Spring Quarter: A Thank You Note

15. June 2011 here now 7
I taught them Mark Doty, Mercy on Broadway and Description. These are poems, and it was a short fiction class, but they got it. There are stories that can be told in a line. There are stories that have no plot but that open a window to somewhere else. Can you tell me, I asked ...

So You Think You Can Dance

12. June 2011 here now 16
Two sisters audition together. They are black. They’re built with thick hips and strong hands. They dance together, the only couple on the show. They incorporate African dance into their routine. They are easy with each other, best friends, they say they push each other to excel. One is a slightly larger version of the ...

This is Mickey Mouse stuff!

08. June 2011 here now 5
Shirley Jackson. She was my debate teacher. Debate, for some reason, was part of the regular curriculum in 7th grade. After class, a group of us sat in a circle on worn-down student desks that were all a slightly different shape. The wooden tops creaked open to reveal old gum and carved graffiti. I eat ...

Meetings

07. June 2011 here now 0
The politics of scheduling: We do not reschedule. They reschedule on us. Sometimes right before-hand, hours before. The assistants are unfailingly polite, effusive. “We are so sorry.” People in their lives get sick. They themselves get sick. Their excuses are sweet, like the excuses of my college undergrads. “Don’t give your family bad mojo by ...

City of Angels

07. June 2011 here now 0
Today on the way home, Harper asked me: “Where is the man with flowers?” We were at a stoplight, just past the coin-operated carwash, before the derelict deli with the fading sign in the shape of a giraffe. The telephone poles on either side of us were covered in bright green posters, band names like ...

Terrarium

03. June 2011 here now 4
The plants in my terrarium do not look right. The glass jar curves up at a nice angle. I tried to balance vertical grasses with the delicate spread of the baby tears, the sharp flat leaves of the one that’s like a tiny yucca. But from a distance, it just looks like… Some plants. In a ...

Pop Life: Say Goodbye

02. June 2011 here now 5
E. wants a summer anthem, and I have a couple of options, but what kind of summer do we want? What kind of summer would each song summon? The summer I worked with E., I lived in North Adams, just outside of Williamstown, Mass. I shared a house with a fabulous redhead who went by ...

Summer Wedding

31. May 2011 here now 6
The three things that I knew about the bride before the wedding: She teaches special needs kids. She went vegan for J. She told a friend that We R Who We R by Ke$ha was her summer anthem, because “everyone needs an anthem for the summer.” J. said in his vows that she had redefined ...

LAX / Mazatlán

27. May 2011 here now 4
All of the seats in the waiting area are taken so I sit on the floor near the garbage cans. But then a man in shorts and a cowboy hat walks by and says, “Road block!!” He was talking to his wife. But still, I get up. The flight at the next gate is leaving ...

Best Party on Earth

27. May 2011 here now 2
I was at the best party on earth. I danced on the driftwood body of a phoenix the size of a jetliner. Its wings and talons rose out of the earth on either side and they were on fire. Flaming ten foot-tall iron talons. The best DJs on earth just at that moment were set ...