How to Cope with a Crisis
Maggie swore she’d just seen John the Baptist searching behind the couch for his missing head. Someone should tell him, she said over the party noises, poor hygiene doesn’t make you look badass. Meanwhile, in every room, even the bathrooms, there were paintings. I took that as a sign of an ongoing crisis in representational art. Then a bird happened to fly in while the door was left open for the dogs. None of us guests could catch it as it ricocheted off tables, mirrors, walls. There was only one thing to do – kick out the windows and scream, “Fire!”
Air Like Poison
Hey, did you see those sea turtles down there? I often see them, though not as often or as many as I did before there were boats, the bridge, some buildings, even a small amusement park. Wherever they go, the turtles seem to leave a trail of watery stools behind. The ocean feels a little sick right now. There’s actually too much sunlight, too much air like poison. And it all comes from the same place, a collected disarray of memory and daydreams, the millstones that early New Englanders used to crush Giles Corey to death for being a witch.
Grandson (with Apologies to Werner Herzog)
Now that you’re 8 years old, you have to know how to travel on foot. You have to know how to make fire without matches. You have to know how to catch a trout with your bare hands. (It’s fairly easy. You just have to understand how the trout thinks.) You have to know how to forge a document, let’s say a gun permit, in a country under military rule. You have to know how to open a safety lock – surreptitiously, of course, with burglar tools. You have to know how to tell at a glance night from other darkness.