I wanted to see where beauty comes from
without you in the world, hauling my heart
across sixty acres of northeast meadow,
my pockets filling with flowers.
Then I remembered,
it’s you I miss in the brightness
and body of every living name:
rattlebox, yarrow, wild vetch.
You are the green wonder of June,
root and quasar, the thirst for salt.
When I finally understand that people fail
at love, what is left but cinquefoil, thistle,
the paper wings of the dragonfly
aeroplaning the soul with a sudden blue hilarity?
If I get the story right, desire is continuous,
equatorial. There is still so much
I want to know: what you believe
can never be removed from us,
what you dreamed on Walnut Street
in the unanswerable dark of your childhood,
learning pleasure on your own.
Tell me our story: are we impetuous,
are we kind to each other, do we surrender
to what the mind cannot think past?
Where is the evidence I will learn
to be good at loving?
The black dog orbits the horseshoe pond
for treefrogs in their plangent emergencies.
There are violet hills,
there is the covenant of duskbirds.
The moon comes over the mountain
like a big peach, and I want to tell you
what I couldn’t say the night we rushed
North, how I love the seriousness of your fingers
and the way you go into yourself,
calling my half-name like a secret.
I stand between taproot and treespire.
Here is the compass rose
to help me live through this.
Here are twelve ways of knowing
what blooms even in the blindness
of such longing. Yellow oxeye,
viper’s bugloss with its set of pink arms
pleading do not forget me.
We hunger for eloquence.
We measure the isopleths.
I am visiting my life with reckless plenitude.
The air is fragrant with tiny strawberries.
Fireflies turn on their electric wills:
an effulgence. Let me come back
whole, let me remember how to touch you
before it is too late.
— Stacie Cassarino, Summer Solstice
sanctified, rick ross & kanye & big sean
~ all i wanted was a hundred million dollars and a bad bitch ~
someone please come pat my head and tell me that even though I am moving friday and dangerously close to stress barfing every five seconds, it’ll be just fine
It has been a long time since I last wrote, but I’m trying. Once again, I am vibrating with things I’d like to say, words I want to give because that is the most I have sometimes—a presentation of my emotions cemented as fact. It is a testament to being here, I think, a firm resolution in a love that often feels boundless.
This winter was kind to me, despite its bitter appearance. My edges grew softer. I did not burrow myself quite as deep. The wolves stayed away, and continue to keep their distance. There is a light somewhere. Spring’s warmth meanders in and fists unfurl.
We buzz together in this home I have built for you. Beneath the floorboards, we are humming something sweeter than before. I’ve been trying to map it out again: the chronology of circular drives and train ticket stubs and morning routines, but all I keep coming up with is patience. We have taught each other patience, and here is the reward. How close we have been so many times to curling away from each other, only to laugh ourselves further into love.
Perhaps, unsurprisingly, I spend most of my time these days being grateful.
someone be my email penpal and tell me about people you smooch and send me some sad songs to cry to and let me ramble about Stuff
Hiiiiiiii we are very excited to present the first OTC project of 2014. $7 gets you five prints by five Serious Babes: Jenna Fletcher, Nora Berggren-Jensen, Stephanie Mill, Clara Zornado, and Holly Kerchner. Printed 4x6” on Kodak ENDURA professional photo paper and packaged with all of our love in a lil brown envelope from Stars Hollow, Chicago, IL. Get it here!
Very happy to be involved in the first ever OTC Serious Babes print pack
watch out, the Babe Parade 2k14 is comin’ for ya
(ps: buy this!!!! money goes toward the artists + the OTC fund to send snax to the artists + helping us make more cool stuff)
For our last project of 2013 we helped out our music-bloggin’ pals from OTIOBR and Heart & Soul with their year-end collaboration. Inside this zine you’ll find the top 25 songs and albums of 2013 according to each dude, plus an interview with rapper/musician Mona Lisa, and a 2003 throwback presented by your very own e-clare and ramona. Find it on issuu here fo free and learn some new jams and songies.
