The stage is dark and bare, save the trappings of bathroom. A sink. A lightbulb, flickering. A mirror with no reflection. A toilet. A mat. The Woman is still young enough to think of herself as a girl. She perches atop the toilet, feet resting on the lip of the cover, knees tucked under her chin. The Man crouches beside her, one knee pressed into the blue bathmat. He looks romantic, holding her hand on his flat, open palm, like a gift.
It is one of those days when the sun dazzles across the waves and the sky languishes in its warm blue appeal. Once upon a time, these were Angie’s favorite days; days when she would leave her shop door open, bask in the marine musk, and let herself be lulled by the sound of seagulls prizing in the distance, but now the smell that rises from the bay is that of gore and rancor, and the only sounds are the shrieks of constant human suffering.
You need to teach your kids to write poetry. That’s right: to write, not just read, poetry. Don’t worry, it’s not as daunting as it sounds. Poetry gets a bad rap. Somewhere between Beowolf and T.S. Elliot’s The Wasteland, the word “poetry” became compounded with “confusing.” Sure, some poetry requires analysis and perhaps the aid of a thesaurus to understand. But you know what else is poetry? Nursery rhymes. Ad jingles. The Broadway hit musical Cats. Seriously, the lyrics to those songs are taken from poems by…guess who? T.S. Elliot! Poetry is everywhere. In fact, the human mind is naturally poetic. We use poetry to remember things. Have you ever made up a rhyme to remember where the poles face? That’s poetry. We are naturally […]
We need to talk about this. Through the president’s Twitter account, nuclear war with North Korea has become a credible threat. Millions are in danger of losing healthcare benefits. Refugees—people very much like my own family when my mother moved here—are being treated like criminals. Our president just derisively called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas” in front of Native American veterans. He is such a dangerous figure in today’s politics that even mental health professionals have broken their creed of silence to discuss his dangerous imbalance. We need to address how we helped put him there.
Patricia’s body felt like it was sinking downward. As though gravity had been turned up against her. Her breath was short, trapped in her chest, and she felt poisoned by the paranoid, impossible certainty that the walls were clutching at her. Patricia had always been the level-headed one. Not prone to over-worrying like her own mother, or to whimsical imaginings like her husband and children. But now…now she was half-crazy with thoughts of plummeting through the earth or being consumed by the sky. It was humiliating. She crossed her legs, very tightly, and passed a hand over her face. “I can’t do this,” she sighed. “You can’t do what?” asked Amy. “I just…I don’t…I don’t have the words.” “That’s okay. Wait for them.” Amy’s voice […]
First, a disclaimer. It is absolutely necessary to understand the basic tenets of grammar for the language in which you plan to write. I’m not saying you need to be able to teach it to other people…Hell, I’m not even sure that I could walk into a class right this second and competently teach grammar to other people. You do, however, need to know what you’re doing. Basic mistakes, like the infamous your/you’re or their/there/they’re errors, can really screw up what may otherwise be a decent piece of writing. If I read an improper “there,” I mentally file that story as “not very good.” After that, you pretty much need to be writing on the level of Ken Kesey in order to redeem yourself. If […]