Barbara Paulus is 65% oxygen, 18.5% carbon, 9.5% hydrogen, 3.2% nitrogen, 1.5% calcium, 1% phosphorous, 0.4% potassium, 0.3% sulfur, 0.2% sodium, 0.2% chlorine, and 0.1% magnesium as well as being composed of hair, skin, nails, bone, and teeth.
Barbara Paulus is daughter, sister, sibling, cousin, niece; is also friend, best friend, partner, ex-partner, companion; is bisexual; is co-worker, collaborator, supervisor, leader; is Dutch, Frisian, American, Polish, New Yorker; is tall, average weight, brown eyed; is sympathetic, sarcastic, easy-going, friendly, helpful; is also rarely late; is writer, visual artist, photographer; is educator, teacher, guide; is burnt out, hypermobile, anxious; is also happy.
Barbara Paulus writes mostly creative non-fiction and some experimental fiction in New York. Like anyone who writes, she likes to use specific tools. She prefers the Bic pens from the $2.99 pack and NYC Board of Education pencils that a relative stole for her from a supply closet in 2008. Occasionally, while using these writing tools, a poem bursts out and she shrieks, Holy shit! I did it again! She then rips it up and throws it in the trash, which is where you can dig for such work.
Barbara Paulus’s work can be viewed on her phone, computer, bedroom wall, her friend’s living room wall, a total stranger’s kitchen wall, emails, a few zines, and in lost mail that forever remains in a hellish limbo known as the distribution center. Her work has also been scribbled on receipts, many of which have been accidentally dropped on the ground. If you find one, please reach out and return. She will pay for postage.
Barbara Paulus was the temporary manager of a table of books when the owner announced that they needed to use the restroom. She offered her table watching services and declared that she can be trusted, and she was. She sold one book in about 10 minutes. The owner rewarded her with a beer. She has also worked as a bartender, server, taker of tickets at the door, writing tutor, babysitter, dog sitter, apartment sitter, assistant to CEO, research assistant, mail packager, and beekeeper.
Barbara Paulus has the same name as a world renowned tennis player, so if she ever wants to hit it big, she will have to go by Barbara T. Paulus or Babs. She has the same birthday, height, and childhood street name as Jack Kerouac. At the age of 47, she will avoid Florida where Kerouac died. For now she will avoid slouching, eating too much sugar, and getting stung by the honeybees she takes care of.
Barbara Paulus was working at her desk when she noticed a roach emerge from a crack in her wall. A young spider, who had been stationed on the wall above the crack for some time, remained unmoved. At the sight of the roach, Barbara screamed and killed it with a book. She yelled at the spider, Why didn’t you catch and kill that roach?! I was only letting you live on my wall because you catch roaches! The spider climbed further up the wall so it was eye level with her and bellowed back, I was not born to serve humans!
Barbara Paulus wanted to grow up to be a long neck dinosaur. Then she wanted to make books, but was told by an adult that books are made in factories. She settled on becoming writer, and convinced herself that she could publish a book of poems at the age of 12. Those poems are now kept in a box that will never see the light of day. Then she was told writers make no money. She changed her mind and decided to become a journalist. Incapable of approaching complete strangers in public, she made up every story for her journalism class and passed with an A. At the time, she also worked as a server in a restaurant though she did not want to be a server, she did not want to serve anyone, but only wanted to make enough money in a short period of time that would allow her to just sit at home and write and make art all day. For that same reason she was interested in nude modeling for studio classes, sexting, selling vintage clothes on the internet, and being a poll worker on election day.
Barbara Paulus began growing up in Yonkers, NY the second hilliest city in the U.S., then did some growing in Eastchester, NY and moved back to Yonkers as an adult. In Yonkers, there is a park across the street from an old make-up factory that polluted the Bronx River and killed a lot of the aquatic life. In that park she watched her dog, Pepi, dig up infant bunnies, one of which he threw in the air. He then found an uncovered bunny, dead from its bare skin being exposed to the sunlight. Pepi scrunched his face at as if he were disturbed by the sight of death. He then trotted onwards, but does he still think about that moment? Barbara covered the dead bunny remembering the time when her own was buried in a jewelry box in her back yard in Eastchester. She writes about memory and film.