I’m working on my third of three audio specials on various giant philosophical concepts. There was ON LONELINESS and ABOUT COURAGE, and now there will be BEAUTY MATTERS. I always knew this one was going to be the hardest.
And by “working on” this, I mean (as I always do) not doing anything that would be visible or discernible or appreciable to anyone outside myself but rather walking around a lot listening to pop music and having thoughts that seem brilliantly incisive at the time but crumble like dust in the wind the second I try to nail them down. Because this, apparently, is being a writer which is the only thing I’ve ever wanted to be. …
Later this month, I’m going to release what I’m calling “an audio special”. It’s called ON LONELINESS.
A playlist about loneliness is essentially the history of popular music. So this is not a comprehensive playlist.
What does loneliness sound like? To me, the blue-purple opening bars of this song. When I hear it, I’m sitting alone surrounded by fragrant smoke.
To make this special ON LONELINESS, I recruited my friends and loved ones to tell me their own thoughts on the topic. One recurring theme in their responses was the idea that a person can be lonely in the company of others; a very true thing. But a slightly different facet of loneliness, which I think this song captures beautifully, is the loneliness you can have with somebody. To be both inside it together, because you have the type of relationship that won’t survive being made public. …
This is a playlist about change. It’s not one of my favorite topics.
The excellent thing about fall is that it puts the beauty of change right at the surface, where I can see and appreciate it, where it can break my heart. I don’t know about you but my heart is very easily broken. The older I get the more I think heartbreak is one of life’s necessary elements; after all, it is openness.
I’ve said it before, will say it again: if you’re a single girl trying to make it in the city and you’re not listening to Madonna, then what ARE you doing? …
I’m not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I’m not dumb, and I know I’m not blonde. (Dolly Parton)
I’ve said before, as I’m sure have many others, that I think summer is the best season for pop music. A certain kind of pop music. We could call it “danceable” or “party” pop — I certainly wish I had more opportunities to play this sort of music at parties. Really for me it’s walking-down-the-street music, but to put me in a certain kind of mood. What kind of mood? A dangerous one, but the fun kind.
What you should know about me is that I’m obsessed with glamour and style in a personal way. Glamour and style is a fun thing to be obsessed with because there’s endless literature on the topic but most of it just comes down to the writer throwing up his or her hands and saying, je ne sais quoi. …
It is the primacy of women relating to women, of women creating a new consciousness of and with each other, which is at the heart of women’s liberation, and the basis for the cultural revolution. — RADICALESBIANS, “The Woman-Identified Woman”
I have a lot of ideas about gender, but they’re probably not the ideas you think they are. Here are my credentials on the subject: I’m a woman.
And that’s something I feel comfortable to say about myself, although I had to grow into that comfort. There are so few labels that carry more weight than this one. …
The day poetry finally got to me and the poet who helped it get there. May 18, 2013. The Ann Arbor District Library. ML Liebler. He was electrifying, gruff, and realistic. I bought his book. I had it signed. I had been there because I had to be, for work. I went to CVS and bought a notebook and then sat at Amer’s cafe on State St and wrote this:
I underestimated you again.
I forgot the way you glimmer and are gone.
I forgot your smell, the smell of summer. I
missed you, but here I am.
I made a plan to change my life and pursue poetry. I decided that’s what I would be, a poet. I took it on right there like it was a beautiful thing I found in a thrift shop and had to have. That’s my own moment of poetic epiphany, how sudden it was, how thorough, how intense. …
I gave this as a speech at Nerd Nite Ann Arbor on April 17, 2013. There are things I would change in 2015, but I won’t.
This essay is called “I Would Do Anything for Love: Why Good Pop Music is Good Writing”, and in it I hope to offer an explanation of my understanding of the relationship between communication, art, and humanism. But before I really begin I’d like to thank the organizers of Nerd Nite Ann Arbor, in particular Liz Lamoste who has been nothing but supportive and kind. I’d also like to thank my wise and generous fellow speakers, this beautiful space The Last Word (tip your bartender!), …
Hi there. My name is Amy Wilson. I’m a writer. In July of this year I moved to New York City to follow my dreams. I want to tell you about what this has been.
To say that I’m afraid to write about what it was like to move to New York City is an understatement. I think about starting this essay all the time but until THIS VERY MOMENT have not put fingers to keyboard. Writing for me often feels like wrestling something to the ground and the thing that I am trying to wrestle by writing this is huge beyond measure. …