It’s a Mitzvah!

I swore I wouldn’t be the kind of writer who uses her children for material, but today I am rejecting my own value-system to announce the marriage of my two daughters: Peaches and Angie. Yes, they’re sisters but they’re also…lovers. Want to make something of it?

A little more about the bride and groom:

Name: Peaches
Confirmation name: Peaches Marie
Nicknames: Peepee, Peepalah
Likes: Running in circles, headbanging, cultivating green chlorophyll bib
Dislikes: Any type of human contact, including–but not limited to: petting, touching, squeezing, kissing, or footsteps within ten foot radius
Strengths: Massive ego
Weaknesses: Massive ego
Trademarks: Athletic prowess, pink ear, “the smart one”

Name: Angie
Nicknames: Angelina Ratlie, Fatticus Ratticus
Strengths: Asserts dominance once a month when she’s “on her cycle” (or some cycle) and takes Peaches by storm
Weaknesses: Respiratory infections, Bumblefoot, possibly blind
Likes: Hiding in the pigloo, leafy greens, hay
Dislikes: Costumes, vaccuum cleaner
Trademark: Her voluptuous curves

Bride and groom are both wearing Cuddly Cavies couture. Bride’s jewels by Harry Winston.

Wedding photographer: Brandon Finney. Holiday photographer: Rick Robertson.

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Things I Love (That Jayne Cortez Would Hate)

I recently had the privilege of seeing the great Jayne Cortez perform at City College. I’m no expert when it comes to performance poetry, but Jayne is the O.G.

During the portion of the evening where students get to ask her our asinine questions*, someone asked who her influences are. She responded: “I’m not influenced by ANYONE.” ‘Nuff said.

I’m totally obsessed with this poet. Yet I gleefully engage on a daily basis in behavior that she would likely deem toxic, anti-feminist, corporate, and/or plain old poopoo.

I know I’m not alone in letting down the artists I admire. Take legions of Morrissey fans in the 80s and Where’s the Beef?

In honor of diversity, and because it’s feckin’ fun, I’ve comprised a list below of things I love that Jayne Cortez would probably hate:

1. Chuck Bass

2. Chuck Bass & Blair Waldorf : the special moment

3. Chuck Bass man-on-man action

4. OPI Axxium color gel manicure (stays on forev)

5. Norbit 

6. Nike iD (love me my Pegasus+ 25 iD sneaks in all-black with silver swoosh)

7. Who? What? Wear?

8. Marie Robinson at Sally Hershberger

9. Nicorette (2 mg please)

10. Bergdorf’s 5F

11. “Chrome Plated Woman” 

12. Spanking The Monkey (rivals Harold and Maude, and I don’t say that lightly)

14. Perfekt

15. “Wouldn’t Get Far” (floatin’ away on the hood of a Camry)

16. Harold and Kumar: Escape from Guantanamo


*This is reminiscent of when I saw Fiona Apple at The New Yorker festival and Sasha Frere-Jones asked her all of these random questions, like: what do you eat for breakfast? (not that I don’t want to know) (and fyi: she doesn’t eat eggs) when there’s really only one question for Fiona Apple: Is it worth it to be so crazy to be so talented?

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I’m guest-blogging all week at the Jewish Book Council blog.  Topics include:

* Jewish vs. Goyish? The year in review (All apologies to Lenny Bruce)

* Famous Jews you went to Hebrew School with

* Dear Esther Schwebel, Where are you?

* A nice letter to my pen pal: god

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Bergdorf’s Art House

Today my mother and I spent the afternoon davening at her spiritual home, Bergdorf Goodman. She let me know that she is still planning to abstain from reading the book and had this to say:

How about we try and make the next book semi-normal? Enough with these people with hangups.  Enough with the face tattoos already.

I responded using the words artist and self-expression, two locutions I never use self-referentially unless I’m getting a lecture about my junkie fetish in the Roger Vivier section of the shoe salon.

I have the perfect photo of my mother taken during a similar pilgrimage this summer. It was raining and we didn’t have an umbrella, so she’s standing in front of the Big B with a plastic bag over her head.

While I’m dying to post the photo here, I just can’t sell her out like that. She’s mad cool in her Brunello Cucinelli separates and D’Agostino hat, just trying to understand her daughter. And I’m not that kind of artist yo.

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The Tweeter Center

I don’t know.

I feel like I’m supposed to be tweeting the Twit now that the book is 15 days from publication. But I just don’t see myself going peacefully into the dull night of the “Really, Massachusetts? Really?” or “OMFG hahahahaha LMAO BRB LOL!!!!!!!” or “Seriously, dry cleaners? Seriously?” crowd anytime soon.

