Not that you asked, but here’s a poem…

People can love each other, for some reason.

The man and woman walk toward me,

a mass of contradictions,

she’s Asian and fat,

he’s white and nerdy thin, glasses, baseball hat and sweat.

He pushes the baby cart like

it’s loaded with the last scrap of coal from the mine:

none of it is pretty,

her breasts stick out in her pink shirt,

like they and she aren’t sure anymore which way to go,

he looks like he smells,

even from a great distance,

the kids twitching in their awkward sleep in the big stroller.

But something keeps him pushing,

and her striding beside him,

maybe it’s their mortgage,

the interest too high, the crush of credit cards,

his up-tight parents,  her widowed mother

silently wishing her daughtered’d married Japanese,

maybe it’s the kids, the constant reassurance

of their presence, a tangible tribute

to union, a chain tied to both of them,

but maybe, underneath all that sweat and

extra weight, something still

breathes between them, something the

mortgage kids inlaws neighbors

can’t touch,

a place,

that comes at night,

laying together,

the day gone away,

sleep not yet engulfing them,

and he says something she doesn’t hear, but feels

and she folds into him, and

his hands rest on her,

and a space is formed between them,

a small and sleepy place,

filled every night by the flowing

flesh of two people too tired,

to do anything

but exist here, in this

continent that no one

sees, but that they return to each night,

silent and knowing.

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Hello world!

Hi there,

This is a blog about literature, that is, reading and writing, those arts that seem to be increasingly a part of the past, and how and if, and in what ways they might be meaningful in the wider world. What use is reading, particularly fiction and poetry? Does it need to have a use or can it be gloriously useless? Does something need to be useful in order to have value? I am a writer myself, which is why, I guess, I care about these issues. I’ve also been a teacher of literature and writing, and it is there that some of these questions have come up most pointedly. I also hope that there is some way that the online community could be used to have a thoughtful discussion, something that I have seen glimmers of on Facebook and other sites. IN any case, the format will be writing centered on what I’ve read most recently, starting with an entry about Wallace Stegner’s novel “Crossing to Safety” and the conventions of contemporary realism.

See you soon!

n

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