The MacEvoys had the pool dug out of their backyard in April of 1983. For three straight Saturdays in March, Bob Cobb and Dan Gray and Lee MacEvoy, in dungarees and sweatshirts, put their backs into saws and shovels and wheelbarrows. They dug up the lilac bushes along the north side of the property. . . .Read more
Father’s latest gift to his 14-year-old son was in a box on which was printed THE GOLDEN GALLEON OF STAMPS, a cornucopia that guaranteed more than a thousand stamps from around the world. And accompanying it, an album, every page with a checkerboard design, arranged alphabetically by the name of a country. . . .Read more
Let’s face it: the nexus of American nature writing resides in the mountains. To have hiked at a mile high—at least, but preferably twice that—and written about it is almost a required endeavor. Gary Ferguson has done this and more. He’s bona fide; he’ll make a good spokesperson. His trail-essay books come out of the tradition of an author-guide leading readers into wild areas for delight and instruction. . . .Read more
I didn’t know he was married,
didn’t know I wasn’t the only one
who believed he had landed
in my life like an out-of-season
blue heron, singular and sunlit
at the edge of a lake, a figure
in a woodblock print, . . .
I drag myself from bed with a magazine of white smiles clamped beneath my elbow, and I’m almost alive in the ruined hallway. Mold dots the floorboards; the ceiling’s splotched gray from water leakage—It’s old markings, our landlord said, Call me if the spots spread. . . .Read more
Sure, it’s all Chekhov this and Chekhov that,
and I am far from the only one
to keep myself up at night
thinking about his gun,
but the man was a dreamboat,
gray eyes and smirking beard
and lips—those lips. . . .
for Herb Creecy
Ten years ago I drove down to Barnesville
to see my friend, the artist Herb Creecy,
who was dying of pancreatic cancer.
He chose this way to end up: No hospital. . . .
What matters most is private and vast and can’t be seen
on the brain scan, though it may burn orange or blue
or a toasty gold in the amygdala,
a magnolia-green in the cingulum, the cinnamon
or burnt wine of an old tin roof all through the fornix. . . .
“You dork!” my sister shouted the day I called to tell her
I thought I might be pregnant. “Haven’t you checked
yet? Go to the pharmacy and call me back! Sheesh.”
1. FOLK ACOUSTICS
When we were in elementary school, . . .Read more
Oil has seeped into
the margins of the ditch of standing water
and flashes or looks upward brokenly,
like bits of mirror—no, more blue than that:
like tatters of the Morpho butterfly.
How young were my boys when I moved them to a town, . . .Read more