Features

In Praise of My Manicure

Because I was taught all my life to blend in, I want

my fingernails to blend out: like preschoolers

 

who stomp their rain boots in a parking lot, like coins

who wink at you from the scatter-bottom of a fountain, . . .

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The Calamity Prayer

Go West, young man: the first commandment of American dogma, and the last. Lewis and Clark heeded it in 1804, Kerouac and Cassidy in 1947. On foot or horse or motorcycle, in steamboat or convertible, we the people, as a people, chase the setting sun. Though the West has long been won (its native inhabitants slaughtered, . . .

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Transition: The Renaming of Hope

I will miss Anne, with the well-placed e and easy shape. Steep climb, perfect point, and the slide into the runout of three short, round letters. The way the letters smooth across the page in a tiny creek of repeat, nn, and slip into silence. . . .

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Brian Doyle on “Sam & Louis”: A Backstory

Robert Louis Stevenson’s sentences first came to me through the air, in my sister’s voice, when I was small and sleepy, and she was reading A Child’s Garden of Verses to me and my smaller brothers—curled in our beds upstairs in the old house, our sister singing the lucid chants of the poems gently, . . .

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Women Are Doomed to Be the Angels of Love

This is so true I involuntarily doodle hearts everywhere I go. I sign my letters compulsively with hearts,

dream of disobedient hearts, work with hearts. I eat them. I boil sauces and the tomatoes on my cutting board form a daisy chain heart. My foot is a pretty ballet slipper, . . .

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Late Spring

 

is the most important. Everything else is just an excuse for it.

E.g. weather in medium shot that you take extremely

seriously. Cloud above German city, white, covering

the blue, dispersing into formlessness, gossamer

and dissipating like ancient knowledge. . . .

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Self-Portrait with Braid

 

In the morning my eyes look thirsty

like a willow leaning toward

its reflection. My mother waits

 

inside the circles. One day

I will remember her at her last age

and see her peering from the windows

  . . .

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Good-bye to Golden Nights

 

If measuring

one’s life as circular

makes sense of movement,

how should we muscle

meaning into days?

As if we end up

where we’ve dreamt,

starlight for eyes

and train static

within the folds

of memory. . . .

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Hit It

 

You don’t have to believe in the Devil

to end up with him. God’s not so easy.

 

Say God takes the form of an egret.

Say the Devil also takes the form of an egret.

  . . .

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