“The human face is, after all, nothing more nor less than a mask,” Agatha Christie said. Our face reveals our true feelings—curiosity, excitement, doubt, disdain—or conceals them.
We put on different faces in different situations, in different company. We perform.
I’m sorry I stabbed Vann Marsden in the eye. It’s terrible that his wife had to die in the aftermath. The fact that she was already ill and couldn’t take the strain doesn’t alter my sadness over her passing, but when a director takes all the movies you love and remakes them as stark, near silent catalogs of gestures, the critic has to respond.
The languor, the drive, the traffic, the parking,/the walking blocks to public beach access,/down past an atilt row of porta-potties,
Though the library was closed, the lights had briefly blazed on, and she guessed Baker had broken in again. When Susan rushed through the front door and saw Baker, she grabbed the desk phone and shouted that she was dialing 911. Baker then fled through the side door. Then Susan called me, the librarian of this one-room rural Vermont library.
While I travel the world’s / geography, history, / and virtual present, / in mind and poetry—
My husband stands under the lilac, clippers in hand, / squints up at bare twigs / among the heavy, spent blossoms.
We make the best of what we’ve got. Two tents, a flat piece of land, a nylon hammock that packs down to nearly nothing. We stuff the cooler with ice, but the week-long heat wave stretching across Vermont means we’re careful about opening it too often. One too many times, you say, and everything will go bad. The eggs will hard-boil in their carton, the fat on the bacon will start to crisp.
By the time I finished Dan Lewis’s collection Intimations of the Focal Plane many sections of my journal were scribbled over with citations of snippets from the tome. His words, blazed and blazoned on my pages, had magically transformed each into a focal plane of its own.
Side effects may include digging / a hole in your personal snow / to a time before your heart / floated next to your father’s heart
Lashed & anchored to the front of each ship, / a woman—breasts carved from dark oak, / all the wildness sanded down, polished out; / half human, half fish, a grotesque fantasy
Two wolves mating and then / at rest, the carnal moment just caught.
In Ghana, I was warned, all snakes are poisonous. All ninety-two species. If you are bitten, you have to grab the snake and take it along to the hospital so they can give you the correct antivenin. Assuming they have antivenin. And assuming there’s a hospital.