When an award-winning poetess writes lines for you, it’s a really good idea to zip it and let her do the talking. Like I’m going to do now. Watch. Almost…..see? Getting there….7….6….5.5….. Fine! I’m gone!
I first met OJ almost two decades ago, when we were giddy with the thrill of junior college. She was exceptionally warm, funny and generous. Yes, even back then. Seven years and two cities later, we reconnected through our blogs and discovered so much in common—the love of a city, the love of cities in general, the love of grammar, gender, books.
I also discovered that her writing is like her–vivid, often startling, bright, strong and humorous. I asked OJ to get involved with Ultra Violet, a feminist website I started in 2007. She has been its most prolific writer, most committed support and now, a brilliant and dedicated editor.
There is the sort of friendship based on slumber parties. There is also the sort based on building something together, slowly, with infinite patience and generosity. I am happy to have known both with this wonderful girl. (And yes, she will always be a girl.) Here’s to you, OJ, and to many more years of writing, blogging and being your wonderful self!
(and here’s a bit of wordplay because i couldn’t resist)
What I think of when I think of you
We inhabit this parade of words, intimate
as the press of a stranger’s hands at a wedding.
We are more than the faces we hold up,
these books of glitter and jade. Even the coincidences
of nation, culture, cities may fade.
(Though we have known the love of that lost one
like a common lover.) But beyond that, and above,
there is something else–a sense, perhaps,
of what is possible in another human being.
If this sounds sentimental, consider:
when I type no, the computer spells hope.
In its language, the two must be similar.
Like solar and plexus, like distance
and resistance, like write and entire.