Swanchurch

There are lots of swans here, which is why I call my writing retreat Swanchurch. Here are two trumpeters (blackbilled) and a mute swan (not as quiet as you’d think) just off my dock a couple springs ago.

Every spring, I hold my breath in anticipation of the signets. A banner crop of six in 2018 holds the record for most babies, also for most losses, which is a story about snapping turtles.

This year, Keats and Shelley (the pair–whichever pair–that claims my stretch of the river as theirs is called Keats and Shelley) had two signets two days ago.

Today, there’s only one. I’m not posting a picture of that.

There are swans here year round… they are photogenic in all seasons. I could post a hundred more pictures, but will leave you with this one from last autumn at Swanchurch.

Ligatures

ligaturescov
If words are our best weapon, then Denise Miller’s Ligatures is a full frontal assault on the nation’s apathy. You cannot read this elegiac chronicle of the indifferent, haphazard yet legal murder of black people without knowing in the veins of your conscience that we are all bloodstained. Miller cites and channels: victim and cop, reporter and spectator, medical examiner and mother. And because she is a great soldier of words, we follow Denise Miller straight into battle. We feel “born brown then broken, born brown then bent—born brown then esophagus-threaded through handcuff born brown then bracketed by [hashtag & period].” We see what we have tried so hard not to see—“those people”—the “black and brown bodies that have been named from auction blocks to blogs” who are not us . . . except they are. Ligatures binds us viscerally in an unconscionable, incongruous place where we cannot “scroll past as if this story isn’t ours.” So read it.   – Leeanne Seaver

Ligatures