A native Californian with roots that run deep in the Gold Rush country and shtetls of the Pale of Settlement. I’m a poet, which took me many years to admit, and overall, just someone who does her best thinking on paper. I spend a lot of time thinking about first sentences, happenstance, language, injustices, (language injustices?), my childhood, gender equality and patriarchy and reclaiming female desire and gender/social constructs and applying these to my own life because the personal IS political; and what will make me happiest and hurt everyone else the least.
What does wearing a slut-kerchief mean to you?
It’s the grown-up version of wearing political buttons on your backpack in high school. It makes a statement but it doesn’t stand alone; it requires conversation. Unlike a button, the words on my slut-kerchief are not easy to read, so someone has to ask what they say. I love that this opens up a conversation about the word “slut.”
I am also actively working on choosing my clothing conscientiously—buying items that are locally made, fairly sourced and built to last. I’ve always acquired most of my clothing second-hand, whether from a thrift shop, my grandmother or friends, but I’ve filled in the gaps with mass-produced, inexpensive pieces that I thought were “good enough.” As I read more about the impact of the fast fashion industrial complex on working conditions and the environment, I see this as a global human rights and sustainability issue, and I’m doing my part to support the artisans who are making things within moral parameters. The slut-kerchief is made by Geana right here in the Bay Area. The carbon footprint of this scarf is minimal, and I know exactly who made it and what conditions she was working under.
What is your favorite outfit and why?
It’s not a cohesive outfit, but pieces that work across my often eclectic wardrobe choices. My grandma bestowed upon me pretty much every scarf she had, so I’ll often tie one around my neck to carry her memory through my day. One in particular is a silk-blend square scarf from Valentino depicting a birch forest—it’s all viridian and violet melting into one another, and it’s my favorite thing in the world because it’s like wearing the woods and a painting of the woods at the same time. Another favorite piece is my black leather jacket; I saved up for it for years. It gets softer and sweeter with time, and I can wear it over frilly dresses or black jeans and it makes me feel tough and safe. I also feel tough and safe in my favorite ring, a rose gold two-finger bar I wear on my left hand every day.
What's your best advice to a young person?
Don’t take my advice.
What's your idea of fun?
This is largely dictated by my mood. Sometimes it’s the familiar I want: an intimate dinner at someone’s house with a group of my closest friends, a dozen homemade dishes and red wine. Sometimes it’s solo time: barreling through the Ferrante novels on a park bench, or going cross-eyed researching my family’s genealogy. And sometimes it’s newness and the unexpected: traveling somewhere I’ve never been, hiking to new vantage points, tasting a food for the first time.