"This is not a book to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force." - Dorothy Parker


Emily Dickinson had come to me as an apparition. She told me that she felt funerals in her brain. I nodded. I was high. She was wearing white and it was snowing around her. The snow piled at her feet. She held my hand. I watched her lips. As she spoke, the snow entered her mouth. The snow filled her mouth until I couldn’t hear her anymore. The snow was growing. I tried to leave but her grip was tight. The snow fell faster and the snowflakes grew larger. My fingers went numb. My breathing became rapid. And when I couldn’t take the apparition anymore, I closed my eyes. I squeezed them so tight that yellow orbs took her shape inside my brain. It burned my pupils. I felt fingernails scrape my arm. It was cold so I curled up, and placed a sheet over my back, like a cape. I took a deep breath and let the image dissolve inside my head.


My ceiling is caving in. I leap from my bed and flip on the light. The ceiling is shaking ferociously. The neighbors upstairs are moving in, and moving, apparently, their whole lives across the floor. Sounds of scraping wood and, cracking walls fill my room. I hear muffled voices which can not be pulled apart, deciphered. Whole sentences lose themselves in the thick of the distance between me and their floor.

Me. I know nothing of my neighbors because I have been in a dark room, developing my follow-up series for the past several months. Mostly, I am busy focusing and refocusing images of destitute children. IMAGES: when they enter my mind they are like worms which either burrow or dissolve. I can never reach them once they are inside and when they are in they ache. There is no medicine for this disease. Hence the weed. Emily Dickinson has entered me before.

Their feet are shuffling down the stairs. I close my blinds. Their colorful forms and the sound of their laughter pass by. I blink them out. I sleep.

Elizabeth Dosta