One on my poems from LAST SEXT called Forgotten Sound won a Pushcart Prize. I didn’t think a Pushcart was a big thing, because a lot of ppl get nominated for them and you always see the nominations in people’s bios, but apparently it is a thing. This is the poem that won. Thanks to Tin House for nominating it.

I have a new monthly column at Elle called Beauty and Death, which lives in the intersection between eternal existential terror and ephemeral beauty rituals, and examines the relationship between the two. The first one is about my pubes.

This interview with The Creative Independent is probably my fav one I’ve ever done. It gets good in the second half wherein we explore having sex with food.

My biweekly So Sad Today column at VICE is still going on.

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MY PARENTS NAMED ME MELISSA.

I NAMED MYSELF SO SAD TODAY.

SO SAD TODAY IS ME AND SHE IS NOT ME.

I CREATED SO SAD TODAY, BECAUSE I DID NOT KNOW WHAT ELSE TO DO TO BE OKAY.

SHE WAS BORN OUT OF AN EMOTIONAL, SPIRITUAL AND PSYCHIC DARKNESS.

SHE REFLECTS MY DESIRE TO CONNECT WITH OTHERS IN AN ESSENTIAL WAY, UNDERNEATH THE SOCIAL, PROFESSIONAL AND CULTURAL MASKS I FEEL I MUST WEAR  IN THE WORLD SO AS TO BE PERCEIVED AS OKAY.

AND YET, LIKE ALL INTERNET PERSONAE, SHE TOO IS A MASK.

I LOVE HER.

HERE IS SO SAD TODAY.

HERE IS THE COLUMN I WRITE AT VICE AS SO SAD TODAY.

HERE IS AN ARTICLE IN ROLLING STONE ABOUT MY COMING OUT AS SO SAD TODAY, AND THE BOOK OF PERSONAL ESSAYS THAT WILL BE PUBLISHED BY GRAND CENTRAL / HACHETTE IN MARCH 2016.

HERE AT PAPER AND HERE AT THE AWL ARE TWO GOOD INTERVIEWS WITH SO SAD TODAY.

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Why did you come to the light?

Because I was hurt.

How did you get hurt?

Chasing another light.

In what way did the light hurt you?

It left me.

How did it leave you?

It was attached to a body.

Will this light hurt you?

No it is so bright.

Was the other light bright?

Even brighter.

What is different about this light?

This light is real.

Was the other light fake?

No.

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I don’t want to say yes to the future.

Dracula come kiss the mouth and suck backwards.

Sleeping in a garden there are always wires.

Lasceration music I do it to myself.

I make boundaries against the glorious anon.

Women of devil’s island vs. boys of heaven.

Works by me and others I don’t care.

The unknown dead are underground.

I still want you to be okay.

When I slice my heart in half I am surprised.

There are still maskless people in there.

They really care about other people.

Movie stars have bees in their eyes and I don’t care.

Graduate from self to self and I care.

At the end you get a box or urn.

In the middle somebody hugs you.

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Three new poems in Sink Review (poem 1) (poem 2) (poem 3)

New poem in Ghost Proposal.

Two new poems in Illuminati Girl Gang.

Here is a video of my reading (yelling) at the HTMLGIANT lit party at AWP. Thanks to the rad DJ Berndt for taping this.

 

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When I go to the shaman I can’t breathe. She says I am full of foreign beings from my belly to my throat. She says she can feel my energy. She keeps burping.

My head is going to pop off. I am scared she will judge me. Her room is meant to make a person comfortable, 1000 crystals and a cat, but i am not responding to the good vibes or I am positioning myself against them as if they are reflective of a cosmic arbiter who knows I am a piece of shit.

The shaman and I find a bat, two rats and a shield-shaped being inside the walls of my sternum. She invokes the angel Michael to give them a boat to heaven.

The bat and the rats leave easily. They didn’t know they were inside me.

The shield-shaped being was passed down from my father’s family.  He believes he is here to protect me.  The shield-shaped being is trying to protect my soul orb, which is behind my ribcage and looks like snow.  But no light can get in.

The shaman talks to the shield-shaped being in shield-language, which is English, to let him know I am not his home. He cries as he leaves my body.

Now I am vacant of beings.

The shaman says my core will not stay empty. She says that I will repopulate it with me.

When I leave the shaman I feel like I can breathe again. When I return to the people who love me I suffocate.

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Vivisecting you is sweet and architectural until I get to the belly.

Strangers crawl out and strangers are too intimate.

Sometimes they carry around old photographs of pets.

Sometimes I catch them shoveling rice in their mouths and then they are me.

I lay out your bones in a rectangular shape on a pink mat.

I handcuff your thick veiny hands to my chair.

Maggots crawl on top your face and they are all named Melissa.

I wanted two of your face.

I carry your bones in a bag to the cemetery.

The cemetery is in Amherst or Woodstock or another fake memory.

I do not bury the bones but sit with them tucked in my lap.

Yes I do love Autumn.

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A box arrives from Amazon, full of boys in yellow shirts that say Jesus Saves At K-Mart. The boys are hoarders. They are hoarding themselves inside this box. You can plant the boys in mud and from their eyes a nun with a mole on her hand will grow. You can put the boys in plastic bags and throw them on a snowy highway to make cars honk out the tune of Just Wanna See His Face. Let’s not do that. Let’s visualize a Nike swoosh in a blue sky and call it abstinence. Let’s take no hostages and shop lonely. There is a ceiling to every chandelier, but at least the ceiling is pink. The blue sky is contained under this pink ceiling. Sadly, the ceiling is faceless. Wanna know how I know?

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I recently adopted this little guy through World Vision. I am very excited about my new little friend and hoping that my measly sponsorship dollars are blessed and stretched to their maximum potential. I want this boy fed and educated at the end of every day.

