Marcelo Hernandez Castillo Recommends...

“Sometimes I wonder if what brought me to writing in the first place is the same thing that keeps me going. Last year I sat in a large barren field and called my friends because I honestly couldn’t find reason as to why I wrote anymore, I couldn’t find joy in it. I blew my nose, wiped my face, and drove away. I interviewed myself in my journal just to keep my hand moving: —Marcelo, are you okay? —It’s complicated.
It’s not that I come back to writing after something revelatory or after a profound moment of change, but rather, it’s something small, inconsequential even. I eat berries, I drink stovetop espresso, I run until my knee gives out, I stand in the middle of my room for long periods of time, I water my plants and talk to them. I read somewhere: Don’t give too much power to the first draft, and I wish I was that reckless. I rub large circles with the ashes of palo santo in my journal, eat a bowl of yogurt with fruit, and write to myself on my large white board in big balloon letters, cariño. I’m surprised when I eventually do come back to write. I read Alejandra Pizarnik’s line from her poem “Del Silencio” (“Fragments for Subduing the Silence”): Sin embargo, quedé cautiva de la antigua ternura. Each time I read it, I realize that’s all I can do: be tender and patient with myself, and captive in something older than me.”
—Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, author of Cenzontle (BOA Editions, 2018)