Now you must know Mrs. Veal was a maiden gentlewoman of about thirty years of age, and for some years past had been troubled with fits, which were perceived coming on her by her going off from her discourse very abruptly to some impertinence. She was maintained by an only brother, and kept his house in Dover. She was a very pious woman, and her brother a very sober man to all appearance; but now he does all he can to null and quash the story.
Mr. Augustus Minns was a bachelor, of about forty as he said—of about eight-and-forty as his friends said. He was always exceedingly clean, precise, and tidy; perhaps somewhat priggish, and the most retiring man in the world. He usually wore a brown frock-coat without a wrinkle, light inexplicables without a spot, a neat neckerchief with a remarkably neat tie, and boots without a fault; moreover, he always carried a brown silk umbrella with an ivory handle.
A great number of people nowadays are beginning broadly to insinuate that there are no such things as ghosts, or spiritual beings visible to mortal sight. Even Sir Walter Scott is turned renegade, and, with his stories made up of half-and-half, like Nathaniel Gow's toddy, is trying to throw cold water on the most certain, though most impalpable, phenomena of human nature. The bodies are daft. Heaven mend their wits! Before they had ventured to assert such things, I wish they had been where I have often been; or, in particular, where the Laird of Birkendelly was on St. Lawrence's Eve, in the year 1777, and sundry times subsequent to that.
They were unlikely friends. Toni didn't settle for rough around the edges. She went for jagged. She was a junior and had friends that would never waste their time with someone like Theo, a sophomore, nondescript loner-jock type who always did his homework on time and ate Sunday dinner with Mom and Dad. Toni's friends wore black clothes and eyeliner and chains. Like them, Toni's take on life was dark, and he wasn't sure why she liked him enough to put up with his middle-class, white-washed way of seeing the world. Except that he was gay. Maybe that qualified him weird enough to be her friend.
No one knew who was coming to train us. I had a strange buzzing in my limbs so I had to keep moving around. At the time I didn't know the difference between nerves and excitement. My stomach was either in knots or it wasn't. I was either playing basketball or I was thinking about it. I was either waiting for Jenny or she was there.
I sprinted towards the doors, without hesitation; Ian and Kate close behind me, pushing and shoving—propelling me forward. Once at the door, I crept in slowly, excited and relieved to feel the warm, humid air—mingled with the thick smell of chlorine. On the opposite end of the Olympic size pool, was our school motto, painted in large, sweeping, chirographic strokes: Scientia Auget Vires (Knowledge Increases Strength).
"Is anyone else in the building today?" I wondered aloud, suddenly nervous.
Sir, I remain faithful that you will still grant this request to charge. My men and I are still waiting for the enemy's attack on this promontory in Batangas, but it seems they, too, have lost their strength. Every night, we keep watch over that part of Manila, Cavite, and Laguna that is engulfed in flames. We know, as the fire gets closer, your arrival also nears.
Lisa followed Mitchie through row after row of listing tin shacks. Puff-bellied children tugged at her hands and clothes. They stroked her white skin and made darting swipes at her yellow hair. They giggled and covered their broken teeth with dirty fingers. She emptied her pockets into their hands. She undid the clasp on her thin silver chain and dropped it in a boy's open hand. He ran off shouting, waving the necklace like a flag.
Miss Lemon, as she was known in the classroom, at the age of thirty-nine had the unfortunate experience of overhearing a whispered conversation between two of her sixth-grade boys, insolent, dirty-necked devils that they were, one with pustular spots emphasizing a nose grown too large for its face and the other with astounded eyes. She distinctly heard the taller one say to the other, "She has a Coke bottle stuck up inside her. You ever notice the funny way she stands holding on to the back of her chair."
When Kev came home from walking Ruffo, the Shar-Pei, he noticed the sofa and easy chair were gone.
"I'm having them reupholstered," Tiffany told him.
The Oriental carpet was also missing. "Being cleaned," she said.
The writers included in this month may not have yet been published elsewhere but their writing shows the same promise as any of the other writers we publish. The same attention to craft, to character. To line, and to voice. But I also found in these works a sincerity, an earnestness even, that extended through the brasher, wilder styles of chaotic energy just as into the more conservative voices. This sincerity seemed to me proof that these poems and stories were not so much created to be poems and stories but to be vehicles for emotion and meaning.
Hard work facilitates sexual identification. Hardly against false epiphanies. I'll be solid ground; you be top of the world. I'll be down to earth; you be rising above. You be rising up.
In this episode of angels, a mortal couple strolls, hand in hand, down a hall, around a corner on a cruise ship when a door shuts, a gas leaks, and a frantic couple is sealed in a tunnel, in a vessel…
The reality of your spine will not render response an anthem. The more one depicts, the greater lack is felt. We begin at the base and set out on a skyward tracking stroke.
13 October 2007
What you have been taking for words
are just chattering and ruffling and squawks.
It doesn't mean I don't love you.
