selected past writing at 42opus


A Review of Rachel Cusk's Arlington Park by ALLISON ELLIOTT

Any reader who believes the suburbs to be a cultural and spiritual wasteland will have their prejudices confirmed. And yet, Cusk's great talent as a writer is to complicate these tired notions and make them fresh and engaging. Her Desperate Housewives are not stereotypes, but unique and sympathetic characters. Cusk is masterful at capturing the ordinary moments of family life.

31 August 2007 | nonfiction, review, review of fiction



In widow's weeds, the bull, the sun,

the flower, the light bulb—it clings

to room 7 of Centro de Arte Reina Sofía,

Guernica, the fizzled-out horse, the woman.

2 September 2003 | poetry


Echolalia Two: Peru by TODD FREDSON & SARAH VAP

You say you are learning how to ask for things. I am learning how to do the things I ask for—

Begin to confuse, to confess, your stories with the stories of someone else, stories you were told there, that you were there to hear.

15 July 2005 | nonfiction, travel writing, collaboration


Despair Is the Only Unforgivable Sin by JILL ALEXANDER ESSBAUM

O holy terror of a night, this mad,

  malicious night, a supine night, bright

as bile, but anyway, inauspicious.

  Bedraggled night, delicious as doom.

A night over which no angel will swoon.

  O moon, O eye of God, unblinking.

And, yes, I have been drinking.

17 November 2006 | poetry


The Old Year by JOHN CLARE

Old papers thrown away,

      Old garments cast aside,

The talk of yesterday,

      Are things identified;

But time once torn away

      No voices can recall:

The eve of New Year's Day

      Left the Old Year lost to all.

5 January 2010 | poetry, classic, rhyme

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