So for now, I’m running a semi-structured alphabetic poetics experiment from aboard my ‘tweet deck.’ [UPDATE: This didn't last. Though I did make it all the way backwards to the letter "A." Once.] Yeah. I figure banal posts about other people people’s poetry (O.P.P.?) can at least be classified as benevolent.

Sounds enticing, eh?

I must admit, though, that it’s tempting to twit the Twat every time I, say, have a thought. Here are some of the tweets I’ve restrained in the past two days, since ‘going public’ on Twitter:

Meditated this morning next to an open toilet.

Apparently my guinea pigs are now too upmarket for baby carrots.

Nicorette in yoga class makes for spicy Savasana.

Yoga Journal hates you.

I hate water.

Guinea pigs now too upmarket for baby carrots AND apple.

Don’t be afraid to brush curls and transform into Stevie Nicks.

Lady on A Train has bottle of Purell carabinered to her purse.

I still love you junkies.

Guinea pigs resemble Puffy and Biggie. The nasty one will surely outlive the sweet one.

Why shouldn’t she be nasty? Consider the collective unconscious of the guinea pig.

Book proof just arrived UPS!!!

Does book resemble a pamphlet?

Crying to publisher (via text)

Spin teacher really believes we are on the open road.

Publisher going to upgrade paper stock!

Why is that Misshape always at Souen?

Why am I always at Souen?

Mother and Mother-in-law are running viral grandchild marketing campaign.

Blackberry has now officially merged with hand. Hanberry. Bland?

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Exile in Duggarville

I’ve got a jones for trash-food, always have. Tuna Helper? Affirmative. Chef Boyardee? Mais oui. I’ve never even been to The Cheesecake Factory, but I oft read their menu in bed as a nightcap.

Unfortunately I have shtetl DNA, which doesn’t waif with age. So I forsake my beloved Little Debbie Creme Pies and Red Vines for a diet of macrobiotic(ish) fare. Ever tried Shirataki noodles? I’ve got Deep Chocolate Vita Tops arriving weekly by mail. In bulk.

Which brings me to the Duggars. Not only do Jim Bob and Michelle have 19 children, and dress them in enough matching modestywear to inspire cult fetish poetry for weeks, but they also have a trash-food recipe page that would knock your Aunt Ida’s socks off.

Greatest hits include: Hash Brown Casserole, Tater Tot Casserole (Jim Bob’s favorite!), Taco Soup and laundry detergent.

My personal favorite is a layered “Salad” that somehow manages to incorporate two cups of mayonaise, a container of sour cream and a 1/2 pound of turkey bacon.

Sadly, word on the street is that Michelle Duggar is a lifetime member of Weight Watchers, so it might be the boys who are mainlining all that Velveeta. But a girl can dream, can’t she?

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American Poet

Is it gauche to promote your book (which has nothing to do with Haiti) in light of Haiti?

What if you tweet about Haiti?

What if you tweet about Haiti and your book simultaneously?

What if you add Haiti as a Facebook friend?

What if you write about your book on Haiti’s wall?

What if you request Haiti to become a fan of your book?

What if you invite Haiti to your book party?

What if you pass around a hat for Doctors Without Borders at your book party?

What if you post a link to Doctors Without Borders on your promotional website?

What if you hold a bake sale for Haiti (and sell your book there next to Aunt Carol’s lemon squares?)

What if you watch CNN all day?

What if you watch CNN all day whilst pitching your book?

What if you request to follow Anderson Cooper on Twitter?

What if you pitch your book to Anderson Cooper while he’s in Port au Prince?

What if you set your book trailer in Port au Prince?

What if you write a bad poem and dedicate it to the people of Port au Prince?

What if you immediately submit the bad poem to 10 literary magazines?

What if you read your book at a benefit for Haiti?

What if at the end of your reading, you say: Book is on sale in the back!

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I Wanna See You Come Back As the Light

I love this Devendra vid for Seahorse. It makes me want to move to Topanga Canyon, surround myself in faux bois (and real bois) and grow facial hair. That would be beatific.

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Pizza Bagels

My mother always said: You know the Jews and the Italians are a lot alike. Well I married an Italian, but I am most definitely a Jew. How do I know this?

Today I was looking for a dress to wear to my book party* and I told the salesgirl, who was Italian, about the book.

She said: You must be delighted!
I said: I’m terrified.
She said: No no no, you must just relax and enjoy.

Relax and enjoy is not a Jewish attitude toward anything, let alone book publication.

