We can delve into pictures as we would with a text. This one shares insights. To find them I shed sneakers, drag toes through moist sand and breathe deeply. Eyes face the horizon. On a weekday there is no one else here. I drink in the air, sights and sounds, a healing balm for the chaos of our so-called civilized world.Read more.
Now that I have finished watching The Lost Room mini-series on catchup tv (actually catching up with a show first screened in 2006), I have a new respect for objects. You know, they are not as simple as they appear to be. They sit quietly minding their own business. But in an indefinable way, they do have lives of their own — as I will try to demonstrate.Read more.
Forewing: I acquired a fear of butterflies the same way I acquired a favoritism of the color blue. One day, I simply decided. I’d cringe when they flew near, drawing my arms close to my chest to reduce their chance of using me as a landing pad. I’d stare at pictures of them on Google, examining their paper-thin wings and furry faces.Read more.
Paris could rightfully be said to be home to the diplomatic arts, but not all lay fully within its ken. Not every secret is pried open when men conduct their affairs with threats, intimidation, and hints of violence; for the more delicate questions of international intrigue, a softer touch is required.Read more.
When Adam was very young, he went skating on a pond in the woods with his older brother David. The pond was down a country lane surrounded by barren deciduous trees, naked winter forms, twisting and shaking in the wind under steely, hovering clouds. With a frigid snap in the air, the boys were swaddled in knits and coats.Read more.
The first time I saw him he was hanging on the back of a van wearing shorts and a pair of cowboy boots.
The van belonged to a rock band. I was in a pop band. We were both on tour. Musicians love playing but get bored touring, and they ease that boredom by thinking up ways of passing time.
The nurse places the silicone face mask over my nose and mouth before aiming the light at my belly. The doctor is behind me, out of sight, washing his hands. Water hits the sink with deep hollow thuds and spatters. I imagine the sounds are my bare feet slapping on the floor as I jump off the table and flee down the hall.Read more.
My first brush with the Happy Place could have happened one of two ways. It was either the email itself, sent en masse by them to a list that comprised what they presumed to be a target audience, or it was an advert that had popped up somewhere on a social feed and on which my scrolling thumb had rested long enough to count as a click. The laws of Internet probability dictate that some version of the latter led to the former…Read more.
Eva leans against the doorframe and watches Daniel as he works. As he passes her, carrying bags and boxes to the car, she also watches the street. With one hand she shields her eyes from the brightness and with the other she meditatively strokes her belly. It is a fine spring day but infused with a strange stillness, a peculiar quiet. The sky is clear and she notes again how odd it is to look up and not see a mesh of vapour trails above the city.Read more.
It was a tougher slog than on most days. The spring had come early, and the rain hadn’t let up for three weeks. With every step, his boots sank an inch deep into the muck and released with a slurping sound. He was approaching a transition point in the woods, where the heavy canopy gave way to the wetlands that extended several miles to the abandoned northern train tracks.Read more.
Kevin called Nolan to warn him that the clock was ticking, that if he wanted to see Dad before he died, Nolan had better go through Mimzy to schedule an appointment soon. The slots, Kevin said, were filling up. Mimzy and Oscar were allowing one family member visit per week, only over the weekend, then Oscar had to have the rest of the week to recuperate.Read more.
The phone calls come three nights in a row, 2:30’sh, from different people, waking, scaring us to death. The black, landline rotary dial hammers its bells like a fire alarm.Read more.
The peace and quietness of a summer morning, by a lake near “Stinkin” Lincoln Maine, was shattered by the startling discharge of a Remington Model 1875 Single Action Army revolver.
My father’s loud cry and a string of bad words followed.
Everyone but Helmut was anxious. He sat by himself, as usual, at a small table in a corner of Café Stammtisch, calmly reading a newspaper. Germany Invades Rhineland! The headline took up half a page. He yawned.Read more.
Martha would read the newspaper more than once;
box scores, her favorite, and cartoons that made her laugh.
Small stories with big fame: mothers lifting cars
and the obituaries of the not so named
I dig for shelter
in a homespun
each new moon
like the first rain
each crimson drop
He rode in on horseback, his silky mustache
And I was worried for his life. Not that he couldn’t
Care for himself. He had strong legs, especially
The thighs. He was so impressionable among
The men. Christian took an instant liking
In the summer heat, the friction of feet melts the city’s asphalt to sludge. A mammoth wave curls over Broad. Cocoons pigeons and taxis. Engulfs cardboard boxes, condos, and their inhabitants. Folds into itself.Read more.
An angry goat fronts
the entrance of the trail –
an unfamiliar gatekeeper.
Payment is an exchange
of glances, a thousand
yards to nowhere.
I walk paths near my home
And think about breaking language
In pieces. I think about the shards
Scattered by will and hunger
Because so much has been lost.