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& Darkness Moves In

The dead cowards my parents on a tear through the goddamn fields.

1968

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

2 B R 0 2 B

All diseases were conquered. Death was an adventure for volunteers.

46

I don’t want fiction. What I want is truth. Or someone’s version of it.

A Brief Handbook of Revision for Writers

Progressive stages of revision eliminate incidence in favor of essence.

A Center

If others call you a maniac or a fool, just let them wag their tongues.

A Distant Episode

The distant past returned—what part of it, he could not decide.

A Dream of Ease

I shoved them one by one, easy as pie yet with care, just shy of mercy.

A Dress Rehearsal for the Apocalypse

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

A Few Delicate Needles

It’s so delicate, the light. And there’s so little of it. The dark is huge.

A Final Conversation

I used bravado to protect myself when we lived in poverty.

A Fragmented Diary in a Fragmented Time

We take our solace, in a time of malaise and mourning, in the close-at-hand.

A Happy Birthday

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

A Late Valentine

Now we have the shells, the casings, emptied and scattered, strewn

A Map to Now

I thought my body was mine until it became a map anyone could use.

A Master at Work

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

A Place Like This

I can see on him how things are changing for and against us.

A Real Writer

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

A Secret Space

Two weeks after she and Mark were married, Hannah fell in love.

A Serious Desert

All over the planet people try to end pain: striptease, bee stings.

A Short Short Theory

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

A Small Hotel

The allure of Mardi Gras is to feel this way: unseen and unseeable.

A Storyteller’s Story

Americans have always a kind of tenderness for cheat.

A Taste for Lionfish

Three months is a long time to be away from the person you love.

A Trailer by the River

The thought of entertaining our relatives filled me with horror.

A Walkabout in Andrew Wyeth’s Painting and Other Poems

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

A. Roolette? A. Roolette?

She remembers that golden ocean, the promise of a whole new land.

A. Roolette? A. Roolette?

She remembers that golden ocean, the promise of a whole new land.

Acceptance

However hard you try to make amends, they will still condemn you.

Accompaniment

We are going south where I know that my father is going to die.