Posts tagged "diction"
Typos

Typos

“Maybe we’ll go wind tasting” Perhaps, but only if there’s time. We’ll sample many varietals: breeze, whisper, gale. Winds assume the flavor of the land in which they originate—a terroir—and vary by how long they’ve aged. Cup them first in your palms. Take your time (though I know your time is fleeting). Smell the nuances:...
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...
Notes on Conscience

Notes on Conscience

“The Ayenbite of Inwyt,” Richard Rolle of Hampole called it. Prick of conscience. The voice of God within. Internal wisdom. Tolstoy saw most people seeking to silence it with habit, if not with tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs.  See “Why Do Men Stupefy Themselves?”: “The cause of the world-wide consumption of hashish, opium, wine, and...
I hoisted them, two drug dealers, I guess that’s what they were,

I hoisted them, two drug dealers, I guess that’s what they were,

crackheads, I exiled them is what I did, from my son’s basement apartment, they’d come to feast off of what was left of him, his entrails I guess, he’d moved into that apartment with such high hopes even though it was on the bottom floor, and no light, or very little light, there was a...
Second Language

Second Language

Rarely my mother passed away. Instead my mother died when I was eight. A way to say, this will not be easy. She lay on a pillow of gravel and grass, hands bound behind her back. She stood in the kitchen, a coffee cup from Hershey’s Chocolate World in her hand, and scolded me for...

A Review of Robert A. Rubin’s Going to Hell in a Hen Basket

In his new book Going to Hell in a Hen Basket, Robert Alden Rubin, a diehearted defender of grammar and true believer in the inherit goodness of proper usage, runs the gambit to perform do diligence and give us a load down on how common words and phrases are so often horribly mangled, offering readers...
All or Nothing, Self-Portrait at Twenty-Seven

All or Nothing, Self-Portrait at Twenty-Seven

It’s all empty beer cans and skinny dipping. (Bud Light and chlorine.) A guitar player with a beard who won’t let go as hard as you do. It’s teasing the strings of your orange bikini while he tosses his trunks onto the stone. It’s the ease of your body through dark water. The day he...

Can You Hear Me Now? How Reading Our Writing Aloud Informs Audiences and Ourselves

In this Craft Essay, Kate Carroll de Gutes uses special characters (up and down arrows) to indicate how to score our own writing to improve our vocal delivery.  She suggests symbols to show us—at a glance—where we want to slow down, speed up, pause, emphasize.  Because WordPress cannot handle the specialized symbols, this essay, “Can You Hear Me...
A Brief History of Water

A Brief History of Water

Last Sunday a displaced water snake interrupted our nightly walk. My beloved and I watched it roil under the street light, metallic in its shimmers. Overhead, a companionable moon, which can move seven-tenths of the earth’s surface without lifting a finger. Also overhead but not so far away, the firmament, which possesses a simple job...
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....

The Gatekeeper

The Mountain Climber didn’t like to talk about the accident, but because she alone had witnessed the Skier fall off the top of the world, the press had no one else to turn to. What could she say? Without a word of warning, the Skier had plunged past her through the thin, alpine air and...

Tired

I’m tired of the usual—foofy dogs, West End musicals, Edgar Allan Poe.  Also leather jackets and the lost middle-aged men who believe that stretching a carcass across their backs brings Hell’s Angels cool.  Especially tired of not having one myself.  Tired of tragedy ending badly, gullible Hamlet taking the word of a rasping ghost.  Tired...

The Soils I Have Eaten

The state soil of New York is named for the place where a man lost his finger to a rattlesnake. The finger lays quiet in the ground. The snake’s great-great-grandsnakes still chitter through this soil. Sometimes one snake gets the idea he can blink his eye. He concentrates on this single violet thought. A slick frog crunches...