Posts tagged "art"
Like This

Like This

“That’s the sound,” Lucie says. “Like this.” She makes her hand thin and rigid in the white-blue computer glow. She stares at the hand, vibrates it in a stiff palsy before her face. Lucie’s on the far side of the couch, half-reclined on the oversized throw pillow an ex-girlfriend made for me long ago. The...
Field Guide to the Weather

Field Guide to the Weather

Occluded Fronts (Accelerando) In yoga class on Saturday morning, resting in dead man’s pose, I felt time move through me: not a cobra slithering, not a fish gliding on the bottom of a river. A storm wave, flash flood, catastrophe. Like it or not, our bodies are clocks: left foot two o’clock, right foot noon....
Night

Night

On Sunday I crawled under a ladder while trying to hang curtains with a drill, in an old house that was newly mine, during a winter that just wouldn’t quit. One of the thin iron rods had fallen from my grasp, its hardware scattering like marbles beneath the bed. On my knees, pawing like a...
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...
An Address to My Fellow Faculty Who Have Asked Me to Speak About My Work

An Address to My Fellow Faculty Who Have Asked Me to Speak About My Work

My work is to write this sentence and revise it into that sentence. To take this word and replace it with that word. My work is a novel I wrote from five to seven a.m. for more than two years and that will never be published. My work is to be the person you trust...
Balancing Act

Balancing Act

A man in my neighborhood stacks rocks in his front yard. From a distance, the cairns remind me of a small throng of people. Some wear long coats or dresses: clerics in cassocks. Some stand on two, wide and chunky legs. One stack sports a wide-brimmed, flat-topped rock, sat at a jaunty angle. The first...

Zuill Bailey and a 1693 Matteo Gofriller Cello

Fairbanks, Alaska, September 16, 2010 Prelude: black leather piano bench gleams softly in a single spotlight.  In the background, organ pipes stagger toward heaven. Black shirt, black jacket, black hair—the cellist strides across the stage.  Slight nod and he’s seated, his instrument settled, caressed.  His eyes close as his bow draws out the first notes...

Come Back, Jimmy Dean

At my hometown community theater, there is a staircase that goes nowhere.  Two separate theater boyfriends have promised—threatened?—to have sex with me in that stairwell, and I put both off with excuses: those steps are filthy; we’ll get caught; I’m wearing a skirt; I’m not wearing a skirt. My living boyfriend, as distinct from my...

Dead Babies Photo

Puffy white satin folds and clumps like clouds around the two babies. Lying side-by-side in an open casket, ghost-gowns drape down their tiny bodies. Their heads appear to float. One baby is darker than the other. Both have blackened and hollow eyes like sunken shiners that won’t fade into the purplegreenyellow of the living. Time...

Call Me Fritz

This is 1986, and I am seven in Seattle, and Miss Erika is French from Canada with a black leotard and a tight bun twisted like a seashell.  Miss Erika is French, and Edgars Kleppers is the only boy in ballet class, but I am still required to play Fritz, the only boy in the...

The Palm Reader and the Poet

This happened a couple decades ago, and here is how I remember it:  I meet a girl, a young woman, maybe eighteen, at a poetry reading.  She says she can read my palm.  My lifeline is broken—she noticed as she sat behind me and I rubbed my hand through my hair—so maybe she’d better see,...

Tuesday Evening at the Rue de Fleurus

Evening drops into the courtyard like a black cat lowering its back.  A muted clink of dinner spoons spills from open windows into the courtyard, where the concierge’s dog yips en francais at a pair of American tourists who have found their way to 27 rue de Fleurus.  I sit and smoke a cigarette between...

Sketch

I notice the guy sketching even before I sit down, but it’s not a strategic decision at all. When I have a choice I try to sit facing the eye candy, and this guy’s not even close to handsome. But it’s the only available chair in the coffee shop, so I end up facing the...

Instrumental

30088. I’ve had that number memorized for 38 years. The serial number of a flute manufactured by The Haynes Flute Company.  When I put the headjoint into the body, sliding the perfectly tuned and turned tube of silver into the perfectly tuned and turned tube of silver—may it be every one of our good fortunes...