30 October 2007
Though her eyes had kept like marbles,
her tongue was a broken See 'n Say:
people and places but never a story…
Pauline, mine own, bend o'er me—thy soft breast
Shall pant to mine—bend o'er me—thy sweet eyes,
And loosened hair, and breathing lips, arms
Drawing me to thee—these build up a screen
To shut me in with thee, and from all fear,
So that I might unlock the sleepless brood
Of fancies from my soul…
Now prompts the Muse poetic lays,
And high my bosom beats with love of Praise!
But, Chatterton! methinks I hear thy name,
For cold my Fancy grows, and dead each Hope of Fame.
Maps are never skin. I know
that you're only a guide but
I prefer to pretend otherwise.
Here, a closeness is lost in our morning rituals.
Some type of forgetfulness concerning
the risks we take, the casual violence inherent
to the most mundane of acts. That's what she liked,
I think. The rough slide of the blade.
some women lose more than me,
the uterus, the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, it's good
he says that it was caught early enough. he speaks
with the ease that implies that the body is nothing
more complex than the limbless, trapdoored models
that decorate biology classrooms…
the nerves keep 'em shaking, and so
if you take a shovel and split the body, bi-
furcate him, trifurcate him, his little teeth still spit…
21 November 2007
That wasn't love looking for me, this was:
I saw him, gray-colored and hunch-backed, lurking behind
the garbage dump with binoculars, thumping toward me like a tuba—
First, dependence is our only enterprise.
The dirt-nuzzle. Sunlight's rough tongue-lick of the body.
First, change happens only to the sky.
Lost in up-gaze, we grow down. How cryptic of the body.
2 November 2007
Bad mood and bad dog and bad luck like
my broken neck or heart or head
playing out so much bad weather
like kinked yarn unraveled by a bad
I'll complain of my bones,
I think it's safe to say
and I'll worry the miles
we never drive. I'll say your name
when I shouldn't
to every door barred before us
as if you're known in Belize…
This one goes out to all the wedding guests
who got sloshed on free booze then pissed on their cell phones.
Land-lines are for chumps who don't mind getting tapped;
pimps, cons, and dealers subsist on their cell phones.
Man is no star, but a quick coal
Of mortal fire;
Who blows it not, nor doth control
A faint desire,
Lets his own ashes choke his soul.
I made a posie, while the day ran by:
Here will I smell my remnant out, and tie
My life within this band.
But time did becken to the flowers, and they
By noon most cunningly did steal away,
And wither'd in my hand.
Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back…
When God at first made Man,
Having a glass of blessings standing by—
Let us (said He) pour on him all we can;
Let the world's riches, which dispersād lie,
Contract into a span.
Love built a stately house, where Fortune came,
And spinning fancies, she was heard to say
That her fine cobwebs did support the frame,
Whereas they were supported by the same;
But Wisdom quickly swept them all away.
O solitude! If I must with thee dwell,
Let it not be among the jumbled heap
Of murky buildings;—climb with me the steep,
You, if you were sensible,
When I tell you the stars flash signals, each one dreadful,
You would not turn and answer me
"The night is wonderful."
4 October 2007
wearing a blue cap
working his bicycle…
6 October 2007
Actor and carwash and actor
and carwash and actor together
2 October 2007
I thought the moose had died
in the clearing
where I had stopped
for a tiny breath…
23 October 2007
Here lies a bicycle. Here lies
A shoe. Here sand or ash or
Fingertips and from your Mama
Comes a tune; sound like water…
Case of ditto for eating meat.
Copper rings for arms and
Above the knee. Arm rings
Made from Elephant's teeth.
Ditto ditto for eating meat.
15 October 2007
Gradually, one season arrives
that marks her time
to leave. As simple as that.
I press my hands against an invisible wall.
They all climbed up on a high board fence—
Nine little Goblins, with green-glass eyes—
Nine little Goblins that had no sense,
And couldn't tell coppers from cold mince pies;
And they all climbed up on the fence, and sat—
And I asked them what they were staring at.
Auguries interpreted incorrectly caused a fever.
Dry heat leathers skin, embeds bread in bones that know there's more.
Gift the thunderegg, teethe on junipers, drive to the white dove.
One one-thousand, two…, lightning and strike unwed—wait there's more.
When door of death
yawns, dress me pink.
Paint me six
feet with stilettos…
You're ripped and he's a little lit and on a whim you've crossed two states to get hitched. Right away it's clear the justice of the peace doesn't like the story here, and before he'll tie the knot, he says, he's got to ask about your breeding. What people you're from. What they might have to say about all this.
The bondsman wouldn't touch him, and when they bring him up, shuffling and handcuffed, you almost don't recognize your man. He looks beat. Meek. Maybe make-believe, like something's just gone off inside him. You're in the court of common pleas, but it feels to you like a lot of sermonizing, all mystical and official, all ritual, all well-oiled wood.