If controversy sells, why aren’t negative reviews trending? Negativity is shortsighted in direct light although shortcuts illuminate what we take for granted. Even as we allow ourselves to change indeterminately, our stubbornness refuses to tell us how. Either we are prone to start what we can’t finish or we seek what has no end. In a free society, the present feels more motivated than the past. But name the motivation that inspires and then diagram for me how it has changed.
If we are our own worst editors, aren’t we our own worst translators from heart to mouth? The most useful tallies are those we feel no compulsion to make. “From scratch” does not denote tenderness although intimacy is what we do with our hands. Translating a body is hard when we keep changing shape. If I know you this well in the future, it will not be because we outdid the past. The line between unreasonable expectations and high hopes inspires paranoia. There’s no feeling of ready. There is only the weight of our undone head in our calm and withered hands.
We tell children to use their listening ears but instruct adults in public speaking. The worst approach cannot be the one that engages others. Supporting others’ art with conviction is as challenging as we make it. It’s better reading if
Our art derives from our vulnerability so of course we want to be loved for it. Love is never impartial, yet we strive to assess art on its own merit. What else do we mistake when we conflate the art with its maker? Admiration is a symptom of love but not the other way around. When heartbreak lasts a lifetime, is it compelling evidence someone loved? If we struggle to remember does it mean we value the experience any less? Of course we can’t miss limbs that were never there. But there are those people who do.
One thing we get more of than we remember in a lifetime is sleep. Never mind dreams and what they do for our sex lives. What happens when we sleep and what happens on the ocean floor are equivalent mysteries. Space is so intangible it
Michelle Dove is the author of Radio Cacophony, forthcoming from Big Lucks Books. Recent writing appears in Chicago Review, DIAGRAM, Sixth Finch and PEN/Guernica. She lives in Durham, NC.