Brothers Grimm, Plato

Every minute without you is a pebble in my shoe, I wrote you, not knowing what to call this ache. My chest is a bruised peach. Strange that I should have been complete until the moment I met you. I was astonished, not at your newness, but precisely the opposite: I was astonished because I […]


All manner of tents

A tent is a carapace, but thin, fragile, ethereal. Even the heaviest tents are no substitute for sod or wood or ice. The nomadic tents in mountainous Central Asia are layer upon layer of boiled yak wool, Turkish yurts are felted sheep’s wool, and the Tupiq, traditional Inuit summer tents, are made with seal or […]


Summer

Spring in Chapel Hill is beautiful, all fuscia and pale azaleas, Bradford pears, pink dogwoods and new ivy, campus brick, and elms– and then it’s over in a matter of weeks, leaving sheets of pollen, and then the rain and the puddling neon sludge. Then right on spring’s heels comes the Southern summer without any […]


Gros Michel

When you think of bananas, you probably think of today’s banana, yellow and boaty. Its name is Cavendish, as it happens, which summons French novellas and bluebloods. I learned of it on Saturday afternoon at the Southern Rail. A horticulturist named Mark Paradis (like paradise)from Montreal spun a tale of madness and a long-lost banana […]


What peaches and what penumbras!

I’ve got the poetry books I grabbed when I left, and some novels, and a complete Shakespeare bound in red and gold, and then borrowed books, upstairs there are avocados and tangerines and lemons, a Walt Whitman greengrocery, all upstairs in a painted bowl waiting like some Eastern promise of an afterlife. I’m listening to […]


Vincent’s comfy red dress

Vincent asked what the last book I read was, and in which dress, because I told him how tired I was of moving and how I had had to pare down my books and my dresses– I laughed thinking how morbid the question sounded, as if I were reading on my deathbed, and I said […]


the woman in the arena

Black Friday gets a lot of flak. Every year the reports of violence flood in; 2008 was a particularly gruesome one, when a crowd of shoppers shattered the glass doors of a Wal-Mart and trampled to death a store employee. This year’s finest was a woman who pepper sprayed other shoppers so she could get […]