Restless, shifting, fugacious as time itself is a certain vast bulk of the population of the red brick district of the lower West Side. Homeless, they have a hundred homes.
One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one's cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty-seven cents.
In a little district west of Washington Square the streets have run crazy and broken themselves into small strips called "places." These "places" make strange angles and curves. One Street crosses itself a time or two.
She hadn't said anything about the cancer, even though Rayna had talked to her every day.
The day her husband died, her period stopped. It just shut itself off and left her, left the blood building and boiling inside, fermenting into this rage that she could only release at the piano. It wasn't supposed to happen like that…
There are 42 lines on each page of the Gutenberg Bible, sometimes called the 42-line Bible.
Among sayings that have a currency in spite of being wholly false upon the face of them for the sake of a half-truth upon another subject which is accidentally combined with error, one of the grossest and broadest conveys the monstrous proposition that it is easy to tell the truth and hard to tell a lie. I wish heartily it were.
17 August 2006
I would not mind it if your heart were a television
And within it a time capsule
And inside that some secret I never knew
30 August 2006
It's in the hand—a wandering—
my eyes, the pockets
of your pants.
24 August 2006
Of doors and red-eyed windows,
the senses before sight.
I became specific
in my body.
27 August 2006
The imaginary café where I met him
burned down, taking our last glances.
Is he our grandfather,
writing lesbian love poems?
24 July 2006
You're boiling baby spinach before
that dreaded date, your hands
quake like the leaves on the stewing
water, backbones wilting in heat.
21 July 2006
Mother's breasts flutter to the table,
"They won't hold up," she says.
The rest of her cards fly
on bowed wings.
5 June 2006
Not always another chance is coming. Not
if you are lit on fire and keep the sad news
comes lightly and leaves
quickly, leaves nothing
8 August 2006
Were we down so better than
to take the dress off
and waste my chance again?
…a third-grader with cornrows in her hair
and skin the color of walnut, asks me:
"Is it true that men always want
to know what women are thinking?"
Bright Star! would I were steadfast as thou art—
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night,
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like Nature's patient sleepless Eremite…
No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist
Wolfs-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;
Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kiss'd
By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine…
O Goddess! hear these tuneless numbers, wrung
By sweet enforcement and remembrance dear,
And pardon that thy secrets should be sung
Even into thine own soft-conched ear…
Four Seasons fill the measure of the year;
There are four seasons in the mind of man:—
He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear
Takes in all beauty with an easy span…
When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
Before high-pilèd books, in charact'ry
Hold like rich garners the full-ripen'd grain…
5 July 2006
of her shoulders,
with a clean sponge…
9 July 2006
The flurries begin
whitening the strip
11 July 2006
I swear, friendship hangs on the hardest wind.
The moon is the friend of the earth
and the earth of the sun.
7 July 2006
We want the gray old
winter to climb down
through the smoking pines
astride his white mule
to forgive us each separately.
16 July 2006
This is her spot:
a child in an apple tree, eyes falling
into the way things want to be
Here, tourists sift sand between toes, not knowing
salt makes straw of hair. I explore the ocean for one
of Christa McAuliffe's strands.
5 August 2006
Your mother asked if I was certain, and I had to excuse myself
to call you from the bathroom.
Is that why you're here? I'm not
talking about my health anymore…
Suddenly she's bawling, tells the entire story, like you do
when your world is unfamiliar, the hazy bodies lost in black.
It takes six years for the pieces to make themselves apparent…
Bellefontaine: a town on the way to somewhere else, a place
where you run out of gas, stop to make love on a picnic table
somewhere by the wheat field—when, toward magic hour, the boy
already loaded the gun, the smell of bacon wafting outside…
29 June 2006
the foreigners of the thought of Richard were in the top of each
emitted tree the government gathered…
23 June 2006
richard thought aliens were at the top of every government-issued tree.
26 June 2006
The Richard thought foreigner by each government…
10 June 2006
Four boys stand
four years old, in the boat.
A fifth floats, face swayed to bottom,
near the prow.