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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

What I’m Reading

She tells the truth, but tells it at a slant. Emily Dickenson said that. Kingsolver writes it.
This is deep. A good read, in my opinion.

Excerpt from Unsheltered, Barbara Kingsolver – Harper Collins – Page 260
“You’ve grown extremely bold in your critiques of Landis, these last months. ‘The Prince Travels Abroad, Hoping to Eclipse Her Royal Majesty.’ Even the captain’s wife is not spared. I have to say . I’m impressed:’

“The loudest horn does nothing to move deaf ears.”
“You’re being modest. Your paper has its subscribers, I trust.” “A fair number, it would please me to say. And also its detractors.” “Naturally.”
“Naturally. It doesn’t always go along lines you expect. The peasants don’t like hearing how they’ve been used, paying for land that will go back to Landis the day they lose their first crop. They refuse to believe they’re getting tricked into building wealth for the masters of this town.”

“No man wants to hear he has been a fool.”

“But they hear it, and still they persist. Landis passes around his bill of sale, this egalitarian Vineland where every man stands an equal chance, and they lap it up like cats at the dish. They are all for the great captain, while he indentures them and eats their souls and property. Somehow he gets them to side against their own.”

Monday, February 4, 2019


 by Stephen Dunn 

It was back when we used to listen to stories,
our minds developing
pictures as we were taken into the elsewhere
of our experience or to the forbidden
or under the sea.
Television was wrestling, Milton Berle,
Believe It Or Not. We knelt before it
like natives
in front of something sent by parachute,
but when grandfather said “I’ll tell you a story,”
we stopped with pleasure,
sat crosslegged next to the fireplace, waited.
He’d sip gin and hold us, his voice
the extra truth
beyond what we believed without question.
When grandfather died and changed
what an evening meant,
it was 1954. After supper we went
to the television, innocents in a magic land
getting more innocent,
a thousand years away from Oswald and the shock,
the end of our enormous childhood.
We sat still
for anything, laughed when anyone slipped
or lisped or got hit with a pie. We said
to our friends
“What the hey?” and punched them in the arms.
The television had arrived, and was coming.
Throughout the country
all the grandfathers were dying,
giving their reluctant permission, like Indians.

"Stories" by Stephen Dunn from Local Time. © Quill Press, 1986.