The 328th Five Star Mixtape Is Brought to You By Joyce Carol Oates
This week's Five Star Mixtape is brought to you by quality and clickbait, sexual heat, a refocusing of faith, the weight of guns, the removal of rose-coloured glasses, desperation, feeling undone, and Joyce Carol Oates:
They haven’t given up publishing rubbish, but that stuff supports some worthwhile writing.
This seems like a good thing, but I feel unsettled by the idea of an expensive house built on a foundation of garbage. Especially if I have to sacrifice my non-existent third child to live there.
I see her cut her eyes at me, then turn her head. Her eyes narrow and she tilts her head up just slightly and I see a dahlia tattooed on the front of her neck. She runs a hand through her silver brush cut and that’s it.
We who call ourselves Christians lost a great deal over the past few days, though it’s probably not in the way you might think.
But now I’m quiet because Bob has returned and he has a gun.
It’s a stainless steel hand canon and it’s holding court from the dinner table while Bob laces up his sneakers. Jen says something but that firearm has me locked in mental stasis and I’m no longer taking in auditory data. Every ounce of my attention is focused on that king-sized pistol. I don’t want to make any sudden moves.
If you’re going to reminisce about the past, it’s only fair to remember the awful stuff along with the good stuff. Otherwise, you’re doing a disservice to your own argument while also shitting on all human progress that’s happened since.
Desperation makes people do terrible things they would never think they would do. When I was on the street I used to go to church fountains at night and fish out all the silver so I could stay in smokes and some food here and there. Other people’s wishes were my wish to eat.
I don’t want to talk. I want to cry. I want to fight back. I want to run away. I am a writer who has time and time and time again opened herself up to discuss race and the criticism that comes in response. I’m no longer done. I am undone.
And because you are a fan of finding good, new writing online: