"I’ve never had clouds in my coffee because I don’t drink coffee. I prefer thai iced tea—the way the black tea turns light orange in color when mixed with that sweetened condensed milk makes me feel like that ever-beating balled-up fist of an organ in my chest is a playground in the wintertime, and my best friend’s unborn children are swinging across red monkey bars…"
Photo: Mike Monaghan
She croons with her soprano timbre “I didn’t know, it would come to this, but that’s what happens when you’re on your own. And you’re alright, letting nice things go-oh-oh.”
A voice behind her interrupts, “Lizzy, no one is going to buy that crap. Look at the Kill Kill sales. One hundred and seventy two people bought the EP. You can’t release a record like this.”
Lizzy replies with a throaty mumble, “Just listen to a little more. It’s fresh. I just wrote it last night, let me sing the rest of the lyrics.”
The producer sighs and she returns to her guitar, gently plucking the five chords she learned at Fordham.
Sia is part of a sad-girl songwriting tradition that’s captivated audiences for decades if not centuries, a tradition whose sirens range from Dinah Washington to Marianne Faithfull to Fiona Apple and Lana Del Rey. As a culture, we have a fetish for female brokenness (to paraphrase author Stacey D’Erasmo), and it makes sense that we eat this kind of music up.
Just because melancholia can be fetishized doesn’t mean it’s not real. What we want—and what Sia seems to want in 1000 Forms of Fear—is to have agency in our own sadness.
Control Lit Mag published my review of Sia’s 1000 Forms of Fear.
The boys smile at each other without kindness, half-naked, fearing for their heterosexuality. When they smack each other on the back, I sense the sting, the warmth of their still-dry skin. The bald one stands sideways, watching me peripherally. I wonder if his head will burn in the sun.
I drink my root beer and do not care.
Last autumn, I participated in Ariana Reines' Ancient Evenings workshop, and there two magical things happened. I fell in love with poetry again, and I met Tommy Pico. Tommy is such an inspiring person, from his dedication to writing to his relentless energy in putting together zines and…
1. What are you working on?
Lately I’ve been working really hard on procrastinating getting a job, mainly by doing a lot of weird things for money, including my most recent scheme…
Genius: “like a lot of people who’ve burned through versions of themselves at the same rate as Margot Tenenbaum’s boyfriend montage, I’m kind of a late bloomer.”