Mar 09

Author Interview: Tanya Lee Stone

Jan 28

Winter Reads

What's better than regular reading? READING IN WINTER!
All books chosen and reviewed by charvermont

Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead (Realistic fiction)

This novel centers on crime and family, as the main character, Ray Carney, finds his way along a fine line that sometimes bends and cracks as he steps. Carney, the owner of a Harlem furniture store, is set on making money and a good life for his family, but almost accidentally gets involved with his cousin Freddie’s crimes. As he delves deeper into this new world, what will happen to his reputation? His family? His life?

Bliss Montage by Ling Ma (Short stories, Magical realism)
Sep 29

At a Villa in Tuscany

The bugs are dying at night
I say to my cousin as we sit by 
the pool in the pitch black heat. 

She laughs and says, I’m going to 
steal that line for a poem
. I say nothing 
and splash my legs in the cool water. 

We watch creature after creature 
throw themselves into the pool’s 
clear surface (do they wonder if 
they will go to another world?), 
only to thrash about in the water, 
until, eventually, they die and are 
pushed by jets towards the 
edge of the pool. 

There is one who fights for what 
feels like hours. After some time, 
though, it dies, and we decide that 
that is enough, and it’s finally time 
to return inside and sneak more of 
the tiramisu the chef left behind, 
abandoning the dead and dying things 
to their long night ahead in the pool. 

Sep 27

Fall Reading List

Jul 29

I write everything

on a pink legal pad because this one time I read about a black-haired middle aged white woman
who lived in Manhattan and produced films and took all of her notes on pink legal pads, and the
photographs of her apartment looked so stylish, and whoever wrote that profile of her made everything
Jun 28

Summer Reads

Jun 23

It's June and

we've finally entered the thick, humid heat that 
accompanies early summer rain [(everyone says they feel so 
good)(so alive)(oh, yes, I say)(but the concrete walls 
continue to inch towards me)(they're closer every hour)
(where)(oh where)(is the breath that was just in my lungs?)]

the sun shines and fluffed cottonwood seeds float 
freely down from the trees and circle around my body, 
carried high by the light breeze [(but I have never 
felt more trapped)(my throat is burning)(hot humidity) ––
(when is the phone going to ring?)(soon?)]

everything aroud me is suddenly green, 
and it's beautiful [(and I'm sitting in 
the middle of it all)(watching the walls 
move in)(crying)(withering among 
blossoming flowers)(crying)(in this 
colorful field of flowers)(the harsh walls 
May 19

This Thing I Have With Purple

On Halloween, my friends and I dressed up as Donna & the Dynamos (from Mamma Mia!) and I wore this tight purple shirt with wide sleeves that draped around my arms, leaving me swimming in purple 
and when everyone saw me, they saw, ooo, purple is your color! and I was happy at the compliment but somewhat miffed since I don’t normally wear too much purple (maybe never?)
like, I’ll wear all the shades of blue, green, pink, yellow, white, or black, but only two of my shirts are purple (including the Halloween one), and I keep them at the bottom of my drawer where they are rarely seen (everyday the other clothes push them farther back into my drawer)
May 04


You’ve always called out Char, 
but all I’ve ever managed is 
the full length of your name, 
both syllables bouncing off 
my tongue before I even think 
about what I’m going to say next. 

Remember last spring 
when we drove to the 
pebble beach and 
waited for the stars?

And the frogs serenaded us with 
their deep, lovely songs? And we 
sat on the cool rocks? And we 
breathed in the heavy & sweet 
scent of lilacs & tall grass? 

And how you’re 
the only person 
I can ever explain 
anything to, even 
though I’ve never 
been able to shorten 
your name down to 
a single syllable?
May 03

I Took the Candle

I took the candle from my 
postage-stamp sized nightstand, 
cradling it between my hands 
and letting it guide me into 
my sister’s empty room. 

There was a better view of the stars
from her window than mine, and 
I could see the reflection of the 
candle flame in the window, all
orange and hot and repeating the 
same silly dance over and over again. 

But now the heat has disappeared:  
it snowed today, in the early morning –
the first snow, which brought such a 
fullness to my heart that I fear I could not 
explain it without bursting into tears 
(the kind of winter tears that fall slowly). 

I look back out the window. 

The stars are always much clearer 
when it’s cold out, I think. The air 
thins itself to make space for them. 

I sigh. Giving the stars one last 
reconciliatory look, I scoop up the candle