Sherry, sherry, baby

And the poetry of daily life

Bouquet 02: Peace de Resistance by painter Ilene Meyer.

You know when you come across something so good that resonates so deeply with your core that you almost don’t want to share it? That’s how I feel about Bright Dead Things by Ada Limón. I suppose I’m bringing her up because there is this one image that I love so much: “My ma and dad in some whorl of late 60s haze in the Castro District of San Francisco where the jukebox below played the same Frankie Valli song, Sherry, sherry baby, until they go almost mad with their paper floors and cheap wall hangings, swinging in the falsetto of the city’s changing swirl of hips and hopes and I love them so.”

It reminds me of Life BC and all the things I’m still scared to want but can’t stop wanting anyway. And it turns out that writing a newsletter is hard. Or perhaps the hard part is writing with the knowledge that I’m going to share it. Or, is it the weight of perfectionism and figuring out the thing worth saying? I’ve been trying to coax that approach into all areas of my life lately: to distill each thing down into its purest and simplest form.

I started the year believing it would be grand and golden; my initial #metalratenergy was very misleading. But this week I’ve been thinking about small commitments, how it feels like the only way and that they too could amount to something big.

I’ve been thinking about how August and September have flown by unlike April and May and the challenges we still have yet to endure. But amidst it all I’ve also been feeling a little “sherry, sherry baby” — that even so, there are things to dance around the apartment for and that’s something.

This Week in the Poetry of Daily Life

  1. The legacy of the fishermen here in Turkey, how the bridges are lined with men and their sons from dawn to sundown passing on this thing we call tradition. I think of all the cities I’ve lived in — London, New York, Rio, São Paulo, Chiang Mai… and they all have their own particularities but there’s something especially poignant about the fishing: the consistency with which they show up, how admirable patience is and the beauty of all these generations huddled together over the blue.

  2. How someone far away looks at the stars or hears a song and thinks of you.

  3. The charged energy of the airport hallway as I leave Istanbul, observing the orbit of varied travellers, wondering where it is they’re going, who they’ve just said goodbye to and under what circumstances. The walls of an airport have seen many things that I find both melancholic and thrilling.

    This summer in an airport hallway, I discovered this poem by Sharon Olds that shook my lifelong routine of coming and going, the romantic promise that from someplace up there, I might become anew.

    The closing lines read:

    “I’ll go through airports praising people, like an Antichrist saying, You do not need to change your life.”

    You do not need to change your life!!! I’d never thought of it like that.

Things that made me think twice

🌸 Welcome to Your Bland New World, the slick pastel start-ups we can’t seem to avoid. I’ve been developing a channel called Emilia Brand Ethics about how I’d like to do things differently based on the premise that things can still hold meaning while acknowledging the manufactured nature of everything.

🌹This quote from this interview

“Donald is no longer in love with everything about the world. But I’ve never said to him, ‘You seem sad or darker now,’ because, for all I know, that’s growth.” Glover said that, as he’d grown, he’d realized that being a savior was impossible to reconcile with being an artist. “Everyone’s been trying to turn me into their woke bae”—millennial slang for an enlightened boyfriend. “But that’s not what I am. I’m fucked up, too—and that’s where the good shit comes from.”

— Donald Glover

💐 This shoot by Aidan Cullen. It reminded that it’s important to stay in touch with fantasy in order to create things that I have never seen, to partake in new strange and revelatory processes.


I’m Emily Nabnian and Send Virtual Flowers is a weekly digital bouquet from me to you about that moment when the feeling strikes. It is an experiment in alternative modes of communication inspired by the things that touch me and perhaps you too. If someone came to mind while you were reading this, consider passing the bouquet along by sharing.