How many have heard of the Azores Islands? I hadn’t, until a few months ago when my partner, Y, asked if I’d travel there with his parents. The descriptions were enticing — they’re a group of islands off the coast of Portugal and yet to be bombarded by tourists. There are plenty of outdoor activities, and (importantly) nice winter weather. I quickly agreed and we spent the next few months clicking through websites, making plans to hike on four of the islands. …

Lindsay Lerman, a writer and translator, holds a PhD in Philosophy. Her book, I’m From Nowhere, is an investigation of grief and relationships, impermanence, and the construction and loss of identity. The reader follows Claire as she is unmoored by her husband’s death. She beings to explore who was and who she may be, and how to move forward in the world without him.

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I’m From Nowhere, by Lindsay Lerman. Clash Book, 2019. Poetry.

Genevieve Pfeiffer: The reader feels Claire’s loneliness and desperation. Yet, we are also acutely aware that she has depended on John. Claire doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere — she doesn’t feel comfortable around women, and she doesn’t trust other men. She has been upset with John and felt he had power over her, since she wanted a child and waited for him to be ready for one as well. She is unhappy with everyone, and herself. Yes, this reflection is part of her grieving, but this grief exposes the intricacies of our society that often dictate the terms of relationships. …

I have heard of a state called New Jersey. I have seen signs for NJ, but as a New Yorker I’ve had a superiority complex that’s limited me from the wonders of my neighboring state—an uneasy realization since I grew up in the Rust Belt.

I’ve heard of the Delaware Water Gap, and I’ve heard it’s beautiful to kayak. When I’ve thought of NJ, I’m sorry to say, I’ve thought of hiking overused trails too close to New York City. Of dry, dusty, packed-down dirt speckled with wrappers and water bottles, and sparse, spindly bushes that must be just as tough as the Jersey City boys in muscle cars (I take that back, these struggling bushes are fighting to survive overpopulation. …

Writer. Poet. Herbalist.

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