"My mother tells me that my emotions are fast and fleeting, altering the constants of calm and content that she understands to be me. I slam doors and I cry, I harm with intention, and I fragment myself to stay intact.
In South Carolina, the South, my home, humid summer days meander endlessly on, and thunderstorms fragment time. Tablespoon raindrops wash away all memories of the day’s existence before the rain, and a cool calm settles as the storm passes...."
Since writing this piece, Cumi Ikeda has moved from the Pacific Northwest to Pittsburgh, where she feels a bit more at home with the rain. There, she teaches nonfiction and wonders about poetry. "
"... (I knew a girl once. She stayed at school too late. The military man put his machete on her desk. The military man put his eyes on her chest. The military man put his hands on her neck. The military man put his tongue on her lips. Twist, twist, twist, she unscrews like a bottle top, unwrapped like a Tootsie pop.)...."
From Creative Nonfiction
Issue #64, Adaptation
The Braided Essay as Social Justice Action
Between the Lines
"...memoir....offers something unique to environmental writing. By situating the self in the story, the writer personalizes what in some nature writing might come off as eulogizing and obvious. When I toggle between myself and the rest of the world, not only do I stop myself from boring myself with what I already know, I also find surprising commonalties with prairie dogs, or gutters, or the way geological formations seem permanent until they’re not, which reminds me that my bad habits or unattractive character traits, like writing about myself, are not necessarily permanent either....."