Books

"We were never
women

Of means but
nevertheless
we managed

To be poisoned by
our thoughts

And still do things
all day."

-Ariana Reines, “The Perforator God” from Mercury 

The liberating thing about publishing an essay collection before you are a fully formed person is that there is nothing to fear. You have no readers. No experience. No memories of doing it before. No wounds. The bad thing about publishing an essay collection at twenty-five, when the frontal lobe has barely finished developing, is there is nothing to fear. No readers. No experience. No memories of doing it before. No wounds.

Chloe Caldwell, I’ll Tell You In Person

She wore red high heels and tight jeans and backcombed her hair. She scared them all. She chewed gum loudly in class, she got great grades and she knew she could fuck whoever she wanted and knew she’d fuck them better than they’d ever been fucked before. So she fucked the ones she chose to fuck. She fucked the ones who deserved her shit. And then she fucked Mark.

—Paula Bomer, Inside Madeleine

"Existence is this, I thought, a start of joy, a stab of pain, an intense pleasure, veins that pulse under the skin, there is no other truth to tell."

-Elena Ferrante, The Days of Abandonment

I got a pedicure each time I promised myself I’d stop doing heroin—which is to say, I got pedicures that whole summer. Pedicures gave me the false notion I was about to get my shit together. I wasn’t functioning well—my brain cells were spent, and my serotonin was depleted. Sitting despondent in a vinyl chair was as good as it got.

Chloe Caldwell, I’ll Tell You In Person