4.02 / February 2009
My emerald-green Oldsmobile sputtered and coughed as I slowly drove into the parking lot of the Snappy Jeans Distribution Center. It was Friday, the first day of a new year and the first time me and my partner Kasandra were making a pick-up at the center. Usually, [...]
Morning, at the store where they laugh in Chinese,
then back to an hour of TV aerobics when
you call to say hello and ask me to a formal dinner.
I want to buy you a leather scarf
the kind Sajik sells on Greenbriar St.
So out my apartment door, down the stairwell
where Mrs. [...]
“I have always wanted to see Poland,” I tell Anna,
my new Polish friend with dyed red hair,
at the DUMBO gallery opening. True?
Suddenly, it is. Maybe Poland is lovely,
maybe I’m going to be happy.
I look for the trays with big cocktail wieners:
that’s definitely the Milwaukee in me.
Nothing seems steady [...]
From the far end of fiction, I spot the redhead in one of the two easy chairs by the cafe at
the front of the bookstore. She has green eyes I could fall into, a sheer white blouse, and black high heels. Her leopard skin skirt rides high on her [...]
“—and the dish ran away with the spoon.”
From Hey Diddle Diddle, the Cat and the Fiddle
The Secret Lives of Scientists
The universe proves itself unreliable when
James Prescott Joule, whose findings lead to the first
law of thermodynamics, spends his honeymoon
jury-rigging a thermometer at the top
and bottom of a waterfall instead of canoodling.
The limits of pleasure are neither known
nor fixed. Friction keeps him sharp.
Thomas Edison doesn’t bathe, convinced [...]
A Sigh Rose Inside Him
It was her, standing there outside the cafe in the rain, bareheaded. He knew, from the way she stood, her hands shattered by raindrops, her fingers turned up to catch, her face fetchingly flushed in the damp. He was not a good man, or noble, or [...]
My wife calls from the hospital
about the “Do Not Resuscitate” clause.
In the window,
a bowl sits empty
by having once held.
From a Carriage Barn, Everything
Julia walked toward the carriage barn along the path through the long field. She loved its steep roof, its windows rippled with age, the hollow thump of the floorboards beneath her feet. Roger said the gorillas had returned. They’d been gone for over a year and [...]
My Father Calls With More Bad News
A boy my sister went to high school with killed himself,
how? My father doesn’t know, can only read between
the lines of small town gossip and transmit the news
via telephone to me in Florida, far from Midwest tragedy,
like the closing of another factory, or another [...]