The Bride: Haunt of Thieves

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 […]

Every Sort of Help: Hammersmith (eleven)

  Every Sort of Help   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. […]

The Impresario: an alphabet (Epilogue)

  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 […]

She Foundered: Eighth Wake

  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 […]

Billions: the domestic cat as scapegoat

    A 2013 Telegraph (UK) headline, based on US reporting, reads in part:   …deadly pets murder nearly 4 billion birds a year.     Cats, they mean. Now, 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 […]

Carey Explains Himself: Hammersmith (ten)

  Carey Explains Himself   “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 […]

The Impresario: an alphabet (part twenty-six)

  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 […]

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, […]

The Impresario: an alphabet (part twenty-five)

  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, […]

The Depth: Seventh Wake

  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 […]