Shelves

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

Lilac Rain and V-Day

Lilac Rain and V-Day

Lilac Rain

Rain fell for the first time in Los Angeles in six months

It embodied the pavements and the foyer of our ground apartment

You always adored the rain

The only complaint you marked on California

Dry seasons and endless sunny days

Your side of the bed was cold

The sheets all fumbled up

A tower of your favorite literature stares at me from your nightstand

Frida Kahlo burns into my brain

The clouds are light grey,

The same color as the blanket you knitted me for Christmas

You admitted the pattern was off and almost trashed it

But you kept it because I love rough drafted work

For a brief moment I imagined the sky was lilac, your favorite color

Almost matching the shade of your hair on Valentine’s Day

Your head emerged in our bathroom sink

Crying because it didn’t go as planned

Our cat snapped me out of the trance

Two pools of emerald blinked at me, wondering where his mom was

“I wish I knew,” I responded to his curious face

Rocked myself out of the safe cocoon of white sheets

The hardwood floors were frozen

I fed Gato and stared at the Christmas card your brother sent us

It hung from the weak Disneyland magnet you bought on our first date

His family all dressed up in an alliance

Stiff smiles and a newborn in his wife’s arms

He was a park ranger from up north

I throw the card in the trash

Along with the novelty souvenir

I miss you, this

hurts

Because our apartment lingers with the scent of fresh rain

And the sky shifted to your favorite color

I cry alone

Because somewhere out there you are wrapped up with a stranger

Ears perked up to hear droplets hit the window

Stirring to get up and make a pot of coffee

For someone who isn’t me


V-Day

He told me over coffee one morning

The clouds were grey cashmere bundles

“Everything isn’t about love, you know.”

My eyes examined his coffee, a muddy puddle in a porcelain cup

His crowded teeth beginning to stain like bikini tan lines

A strip of white but the rest a summer bronze

It’s still winter here in California

The rain gentle, a faint symphony outside

Embellishing small wet kisses on windshields and buildings

The rest of the world encased in a blizzard

Everyone tucked inside their warm homes

He patiently waited for me to comment

I took a square napkin, and shyly reached over

Placed it under the brown ring of his cup

“But wouldn’t it be beautiful?”

“What?” he answered, put off by the question

“If love was all there really is?”

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.

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.

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.

Kinetic Electrons

Kinetic Electrons

“What will it take to mend bones split and scratched and scarred…” Thus begins the first of three prose poetry features by Shome Dasgupta.

Seagull

Seagull

It starts at half-eight in the morning and finishes twelve hours later. Something has to be done.

From “Love, You”

From “Love, You”

Urban Ivy is a new publisher in Atlanta, Georgia, and their forthcoming mega-book—Love, You—is a large-format 350-page art book featuring poetry, essays, and illustrations by people from all over the globe, from all stages on life’s way.

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.