Along with my novel, and a slew of short stories, I’m also working on a weird collection of poems about being haunted. Here’s one:
How To Get Rid of Ghosts
1. Smoke: I’ve tried the oven and the stove—got nothing but singed eyebrows and a blistered lip. A campfire would kill us both. (Plus, we’d have to collect our own kindling; there’s no furniture left to burn/marshmallows just melt.)
2. Imprisonment: I tried to grow a barrier between my gut and chest: keeping you in one place would make you less conspicuous. I swallowed fishnets, cheese cloth, milk thistle, and cotton balls. My gag reflex is gone and there are still not enough cells to thicken the placenta.
3. Starvation: I stopped eating, but then I started again. Now I’m half my size (most people get bigger with a being in their belly, but not me, not me! I suppose I shouldn’t assume you're a “being” considering you’re not much more than ectoplasm and dust). I’ve been eating handfuls of salt to save my last molecules. If i don’t save myself, you may overtake me. Completely. (Then we will both be ectoplasm and dust.)
4. Soap: My grandma taught me to douche with white vinegar & a turkey baster (all that’s in my pantry is apple cider). Unfortunately (fortunately?), pickled looks good on both of us. It doesn't even barely drown.
5. Offering: I climbed a mountain in Switzerland, but even Zeus doesn’t want your cruddy blood. I went too high, I frostbit my skin. The mountains are really just jagged teeth of sunburned myth.
6. Bleach: is no longer an option. Before, I was iron-gutted, now I'm made of moth wings.
7. Fish hooks: catch.
8. Nooses: are irreverent.
9. Hoses: are just plain un-sexy.
10. Sleep: is my only hope. Lullabies, warm milk, sleepers, smut. I even tried praying—under the stars—my knuckles still have tiny moon-shaped scars. In my dreams, I (almost) feel like myself again: less full of stink and yeast, more full of light. In my dreams, I take baths, light candles, pet the cats, stop crying. In my dreams.
I just started Samantha Hunt’s new book, Mr. Splitfoot. So far, I'm so in love with every word that I want to eat them up like spaghetti-o’s, even though I don’t know if I actually like spaghetti-o’s, there’s something familiar in the connotation, something like homesickness in their phantom tomatoey stink. I've only read 30 pages so far, but it’s teeming with all the weird stuff that I find the most comforting/compelling: creepy religious cults, scars, fucked up kids, ghost stories, birds, disconnection.
Keep an eye out for my #tiniestbookreview on my Facebook business page (https://www.facebook.com/tiffanypromise.writer) and my Instagram (sometimesghost).
Over the last few days, I've been applying to Creative Writing PhD programs in the UK. I'm feeling myself pulled in the direction of a PhD because I'm looking for a container/guidance for this giant sadgirl/Sylvia Plath/psychological/poeticalprosey research project that has been percolating in my subconscious for the last few years (and has just now started to stick it’s sticky tendrils into my awareness). Going to school in the UK seems like a perfectly romantic, hopefully dreary, magical, ghost-filled, paradigm-shifting experience that could jolt me into my next phase of writerly, feminist, scholarly existence. Why not?