Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blogger
I write about sex and bodies and minds and violence.
In that process, I also think I write about hope.
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.”
Name: E Alice Isak
44 45 46 47
Sex: cisgender queer
Appearance: short and round, with prematurely gray hair. Bespectacled eyes that I used to call hazel until I realized they are actually just brown.
I am a poet and a memoirist.
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.
In my next life, I am a dancer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And poems about how a metaphor can be better than a diagnosis.
I tell stories.
Obviously, this makes me a storyteller.
Less obviously, I believe it also makes me a healer.
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.
Facebook: E Alice Isak
Email: coffeeandablankpage (at) gmail
(h/t Wallace Stevens)