The Rumpus Book Club, Where I Live #11: Nancy Lili Gonzalez

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None of my furniture matches. Two red bar stools. One green cast iron chair, slowly turning gold. A chestnut drawer thing– I don’t know it’s proper name– it has three drawers, each packed with personal journals, and it has two shelves, packed with Artforums and with picture albums that revolve around my smile and with science books for children that I kept because they make more sense than the adult science books do; it’s a beautiful drawer thing, chestnut accentuates thick black cast iron knots. I have an Ikea bookshelf, beige, full of poetry books. Packed with poetry. A room divider from India– well, really, it’s from the World’s Market store– that functions as a bed frame. A full sized mattress, complete with airplane and automobile sheets and a floral comforter– it doesn’t reflect my true age, but it was a reminder to my ten-year-older boyfriend of how much more I would still have to learn.

On the topic of learning, I live two blocks away from my university. It’s a five minute drive to the coolest coffee shops in Austin. It’s a fifteen minute drive to the lame coffee shop in Austin where I work. It’s a twenty minute bike ride north to reach the river that separates the Keep Austin Weird folk, the Keep Austin Reading folk, us, from the big-city-technology-money-power-boom-people.

Where I live, it doesn’t matter that nothing matches.


Nancy Lili Gonzalez likes the flamenco dance of poetry, long drives by the countryside, late night talks, and double bacon cheese burgers. Until she becomes the next Billy Collins, she hustles coffee. And in her spare time, she doodles. More from this author →