THE OTIOBR // H&S YEAR-END LIST HAS ARRIVED. THANKS V MUCH TO THE OTC CREW. THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL HUMAN BEINGS AND/OR APPRECIATORS OF DOGS.
2003: WHAT A YEAR
I designed this entire thing except for shape input and critiques by otc/catie/adrian (thx all) so like, check it. also I am one half of e-clare and ramona, so like, that 2003 throwback features me. also otc is back with a goddamn vengeance, so like, dogs for sure
DOGS FOR SURE
(plus hey hi, my alter-ego’s name is ramona and I’m the second half of Genius behind the “man I feel like a woman” feature)
Two years later, and I’m still so glad you’re the one I get to smooch.
in which the worst part about anonymous messages is not knowing if they are about you or just for you, some kind of comfortable space to tuck things
What is your favorite piece of writing?
100% this piece by Richard Siken
What do you do when you’re in a relationship and then someone else comes along and completely changes your life and you can’t stop thinking about them?
Let me be upfront—this is one of the exact reasons why so many of my “serious” relationships have failed in the past. I find it tremendously difficult not to stray toward the next thing that causes me to catch my breath. There are so many people out there who have the ability to trigger the small part inside of me that feels stagnant, uncertain. It’s so simple for me to lean into the idea of: but wait, look at the other things I could be doing or seeing or trying or just fucking loving.
I’d be bullshitting too if I said I’m not experiencing a small degree of this right now. It’s tricky territory—the words you weave, the lines you tiptoe along, the lies you tell yourself to justify what you are (or aren’t) doing.
How are you supposed to explain any of it? Without trying, you stumble into the potential of something and then begin to get caught up in the fantastic ideas you can foster when someone carries a spark you forgot existed. Quietly, you build worlds between you—places where you coexist without repercussions, conversations which leave you studying the cartography of the future with a fervor you haven’t experienced before. You ignore the flaws, push aside reality. While daydreaming, you shift the blame to fate, to the inexplicable connection you felt threading you together despite your current entanglements. Does anyone really mean to sit a Kansas coffee shop listening to the most adventurous stories, or to allow a voice to keep you crawling inside it each night? Do we want buzzed circular drives to distract us, each diner coffee refill to propel us into temptation? Hardly. Never once have I sought out the opportunity to linger some place else when I’m with someone, and yet.
Yet while part of you feels the anxious knot twist tighter in your stomach with each blush evoking comment, each time you know you are wrong, the other part is begging to be utterly swept up in the very idea of something more, something better. How easily one can lead separate lives when you are weaving your way through boundaries and conversations without consideration for others. Somehow, the allure of someone else trumps any guilt you expected would persuade you in a different direction.
By this point, I know I dig my own graves. I stake full claim to my failings. I am always proclaiming them boldly instead of changing my ways—warning signs to those daring to get close. I’ve got sweet talk down to a science. Apologies have become an art form. I know I’m not the one who should be giving advice on this (or any matter) because I only know how to deal with things the messy way.
But, whoever you are, asking this means something. Hesitation means something.
Because it is easy to get dizzyingly drunk, steadying myself on train rides back to my apartment, and feel the romance of it all—the forbidden, the uncertain, the promise. But in the morning, when you wake up feeling hungover in the heaviness of your heart, the sliver of imperfect shines through. Sometimes it is easy to forget when someone’s nails aren’t digging into your back consistently. And when they do, you’ll be pulled back into the heart of the matter—that you are with the person you are with for a reason.
I think the best way to figure anything out is to throw yourself right in the middle of it. Don’t give yourself the option of skirting around the issue. Put yourself in emotional jeopardy. Up the stakes.
Ask yourself the tough questions. Figure out the answer to why.
Sometimes the people who make you rearrange everything are meant to be totally platonic. Sometimes they end up being much more than that. But it takes time. Please be patient. Realize you can be captivated by someone who shows you something new, but it doesn’t mean you are meant to sacrifice what is making you happy.
Most of all, it takes being really goddamn honest with yourself, with the person you are with, and the person you are swooning over. Otherwise, you’ll be bruising more hearts than you expect.
But like I said, I don’t really know what the hell I’m doing half the time.