home is when I am with you;
home is other places too –
home will always be the field
& the fairgrounds & the fairytale,
& it will always be the castles & the caves &
the world that tingles so tangibly at the precipice of my imagination
the one I attempt to make real by the fervor
by which I believe in it
you are not the only home I have,
but you are the warmest one
“It is Not Easy, But I am Finding It” is a collection of 36 poems by Ashlee Craft.
Publication Date: April 7, 2020
Paperback: 40 pages
Several of my friends make videos with the “1 Second a Day” app, so in March I finally decided to jump on the bandwagon!!🌈It was a month of some fun shows at my job at The Murder Mystery Company, my first trip to GA (for work, before the quarantine began), new cosplays, making lots of TikToks, playing games, yummy foods, & most importantly, having a blast video chatting with friends, including a just-for-fun improv show & playing D&D for the very first time!!😊Also I got a propeller hat haha 😎
Issue 16 (October 2019) of Ashlee Craft’s fun & funky zine, Assemblage.
Includes contributions from Ashlee Craft, opulenceartmvmt, Gabriella Rosie, Nikki Cee, Marisol Muro, peteyhana, Mitch Sims, treasure_troll, partieworm/partyworm, Clara Fridolin Biller, dis._.grace, heem.black, & more!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
minimalism is dead 4 / world’s best flamingo hat 5 / your mental health is valid 6 / I create my own magic 7 / GAY AF 8 / I secretly know what I am supposed to be doing 9 / rainbow NYC 10 / jar of sunlight 11 / protect trans kids 12 / when the door opens 13 / fairyland is real 22 / the opulence of childhood 23 / grumpy banana 24 / in pursuit of magic 25 / area 31 26 / pink hallway into a surreal sponge world 27 / not a boy, not a girl 28 / every day is rainbow day 29 / whimsical world riddles 30 / birthday elephants 32 / when life gives you lemons 33 / worm on a string makeup 34 / if you drive far enough, you’ll find a sunny day 35 / non-binary visibility 36 / exuberance is important 37 / red sky at night 38 / lucky duck 39 / full house 40 / how are your omens? 41 / the nakedness of my soul scared me 42 / mental health protip #1 43 / sheep of a different color 44 / you do not want to be in the soil 46 / rockin’ twink energy 49 / I’m not a late bloomer, I’m just not interested 50 / true story: me mum wouldn’t get me a dump truck for my birthday (chrissie the orange) 51 / a (micro) interview with Michael Sheen 54 / broken love scenes (short story) 55 / be your own jeeves 58 / it doesn’t even matter if they like you or not 59 / they/them 60 / wonder boa 62 / queer confidence 65 / fashion icon: heem.black 66 / carnival pizza 68 / hamlet’s resignation letter 69 / the magic is in you 70 / the universe loves me, win or lose 71 / traveling home 72
MOVE ON UP is a collection of 61 poems by Ashlee Craft.
I must figure out how to reconcile what is & what was,
what was never meant to be & the relief that was always fated to
become the cure, & turn the teardrops into
pieces of glitter, & each glinting blade
into gold, & figure out what to do now
that I have done what was maybe impossible
in the eyes of myself ten years ago
but I am here;
I am fucking here,
& I must figure out who to be
now that I have broken through the brick wall
& seen there is light on the other side too
what shall I do today? / look at all the owls / I am very proud of myself / birthday 20-14 / the significance of a bit of joy / don’t kiss their ass (short story) / remember to feel good / favorite character of the month: miles maitland (bright young things, 2003) / fun fun fun / tim & jan: hobbies / bestower of joy / flower transplanted from darkness into light / a motivational sloth: you have what it takes / dichotomy / live better / that label doesn’t apply anymore / build body & mind like a collection of files or facts / feelin gay / entire cycle heart heart heart / I thought you expected more from me / every tuesday hugging myself / beautiful & strange & HERE (poem) / protective embrace (from all the crap they try to stifle you with) / resignation letter (poem) / work work work work work – / tired, so tired / rescind / a pink-red flamingo (cover image) / math & science / vulnerability: the crying circus strongman / what matters more? / owls saved & nurtured / 00:00 it all begins again again / bus facade (short story) / note to self: (it’s tough, but you become a badass) / orange hair badass, or Anais Nin quote
Beneath the Soil, Beneath Concrete is a collection of 48 poems by Ashlee Craft.
lions on a gray beach
with my shield of hard rock I went out to try & face the gray
but even it was washed away like waves kissing the sand with death
leaving me stranded & naked on the cold gray shore
alone, alone, alone,
yet: I had never been as close to being washed, numb & fading,
into the ocean as I had always feared I had been
was I near the edge? Yes.
but there was always an invisible barrier, somewhere in front of me
lovingly presiding over my fears
& never allowing them to cut me as deeply as they seemed capable of?
I still enclosed tinder deep inside me
meant to turn my meager slivers of happiness
Inspired by writer & creative Austin Kleon’s “Newspaper Blackout” poetry book, I decided to take James Joyce’s Chamber Music, a book he originally published in 1907, & make a blackout “reduction” version of it.
I simply adore the poems in this book, & it was quite fun to go through the book & black out sections of the poems to find (& therefore, create) new poems inside them. I liken this creative process to, in a somewhat orderly fashion, shuffling cut-out words from a specific book inside a hat & seeing what poems you find in them. I have approached all the poems from the standpoint of creating art from them.
Admittedly, it was difficult at times to decide what should stay & what should go, as there are so many good bits in these poems.Note: As this book was created digitally & without taking a Sharpie to paper & being locked into the inherent spacing in the text, I have also added punctuation where desired so the created poems read properly.
In some places, I have left entire lines intact if I particularly liked it (the collaborative effort, metaphorically reaching back into time, with Joyce being stronger here). With other poems, I have redacted all but a few words, making these poems mostly-mine. Either way, a thousand people could go through this book & all find different poems that meant something to them.
These are my creative & derivative contributions to a new, semi-collaborative work of art. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it.
Tenderness on Main is a collection of 43 poems about deep, tender love in all its forms: love between two people, love between the Universe & a person, & love between a person & themselves.
out of the gloom, first //
it was all very tender, the way you
took such great care to unearth the most colorful flower you could find
from the bottom of the pile at the garbage dump &
hold it out to me saying,
“treasures are found everywhere” & I said
“I know, I always find them too” & you
smiled at me & I knew what you meant &
it wasn’t in a garbage dump that we found each other but
neither of us were on top of the world either but
inch by inch we pulled ourselves from the bottom of the pile &
declared that we were worthy & ready &
I reached out my hand to you & you wrapped your fingers in mine &
we carried the flower out of the dump between us &
it always lasted in full-bloom
Strawberry Moon is an avant-garde, experimental novel followup to Ashlee Craft’s previous book, “Feel the Hidden Flowers”, complete with letters Nina wrote, song lyrics, & other literary pieces as she goes through a box of her old things & observes how much she has changed since she has recovered from her depression.
Publication Date: July 27, 2019
Genre: Fiction – Experimental Novel