Fives logo – a stylised number five

with Nicole Homer

The last thing that made you smile

A spontaneous dance party with the wee ones over peanut butter crackers and sweet potatoes, loud and mostly defiant of the song’s rhythm.

A secret

Smoked paprika.

The last thing you wrote

Notes in the margin of a poem about memory. I think a line from it is going to become an epigraph to a poem I’m struggling with that explores memory and its loss. I’m fascinated by the idea that identity might just be an accumulation of memory because what if we forget? What if through trauma or time or exhaustion we lose a memory that is pivotal to who we are?

Your favourite city

Depends on the day. Lately it’s been New York. I’ve been feeding off of the energy, nonstop movement, and tacos.

What you’d place in a time capsule

My phone, if I could freeze it with all the apps and pictures and headlines in place. Not because it paints a pretty picture of me or of us as people, but because our phones are the most accurate version of ourselves. The curated pictures, the candid ones. The search history. The favorite sites. The articles bookmarked to read for later. The saved podcasts. The playlists. My current level on Candy Crush is such a laughably sad truth about how many lines I’ve stood in and waiting rooms I’ve waited in. The people I care about live in my phone and on the internet so there’s snapshots of us saving each other on a daily basis through memes and hashtags and just plain good advice and harsh truths. And if it’s dug up in the future, it’ll be so adorably quaint and old-fashioned in comparison to what the future has wrought.

Nicole Homer is a full-time faculty member at Mercer County Community College in NJ, with an MFA from Rutgers-Newark. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Muzzle, The Offing, Winter Tangerine, Rattle, The Collagist and elsewhere. A fellow at The Watering Hole and Callaloo, Nicole serves as Editor and regular contributor at BlackNerdProblems, writing critique of media and pop culture, and as faculty at the Pink Door Writing Retreat for Women and Gender Non-conforming Writers of Color. Her first full-length collection of poems, Pecking Order, was published in spring of 2017 by Write Bloody Press.