In both cases—the poem and the trembling couple—I seem to love the very thing that raises questions for me in my own life: I love how settled the pizza eaters and the bean eaters are with each other.
The Russian lived with his parents and grandparents on the other side of town in a tiny crumbling apartment near the library.
“In Stepanova’s voyage there is life and death, silence and narrative, memory and oblivion” writes reviewer Marek Makowski.
My job is this: be what the others are not.
I get that’s what happens to her. But can a Korean man love a woman twenty years older?
Most of the lies were about my mother, but I only learned about the lies years later at my mother’s deathbed
“Can we go to your place?” I asked at the coffee shop after he said that Blue Nights was Didion’s magnum opus. I argued in favor of Magical Thinking but he said the most feverish hallucinations of grief shone through her later work.
To know how to exploit the weaknesses in human nature in order to best serve Christ is one of the paradoxes of the inquisitor’s calling.
After the woman / tells him how that first night really went. After months pass, / and this child is born. After this child’s first birthday, / first day of school, First Communion, first love, / first loss, first child, that child’s first introduction to Grandpa.
I watched the bag disappear around the corner. The wheels of the gurney creaked in the distance.
Are they always so handsome? I wanted to ask.
“How to Become a Clown”
“A Small Thing”
Her suffering fits right into the camera.
“In Contemplation of an ‘Ornamental’ Banana Tree on the Grounds of a Resort While Vacationing”
“A Quiet State After Some Period of Disturbance”
“Exalted or Worthy of Complete Devotion”
“I often wondered about the effect of living with no windows.”
“Firing Squad, Convergence, Jackson Pollock”
“Metronome Maple & Betye Saar”
“Birding While Black”
“A Late Exam at the River Lethe”
From up where we were, we hadn’t noticed the defeathered bird corpses littered down below…This friendly bird graveyard was never swept away, probably to teach us all a moral lesson. (TCTC nonfiction)
You grow very sleepy. / Then, like a breached ship / on a darkening sea, / you slip out of sight.
teach me to hold truth between my teeth / like a hard lump of Russian sugar, / suck in the sweetness of integrity / with every sip of strong black tea (Jewish poetry)
Every day she must locate herself, / as her neighbors need not who can lean on a world of words. / Poetry is a land she must not enter / is she is to keep her abandonment complete. (Jewish poetry)
We ask for bread and are not / satisfied. We ask for stone / and sand runs through our fingers. (Jewish poetry)
That’s how it is with my kind: our own body betrays us / our own tongue turns us in to the authorities. (Jewish poetry)
1. In a commercial, a Chinese-American laundry owner promotes an “ancient Chinese secret” and his wife…
there is // rushing wind at my ears and feet / as the ceiling glides above me. (Jewish poetry)
yet sometimes a child’s song, key to something / that is not, surely not, nothing, as after Patroklos is speared. (Jewish poetry)