I started 2013 by going back and forth to the hospital. My grandmother was incredibly sick, and everyone was stressed out and tired and half-ghosted most of the time. I thought this year would be nothing but mountains upon mountains, a year of huge changes. I was right. And goodness gracious if it wasn’t one of the most important years I’ve had on this planet of ours.
Poetry was wound so tight around 2013 its hard not to mistake it for pulse. It was my final semester of undergrad last spring. I wrote my final thesis/manuscript for creative writing. By which I mean I wrote a whole manuscript, and then scrapped it and started from scratch. I worked with some amazing folks in that class who put out amazing work, and it really got me to take poetry a lot more seriously. It was around this time I became friends with super-honey-spark-bear-poet Jeremy Radin, and he has helped and continues to help me so star-shatteringly much in who I am as a poet and a heart in a body. So, you know, love him forever.
I put out my very own poetry chapbook! Supernova Factory was brought hurtling into existence by Rachel, Clare, Wes and their very own supernova factory On the Cusp. Bless them and their support of me and giving this dream of mine some dancing shoes. I was able to have a book release party and these three drove all the way from Chicago to North Carolina to make it. So many friends of mine were there. It was magical in every since of the word and it remains the best night of this year. Thank you to Jake Hurley for allowing his unreal photos to roost in it. Oh, and it SOLD OUT. So if you bought a copy, thank you. If you wanted to buy a copy and couldn’t, I’m sorry, and thank you.
I graduated! It was hot. There were bees. And freaking Nikki Giovanni was our commencement speaker. It couldn’t have been better.
My twenty-second birthday was brought to living by one of my best friends/electro-choir, Emily and her mom. Thank you for the cake and thank you for the dancing and thank you for the love love love.
I celebrated two years of splitting the clocks with this lady, Ricky. Even though we are states apart, she keeps my feet an inch off the ground. She keeps me on the ground. She keeps my atmosphere intact. She lets the magic break its wings in order to grow new ones. She makes me laugh. She knows I talk too much. She reads my poems. She is a storm in a pocket. She is my girlfriend, and I love her.
I moved back home. I spent and still spend many days right now, alone. It’s been an interesting experience, one that I have come to appreciate a lot. I’ve been able to help out my parents and my grandmother. I’ve been able to spend a lot of time with my five year-old cousin Madison, who is a comet-tailed-wolf. I’ve been able to write a lot, to grow a lot, and to develop a yearning to get out of here. Perhaps that’s still a ways off, but my very own 100 Years of Solitude has been important, I think.
I had a few poems published. I became part of one of the raddest literary journals around, thanks to professional heart-tuner Rob Sturma. I got to see Janelle Monaé. I got to see The National. I read a lot of books. I got to listen to the new Beyoncé. I saw Jinkx Monsoon win RuPaul’s Drag Race. I saw and touched the hands of three famous drag queens. I went to Tennessee. I made new friends. I drove on my first long trip alone. I watched Breaking Bad. I applied to graduate school. My poems have been read and shared by so many of you. I love y'all. I cried. My grandmother got better. I laughed. I laughed. I laughed.
I made it.