Dostoyevsky said, “Life is life everywhere.” I don’t remember where or when he said it, but his mind was on human suffering in Siberia.
Bars and blue are the view from my office window. I live in a dirty, dying town in the inland desert of Southern California. We call it an empire. My neighborhood is ghetto-lite, but still rough enough to have warranted bars on all the doors and windows since 1985.
Here in the SoCal inland desert empire, it is green and, in the winter, the temperature rarely dips below forty degrees. The snow, in Siberia, is like bars I’m sure, but unlike these in my window, inescapable. Blue sky, like life, is blue sky everywhere though and we have at least these two things in common which, as I stand in the sun, un-barred, I’m sure is much more comfort to me on blue days wishing for the shocking sanctity of suffering and snow than it is to them on days that are nothing but sanctity, suffering, and snow
I am an essayist and poet. My work has been rejected by some of the finest journals in America. Fortunately, it also gets accepted from time to time and has appeared in equally fine journals such as Word Riot, Inlandia, Brew City Magazine, and SageWoman, among others.. In 2002, I won the Academy of American Poets Prize for Vanderbilt University.
For no good reason, I possess an unnecessarily dark humor which is why being third generation California Inland Empirian delights me so. My gods are weird. I once won $350 for writing a smartassed essay on “why the wise use of water is important in my daily life”. I am undoubtedly the Greek god Hermes’ special snowflake. I’m pretty sure I got into college via a series of fortuitous clerical errors.
When I had to grow up and get a real job, I decided against it and stayed a writer. I have worked many odd—and I mean odd—jobs to support my habit: PR writer for country music hopefuls, resume massager, WalMart fitting room attendant and switchboard operator, and telephone psychic, just to name a few.
I am also albino. That's why my psychic gifts are so strong. I traded in my pigment for magical foresight, because that's how it works. It gets all technical. Trust me. That's totally how it works.
View all posts by M. Ashley