More About Alice

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Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blogger

I

I write about sex and bodies and minds and violence.
In that process, I also think I write about hope.

II

I am more angry than I like to feel and more wounded than I like to admit.
I put these two facts as #1 on my list of “Ways I Am Most Like Everybody Else.”

III

Name: E Alice Isak
Age: 44 45 46
Sex: cisgender queer
Race: white
Appearance: short and round, with prematurely gray hair. Bespectacled eyes that I used to call hazel until I realized they are actually just brown.

IV

I am a poet and a memoirist.

V

In my past lives, I have been: a free-electron laser researcher, high school English teacher, graduate student, adjunct professor of literature, groupie dedicated to composers-of-contemporary-art-music, middle manager, graduate student again, educational technologist, psychiatric ward patient, Vice President of Somethingorother, venture capitalist, lover.

VI

In my next life, I am a dancer.

VII

Realizing I like the bitter, darkgreen taste of arugula came as an epiphany and led to permitting myself an abundance of other strong flavors: mustards and vinegars and raw lemons and undersweetened cranberry. Now I always overzest. I keep a small jar of pickled mustard seeds in the door shelf of my refrigerator.

My realization: Our lives are too precious to deny that which we love just because others often minimize or despise our true flavors.

VIII

About this time I also began cooking with butter and full-fat cream, and decorating my bathroom with purple accents. These changes were related, if less epiphanic.

IX

Alice is not my real name, if by “real name” a person means the name that appears on your driver’s licenses and college diplomas — if by “real name” a person means the name you are given by others and not the one you give yourself.

Alice is my real name.

X

I once wrote a manifesto in a fit of pique and in the process managed to articulate a deep personal truth: I am only interested in progress that is grounded in a full acknowledgment of the radical humanity of us all.

XI

My favorite posts include personal narratives like this love story between body and mind or this exploration of the generational patterns in abuse.

And poems about how a metaphor can be better than a diagnosis.

And social commentaries in which I politely dispense strategies for encountering doorways in their natural habitat. (Fair warning: I tend to be less polite when it comes to rape culture and rapists.)

XII

I tell stories.
Obviously, this makes me a storyteller.
Less obviously, I believe it also makes me a healer.

XIII

I read stories too. I am hungry for the selves others craft and share through their own words.

To all of you now reading: Welcome. Stay awhile, if you choose. Say hello.

And if you too write — if you too have a corner where you share your stories and dreams, your rants and frustrations — whatever contributions you bring to the beautiful, imperfect, human cacophany that is all of our voices raised together, please invite me to find you there.

Best wishes,

alice isak

alice isak


CONTACT INFO

Facebook: E Alice Isak

Twitter: @alicesfolly

Email: coffeeandablankpage (at) gmail


(h/t Wallace Stevens

7 thoughts on “More About Alice

  1. Alice, I haven’t had much time to look at other blogs for a while, but yours pulled me over this morning and I’m glad it did. I look forward to reading more of your journey–your writing is magnetic, I love your voice. I’m a do-it-yourself-learn-as-you-go writer (don’t ask me how I just published a book) but I love learning the craft and I know the best way is to read other good writing. Also, we share some life experiences, or at least related topics, I think, from the small amount I’ve read here. Thanks for visiting my blog so I could find my way back to yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m glad we found each other’s sites too. Definitely there’s overlap in some of the topics we write about — and also, it sounds like, in a commitment to learning-through-reading-and-writing. I find memoir writers (particularly, but not exclusively, writers whose projects also enable them to heal as part of the journey) compelling, and I look forward to reading more of your work — as well as hearing about how your new-hatchling continues to fare out in the world of readers!

      Liked by 2 people

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