Features

Alva and the Complex Pool

You see, sooner or later, everything falters 

into radiance. The smallest components of our pent-up 

 

contingencies ignite. Energy shimmers in every cell. 

This afternoon, for example, from the balcony 

 

of my condo, in which I have lived exactly 

three years, . . .

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I Get to Float Invisible

Someone’s sister in Europe writing her

adultery poems late night, half bottle 

of wine pretty much required. 

 

And they’re good, they really are— 

 

The things one hears in an elevator. 

Perfect strangers. . . .

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The New Day

Enters in the heroic mode, feathered

And helmeted, muscle-bound

 

For glory, smelling of scorch. Raise

That sword a little higher

 

If you can lift it and buckle your straps

Tight. Insert fanfare. . . .

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Sk8r

June, 1985

If it had been night, the neighbors wouldn’t have stared at Ilsa in the back of the squad car. In darkness, the blue and red lights overhead might strobe her mother and Harold into sight, but Ilsa would have remained invisible. The fight was between those two anyway; . . .

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Mad Pieces

1.

In 1392, King Charles VI of France suffered the first of forty-four recorded psychotic episodes, turning on his soldiers and killing four before he was subdued. During subsequent bouts of insanity, he forgot he was king or thought he was Saint George, failed to recognize his wife, . . .

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Smoking with the Dead and Wounded

For many years, I practiced the art of dying. During my enlistment as an active duty infantryman in the U.S. Army, I died more times than I can remember. I was blown up by a simulated hand grenade inside a mock village at Camp Rilea, on the Oregon coast. A sniper killed me as the snow fell in Fort Drum, . . .

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Wabi Sabi

侘寂 

 

To love a thing

whose demise

you can foresee:

a swallow flying

through a windstorm, 

a teapot cracked.

 

A lopsided house,

stone roof off

center, . . .

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Cloud Study

Clouds, come down to sleep in the treetops— 

if you’ve seen the pines’ wide boughs 

 

cradle the snow, even from a distance, 

you know they can hold you. Or float 

 

yourself into a roofless, falling-down barn 

and lie in the moldering hay. . . .

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The Pool

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. . . .

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