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#549. Why Do Drops of Water Flatten and Disappear after a Time?

His body so close I hear the cicada hum of his cells, and he slips away.

& Bless: Poems

I’m afraid to say anything or nothing, I’m white & unalterably broken.

& the War Was in Its Infancy Then

By the time I looked over my shoulder, the sun had already fallen.

1968

A story about what changes and what remains the same, in just six words.

A Brief Handbook of Revision for Writers

Progressive stages of revision eliminate incidence in favor of essence.

A Dress Rehearsal for the Apocalypse

History howls for direction so I remind him how the hero was lost.

A Happy Birthday

I wanted to ride this day down into night, to smooth the unreadable page.

A Hint for Next Christmas

The presents you receive will not have been chosen with such care.

A Kind of Thinking and Other Poems

Life, then, was song and purple font, imagining in words a future.

A Legendary Agent Reflects on Publishing

A Letter to Robert Pinsky

We caress the rough. Sensuous, delectable, and yet sorrowful.

A Life with Bears

I want to focus on bears. On knowing them, and on what they need.

A Master at Work

Man is always beginning everything anew, even in his own life.

A Matter of Necessity

The survival of our world depends upon the cultivation of better language.

A Model Prisoner

A New National Anthem

I’ve never cared for the National Anthem. It’s not a good song.

A Real Writer

Advance planning was never Hank’s strong suit, he had to leave her.

A Short Short Theory

Fiction, no matter how short or long, is the art form of human yearning.

A Trout in the Milk

How much simpler and more satisfying was the company of men.

A Walkabout in Andrew Wyeth’s Painting and Other Poems

My bike, my skinny body, my pent breath was thrown to the grass.

A Writer’s Beginnings

I was writing copy for cheapo furniture for a crummy ad agency.

Adam’s Curse

To articulate sweet sounds together is to work harder than all these.

Addendum and Other Poems

The animals are dying. All the beautiful women are dying too.

After Calling Your Detective’s Discontinued Number

I want to say hold these harp strings steady atop the tallest summit.

After It

I sit next to a man I never loved but let kiss me wetly for two months.

After Nazim Hikmet’s “Things I Didn’t Know I Loved”

I never knew that the song of the first summer cicadas could ease my hips

After Saddam

He said he had come back to the prison because it was home.

Again, the Body

They taught us do not touch it, but who can keep from touching it?

Against Surrealism

…when you walk to the edge of the Mekong and make a wish…

Agents: The Business of Writing

Art touches the soul and moves life in ways that commerce cannot. E. L. Doctorow noted that writers seem to get business ideas almost right.