Nothing would make me happier than to go to this parking lot,  grab him up in my arms, and bring him home, but I guess for now, letters and tiny care packages will have to do. Please  keep in mind that thousands of other beautiful skinny boys in pink bunny ears sprawled supine in a parking lot are still waiting to be adopted. Hallelujah!

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A human, we’ll call him Mickey Dolenz, emailed me this:

You Are Very Aware
YAVA.
And I wonder what your belief system is.
Not limited to the societal understanding of belief system.
Life after death?
Do you belief in A God. Or Gods. Or the universe as a being attempting to understand itself?
Quantum physics? Entanglement?
YAVA, and I feel you have sat and astral projected beyond yourself, or have experienced… things one may call “supernatural” (ie, prophetic dreams, instinctual knowings, etc).
No?

I wrote this back:

I believe in a god I don’t understand. The relationship changes every day. Some moments I am an active participant. Other times (most times) I take my will back entirely. Faith is a muscle I work b/c I have to in order to stay alive [and have some shot at serenity]. It’s one area I don’t analyze b/c I cannot afford to. I don’t have any one religion or belief-system but there are wonderful people who have helped me along the way and continue to help me–an American religion if you will. And yes, I’ve had peak experiences and cosmic experiences. But the most lasting spiritual experiences, and the ones I’ve integrated and continue to integrate best, are of the slower, less flashy variety.

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1862 was a big year for Emily Dickinson.

In 1862 she wrote 227 poems.

In 1862 she wrote my fave dark ones like I felt a funeral. I felt a cleaving in my mind was 1864.

What happened to Em’s head prior to 1862 that triggered this hyperconsciousness and/or psychic fracture and/or breakdown and/or awakening to the strangeness of existence and/and brilliance? Austin married Sue in 1856. Charles came to say goodbye in 1861.

If there was a triggering experience, or set of them, the experience seems scary.

I identify with the feelings.

That is why I am still talking about her.

WORD BANK COMPRISED OF NOUNS THEFTED FROM EMILY DICKINSON’S 1862 FASCICLES, WHICH I WILL USE TO WRITE A POEM

roses air sting medicine grave narcotic balm clock fingers goblin bomb quartz arctic tongue cheek benefactor feathers atom halves toys core blood spur wilderness art comrades dread horses builder cedars paradise music bars species midnight hint shelf road grave velvet needles field crumb ocean angle rainbow heads wine wharf frame nerve frost farmers vision light telescope door mountain prism glass brow pools grimace limb deity darkness bite hemisphere bread despair brain stone hum strains antelope apron

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At the end of my suffering there was a skymall.

At the end of my suffering there was a hammacher schlemmer sheepskin slipper.

At the end of my suffering there was an ionic cleansing facial steamer.

At the end of my suffering there was a password vault.

At the end of my suffering there was a cordless slide and negative to digital picture converter.

At the end of my suffering there was an illimicube.

At the end of my suffering there was a grand-scale lioness statue.

At the end of my suffering there was an air mouse elite.

At the end of my suffering there was a bigfoot garden yeti.

At the end of my suffering there was a peeing boy of brussels fountain.

At the end of my suffering there was a comfy control panty shaper.

At the end of my suffering there was a sodastream.

At the end of my suffering there was a videoscreen microscope.

At the end of my suffering there was a citrine cocktail sparkle ring.

At the end of my suffering there was a food pillow.

At the end of my suffering there was a faceless watch.

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MEAT HEART IS AVAIL FOR PREORDER

AND

TODAY IS SEVEN YEARS
(some of you know
what that means)

AND

THE EGO IS A DESERT

AND

IT DRIES AND DRIES

BUT

SOME THINGS NEVER DRY

LIKE

_ _ _’S LOVE

AND

I AM SO GRATEFUL

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I don’t know how to cook.

Somehow I ended up on an email list between five middle-age women who live in Georgia and I am a voyeur to their holiday plans and recipes. At first I was like For the love of god get me off this email list. They tried. They tried again. Still the emails come. They come and come and come and come and come.

(more…)

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Falling Off the Richter Scale

On a recent trip to SF, I did a scavenger hunt to see how many of the people/places/things I could find from my poem (in MotherFalling Off the Richter Scale. Below are the poem and the results of the hunt.

(more…)

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This Is My Happening and It Freaks Me Out

Okay. After much hemming and hawing I’ve decided to go to AWP. Z-Man (love of my life) in his ascot from Beyond the Valley of the Dolls won’t be there, nor will Strawberry Alarm Clock be a featured presenter, but that’s okay.

For those of you NYC stragglers who aren’t going to AWP, there will be a special AWP East party at Polestar guest-hosted by the talented Mr. Riippi:

Sunday April 11th
4 PM
CakeShop
152 Ludlow Street
NYC
Readings by Joanna Fuhrman, Michael Leong, Laura Hinton, Adam Gallari and Joel Allegretti

After AWP, it’s off to California for me.  Cali freaks–come say hi at these two events:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010
7-9 PM
The Bar
w/
Dava Krause
5851 West Sunset
LOS ANGELES

Saturday, April 17, 2010
6-9 PM
Elbo Room
w/
Dava Krause + D.W. Lichtenberg + Del Ray Cross
647 Valencia Street
SAN FRANCISCO

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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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Last Sext

LAST SEXT

So Sad Today

SO SAD TODAY

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

"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."
–Nylon

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

"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."
–Bookforum

"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…"
–GQ

"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

Scarecrone

S C A R E C R O N E

"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 book...is 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."
–VICE

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

Meat Heart

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 Heart...is 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"
–Flavorwire

"...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."
–BOMB

Melissa Broder's Book Cover

MOTHER

“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."
–Bomb