MCR’s THREE CHEERS FOR SWEET REVENGE TURNS 14 YEARS OLD & I AM WRITING DOWN MANTRAS TO REMIND MYSELF THAT I NEED TO STAY ALIVE | by Adrienne Novy

after Dr. Eve Ewing

I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails black & I will not be a funeral. I will paint my nails

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While I was heavily working on one of the drafts of my new book Crowd Surfing With God, I was also taking the year off from college to get mental health help. May of 2017, my depression had caused me to spiral out of control, and I was losing hair due to anxiety and trichotillomania. The best way I’ve been able to describe what it is for me to live with mental illness is that my brain is constantly screaming at me. It’s strong and aggressive and refuses to stay quiet.

I think that’s partly what drew me to pop-punk as the specific genre of music that I wanted to thread through Crowd Surfing With God—the community of music and its noise, the distorted guitars and scratching chest voice, the way artists thumbed their noses at religion and the people in power. I knew I wanted to have a coming-of-age arc in the book, and emo and pop-punk music is a part of my story. There’s an edge to this genre of music but there is this vulnerability beneath it. I think we all have songs from when we were teenagers that we remember listening to when we cried ourselves to sleep and struggled to articulate the ways that we weren’t okay.

It’s not that I was in love with this genre of music only (although I adored My Chemical Romance and went to Warped Tour twice with my friends), but instead I was more fascinated by it, the raw emotion that often pooled from it, how we as human beings associate certain songs with people we love or how it helps us process our grief. My Chemical Romance really did that for me.

I also wanted to take a genre that is often forefronted by able-bodied, misogynistic, cishet white men and turn it on its head and have it fit my narrative. I wanted to hone in on that vulnerability and I wanted to explore that noise, the specific ways those songs made me feel, the sense of belonging in a group of outcasts that was eager to welcome me home.

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Adrienne Novy’s latest book, Crowd Surfing With God, is out August 21st from Half Mystic Press. The book is a coming of age journey through poems: a story of self-acceptance that discusses growing up with a rare genetic disorder & mental illness, family & being in a multifaith household, pop culture, & the acts of playing & listening to music bringing you closer to yourself & to healing. It is available for preorder now.

Microchap Review: Diary of a Filthy Woman by Noor Hindi (Porkbelly Press, 2018) | by Kristi Carter

The only valid criticism one could possibly levy against Noor Hindi’s microchap is it leaves the reader hungry—excitedly desperate—for more. Entering the book, we might assume the Filthy Woman speaker is a kind of feminist persona for that resisting “nastiness” that so many of us have tapped into in our current political moment. Like any good art though, Hindi’s poetry is at once contemporary and timeless. These eight poems explore what embodiment means as the crux of one’s self-awareness during such a pseudo-informed time.

 

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image via Porkbelly Press

 

Specifically, Hindi’s speaker rhapsodizes on those sacred feminist tropes of embodiment and sexual hunger with new vivacity. The voice is bold and unapologetic, aware of the “filthiness” that it will be labeled with for its rebellious nature. Questions of being tokenized as “the Muslim girl” plague the speaker’s meditations on her relationships. The tension between Islamaphobic violence at large and the speaker’s own private understanding of her heritage push the reader to enter this specific intersection of the speaker’s identity. Continue reading “Microchap Review: Diary of a Filthy Woman by Noor Hindi (Porkbelly Press, 2018) | by Kristi Carter”