Posts tagged "lyric_essay"

Consider the Platypus: Four Forms—Maybe—of the Lyric Essay

What is a lyric essay? Lyric comes from the late sixteenth century: from French lyrique or Latin lyricus, from Greek lurikos, from lura ‘lyre.’ To the ear, “lyre” and “liar” sound the same, which I resist because I do not condone lying in essays, lyric or otherwise. But mythology tells us that the origins of...
Walking with the Widows

Walking with the Widows

There is a bluebird on the limb of a tree in a yard near a house that is painted fairy-tale yellow. Like a piece of the sky with a rise of dawn on its chest and a fiesta necklace. I’ve walked these streets for twenty-seven years, and I’ve never seen a bluebird. Not here. Then...
How I Would Use Time Travel

How I Would Use Time Travel

Tonight I stared full into the eyes of my infant son while I fed him a bottle. Whether from contentedness or exhaustion, his eyes did not, as they often do, flit across the room, discovering everything in the usual infant way, but stayed fixed upon mine. His eyes are livid, tending toward thundercloud gray in...

Structure: Lifeblood of the Lyric Essay

Writing mostly poetry for the last two years, I had pretty much given up on prose. Until I met the lyric essay. It was as if I found myself a new lover. I was on a cloud-nine high: I didn’t have to write a tightly knitted argument required of a critical essay. I could loosely...
This Abortion is an Act of Love

This Abortion is an Act of Love

For crows. For the robins bathing in my potholes. For cacti, for succulents, for shade. For the 7.5 billion people on this planet competing for access to fresh air, clean water, nourishing food, good love, and safe housing. For the planet’s three trillion trees, for the sheer improbability of trees. For the fewer than 30,000...
Numismatic

Numismatic

I was a child once, and had no concern for cash but did, and still do, have a compulsion towards coins. The curve, the jangle, the shine. A coin is kind of magic, how any circle charms the human eye: halo, hollow, sun. We scraped circles on rocks before we could cobble together tools from...
Aphorisms for a Lonely Planet

Aphorisms for a Lonely Planet

1 When at home I long to travel, on trips I pine for home. Thank you Lord for these twin dissatisfactions, and this vagabond moon blessing my feet. 2 The couple in the Lima Airport entwined under an orange blanket at 2:00 a.m. She plucks rogue hairs from his eyebrows then snuggles closer, all satisfaction,...
The Invention of Familiars

The Invention of Familiars

Some things we don’t care to talk about by name. It’s an old problem and one of its consequences has been fiction. Another popular solution is to fill in the gap with an animal. The monks of the middle ages, denying themselves everything a body wants, or lying about it, were the great theologians of...
Mud and Gravel

Mud and Gravel

1. Gravel and mud, mud mixed with gravel, gravel sinking gray and jagged into the soft brown mud as the spring storms beat down and pass by, as puddles fill and ebb away, as the heavy yellow diggers and draggers and loaders prowl in their loud slow way. This sloppy wide mess that runs down...
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...