Posts tagged "lyric_essay"
American Professionals

American Professionals

When I think of how much I don’t know about infidelity, I think of that summer we all got hot and horny for people outside our marriages, how in love everyone was with the notion of someone with whom they wouldn’t have to really get naked, physically or linguistically, how the sky in my city...
Memory Palace, Visit No. 3

Memory Palace, Visit No. 3

On my third visit to the memory palace I found the king. He was under a table laden with apples. He was wearing that campy red gown, velour, with the white trim, and the crown, too, which had rubies, sapphires, and emeralds in it. Now in this palace also were portraits of warriors and kings...
Home Bodily Repair Kit

Home Bodily Repair Kit

I Hair Painting The cuticle of the hair must be opened so that dye can reach the cortex. Open-heart surgery used to require breaking the whole chest apart. All spiritual traditions say you have to lose your life to find it. My body is losing itself, my hair is losing its pigment. More than 75...
You’re the Tower and I Am Rapunzel, She Says

You’re the Tower and I Am Rapunzel, She Says

And I let her climb my back, feet and knees knocking hard on the backs of my thighs, my kidneys, my neck, before she settles herself on my shoulders and calls for her Prince to come and rescue her, to come and take her away from this tower, to teach her love, and she says,...
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....
A Thousand Mary Doyles

A Thousand Mary Doyles

There she is, Mary Doyle, and another right beside her. Heads turned for one last view of land before the Cork coastline slips out of sight. Dishwater strands pushed behind her ears, yellow curls pulled up under a hat, dark frizz flying in the wind. She is seventeen. She is twenty-two. She is just yesterday...
Gyre

Gyre

When I was a schoolgirl, now and then a delicious state would come over me. It was unpredictable, and there was nothing I could do to bring it on, though it visited me more than once when I was plugging my ears to block out the teacher’s reading to us out loud from one of...
Consider the Houses

Consider the Houses

The hall and the door and shelves full of the first names of things. Block. Card. Soft. Red. Much later on. A house in the country with a backroom full of antique shoes. Her friend collected them. Button shoes and laces and patent leather, ancient and dull-cracked. White wedding shoes with loose strings of beads,...

There Are Distances Between Us

The interstate highway system in the United States is the largest and most sophisticated in the world. It is named for President Dwight D. Eisenhower. There are two points and between them, a distance between you and me. These two points are connected in ways we will never fully understand but they are connected. You are there...

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...

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 Drowning

In July a boy drowns in the lake. * There is a picture window above our kitchen table and through it a view of the lake.  At noon, when we sit to eat sandwiches, the water is glassy and green, fracturing only when unseen fish rise and retreat.  The sand on the shore is pale. ...

Variations on a Home Depot Paint Sample

Desert Sunrise, 230B-4 To mix Desert Sunrise 230B-4, combine equal parts vodka, orange juice, pineapple juice, and troposphere; add grenadine syrup to taste. Throw in blender with ice cubes and a handful of red dirt. Blend. Next drive westward all night along I-80 until you reach Wyoming, and, when you see in your rearview the...

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...

Things That Appear Ugly Or Troubling But Upon Closer Inspection Are Beautiful

(after Sei Shonagon) A river in winter with ice floes jammed violently against one another; you can see dark water in between the white and gray floes, sparkling in the sunshine. Abandoned barns, their huge roofs sagging like the backs of tired horses. The slick, black body of a baby goat, stillborn, lying in the...

White Guy

I was in Walmart yesterday, swung around the end of one aisle where a five-foot-high cardboard-display edge stuck out about eight inches and, like an old fuck, caught it with my chest. Back up slightly, proceed on toward the Life Savers.  Halfway up the aisle (around the Life Savers) this black guy, twenty-five-ish, slightest smile...

Small Love Letters

“Cleopatra’s nose, had it been shorter, the whole face of the world would have been changed.” —Pascal, Pensées I. The real history of the world happens in small ways because it concerns the history of love, itself a series of small events. A glance might shift the order of everything, move the heart into open...

Virga

I have looked for you since 1982. It rained the day before. The curbs filled with dirty, driven-through water, and overnight the water filled up with tiny tadpoles. The next day, I made a pole from a stick and tied a bit of string to it. I knelt beside the puddle in my Gloria Vanderbilt...