Posts tagged "frame"
The Essay Determines How it will Begin

The Essay Determines How it will Begin

The essay is a transgression. The night you move back in with your ex-husband, you dream you are in bed with your mother. The essay reveals the world we grew up in. Mother goes on a date with the neighbor six days after Daddy’s death. Then stands in the hallway, her naked breasts cupped in...
Necrologies: Mothers & Fathers

Necrologies: Mothers & Fathers

BROWN RAT We only lived in the little house for three years. I still slept in a crib and watched Sesame Street while my mother did calisthenics. I do not remember eating or sleeping there. I don’t remember what the yard looked like. I do not remember my father’s shape as he moved through the...
Faithful

Faithful

Nobody can call in or out. Her father doesn’t want the ringing telephone to interrupt his wife’s dying, so the phone is turned off. When his daughters remind him that there are people waiting to hear, wanting to know, he roars, “She’s dying. They all know. When she’s dead, you can call them and tell...
So Little

So Little

She moved from the chair to the window (thinking about explaining something, but not sure what it should be. There were bottomless things to explain, like why she thought of herself as one thing, yet acted opposite; yearned for the chair yet moved to the window, felt like a giant cockroach head, resulting in being...
Too Soon

Too Soon

Summer ends too soon this year as all the seasons do. Funny, how after sixty-eight summers, time, the thing there always seemed so much of, collapses in on itself, and I find myself counting out the number of summers until an end. And someone, a woman friend I knew a long time ago, and always...

What Can Sonnets Teach Us about Essays? The Benefit of Strict Form

In A Poetry Handbook, Mary Oliver stresses the importance of understanding and practicing metered verse for modern students and writers of poetry. To lack a deep understanding of metrical forms, she says, is “to be without [a] felt sensitivity to a poem as a structure of lines and rhythmic energy and repetitive sound.” How can we...

I Dream About the Apocalypse

My brother—a firefighter in real life—tries to organize us all, get us down into some echoing subterranean cavern that looks like the inside of a ship. Explosions rattle in my sternum, giant robots search the houses, wind flings fire this way and that. The end of everything. And I feel—relief. If I open my eyes...

If

… the six pathologists at Colorado’s Air Force Academy had voted differently on the diagnosis of the biopsy from your cheek–the same cheek you popped with your thumb before shuffling cards for Gin Rummy, if they had voted four melanoma, two sarcoma instead of the other way around, if they had not voted wrong on...

After the Sun Melted

inspired by Aftermath by Elane Johnson After the sun melted on the top hat of the Mad Hatter with Alice, outside the window in Central Park; after your doctor refused to talk to you, when you were behaving crazy, because the tumor had spread to your brain; after the doctor told us there was nothing...

The Blind Prophets of Easter Island

Jacques Cousteau and his son, Philippe, circle the thirty-foot stone Moai heads of Easter Island. I sit on the matted carpet of my Oakland apartment. He squints and purses his lips and nods towards each elongated face in some ritual of recognition he usually reserves for communing with aquatic life. I bounce somebody else’s baby...

Knock, Knock

London Bridge is falling down, Falling down, falling down, London bridge is falling down, My fair lady. He’s been falling asleep a lot lately, I tell my mother over the phone, the receiver cupped under my chin; she is the one who still holds me. He keeps falling asleep on the toilet, I say as...

Not Like You

I’m memorizing a license plate number, which I glimpsed when he grabbed me by my ponytail, punched me, and dragged me into his truck. I repeat it silently, obsessively. NLU-285. Parked in the woods, dozens of miles from the lights of Portland, the midnight air is thick, damp, barely cool. I smell pine trees, clean...

WQED, Channel 13: Programming Guide

6:40 a.m. Sesame Street You have finally fallen deeply asleep after getting up to go to the bathroom—for the third time—at 5:00 a.m.  Your son approaches silently, pats you on the head.  His hand, fingers splayed, fits into your palm.  His patting is gentle and inexorable. You stayed up too late reading a New Yorker...

The Crab in the Stars

I am home alone—sort of.  I am almost twelve, and I am unsupervised.  My parents have gone shopping.  My brother is at a friend’s.  It’s just me and my grandparents, who live in an apartment attached to our house. My grandfather is sick.  He has been for a year.  For a few weeks now he...