Sometimes the secret to writing, involves not writing at all

Photo by Matthias Cooper on Unsplash

With summer came sharp realizations, about landscapes and possibilities and adventure.

With fall came road trips and camping tents, and red dust painting every inch of my body. There were sharp sunsets in Arizona, the heat of the sun magnified by the earth — also red and sharp, cut into mesas and stacked mountains built in rock sheets and flat pebbles.

There were long roads in Utah. Mesas where sand dunes calcified into stone, creating bowls and ledges.There …


My muse is desperation. She is longing, fear, regret. I cannot understand her; I dread her. Most mornings, I wish that she would abandon me to plague some other lowly, writer. I want her to cease her constant questions and images. I want her to let me sleep, to let me wake, just once, under my own power. I want to be inspired, but not like this.

My muse is nothing like the white robes and silver light that I first witnessed in paintings and ancient poetry. My muse is a shadow of me, a plague. She is an uncomfortable…


We all eat; the question is, how can we eat better?

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There are relatively few guarantees in our world. We wake up every morning facing numerous probabilities and unknowns. There are countless paths we could take with every possibility spiraling out towards some distant, parallel universe. But in the midst of these infinite possibilities and their inherent diversity, there are two things we do know and can be certain of:

  1. We will live until we don’t. Death is as much a certainty as the frailty of life.
  2. To live, we must eat.

We all must eat to live. Perhaps, this is our one unifying quality as human beings. But, don’t take…


Pregnancy — there were too many words and then, too few. My language, desires, passions, along with my energy, were swallowed into a growing chasm of possibility — a darkness bathed in the light of a dozen competing ambitions, of what ifs and maybes, a growing lump of futures and pasts, a million different stories with a million different endings, written in the flesh of my expanding body.

I had been an athlete, riddled with muscles and scars. I had been too hard for the possibilities of my child and our future, and so, my body shifted and pressed outward…


Photo by Kristi Yorks

The “dirt pow” and the wheels that traverse it hold a unique place in my heart. I have never been more terrified or broken than at the hands of my pink handlebars; I have never been more alive or liberated. There has never been more doubt or uncertainty; there has never been more courage or confidence. I have never been dirtier or more elegant than at the back of my Minion DHF tires.

In fact, in all the ways that mountain biking has broken me (literally — from ankles to ribs to shoulders), it has built me back up, creating…


Why Every Writer Needs a Cruel Mentor

Photo by Darwin Vegher on Unsplash

Bobbie Hawkins exhaled and shifted in her seat. In the silence, we could hear the steady click of her oxygen tank, the sharp sound of air pressing up through a tube, filling the newly formed space.

“I am going to tell you a story,” she said. “I must be honest. Can I be honest?”

It was the first day of our writing workshop, my first day of graduate classes, and I had just read my short story (the one that I had submitted as a part of my application) to one of my idols.

Bobbie Hawkins was a legend. She…


How motherhood liberated and empowered this modern, working woman

Someone, somewhere, told me a story about parenting. In this story, there was a plague ravaging the world. Scientists were predicting the death of everyone on earth within a matter of months.

Then, there was hope. A child was exposed but not infected. He alone had the antibodies to fight this plague. All doctors needed was him. The child was the missing ingredient. The boy’s mother asked, what will happen to my son? And the truth was in their silence. To create the vaccine, they needed all of him.

What, the storyteller then asked, would you do?

This story and…


Her Home/Kept Moving

Part 1: The Blue House

As a child, my body was something extraordinary. I marveled at it, played with it, tested it; I compared its shapes and textures against tree bark, rocks, grass, sand, and anything else that I could wash it in. …


in nine parts

Photo by Eutah Mizushima on Unsplash

I.

When you think of us, think of rams suspended on a vertical wall, horns tangled, knees locked. You push back, then forward. You sweat against the rock. You dislocate your shoulders, tear yourselves raw, crack bone, bend flesh. You cannot accept that the mountain will not be moved; you are falling.

Sometimes, we call this love.

Sometimes.

II.

This is marriage. Every organ becomes a drum, the solid pieces of you become fluid, and the force of your surging cracks the walls of your skin.

This is love, a bleeding out as your body empties, exposes…


A portrait of our decentralized future

Photo by Arif Wahid on Unsplash

There are many points to raise and discussions to wage in the face of our decentralized future. There are questions without answers, issues without context, and technology without purpose. Worse yet, there is uncertainty and the fear that comes with it — questions of ethics unframed by practice; what ifs that dissolve into smoke the instant that they are uttered.

Perhaps this is what it means to be human — to see within and, as we reach towards the unknown, to imagine what the darkness must contain.

This essay will not answer questions or…

Kristi Yorks

Don’t tell my poetry I’m a writer

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