Shelves

Our “Shelves” category features all manner of literary writing, including personal essay, poetry, fiction, and texts that are hard to classify.

a painting at a house party in NE D.C.

a painting at a house party in NE D.C.

—for my Mama, for Dad, and for Victoria aka lil Goat, for A-Team

hi there, my name is Andrew Tran

my friends call me Andy, or sometimes

asshole, or sometimes a painting

at a house party in NE D.C. / i live in VA,

right off Braddock rd by a shopping center

named after a King, but I think it’s artifice,

these days, i can’t tell what’s concrete,

and what’s fake, but i know what’s true

is that i worry about my friends in D.C.,

constantly, it’s at this time perpetual,

like my mom’s lower back pain that began

when she fell off her blue bicycle as she rode

down the street away from my cul-de-sac

towards my old elementary school,

when she skirted off the sidewalk,

down the street, to the other side

where there was a forest trail,

and a house with a MAGA sign

stabbed into the front lawn,

grass cut from a man who looked tired,

lonely, desperate, as he sucked 

his red striped straw, slurping 

on Coca-Cola (presumably),

from a Styrofoam cup, his eyes hollow and red,

my mom’s face smeared and wet from a puddle,

each of them refusing to look at each other, 

and in ways I realize this scene

may seem dramatic and strange,

in ways that i realize

may seem indecipherable,

but with language, don’t we try to capture

the essence of what is the moment,

which is the experience, revealed through time?

my friend asked me what an arbiter was,

and i told her to look at her phone screen,

and check her reflection, so she could realize

the power she had in the eyes of her own.

Spaniel

Spaniel

I stare at my profile pic. I don’t smile. I’m not a bad person. The last bad thing I did, the last nasty thing, I did when I was only ten.

2021 Wishes

2021 Wishes

Dear TaoE Community, We are beyond grateful to everyone who joined our community this year and delighted the world with authentic and...

Chums

Chums

I’ve found a couch, said my chum. We’ll have more room to sit. And behold we took the couch up the stairs.

Art – Essential or Not?

Art – Essential or Not?

Is art essential then? According to my Warhol-inspired interpretation, art is individual freedom, drawing from a collective source. It is the need, the desire to create despite the challenges of one’s own time, it is an invitation to see beauty between disasters, listen up, slow down, but also live out loud. So, it is essential.

Leviathan

Leviathan

I look down to our hands, both wrinkly, more aged than I ever thought they’d be. ‘I just want you to know, I’m sorry.’ She leans in to kiss my cheek. We go back to our ice creams.

m • a

m • a

“However haunted their minds and echoed skulls and tremored bone, they dug for respite and rest…” This is the final of three flash fiction pieces by Shome Dasgupta.

Spaniel

Spaniel

I stare at my profile pic. I don’t smile. I’m not a bad person. The last bad thing I did, the last nasty thing, I did when I was only ten.

2021 Wishes

2021 Wishes

Dear TaoE Community, We are beyond grateful to everyone who joined our community this year and delighted the world with authentic and remarkable art and wonderful support for our mission. What a graceful extension of everyone’s warmth, light and...

Chums

Chums

I’ve found a couch, said my chum. We’ll have more room to sit. And behold we took the couch up the stairs.

Art – Essential or Not?

Art – Essential or Not?

Is art essential then? According to my Warhol-inspired interpretation, art is individual freedom, drawing from a collective source. It is the need, the desire to create despite the challenges of one’s own time, it is an invitation to see beauty between disasters, listen up, slow down, but also live out loud. So, it is essential.

Leviathan

Leviathan

I look down to our hands, both wrinkly, more aged than I ever thought they’d be. ‘I just want you to know, I’m sorry.’ She leans in to kiss my cheek. We go back to our ice creams.

m • a

m • a

“However haunted their minds and echoed skulls and tremored bone, they dug for respite and rest…” This is the final of three flash fiction pieces by Shome Dasgupta.

Future Memories of Love

Future Memories of Love

“Soporific glint—hums of light permeated through their pores, tunneled beams like fresh-born hay and straw…” begins the second, hopeful flash fiction feature by Shome Dasgupta.

Welcome to The Art of Everyone

In writing my book Everything Else, I realised everybody has their own “everything else”—the thoughts and stories, the experiences, the skills, the imagination, the dreams.

Left unexplored or unshared, they can leave a void, depriving our spirit of something beautiful and nourishing. Having learned that, I created the space here to manifest my own "everything else," and to help others share theirs.

The path here is lined with flowers, the walls are endless, the shelves inviting, the table is set, and there is room for adventure. Bring your own creations or just open your soul for a retreat. This is a space to breathe. Leave the conventional world behind and enjoy.

Thank you for being here.