More than ever, writing is a means of salvaging the past. If I write about the weeping willow on the roadside that no longer exists, then it isn't dead. If I write about a day, a room, an encounter, a feeling, then it isn't lost. I've saved it from the void.

Tennessee Williams had a sister named Rose. She had delusions. Their mother allowed a lobotomy to be performed on her. Williams's tortured relationship with Rose (he felt guilty for not protecting her) surfaces in many of his plays.

In bed, reading as the rain falls.

But does an obsession make you a writer? Does grief make you a writer?

Something will come--it always comes--to devastate me.

I was almost mute as a child. People asked me if I could speak.

My relationship to time. My fear of it. The sense that it is drowning me, that I'm caught in a wave, being pulled away from what I love.

Grief sewn into me.

I forget in great swathes and remember in fragments.

Beautiful words: opaline, opalescent.

The unspoken, the unwritten, can kill you.

That moment when the full force of everything you've survived hits you and you feel like you're going to collapse.

Obsession is good. Obsession keeps me alive.

Grief is my obsession.

It's like grief gave birth to me. It's the defining experience of my life, all I know. Grief will also be the death of me.

Bear witness to your life. Bear your life.

I always feel like I'm writing what cannot be written but I must find the words and even if they're not enough they are all I have.

I fight to the death with language.

It still kills me that my father is dead. Writing the words "my father is dead" is unbearable.

You will write the grief one day. No, you're already writing it, in scraps and pieces that can be sewn together somehow.

I used to look at the trees and cry.

Don't let go--let in. Let in love, light, grief. Let in death.

When I'm alone, I read poetry aloud. I like hearing my voice fill a room.

I have an ache in my chest that I call father.

Writing as a way to remember the dead, speak to them.

Dreams take me to you

Grief is air, it's all around.

I can't do metaphor. I don't want to compare the feeling or experience to another thing. I want to write the feeling itself, the thing outside language, the thing that makes language impossible.

What is life? An accumulation of loss.

Must write these thoughts so they live outside me.

The unsaid always remains the unsaid

What do words make me feel? Alive, solid, substantial.

Talking to the dead before they're dead.

I write more about the dead than the living

Writing that resurrects

I made this of you. I made this for you.