Since graduation I’ve felt a disturbing and persistent sense of disquietude. Bringing my attention to this feeling, I’ve tried to find its origin. It’s tightness in my chest and nervous vibration in my limbs, as if I’m ready at a moment’s notice to spring up and run. My jaw is held tense with the back […]Read more "Yin, Yang, and Midlife Crisis"
Tricia Knoll is a Portand poet, retired from many years of communication work for the City of Portland. She has degrees in literature from Stanford University (BA) and Yale University (MAT). Her poetry and haiku appear in numerous journals and several anthologies. Her chapbook Urban Wild looks at human and wildlife interactions, mostly within the Portland city limits. Her […]Read more "A Freelancer’s Interview With A Woman of Industry, 1982"
There’s really only one way to describe what happened when my six-month contract with the American University of Paris ended and my stint on the dole began. A miracle. A sparkly, astonishing miracle that was more shocking to me than the concept of eating a horse. Because no matter what anybody tells you, French people eat […]Read more "Un-job: French Unemployment Therapy"
I remember the first time I attended the Willamette Writers Conference, the blend of idolatry and loathing I felt for the other aspirants. I couldn’t talk to anyone. What if these people were better than me? What if they made it and I failed? The second time I went, I was more ambitious. I reserved […]Read more "Have I Made It?"
This is not an expression of some deep-seated need for self-mutilation or deprivation. There are a lot of perfectly normal reasons why I decided to stop eating for 72 hours.Read more "The 30-Hour 3-Day Water Fast"
I heard that the first place I’d worked in Oregon shuttered today the same way we hear everything now: a Facebook post. A friend was tagged in a dim cell phone shot snapped in the dying Lloyd Center Mall in Portland. Lloyd Center has been dying since I first moved to Portland in 2003. A […]Read more "The Corset’s Last Breath: Frederick’s of Hollywood is Dead"
the easy way like a crow ’s nest, a rat’s nest, it flies into my pockets shiny and interesting until set in a blue bowl, washed coat, all my treasures make garbage in this typical worldRead more "The Collector"
The 157th person to tell me I would never get a job in teaching was my mother’s friend’s sister who was visiting from New York. We met in line at the Safeway and engaged in the small talk that transpires between well-meaning 50-somethings and 20-somethings clinging to youthful naivety. “So you’re in graduate school. What […]Read more "Men Swallow Live Boa Constrictors or How I Got My First Teaching Job"
I watched the first episode of The Leftovers while I was on a bus. It was my first bus ride since I was in grade school, maybe freshman or sophomore year of high school. Before my best friend’s mom started giving me rides in her Rav 4, before I got my driver’s license and shuttled […]Read more "The Departed and The Leftover"
Dear Tucson, You’re probably wondering why I didn’t say goodbye. You’re probably upset, and I understand how you would feel that way. If you step back from your raw emotion, however, I think that you’ll start to see the rivets in our lives that led us here. We weren’t happy, Tucson. Not together. I know […]Read more "The Break-Up Letter"