No one knew when the stork had arrived. At first, it stood on the pier, its back to the town, looking out at the horizon; it appeared to be consumed or at least distracted by the sea from which it came. The pier itself was covered by kelp and long, . . .Read more
“Y’all put that gator right back where you found him or I’ll pepper your asses with 177s.”
I aimed my Daisy right at Butch, the more chicken-shit of the pair.
Mitch held Dragon by the jaws while Butch tried to steady his lashing tail.
“Feeding him Atomic Fireballs again, . . .Read more
I paced back and forth in my art studio, not taking my eyes off the drawing on my long white desk. I ’d just finished penciling in the eyebrows of a third African tribesman. A group of them stood on an above-ground subway platform, looking solemnly at men in suits who sat on the stopped train, . . .Read more
The January that William fell down—1968—his father had plugged Christmas lights one strand into the next and laid them circular-wise around the banks of the skating pond immediately behind their house. The bulbed string haloed William as he lay on the ice with dilated pupils. The blanched sky, three figures on his vision’s fringe, . . .Read more
She broke all his moments in half with the kitchen door standing open.
—Anne Carson, “The Glass Essay”
A Good Place to Dig
When my mother left, I had no idea of her leaving. She took nothing with her, . . .Read more
The Santa Lucia station swarmed with security guards, choking off all water traffic. And Carlo sat sulking in his gondola, an American couple in his charge, their faces burning a bright shrimp pink as they strained to get a look at the pop star.
In a reproduction of Cleopatra’s gilded barge, . . .Read more
Her grandmother’s shotgun came to Ms. Hicks by way of her brothers, Tommy and Jack. They insisted she take the thing, she was pretty sure, because A) it was the one weapon of the family’s collection they least wanted and B) they were amused at the idea of her having to own it. . . .Read more
Dewy and I were not good sons. At home, we sliced the drapes to make togas and blasted birds with pellet guns we weren’t supposed to have. To make our mother nervous, we pressed our skulls to the microwave door and licked the sticky bottoms of our sneakers. At the grocery store, . . .Read more
In our green Plymouth station wagon, we crisscrossed the map. My mother let me choose our destinations. “Any state but Georgia” was Eve’s rule, though I still memorized the Georgia motto: Wisdom, Justice, Moderation.
Her other rule: we couldn’t stay more than a month in any place. . . .Read more
As of yesterday, there is a woman on the run: Eudoxie Gilmore, 32, a lifetime resident of Cape Jasmine who up until recently had worked at the Peoples Funeral Home as hairdresser to the deceased. Eudoxie specialized in finger waves, press and curls, and city feathers, earning an annual salary of fifteen thousand dollars which, . . .Read more
A month after my parents rightly feared unlawful and inferable retribution—maybe twenty-seven days after my Uncle Cush arrived, insisting that we move to his abode on the other side of the Savannah River nuclear facility, for he foresaw arson, which indeed occurred—I attended my first and only Optimist International Club meeting. . . .Read more
Boone’s genius was to recognize the difficulty as neither material nor political but one purely moral and aesthetic.
—William Carlos Williams,
“The Discovery of Kentucky”
Narrator is unmanageable. Demonstrates a disregard for form bordering on the paranoid. Questioned closely, he declares himself the open enemy of conventional narrative categories. . . .Read more