Posts tagged "setting"
Timberline

Timberline

Here on the edge of timberline, boulders brace the sky. The slope slips ridge by ridge, rippling toward foothills far below. Forests flock the dark, layered and deepening into the thick of it, fringed with light. We are all emigrants in this wilderness that is not, settled centuries ago as migrations followed straights north and...
Foundation

Foundation

“That foundation there,” my father said, pointing as he drove, “was once a little bungalow that belonged to a woman named Betsy Williams.” He slowed so I could see the foundation, the cracked rocks hidden among the wild onion and witchweed. A sycamore grew where the living room had been. We were driving through rolling...
Fun for Everyone Involved

Fun for Everyone Involved

I lived with my father in a pink duplex. I slept in a brown velour recliner on a jalousie-windowed porch. My father, Fred, slept in a king-size bed that filled the bedroom, and I never went in that room, it was all mattress. The pink duplex was on a dirt road, MacCleod. Interstate Highway 4...
Another Epic

Another Epic

I have lived in important places, times —Patrick Kavanagh I could tell you everything that happened on Linden Street the year the Berlin Wall fell. That was the year the Hanrahan boy grew his hair to the middle of his back and rode his bike down the block at seven a.m. sharp every school day....
Journey’s End

Journey’s End

We, my extended family, lost our bungalows to a storm named Sandy, one knocked on its side off its cement blocks, one vanished, not a board, not a shingle left; it was raptured. We called them bungalows, the Big and the Little. My grandfather, an immigrant from Barbados, built the bungalows in the 1920s. The...
Hans Hoffman's House

Hans Hoffman’s House

76 Commercial Street, Provincetown At the top of the house, I’m already turning to stone. But silver blazes through all the windows on the bay. How can I not get up? Still, making coffee I think, drink it in the white curtained gauzy bed, hide away from the many windows on both sides of this...
During the Farm Show Parade

During the Farm Show Parade

In the next town over, early in the parade, the recently acquitted drive their red truck slowly, the Ford F-150 as polished as the fire trucks and the horns of the high school band. From both windows they throw Tootsie Rolls and hard candy wrapped in cellophane to scrambling children, then wave like the mayor...
Never Seen the Like

Never Seen the Like

My three brothers, two sisters, and I carried our mother’s coffin into the church on a Monday in April and out to the flower-filled hearse on the Tuesday. We carried her on our shoulders, raised her up. People said they’d never seen the like, women carrying a coffin. Dad, he said, it made him proud....

Mapping Identity: Borich’s Body Geographic

This interview was prepared by Linda Avery, Polly Moore, Jan Shoemaker, and Aimee Young (current nonfiction students in the Ashland University MFA program, Bonnie J. Rough’s Spring 2013 section) with questions exploring the memoir, Body Geographic. PM: Your voice in this book is so wise, so at peace with all the different parts of you that...
The Bedroom that was a Beekeeper’s House

The Bedroom that was a Beekeeper’s House

Jim was given custody of the bees in his divorce. Not knowing where to go with them when he moved out, he house-sat for a woman in her seventies who needed someone to look after her hives while she summered in Canada. He integrated his bees with hers in the backyard, fed them sugar water,...

A Fiction Writer Takes Off Her Shoes

The day was a perfect idea of itself, of what a Saturday afternoon in late spring should be: the sun a buzzing yellow, red barns, white houses, a neat hem of highway skirting the Ohio hills. I should remember what they looked like, what point of sowing-raising-harvest was in motion. Perhaps the earth was a...

The Last, Best Rodeo?

A four-hour drive from Portland to Pendleton, Oregon—on September 14, 2010—and you’d have found yourself at the 100th Anniversary of the Pendleton Round-Up. The Pendleton Round-Up is a stop on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) circuit, and easily among the oldest and largest rodeos in the world. In Pendleton, you witness what passes for...

After the Parade

The Chinese dragon comes last, a red and yellow flutter with a black, toothy grimace, tipping back and forth between the crowds gathered along the street. My son steps off the curb to see then darts back to wrap his arms around my knee. I point to the legs in black propelling the dragon forward,...

Our Neighborhood

When we walk our dogs at night we see a blue ten-speed bike locked to a telephone pole in our neighborhood.  In the morning it’s locked to a different pole. The neighbor in the enormous house behind ours is a lawyer named Shambie who rides his European bicycle or gathers pomegranates in his back yard....

The Role of Fiction in Suicidal Ideations

I get ten new suicidal adolescents a week in my creative writing class at the psych hospital where I work. Their arms are mutilated. Their minds tortured with self-hate. Some are gothic, others only misfits who are picked on at school. They’ve been taken from their homes by DHR, betrayed by drug-addicted parents. It exposes...

All the Forces at Work Here

First thing in the morning Willie Murnion turns his welding rig onto our road and comes raising a rooster tail of dust fast down the gravel and bangs on the screen door with his ham of a fist and announces to my mother that he’ll go ahead and fix the basketball hoop. My mother, in...

First Apartment—Brooklyn, 2002

Loaves rise, engorged as dangerous moons, all through the night. I ring the bakery’s back-door bell, buy Pumpernickel for a dollar. No matter the after-bar hour; the late-night bakers always take our neighborly buck. The dark street’s swollen with the smell of bread—intimate, in-folded—like the small humidity behind an ear, between the toes. I carry...

Paducah, Kentucky

It’s one of those places weathermen love saying, like Kalamazoo or Tuscaloosa. The name comes from Chief Paduke, a Chickasaw who welcomed the whites when they began arriving in the early nineteenth century. My hometown is situated near the end of the Ohio River’s thousand-mile drift into the Mississippi, and during the steamboat age this...