The Bride

All that promised love The slaughtering of her house perfection Of its kind His knowing her this way, exclusion, even language Only famine, or delirium…newly colored Then promise was this sheer ravine That forbade crossing But by inches It must be Toe by toe *** One moved or died Still in shocked faces Icicles, leaves […]

Hammersmith (eleven)

There were two types of men women fell for. Her weeding partner was of the third. Ralph had been. Inclined on their honeymoon to sit by the window, read the newspaper, and tell his new wife, “Go off, look at the stores, if that’s what women like to do. I’ll be fine.” Aimee recalled having […]

The Impresario: Epilogue

His showman’s eye, a gift—he’d called it that Boasted how poignancy might mix with horror This he’d known to parse and measure What string to pluck for piety; then touch a purse for charity Urge strong men condescend Stare and dig in pockets Give sop to concupiscence He’d weighed her like an alchemist, this girl […]

She Foundered

So it may have been, that the sinking of the Bowfin Reported late, this news carried home By the merchantman Ceylon, in ’87, the year of the hurricane— Some said the men were mostly saved Taken up By the hundred boats of the pearl fleet— Ended Mr. Samuels’s part, no guilt attaching Unable to find […]

Billions

A 2013 Telegraph (UK) headline, based on US reporting, read in part: “…deadly pets murder nearly 4 billion birds a year.” Cats, they meant. For one thing, murder is an inflammatory word. By the same token, human beings murder thousands of chickens every year…except that we employ low paid workers to do the job for […]

Hammersmith (ten)

“Mr. Hogben, the parlor sofa…” Less sticky about being accommodating than she’d feared, he’d done her the favor of saying, “I might head down with Shaw, when he goes after that salve, and see about a room at the hotel.” Of course, by that, she’d probably lost him. Why had she ever said it to […]

The Impresario Part Twenty-Six

“You will appreciate my dilemma.” The Bishop says this to the wax-man He has been pleased to find this one have Latin For without the prompting of these matters grave Had of his own to doubt the Friar Gaspard Ought so to be relied on, with regard To dispositions towards the Third Estate “My verdict […]

My Curious Reading: Planet Earth and the Ivory-billed Woodpecker

Dr. Underhill said, if we would destroy insects, we must preserve birds. Birds which run up the trunks of trees, like the Woodpeckers, are of especial benefit. They dig out the larvae of insects from the bark and devour it. A Cat-bird would destroy a hundred caterpillars in a day. Where birds, even Crows, are […]

The Impresario Part Twenty-Five

Three long blasts and a short to summon The captain of the Bishop’s horse The foot-guard lustily bash heads Gaspard’s men eagerly make arrest For every fine collected is a feather for their nest Tortu’s sturdy back unaided must draw the sledge The wax-man’s mass umbrellaed ‘Neath a hat’s broad brim, plows as the boulder […]

The Depth

It was Farringate, the city magistrate, who’d thought of his old colleague, Mr. Moss. Wake had come along (by private car) docilely enough. We shut hm in a room, there, at Abbothurst Farm. I think it is nothing—that is, I do not find it sinister—that your uncle’s house has since burnt down. I told Wake […]