The mistake you make with this man is, you wait around for him.
Translucent white prayer strings of her bonnet trailing in the air.
It is like the call of a voice the call of a voice that is not there.
The emblazoned vessel performed my false and vulgar life—I knelt to it.
It’s all that I have left of “the old country,” as my mother calls it.
Staring down the barrel of a black gun I forget I’m no longer just a boy.
His name is Lloyd. He lives on Percival. He’s super creepy.
Our father crumbled after her affair. We watched him for signs of cracking.
My father left me in the car while he was grabbing one for the road.
You’re feminist? Neither one of you. You just like getting into fights.
He’s weirdly hard to pay attention to, even when he’s threatening you.
Then bullet strikes were spiderwebbing the windshield.
I opened my pocketknife, grabbed his hair in a fistful, and cut.
Maybe older Natives have more trauma than younger ones.
My father then got partials implanted, which were later punched out.
The writer was there ahead of the world. And that was a great moment . . .
My closet was a repository of foibles and fetishes, an archive of my life history.
They found her where such girls are found. A Manhattan street.
The lion was still near them, stalking. Crazed against its cautionary nature.
No one is dead, but you should come back. See what’s become of us.
I hightailed it out of the hospital like my ex-wife was a prison I’d escaped.
Saint Clark, halo and all, patron of wildlife shows and the cigarette tax.
When he had passed from view, I stumbled back from the window.
Taylor measures every word, as if holding the world lightly by the throat.
“It was not wartime sentiment that moved me to ask you here.”
These old guitar players were the last pure thing this country produced.
The willows crack as the startled deer flee into a deeper darkness.
The old hen scratches then looks, scratches then looks. My life.
Before there was air, sublime silence. There was no one not to hear it.
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky, the flying cloud, the frosty light.
We called for the dead dog because toddlers do not understand death.
Stable-keeper’s kids know broken then healed, but healed with limits.
My students are in rows, alive—day-picked apples cut by teeth.
He tries to appear slight in his leather jacket and turbulent jeans.
It was comforting to see her suffer the way we suffer, hollowed out.
I went for a natural, “I look pretty even when I’m giving birth,” look.
“Why, Ma? I don’t understand. I just don’t want you to be alone.”
A family becomes fossilized—a darker crosshatch etched in hard sand.
There’s nothing left to do but crush the garlic, check the water on the stove.
“Fuck you,” I said, but it was hard to say it with any meaning.
Virginia surprises herself: she wants this warmth, wants skin and breath.
They give me a pitying look, as if I am alone, and they are invincible.
I opened my eyes and they burned; I closed them and saw my father.
“This is no vacation,” I told friends and reluctant donors.
For days after she left him, he roamed the house, unable to function.
He wondered how others lived with their sins. Maybe they never did.
Owen’s head throbbed, his ears ached, and an anvil sat on his chest.
I wondered if the coyotes and deer were mourning the loss of Steve.
He told his father he wanted to make art pictures, not lousy mobster stuff.
They believed that the American movie should be taken seriously.
These days murder is as common as love scenes were in the 1930s.
“Out to lunch,” she learns from an older colleague, is a euphemism.
Here is my father on the last day of his exceptionally long life.
Let us not forget the desuetude of nailed-shut carousels.
A memory in the drip, drip, drip of the kitchen sink that won’t stop.
With my son in the NICU and my wife in tears, it felt good to disobey.
She possessed a quality that made one forget all shortcomings.
“We must also buy twenty acres or so. Life is becoming impossible.”
Some inner voice told her that now or never her fate would be decided.
“I can’t die, I don’t want to die, I love life,” Prince Andrei thought.
To me, the very point of cooking is to wildly praise what’s wild.
Men are so delicate, must be given many portals. I try to be game.
This kind of childhood stuck with a person, twisted things up.
Think how you move, how a room changes with your smallest breath.
You walk and the world bends toward you like leaves waiting for rain.
The highway hot with possibility, a new herd expected every five miles.
Cold metal stands upon my brow; Spiders seek my heart.
You decide that in this city all things are possible, even happiness.
When she passes you, her name is a bright blue phrase on your tongue.
He could smell the bear’s breath, feel the hot huff against his ear.
Professor Flacks could tell you everything about James Joyce.
The mountains out your window make Central Park feel rinky-dink.
I’m the one with the most crumbs, little bits of salad or fudge.
I wonder if those tiny computers in pigeons’ brains ever crash?
What was she thinking, driving alone to see a man she’d never met?
Why had she asked him to come along, someone she did not even know?
Then came “the sea of trouble” as he crumpled his bank statement.
Protect your hands. You can always get by if your hands aren’t broken.
I try to get her to drink again. We were okay drunks, before Jesus.
Sleepy and pensive, July succumbed to the day’s isolating heat.
Amy put her arm around his shoulders. My boy. Isn’t he wonderful?
The sunrise does not blaze fiercely but spreads in a gentle flush.
The jealous Othello, ready for murder, was transformed into a school-boy.
Let the public do itself the honor to read and follow in my footsteps.
Any invented quotation, played with confidence, can deceive.
He looked a look of vicious happiness and eagerly pried the watch open.
It is our nature to conform; it is a force which not many can resist.
An awkward, unscientific lie is often as ineffectual as the truth.
We had a pact to live outside the adult world forever, and we broke it.
Dogs electrocuted, set on fire. What buys the right to drown a dog?
Ice and evergreen and sun; three moments arranged for human looking.
That what I call my Self is asleep, and has dreamed up these lilacs.
We pried the last of the pallid squid from their crevices and ate them.
This storm scares me. A foreign climate occupies the land.