* Worry #663:  If people have to buy their own drinks, can I really call it a book party?

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Yo Momma

My mother promises not to read the book, but the jury is still out on my dad. We’ll see. Did they imagine their little girl would grow up to use words like fingerbang under the guise of poetic license?

Is fingerbang one word or two?

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Last Sext


So Sad Today


"What separates Broder from her confessional that she doesn’t seem to be out to shock, but to survive."

"Broder presents a dizzying array of intimate dispatches and confessions…She has a near-supernatural ability to not only lay bare her darkest secrets, but to festoon those secrets with jokes, subterfuge, deep shame, bravado, and poetic turns of phrase."
–New York Magazine

"A triumph of unsettlingly relatable prose."
–Vanity Fair

"Her writing is deeply personal, sophisticated in its wit, and at the same time, devastating. SO SAD TODAY is a portrait of modern day existence told with provocative, irreverent honesty."

"At once devastating and delightful, this deeply personal collection of essays…is as raw as it is funny."

"Broder writes about the hot-pink toxins inhaled every day by girls and women...and the seemingly impossible struggle to exhale something pure, maybe even eternal...there's a bleak beauty in the way she articulates her lowest moments."

"Broder may be talking about things like sexts, Botox, and crushes, but these things are considered alongside contemplations about mortality, identity, and the difficulty of finding substance in a world where sometimes it’s so much easier to exist behind a screen."
–The Fader

"…So Sad Today is uplifting and dispiriting in seemingly equal measure. It’s a book that’s incredibly human in the way it allows for deep self-reflection alongside Broder, which speaks not only to her powerful writing but also the internet’s magical ability to foster connections."
–A.V. Club

"...delightful...Broder embarks on an earnest, sophisticated inquiry into the roots and expressions of her own sadness...deeply confessional writing brings disarming humor and self-scrutiny...Broder's central insight is clear: it is ok to be sad, and our problems can't be reduced to a single diagnosis. "
–Publishers Weekly

"Broder is probably the Internet’s most powerful merchant of feelings…"

"Vividly rendered and outspokenly delivered essays…Sordid, compulsively readable entries that lay bare a troubled soul painstakingly on the mend."
–Kirkus Reviews

"If Melissa Broder weren’t so fucking funny I would have wept through this entire book. Love, sex, addiction, mental illness and childhood trauma all join hands and dance in a circle, to the tune of Melissa’s unmatched wit and dementedly perfect take on this terrifying orb we call home."
–Lena Dunham

"So Sad Today is a desperately honest collection of essays, the kind that make you cringe as you eagerly, shamelessly consume them. Melissa Broder lays herself bare but she does so with strength, savvy, and style. Above all, these essays are sad and uncomfortable and their own kind of gorgeous. They reveal so much about what it is to live in this world, right now."
–Roxane Gay



"Broder manages to conjure a psychic realm best described as one part twisted funhouse and two parts Catholic school, heavy on libido and with a dash of magick. This gritty, cherry soda–black bizarrely sexy in its monstrousness."
–Publishers Weekly

"I don’t know what a book is if not a latch to elsewhere, and Scarecrone has pressed its skull against the hidden door. It is neither drunk nor ecstatic to be here—it is a state unto itself."

"Lushly dark and infused with references to black magic, Broder's work often feels less like a book and more like a mystical text."

Meat Heart


"Out to 'crucify boredom,' her poems show us how any relationship with the divine is no less at risk of engendering grotesque lust...What makes Broder such a pleasure on the page is her insistence that these dramas play out on a workaday stage infused with surreal Pop and imaginative muscle..."
–Publishers Weekly

"With a title recalling Yeats...Broder risks the divine in her second book...shrewd, funny, twisted, sad poems..."
–The Chicago Tribune

"Meat unbelievable and overwhelming for its imaginative power alone, but if you listen past the weird you can hear all sorts of things: sadness, seriousness, life, death, and a whole lot of laughter....Broder is a tremendous talent"

"...Meat Heart embodies that strain of sustenance, that sort of psychosomatic excitement most valiant art more or less tries to pull off…Her poems don’t bore or bear down. They beam oracle energy. They pump a music of visions for the life-lusty death dance."

Melissa Broder's Book Cover


“This debut from Broder is as funny and hip as it is disturbing… a bright and unusual debut.”
–Publishers Weekly

"…obsessive, energetic and pop-culture-infused poetry…"
–Time Out New York

"Broder’s insight and honesty will make your brain light up and your hair stand on end.”
–The San Francisco Examiner

"Broder’s verse is acrobatic and whip-smart… its own creature."