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A Collection of All Things COA


Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz

From her book, Everything is Everything (Write Bloody Publishing, 2010)

When my body had forgotten its purpose,
when it just hung off my brainstem like a whipped mule.
When my hands only wrote. When my teeth only ate.
When my ass sat, my eyes read, when my reflexes
were answers to questions we all already knew.
Remember how it was then that you slid your hand
into me, a fork in the electric toaster of my body. Jesus,
where did all these sparks come from? Where was all
this heat? Remember what this mouth did last night?
And still, this morning I answer the phone like normal,
still I drink an hour’s worth of strong coffee. And now
I file. And now I send an email. And remember how
my lungs filled with all that everything? Remember
how my heart was an animal you released from its cage?
Remember how we unhinged? Remember all the names
our bodies called each other? Remember how afterwards,
the steam rose from us like a pair of smiling ghosts?

Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, “December” (via poetrist), from her book, The Year of No Mistakes (Write Bloody Publishing)

It was the year of the unannounced arrival.
The year my fingers felt made to drag tracks
through your hair, to brush beneath your collar,
gentle as an eyelash. The year I’d wait all night
for your hands to trace the length of my shoulders
as we hugged goodbye. The year of the dog walk,
the milkshake, the long shower. The year I’d ride
my bike all day going nowhere. It was the year
of the broken seatbelt, the lock that just wouldn’t
click. It was the year of the reckless passenger.
The year you surprised me by opening my door.
The year I found you waiting in the darkened frame
of my door. The year you walked thru the open mouth
of my door. It was the year you said, I remember.
The year you said, I always remember when a girl
says she likes something.
It was the year I became
that girl.

January by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz (via notmanetstype), from her book, The Year of No Mistakes (Write Bloody Publishing, 2013)

You can’t control whether or not you have talent. You can’t control whether or not your work will be recognized or valued. But what you can control is how much work you put your art—both in terms of creating it and in terms of getting it out there—and that is where I try to focus my energy.

Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, interviewed for Some Weird Sin (via bostonpoetryslam)

And the advice I always give to artists who are first starting out, or maybe have been doing it for a while and feel lost, is to really focus on what you want to do. So many artists base their career path on what they see other artists doing, and having those opportunities or following that game plan. But you should always ask yourself if that’s really the artistic life you want. For me, touring all the time is a possibility, but when I tour I can’t write. So I tour a lot less than I can (and maybe should!) tour, but it works for me because I leave the space for the work I want to do: the actual writing.

There are many strategies to being a successful artist, and sometimes young artists spend so much time trying to knock off all the items on that to do list that they forget to enjoy the act of creating art. They lose site of the finish they actually want to cross.

So that would be my advice: figure out what you REALLY want out of creating art; build a life that supports THAT; work really hard; and try to honor every opportunity you are given by giving your all.

Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, interviewed for Some Weird Sin (via bostonpoetryslam)

We loved like we invented it.

Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, Bowery Women: Poems (via poetrist)


Don’t we all. Seen at Powell’s on Burnside. Portland.


DR. MÜTTER’S MARVELS by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz (Gotham Books, Sept. 4, 2014)


a write bloody reading at book people composed of:

  • ernest cline
  • cristin o’keefe aptowicz
  • anis mojgani
  • derrick brown
  • shanny jean maney
  • josh boyd

dreams do come true


Oddities illustrations like the ones from DR. MÜTTER’s MARVELS by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz 

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