Lindsey is a Pushcart nominated writer with work in X-R-A-Y, Pithead Chapel, Emrys Journal and more. She is a nonfiction editor for RED FEZ and lives with her daughter in Upstate South Carolina. Find her online at https://r3dwillow.wixsite.com/rydanmardsey or on Twitter: @rydanmardsey.
What does your memory smell like?
Cigarettes and freshly mown grass. I remember sitting with my grandmother on the back deck, ashes an inch long hanging from the cigarette in her mouth. That smell has often been a comfort to me. I’ve lived in South Carolina my entire life, and the smell of freshly cut grass is a sign that the seasons are turning, and life is continuing. It is one of the constants that I have learned to count on. Change around here is minimal, so you learn to pick up on the small things. The small things make a big impact.
What do you want your future to taste like?
Ambrosia salad! This is a staple in the south, often prepared for special gatherings, such as baby or wedding showers, holidays, or luncheons. It usually has coconut, pineapple, oranges, cherries, walnuts, and marshmallows. It is served cold, so it’s especially delightful on a summer day. I want my future to be sweet and full of light. I want to enjoy moments of tangy excitement and pillowy calm, so let it taste like ambrosia salad!
Favourite line of a poem right now?
I cannot get this line out of my head from Jared Beloff’s poem, “Fresh Kills,” published in Little Death Lit: “Who will cradle your head?” It’s such a powerful piece, and it has stayed with me. You can read it here: https://littledeathlit.org/fresh-kills
The poet/the poems that give me life:
What is your why?
I started a binder to keep all my favorite poems in one place. Poetry is a healing balm. There are days when I’m not sure I can make it through, and reading poetry helps to soothe that longing for comfort. When I read a poem, and it says everything I’m feeling in few words, when it is sharp and bites that part of me inside that tries to block every external stimulation out, for a moment, I know that I am not alone. There is community in the words a poet has to offer. There is comfort and peace, even in the pain.
For me, writing comes in waves. I have moments where poetry spills out and others when creativity comes to a halt. Journaling has shown beneficial during those moments of famine. It helps me release excess thoughts from my brain and onto paper. I do not write every day. I put an extraordinary amount of pressure on myself to perform at a certain caliber, and when I do not meet those false expectations placed by myself, it sends me into a spiral. I allow myself time to create and time to observe. And those moments of observation are necessary for my creative process.