Features

Dead Last Is a Kind of Second Place

Jell-O Pudding Pops that preserve the wavelike peaked shape of your lips. Little Debbie Fudge Brownies that break in half along a groove in the frosting. Summer sausages like No. 2 pencils, cling-wrapped together on a Styrofoam platter. Strawberry Fruit Wrinkles that scent your fingers if you don’t pour them directly into your mouth. . . .

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Maxine Kumin: Making Contact

The Concord Monitor recently ran a two-part interview with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Maxine Kumin—here are parts one and two—and we were reminded of the wonderful package of photos Maxine sent us to go through when we were preparing to print her essay in our Winter 2012 issue, . . .

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Reading The Purpose Driven Life, with Schopenhauer

                                                                                                           —December 2012

Really—I don’t know what the meaning or purpose of life is. But it looks exactly as if something were meant by it.
—Carl Jung

 

i.

 

The Truth will make us miserable, . . .

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Honeymooners

I miss the grain of Ralph, and the grain

of Ed, and Trixie’s grain, and especially

the grain of Alice, whose pretty, pointed body

would never, ever land on the moon. Alice

was earthbound; Alice was of 

the street, . . .

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Shadow Animals

I.

On any afternoon in Stein’s grocery store parking lot in Troy, Montana, a truck—American made, four-wheel drive, dented and dirt-streaked, axles riding high—will pull in and park. A young sawyer will jump from the cab. His beard is trimmed neatly or his face is clean shaven; he wears thick-soled leather boots, . . .

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The Deer Walking Upside Down

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.  . . .

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Near and Distant Bears

Suppose you are walking along a path in the woods, and as you round a bend you suddenly encounter a grizzly bear, just a few feet away, lumbering in your direction. How do you react? Before you have time to think, your body launches a flurry of responses—adrenaline and pain-killing endorphins and some two dozen other hormones surge into your bloodstream, . . .

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Staying Put and Unsprawling

Spring is finally returning to Athens, Georgia, with dogwood, azalea and, more to the point here, the annual Georgia Review Earth Day Celebration. This year’s guest speaker is Scott Russell Sanders, a writer of skill and probity—and of the hopefulness always associated with this season. . . .

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