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. . . . 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
It is black. Black and rearing up; rounded points, pointy points. Black and matted together; plates and plains, lines and radiant circles. Black on black. Black on black on black.
Is this a mountain? Mountains? Is this the ocean—all those rearing points, that shifting? . . . Read more
Notebooks stood in a rack, straight and tightly shut beside a ruckus of birthday cards. Their colors drew my eye as I went past. I am overly susceptible to colors, even though so much of the world seems best in black and white. The first notebook had a pale blue cover, . . . Read more
Brunell Hair lived in a lopsided mill house with her mama and her uncle and her little withered-up critter of a grandmaw. In honor of her eleventh birthday, she was having a slumber party, but so far, only my best friend Bonnie and I had showed. Our mothers had had some kind of powwow, . . . Read more
The weather? How do you argue about that? This was nothing about money or alcohol or Clayton, their son-in-law. Or trivia—whether, say, Eugene McCarthy ever really supported Reagan. On this winter day, he’ d maundered aloud about the heat of last summer, wondered idly if it got over a hundred out on the lake. . . . Read more
He absolutely killed me: ravished.
Their mother loved idioms, coaxed life back into the dead slang of generations past; cool beans, groovy daddy-o, and douche bag all had a place at the table, the breakfast table where she often discussed termite tracks along with her nightly rendezvous. . . . Read more
I pressed my face to the car window to see Jackson’s hometown, the place we’d spent all our money moving to after graduation, the place we would be stuck in. It was June, the month of green. Willows everywhere wept over houses and cars and one little girl riding her bicycle. . . . Read more