selected past writing at 42opus


The nearest Dream recedes—unrealized— by EMILY DICKINSON

The Heaven we chase,

Like the June Bee—before the School Boy,

Invites the Race—

Stoops—to an easy Clover—

14 September 2005 | poetry, classic



Curious are the ways

holiness is achieved (that freezing

and melting point, that instant

when your perfect attention changes

and unchanges you or the world) and unforeseen

the consequences.

2 January 2007 | poetry, editors' select


It Gets in the Way by EMILY KENDAL FREY

Dear Outlet,

Dear Honored Guest,

Mounded inside

in fits and starts.

Dear Plaque,

Dear Meatball,

Dear Attack—

15 July 2008 | poetry


The Into or On by MAURICE OLIVER

She thinks she's Harry Houdini's bathrobe.

1 May 2005 | poetry


Secondhand Objects by RENEE SIMMS

I first saw Priscilla at the pawnshop, as the Arizona sun reddened the sky with a rash. It was just before closing. She looked Jamaican to me but maybe I was homesick. Still, something was familiar about her—the gapped teeth, the regal posture, the locked hair she'd tied in an upsweep that resembled a bird's nest. Respectable is how she struck me, unlike our usual female customers with the belly out and the low-rise jeans that show the top of their underwear, underwear that ain't even real, mind you, but the G-string chicks wear these days. When I first come to the States, only erotic dancers wore that sort of thing. Today, even the college girls that I've dated wear panty strings.

But Priscilla's skirt come to her knees. Her blouse was modest, a button-down loose-fitting deal which you never see on women today. That let me know it was not brand new. So I think, maybe her money is a little tight, maybe she spends her money on drugs. Carney, the shop owner, says this about many of our customers.

See the one with the dirty hair? he'll say leaning in close, She's a tweaker. She's here getting money to buy crystal meth.

11 March 2009 | fiction, short story

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