CURRENT ISSUE: Summer 2017


Petulant Weeds

Look at the sad people barely putting up

with the flight patterns of pollen.

Look at them troubled by one more

irritation in their lives.

Read More


For Another Caregiver, Many Years Ago

cw: immigration issues


What I remember most about Lydia—her skin. Golden-brown, a few shades darker than my mother’s pale yellow, her fingers on the piano keys, legs tucked back beneath the cushioned bench. The way she smelled, like hair salon, like black soap and makeup, semi-sweet and comfortingly Nigerian. Her face was so soft. I reached up, often, to touch it; she would bend down, sending a warm gust of hair-salon-soap-sweet scent into my eyes, and let me pinch her cheeks. I was eight years old and ever-skeptical of her adulthood, marveled aloud at her youth: “You’re such a baby, Lydia, so cute,” was my daily announcement. “You’re so young and adorable.”

Lydia was eleven years older but she put up with me, let me sit on her lap and bat her shiny brown braids, sang Black-Eyed Peas (“Do ‘Where is the Love,’ ” my sister and I demanded, every time), and read us stories. Over the long summer during which she babysat us we took many naps, most of them preceded by either a game or a story. Wedged between my sister and me in my twin bed, she told us about little village girls and forests and tigers and mangoes, her arms in the air like an artist, illustrating scenes with her hands. When she fell asleep she snored. Wide awake beside her, I’d listen for her deep breathing and then sit up in bed, leaf through books on the shelves, look down at her sleeping face and wonder if this is what my mother looked like coming to America at nineteen years old--soft-skinned and babyfaced as Lydia.

Read More


Moses Sumney Isn't Taking Interviews.


Moses Sumney isn’t taking interviews right now. But his manager is happy to put this writer and a photographer on the list for Sumney’s Monday performance at the Sinclair. Her message - or maybe it’s Sumney’s - seems pretty clear. Meet the musician through his music. Questions can come later. (Another possibility is that the Harvard Advocate isn’t exactly the sort of media outlet that Sumney, fresh from collaborations with Solange and Beck, and recent mastermind behind the genre-defying soul/folk/synth/choral creation that is Aromanticism, is going to entertain. But you can decide for yourself.) Anyway, we go. They are, after all, free tickets to a Moses Sumney concert.Live, Sumney embodies the same certainty that an interview refusal kind of implies. He jokes with the crowd, he heckles, he splits the audience of mostly-college students to self select into a two-part harmony by asking us whether or not we were rejected by Harvard College.

Read More


Did I Really Visit? Notes from the MFA Late Nite

Leaving Harvard square, we saw three people in a car lean out all three different windows at once to energetically flip off the car behind them. The car behind them stopped and the driver got out. “Shit shit shit,” said Ariana, the Advocate’s Art Editor. “They’re gonna fight.” The guy stomped up to the driver’s window of the car in front of him and affectionately embraced the driver through his window. Our uber driver whistled. “I thought he was going to deck him,” he said. A minute passed. “Do you even like Takashi Murakami?” my friend Sam, art board member, asked quietly. I thought about it. “No.” “Me either.” But there we were, suddenly at the MFA. There were a lot of bright lights, and a lot of people smoking out front where signs said you weren’t supposed to smoke. We trekked on over two lawns, a parking lot, and the ramp for trucks with large deliveries to get to the press entrance.

Read More