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.
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.
Victoria Chang’s collection, Obit, seems to have anticipated the prolonged good-byes of 2020. In it, Chang says good-bye to loved ones, feelings, objects—everything we feel and know, who we were and where we’re heading—especially when someone we love is dying, and our sense of awareness is heightened.
Back when I taught English in Japan, the worst thing that happened to me was being denied entrance to a few restaurants. Kelly Luce, author of Pull Me Under (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux), wasn’t so lucky.
In the chemical light of afternoon, / bodies curl over phones, / slightly toward windows, / empty forms, / if it’s test day.
The great English critic Matthew Arnold once said that he had no respect for the Romantic poets–you know, Shelley, Wordsworth, Byron–because they didn’t know enough. He would not level such a charge against Rosemary Badcoe, who in her remarkable first collection, Drawing a Diagram, so amply and skillfully demonstrates that she knows a great deal – about science, about history, about art, and most importantly for a poet, about writing poetry.
I went over to James’s house unannounced. He opened his bedroom door, his hair all bent and flat from sleeping.
I don’t wear my mother’s body. / There’s no use sneaking around / the house, a gingerbread prefab, / forest-scented with frosting snow.
I met Ed Milk when I was working as a reporter for a chain of community newspapers in
Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn in the late seventies. A week after he came on staff I was fired for having signed a petition for a writers’ union, so we never had the chance to get to know each other all that well, but after he was fired three months later for having signed the same petition, he called to ask me to help him find a job. I was working as the director of publicity for a country music station by then.
Although subtle, and often hidden behind snappy dialogue, fights, and sex, the lingering and often overwhelming sadness that follows a loved one’s death is really what holds Monsters together.