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in the crook of my elbow - article


The word “meander” has several meanings: it can mean “to walk slowly without any clear direction,” or it can mean “to move forward without any clear purpose.” Geographers use it to mean “a bend in the river.” The word comes from the Menderes River, located in present-day Turkey, and known by ancient peoples as a winding and twisting river with slow-moving curves, bends, and backwaters. I think about this as I note that for nearly four decades, various rivers—and the large bodies of water they feed—have shaped my life. A few of these rivers have flowed in and through my life story, washing up and against my forbearers, and others have meandered through the background, setting the flowing pace of change and continuations in my narrative. In the following piece, I combine my various forms of writing—prose and poetry—and artwork, to evoke, separately and together, the way that rivers shape my life...



in the crook of my elbow, 2022.

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