Anonymous asked: Do you consider yourself a southern writer? How has growing up in New Orleans ( I assume) affected your writing?
Hi! Thanks for asking.
I don’t think I have ever thought of myself in terms of being any kind of writer, but instead, someone who writes. If I did think of myself in those terms, I’m not sure I would consider myself a Southern Writer even though, judging by my work, I probably should. I’m from New Orleans (born and raised) and so much of my writing is set in this place, and my feelings of just about anything and everything (especially relationships to people and places) are tied to this place too. But I guess because I have traveled so much and been away from home so often, I think of myself as a New Orleanian, but not so much a southerner (this place is separate from north and south anyway somehow, but that’s a whole other story). I think about being a New Orleanian and a Southerner as two different identities.
Thinking about my writing though, it is just about all informed by this place where I am from, what has changed it, and how that has changed me. From what I can tell now, that isn’t going anywhere. Everything I write about goes back to community and family (given and chosen) in one way or another and those, to me, seem to be very southern themes.
So yes, growing up in New Orleans has affected my writing a great deal. Growing up in this city makes you resilient because you have to be, but we are all broken in one way or another by a loss that a lot of the rest of the country can never really understand. How could that not affect the things we make?
Even when I am north, I write south. Maybe none of this answers your question, but there you have it.
Who are you, friend? How did you find me?
infiniguana asked: you seem like a truly great human being
That’s so kind of you. Thank you. You have a very nice blog too.
It was a gift, having the dog
run away instead of further considering
abandonment. I was terrified
to take the twice loved canine out
to some long abandoned industrial park
or field and drive back to the house
where we had lived together.
Let’s be clear and acknowledge
the certain amount of violence inherent
in leaving no matter how you do it.
It’s equal to a too late tornado warning
or too early hurricane one: either way
the heart beats steadily with total surprise
or wait. I’m just glad the dog had been
thinking of going too. Really, I wanted
less from the animal and more from my own
direction, as if that is saying something.
I have never owned or belonged to anything
and the dog was no exception but
we have two choices to make:
(1) we adjust to the shape of another
living thing or we don’t and,
(2) we either stay or we go.
Another body, whether we admit it or not
is an authority and like the smallest mammal
to the first snow, I buckle and resist.
But the walks were good for me too and for that,
I will thank him. Not for the structure
but the way he had of teaching me to pace myself
with another being. I was more the mongrel,
much less romantic and articulate too, but I’ll say here:
I loved the dog.
Spring is coming.
This is right.