by Emile DeWeaverWatching the coverage of the Ghost Ship fire that struck my hometown of Oakland, I’m struck by how, as a nation, we play the blame game.
by Emile DeWeaverI have this thing I do when I see a book lying unattended. I check the copyright page to see what printing the book is in, and then I read the first sentence of the first chapter.
by Emile DeWeaverSomeone was about to perform a musical, and while Les Miserables and childhood memories of The Sound of Music have seeded some appreciation for the genre, a musical is hardly something I’d shirk work to watch.
by Emile DeWeaverA poet held a workshop in San Quentin and told the class, “We shouldn’t fool ourselves. Poetry is not going to change the world.”
by Emile DeWeaverI think we are off course, mainly because I hear very few people arguing the obvious. We need to stop locking up so many people; we need to stop giving people prison terms that amount to civil death certificates because the practice is wrong.
by Emile DeWeaver
I’m not sentimental, so it surprised me that Prince’s death struck me as much as the death of a family member would have. My cellmate woke me up to break the news, and I began my denial stage by grunting and returning to sleep.
by Emile DeWeaverI don’t subscribe to happily ever afterlives. They’re too shiny. Shiny promises defrauded my father into poverty, so I tend to parse them the same way that philosophers parse theories of mind.
by Emile DeWeaverPerhaps my humanities friends had a dad like mine whose response to artistic aspirations was, “Heck no, Emile. It’s hard enough to be black; you’re not going to be a black painter.”
by Emile DeWeaverI like to think I learn a lot about a person by reading their work, so I’m not surprised when people tell me Jonathan Franzen is an asshole.
by Emile DeWeaverThe simple answer to how I ended up in prison is that I chose to commit a crime, but nobody reads monthly columns to discover the obvious.
by Emile DeWeaverI can be a cultist when it comes to good books that blow my mind. I persuade friends and strangers alike to read them, then wait for them to return with gleaming eyes.
by Emile DeWeaverIt can be uncomfortable to acknowledge, but criminals, even murderers, are people. Though their actions are reprehensible, they, in general, act out of very human motivations.
by Emile DeWeaverI keep learning the same lesson about writing: Write from where you are, not from where you aren’t.
by Emile DeWeaverAdvising Mr. Anonymous to submit less to address inequality in publishing feels like advising me to shoot myself to address gun violence in Oakland.