Sex can be revelatory. Essential nature emerges in sex.
Her mother is a locked door with another door behind it.
We are each other’s as surely as song stitches breath to air.
A Good Samaritan refused is no more good than any Bad Samaritan.
When she sleeps, Shakespeare writes one more sonnet we’ll never read.
Exit the building. Say nothing to anyone. They did. And they didn’t.
Waiting for a cure, waiting for the closeout sale, the black sail.
I saw Baryshnikov twice. Heard Pavarotti, Marsalis, and Ma.
Your voice on the phone, a gesundt in dein keppel you blessed my head.
My first girl, only sixteen year and she go, she run away to you.
I could become something new. Improved. Like detergent.
He finds the note taped to the lid of the toilet: “There’s someone else.”
For my part, I do not want a Happy Christmas: I want a Merry Christmas.
“I’m torturing you,” she said. “It isn’t fair.” Now I saw there were tears.
Was this where he would grow old? Would it all end in a room like this?
Somehow, Captain Brown made himself respected in Cranford.
The phone rang at an awkward hour, too late at night to be good news.
Our father turned to me and said, Why does he sound like a girl.
All these barns with their busted spidery limbs strewn over the lupine.
It is this—what you hear when you stop listening—that counts.
You were drowning in the bathtub. Mother was in her room.
If, on your deathbed, you want to watch a movie, don’t let me pick.
The horse had been beaten and flies crawled on the beat marks.
They say it is the soul that rises, not the body. But the body does rise—
so this god is only wood and holes, a blank, like the moon’s unlit side.
Napoleon, who can say you don’t deserve my allegiance?
Words appear like the answer to a question I hadn’t yet asked.
On a morning in November words appeared at the end of my pen.
Dan Gerber reads poems of boyhood, and from the end of his mother’s life.
What did St. Teresa have in mind when she prayed to be released?
She holds her smile like a note sustained at the end of a phrase.
The walls pull apart like a troubled couple, finally deciding to hold.
The coyotes are making a kill. Their voices rise through the darkness.
I bow to the life being lived in this finch on my terrace this morning.
He squinted and looked off a little beyond where we were.
I continue composing my love letter, hoping to love her more.
I don’t remember being born,
only the great dog
whose fur I clung to.
I told you how I’ve always been attracted to little violences.
Marriage changes passion. Suddenly you’re in bed with
We’re stuck floating around on the surface of our lives like kids in a pool.
Best-selling author Melanie Gideon reads from her novel Wife 22.
The light is like a benediction. My husband reaches for my hand.
When she gets to Lenny’s he offers her a beer and a bong hit...
Mostly he was in a hurry, so he’d just stick it in and away we’d go.
The Wolf put on a great performance, crawling around on the stage.
“She showed me her tits,” said Jimmy. “Bullshit!” said Frank.
They come to America and their child is shot down like a wild animal.
“Go watch the showgirls, Roy,” said Chino. “It’s educational.”
If your father were here, he wouldn’t put up with your insolence.
“For the entire time I was there I couldn’t get that out of my head.”
They danced only with one another and did not speak to white boys.
On my way to the airport I hit a Christian. This was in Arkansas.
the woman wiped her hands on her apron saying “lord these children”
Liz wore a brass wedding ring, and had no marriage certificate to show.
He betook himself to the metropolis to become a literary man, of course.
Youth! Goodness! Joy! Hope! Strange things to bring to a place like this.
My brush an M-16, thirty-round clips for tubes of paint, all of them red.
When I saw my father for the last time, we both did the same thing.
This has been a good day. First the milestone of getting to page 300.
The draft of ten handwritten pages would have to be cut back to five.
Write simple sentences. Report. Don’t moralize. No pretensions.
Words and sketches from Gail Godwin’s upcoming novel Flora.
What right had Flora, of all people, to pronounce on what was strange?
They don’t dance but simply monitor our movements, like bodyguards.
I was nagged by those boxes from my old life stacked in the garage.
Hands that have waved farewell, sooner or later I will see them again.
A rumour went round that the Australians had bulletproof clothing.
“I think he does not care for art; I fancy he has not even read Pushkin.”
I was born hating paths, apostasy. We came alive wrong for union.
That’s what I want, to feel terrified, excited, and free, all at once.
I knew my father started the fire. It’s not the first place he’s burned down.
“No, no,” we say. “We’re fine! Really! We love things just the way they are!”
Lydda, when she closes her eyes, has traded one war zone for another.
The first time I met you I fought your father in the driveway.
“No one shoots when the army inoculates and hands out money.”
I pictured you at Bagram Airfield in a metal coffin, quiet and still.
Why did it take Steven’s small coffin to get me to see my own son?
The horror of the waste appalls me. This beauty. This habitation of dream.
It has its life, returning always to the ocean. It doesn’t care.
The small, inadequate marks follow the outline, things left behind.
So here’s the tale, the rumor of the body, and we have to tell it.
The first skeleton drawn from the earth, they called beautiful.
I saw her drunk, with bleary eyes, tousled hair, and a hideous grin.
Loved this little portal to my past so much that I went looking for others.
He was making some green by ripping his own heart out.
My mother used to cry in church seeing a child walk down the aisle.
A nearly perfect guitar fell from the sky and landed in my mom’s azaleas.
In the story she was a dripping, chocolate-covered vamp.
I found it impossible to forget that we lived in a poor country.
Wet air. Big windsound in the leaves—a kind of prayer, maybe.
We could use our arms to squeeze or hold or load not a gun, not a gun.
Sometimes a you is a lover, but he is not my lover. He is looking at me.
Let me lie down with you and listen, let me tell you what I know.
I’m covetous of my worldly neighbor. And he’s not accommodating.
Ivan rolled his eyes, and looked at the sky like someone about to be martyred.
I floated in the tub, my head bobbing, until I felt slick as a seal.
The suite cost as much as a two-pound brick of Panama Red.
I do not want to fall prey to the bewitchment of my mind by language.
He was frightened, a creature no more or less unbound by time than I am.
She pointed to the end of the driveway. “Is he yours?”
How do our lives disappear even while we’re in the midst of them?
“You know what they say about
free health care. It costs money.”
Only one constant existed: I wrote. Writing was my center of gravity.
What most threatens our souls? A crisis of faith? No. Despair.
Firing stopped, and Bedouins herded camels across the artillery range.
The caved-in storefront looked as if a missile had slammed into it.
Imagine the world you want to live in; make the world in this image.
Unwall the summer in blue threading, gift of someone who loved me.
A charmed sequence of words. The jangle. The strum.
Order and gardens. Penelope liked things to grow just as they would.
For years I thought this light was love, or God, but now I know it’s fear.
Our brains interpolate from surrounding images, fooling us.
That cold green streak morning had nothing in common with us.
Arrows shot by the halt at the lame, Opinions come and go just the same.
The judge’s mother was impossible; her mere presence was infuriating.
Under Saint Peter’s Gate, I put good foot after bad, and derided, I chased.
They were such dummkopfs they kicked out the Jews.