Posts tagged "meditation"

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...

White Lies

Arpi, a Lebanese girl who pronounced ask as ax no matter how many times the teacher corrected her, must have been delighted by the arrival of Connie, the new girl in our fifth grade class. Connie was albino, exceptionally white even by the ultra-Caucasian standards of our southern suburb. Only her eyelids had color: mouse-nose...

The Watch

It dangled like a bracelet from my aunt’s wrist. Shiny gold links clinked softly as she arranged her hair in the mornings, curls teased and then tamed. The watch clanked against an aerosol can of hairspray, dinged against a crystal bottle of perfume that she raised momentarily to her neck. I must have been the...
I can’t stop thinking of that New York skirt, turquoise sequins glued onto sea-colored cotton

I can’t stop thinking of that New York skirt, turquoise sequins glued onto sea-colored cotton

I bought it on E. 7th St. in a shop that was only open for one day. Kerouac used to live in that building, but he was dead by then. No zippers or buttons, just strips of fabric to tie on either side of the waist. If I had been one to twirl … but...

Julio At Large

I hadn’t known the girl very well, and rarely gave her much thought before she disappeared the summer between ninth and tenth grade, when my family lived in Buckhannon, West Virginia.  We both had last names that started with the letter “B,” so we frequently had to sit next to each other in classes where...

Somebody Else’s Genocide

After my reading in Atlanta, Georgia, a blond woman asked me, in German-accented English, if my books were translated and published in Germany. “Ja,” I said. I studied German for two years in high school and one semester in college, but I remembered only a few words—abgehetzt, schoner, arschloch—and only one phrase: Ich habe sieben...

Twan’t Much

At the tire repairs factory, I knew a man named Jack who had no teeth, who brought the same thing for lunch every day, a fried egg sandwich in a wrinkled and stained paper bag. He had a family he could barely support, one that didn’t have, as my father often said, “as much as...

Death of a Citizen Abroad

When a citizen dies abroad, their body is sent home in the cargo-hold of a commercial jetliner along with suitcases stuffed with beachwear, woodcarvings from the tourist stalls, and souvenir bottle-openers shaped like elephants. A coffin is just another piece of baggage. At the airport, a Consular Affairs Officer, Mr. R—, fills out the customs...

Cathy or Katy

The rain fell through bus headlights, getting us ready for the big lie.  We spent the weekend in New York City, my heart beating up through my neck in the gold glow and enormous doors of the Mayflower Hotel.  Eric and I, when the urge to crawl out of myself toward her became no longer...

Private Bath

For example, when we were at that chic old B&B in Kensington, I had to wrap my slippery thin traveling robe around me and head down the hall past the half-dozen other rooms, hoping to God no one was in the bathroom during my morning window of personal opportunity. If we happened not to leave...

Hum

The car purrs along at 72, engine noise lost in the whisper of wind and the music. I love to hit the Volvo’s cruise control and turn up the stereo and roll along alone, checking the mirrors, the gauges, letting my thoughts go long and loose, knowing it’ll be hours on the road and that...

Planet Unflinching

It used to be an axiom that an object cannot occupy two positions at the same time, but now, of course, one may argue that in cyberspace it is possible to do just that. Perhaps someday it will also be possible to occupy the same position at two different times. At the dinner table, there...

This is Just to Write: A Night Without Metaphor

for William Carlos Williams Rummaging through our freezer, prospects are slim: four Budget Gourmet dinners, two green chili burritos, a Jeno’s pizza, and a bottle of Stoli. Cubed leg of lamb, chicken breast, and a pound of ground round.  Not one single plum.  The closest thing we have is a four-pack of strawberry sorbet cups—so sweet, so...
Place

Place

I have been in this place before, in spirit if not in form. Perhaps I have been beneath white pine towers, the lowest limbs high overhead and an interwoven parquet of needles below.  Only prickles of remote sunlight penetrate the branches to the ground and, without underbrush, the forest opens to gray vista and silence. ...