Summer Vacation

If you don’t know me well, you’re probably wondering why this blog looks skimpy for 2016. Well, I have a boatload of work ahead of me to get the “Extra MoJo! #2” anthology (Hidden Charm Press) out asap.  It is the print form of everything published in the online journal “MoJo!” since the first anthology; also, there was an open call for submissions.  Then I will pull together the “Tell-Tale Inklings #2” (TTC) print journal.

But before all that happens, my first book of stories will be published this month, within weeks, maybe next week.  It’s in the queue at last!  Neither broken computers, nor the Massachusetts Snowpocalypse, nor gremlins’ reformats will forever discourage “Ramshackled…” (TTC) from seeing the light of day!

And that is what I’m doing this Summer.

Book Review: Jessica Harman

Because the Bright World Weeps (Four-Forty-Four Press, 2013) – novella
By Jessica Harman​
[W.o.W. Review by Mignon Ariel King]

Ruby is a schizophrenic woman with an internal conflict — trying to determine whether or not she is and can remain a good-hearted person. She sees the angelic on Earth and is deeply compassionate toward people around her, especially younger women, even while struggling with her mental health, the end of a romance, and the darkness of the human condition as well as its brightness. The language of the narrative is remarkable, imaginative and direct at once (which is no surprise to readers familiar with Harman’s poetry).

Ruby cannot talk to her friend Jed about “complexity in art, philosophy, my fear of everything, waterfalls.” But she can talk about angels and battling her “evil” impulses in pursuit of goodness. The simple pleasures of talking about nothing much with a friend at Starbucks help Ruby stay away from “crashing and going inward.” Later, just thinking about these smaller happy times helps her feel better without having to cling to a romantic relationship or the belief that love fixes everything.

At 38, Ruby attaches powers to objects as might a young girl. Her garage-sale find Virgin Mary pillow, not chosen for religious reasons but from belief that the idol is Good. “And you need Good influences in your life. She also sits in Harvard Square parks reading poetry, regardless of Massachusetts weather. Connecting to poetry saves her from ” The Pit” of depression. Ruby explains to her 21-year-old roommate, “You’re a being of light.[…] It’s a great responsibility.”

Explaining the Dilemma (in Chapter 7), Ruby says that she feels 80% good, but “[t]here will be those devilish moments when you wish the guy on the bus with heavy grocery bags would trip and fall.” Ha! Such unexpected humorous moments are woven into what might have been one of those pseudo-deep modern narratives. Harman keeps the reader moving through fifteen chapters by juggling the good and the bad in each of us, pinpointing this internal balancing act in stright-forward yet never dull prose.

Ruby admits, “I had just expected life to be better after high school, as if the light on the water [of the Charles River] would yield all its beauty to me then because I was an adult and had somehow earned it.” Didn’t we all, at least a little bit? Brava to Jessica Harman for describing and analyzing emotionally complex and confused beliefs in clear, poetic prose.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/http://www.lulu.com/shop/jessica-harman/because-the-bright-world-weeps/paperback/product-20688034.html

Technical Probs…

Update: July, 2016

Apparently, I cannot add to Pages from home because it doesn’t work on a tablet.  So simple, it was mind boggling.  I’ll add from the handy-dandy library PC periodically.

 

First Post:

Something weird is going on with my blog, so I can’t update any pages. What’s going on with me?

Writing/Editing:

30 poems/30 days November. I’m also editing my short fiction collection Ramshackled…and other small tales (Tell-Tale Chapbooks, ETA January, 2016)

Publications:

A City of Trees: poems of tribute v. 1 (ALL-CAPS Publishing, 2015)

Features:

Hidden Charm Press Presents Margie Shaheed and Mignon Ariel KingOctober 2015 at Cervena Brava Press Studio, Somerville

 

More updates to come.  Winter, though I love it dearly, is not kind to my back when I sit for more than an hour or two per day.

Let It Go, Girlfriend!

I stopped discussing the whole Rachel-Racial matter after defriending FB “friends” who seemed to be trying to shout me down.  I collected all the articles, thinking I might write a flash memoir or personal essay someday.  With all the race crap in the past few months in the US of A, the subject dropped out of my mind.  …until it popped up again on the Internet and spawned the social commentary below.  So I say to Ms. Dolezal, please stop reminding us; please let this matter drop from the collective consciousness; and for your own peace of mind, girl, let it go!

*****

I can’t even read this stuff anymore!  But I have to say that her terminology is assbackward to begin with before one even gets into the deeper issues of misappropriation.  I can relate in a strange way–as her total opposite. This comes from my identity and experience as a lifelong tan woman who identifies as Black but not African-American.

I choose Black because it describes my familial, emotional, and social identity.  Both of my parents identified as Black and wrote it on my birth certificate next to my name (of which they used the German pronunciation, which is why it is MINyin).  I have never felt anything other than Black, connected biologically and experientially to members of the Black race regardless of geography. However, absolutely nothing has ever made me feel part of any mainstream culture (African Americanized or otherwise).  

Who am I, in a nutshell?  I’m a Black woman artist; that’s an identity for which I need no external validation.  To say: “I am not Black, but I identify WITH and deeply respect African American culture” would make all kinds of sense if Dolezal had said that.  Identifying AS Black when neither of her parents nor any of her 4 grandparents is biologically Black is just so very deluded, stupid, and wrong!  There, I am done.  Ms. Dolezal, I hope you are too.

http://www.salon.com/2015/07/20/rachel_dolezal_i_wouldnt_say_im_african_american_but_i_would_say_im_black/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

July 19, 2015

Dressed to read Langston Hughes, 2011

Dressed to read Langston Hughes, 2011 – photo by jack scully

I promise to update you soon, little blog.  It’s been crazy trying to catch up on the backlog of work due to circumstances such as the Snowpocalypse in Massachusetts and the loss of my Netbook use (because the charge cord broke, and I’m too poor to buy a new one).

So there are two fine single-authored poetry books to be published this summer via HCP and TTC before I can move on to the literary journal I’m publishing via TTC, another single-authored book, and finally this Autumn I am determined to publish my newest fiction and poetry books. I can rest on Thanksgiving.

Overwhelmed, stressed, back and neck are killing me. But I am elated to finally share this work with the world.  Tired now.  Sleep at last.