I mainly write essays, though sometimes I write stories. Sometimes I write essays that sound like stories. I also write articles, interviews, vignettes, and poems. And long, meandering emails.
Often I’m not sure how to define what I write, so I let pieces settle into those vast spaces between and around genres. My work has been published in Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, The Maine Review, The Seventh Wave, Hobart, Painted Bride Quarterly, PULP Magazine, Duende, Pigeonholes, Heron’s Nest, and Frogpond, among others.
“After a few minutes, one of the butterflies crawls to the top, sticks its butterfly nose over the edge, and flutters away. It lands on a nearby bush. We clap and cheer. I feel something within me shift.”
“We welcome the pain I carry, and the pain I need, into the space between us. We watch it, play with it, honor it for what it is: a sign that we are human and confused. We are also so very tired, but we sometimes feel hopeful in small ways.”
“The word guardian derives from the Middle English word garden. I find this fitting; my instinctive need for protection leads me to nature—to plant life—and almost always to trees. When I’m in their presence, I can sense their watchfulness. I feel their embrace.”
“I slid into this hot mass of cloud, letting it wrap around me until my body no longer remained. The car fell away. The snow dissolved. I felt myself floating into a deep, bright expanse. I recognized this. I had been here before. I moved within it—weightless—floating in its limitlessness.”
“I slide over the mischievous hips that have tucked away years of aches. I wind around the twisted stomach and glide over the hills and valleys of my ribs. I ask nothing of the dark ocean between my shoulder blades. All I have yet to say simmers in the cauldron at the base of my throat.”
“Things my anger is not: sharp or hot, broken or guarded. She is not dazed or fluorescent. She is not a lamb, a turnip, a stack of folded towels. She is not a pile of leaves on the side of the house, the screen door slamming, the screen door slamming twice.”
“Just as I heard the sound of heavy boots approaching, keys dangling, door opening, I sat up and swung my legs over the side of the bed and waited, my bare toes hovering over the ice cold floor.”
“Ron laughs. When he does, his giant tree body stands tall and shakes. He does not quiet himself. His laughter rises above the honking, above the sirens; his laughter is louder than the whispers and sneers.”
“For many years, storytellers and chroniclers have failed us: they abandoned a larger, more inclusive truth in favor of one that only served only a portion of the [Buddhist] community. Now, millennia later, we can do better, and we must.”
“This nuanced compassion is perhaps one of the greatest reasons Oliver’s work is so beloved. Her tone is quiet and reassuring and her suggestions are direct, guiding, and unafraid. She does not shout, or grip readers and pull them toward her; she simply beckons.”
“Andrew took me out for a drink, then another drink, then dinner. He worked with refugees and had an older sister he really admired. He always talked about how lonely he felt in this big, big city. When the weather turned cold, I stopped hearing from him.”
“I held my breath and waited to die. Instead, something hard in my stomach unraveled. I felt my throat open, like I was holding a small lantern and peering into my own mouth.”
“In an interview with Tricycle, Prisco […] explains why our society has an obligation to not only keep children safe but also to see them for who they really are: multi-dimensional, complex, wise beings capable of self-reflection and transformation.”