” by Ocean Vuong
  9. “Science and Magic: Wind in Seven Hayao Miyazaki Films” by J.D. Ho
  10. “Suicidal Ideation and Who We Allow to Be Real” by Joanna Valente
  11. “I Used to Be a Writer–Then I Got Sick” by Emma Smith-Stevens
  12. “Origin Myth” by Alfredo Aguilar
  13. “On Ekphrasis Using Video Games” by William Hoffacker
  14. “Stardew” by Melissa Goodrich

The Smell of Cinders and Rain

I don’t know much about road trips. What little I do know about them comes from memories of anticipation in the backseat on our way to the Magic Kingdom and the dreams of my own city of multicolored monorails. Who ever cared about the rides? Or Mickey Mouse? Only the monorails ever mattered.

This Fourth of July was the first time I ever took to the road by myself. I drove until I was nearly in Georgia. A new friend let me stay at his place. Friends are now only ever found online, or else, in books. The cicadas were very loud, a full-on orchestra of insect legs. There were Southern accents and Sonic’s to drive up to. I’d assumed that Sonic was just a drive-thru you saw in commercials, a television myth. At night, there were explosions from fireworks and burning barrels the neighbors were using to get rid of old things. Watching movies inside, we inhaled all the smoke from the fires. Heading home, the rain soon returned with a familiar earthy musk. A breath out. I wonder about wanderlust and why that was never a rhythm I could rest my temple on.

I’ve been overwhelmed by the extremely positive response to my list of journals. It somehow caught fire via social media and ended up with a mention in the Review Review newsletter. I received emails from editors asking to be included (which I was more than happy to oblige) and teachers thanking me for taking the time to put it together, that it would be useful for their classes. I hope it will continue to prove useful for some weary internet travelers.


About a week ago, Cartridge Lit published a poem of mine. They’re a newer journal interested in publishing videogame literature and interviewing writers who play games. My poem was partially inspired by my experience playing through the videogame Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3. I am very interested in the intersections between these forms of media, especially in how they shape and influence identity. Recently, I read this post by Merritt Kopas¬†about¬†hypertext and the exploration of sexuality, gender, and body issues. Why shouldn’t videogames tackle these subjects? I’m happy to see how the medium is rapidly expanding to include these spaces and provide a new means of personal expression. We can’t have enough of those.