Category: 2013

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it won’t snow until the brooks are full

It is the season of lights. I am not a religious person and yet the lights represent something to me; they are a coming home. A call out into the world that we are not alone. A shining forth of our good will. In the darkest night, light gives us hope, even if it is in the distance. Perhaps, especially then. It is something … Read More it won’t snow until the brooks are full

Just a fool to believe

Yesterday my heart was dark. In the morning, I received the news that I did not get a job that I thought I wanted. I was one of two final candidates. Obviously, they chose the other guy. You’d think I’d be used to rejection but this felt different because it wasn’t about my creative work; it was about me and how I did not … Read More Just a fool to believe

Your child is no longer just yours

First grade begins one week from today. As such, I’m feeling unhinged. I couldn’t quite express why until I read this today: “For parents, too, first grade is a milepost, a beginning. Their child is entering the ‘real world.’ She will be labeled. She will be assessed. She will be exposed to influences over which parents have little control. A teacher becomes a powerful … Read More Your child is no longer just yours

trip

He stands halfway down the staircase while I stand at the top. He has two of the pillows I’d earlier stuffed up into the linen closet in his backpack. He is trying to hide them but they are obvious. I ask him why he has them there, and he stutters, stumbles trying to answer. I reach for him and watch as he falls down … Read More trip

decade

It was all a routine. The man putting his money in behind me at the T who looked like he wanted to kill me.  The drunken man on the train platform needed attention, but no one was willing to give it to him. Where had my need gone? I mentioned a name to get a reaction.  Watched one dog walk towards another, head down, … Read More decade

The Virgins, by Pamela Erens

Pamela Erens‘ smashing second novel, THE VIRGINS, is a novel destined to be a classic, mostly because it is so expertly written and expresses such truths, but also because it pulls from many classics all the while inverting them, offering readers a fresh view of that which we thought we knew. In many ways, the novel’s narrator Bruce Bennett-Jones is Nick Carraway to Seung … Read More The Virgins, by Pamela Erens

there is so much in it

The gray sky. Trees burdened with late falling snow, aching and arching with limbs breaking into goose bumps at the thought of someone brushing against them. All winter long there are tracks of deer, leading to the semicircle of gray, black. And a moon. A meandering stream. All winter long snow whispers down and trickles. The birds sing nowhere. Then there are the tracks of … Read More there is so much in it

the house with the pool

Last year, the police came twice to the house with the pool. Now they are fighting again. He yells, “Fuck, the miniskirt. Fuck the fucking miniskirt.” They’ve moved back into the dark parts of house so as not to be heard. Her voice is sharp. His deep. She might have screamed. Maybe not. They are quiet now. In the autumn, the police had him … Read More the house with the pool

at night

I never open the north-facing window because then sound and smell from the exhaust fan overtakes my room. From mid-afternoon on they are down there working on the menu, the specials, and the fan mouths cooking smells in and pushes them back out. Mouths in and pushes out. Beneath the other window, a slice of the parking lot offers heels on asphalt and drunken … Read More at night

I Scream

The light was pulsating. The grass gleaming now that it was spring. It gleamed. The wind and the light gleamed. “Gleam on, grass,” she said. “Gleam on,” he son repeated. They drove on toward the store, her son looking out the window. “Who is I, Mummy?” he asked. “You are you and I am me. I is also the one who is singing the … Read More I Scream

trespasses

His skull was small, narrow, but he did good work with his hands, digging up the earth, planting trees, teaching people how to conserve. We would forgive him his trespasses. We would remember that he had helped us plant our first garden. That he chopped our wood when we were cold. We would remember that he knew how to find his way out of … Read More trespasses

crumbs

The snow chips away. Slashes of wet and ice everywhere. No brown. No dried grass. There was a path of food coloring where she and the child pretended to leave bread crumbs. “Be quiet,” she whispered to him, “Don’t let the abominable snowman find you.” He’d been frightened then, wanted to go in. Not surprising. A sensitive child, he cried out each morning at … Read More crumbs

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