Melissa Broder on Giving Up the “Finger-Clinging” of Her Youth
In Conversation with Brad Listi on Otherppl
Melissa Broder is the guest. Her new book, Milk Fed, is out now from Scribner.
From the episode:
Melissa Broder: There’s another quote—I don’t know who said this—but it’s basically saying, all the rabbis and the mystics and the priests are all pointing their finger at the same moon, but we want to cling to the finger. We get so focused on the finger. And I think in my twenties, I was definitely a big finger-clinger; I was sort of frantically searching outside myself for this wholeness. And I was like, any psychic or any astrologer knows more than I do. I want to fix this broken thing, which is my self. And I thought that spirituality was—I really imagined it as like, I’m on a lotus and I’m over here and I feel like I’m on some good heroiny ecstasy, and I can’t be hurt. And I think that I’m still a seeker, but it’s not really a frantic quest to fix something broken. It’s more of an exploratory gathering and trying different fingers that point me to the moon.
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Melissa Broder is the author of the novel The Pisces, the essay collection So Sad Today and four poetry collections, including Last Sext. She has written for The New York Times, Elle.com, VICE, Vogue Italia, and New York magazine’s “The Cut.” Her poems have appeared in POETRY, The Iowa Review, Tin House, and Guernica, and she is the winner of a Pushcart Prize for poetry. She lives in Los Angeles.