the heart is a stupid heart

Well. It’s been a hell of a first week with the Current Occupant in office. Last Saturday, my wife and daughter and I headed to downtown Dayton for the women’s march being held at the courthouse, and it was wonderful to see the thousands who turned out in this relatively small city to protest and make their voices heard. If there’s hope to be found in the next four years, it’s in the voices being galvanized and united in resistance. This was my nine-year-old’s first protest, and I’m so glad she was there to hear and see these women standing up for the rights of marginalized people everywhere.

After the march, we dropped in at a small event being held at The Barrel House by the owners of the soon-to-be-opening Gem City Catfe, Dayton’s first cat cafe. These young women are bringing a pretty awesome little business to the city, and I can’t wait to see it when it opens. I’ve been pitching a story to some local publications about the business, so keep your eyes open for that.

I’ve read some excellent books in the last week. I’m about halfway through Benjamin Percy’s writing craft book Thrill Me: Essays on Fiction (Graywolf, 2016). Percy grew up loving genre fiction, and became somewhat disillusioned when his college writing professors looked down on it. Thrill Me seek to reclaim genre fiction as legitimate, and to blend it with literary sensibilities to make excellent–and highly entertaining–literature. I’m really digging the book.

I also just read Kit Yan‘s poetry collection Queer Heartache (Trans-Genre Press, 2016). Kit is an Asian American poet who writes primarily about race, trans issues, sexuality, and relationships. Queer Heartache is a brief, charming collection that is very approachable, and its simple language is disarming.

I also had the chance to read Güera by Rebecca Gaydos (Omnidawn, 2016), which I’m reviewing for The Collagist. The book is challenging, and furtively explores the transactional symbolism of identity and conversation.

Last night was my last night leading the Third Floor Film Series, which I founded and have lead at Greenville Public Library since the beginning of 2015. We started out with Vertigo in February of that year, and we’ve screened and discussed two dozen films in the last two years. The program will continue under different leadership once I leave the library next month. Last night we viewed Trouble in Paradise, my favorite pre-Code comedy, directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starring Miriam Hopkins, Kay Francis, Herbert Marshall. It’s a great film I would recommend to anyone.

This week here on the blog I reviewed the zine Us Amazonians: A Kirsty MacColl Fanzine, as well as Julia Eff‘s poetry chapbook Wastelands. I also published my list of 2016 books I still need to track down and read.

Take care of yourselves and each other, friends.

The title of this post is taken from a poem in Güera by Rebecca Gaydos.

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