Teetering: Drawings by Howard Skrill


 

    I wander through urban places, mostly near my home in Brooklyn, New York, rolling a Whole Foods cart jammed with a collapsible chair, a bristol pad, pencils, pastels, an easel and canvases. I make images of figurative public statuary, and occasionally their absences. These pictorial essays track the fate of public monuments and explore the inconstancy of public and private memory, particularly when the present, as now, is deeply unhappy or ambivalent with the legacy of its deeded past. This distress can lead to the toppling of public statuary which customarily happens in … Continue reading Teetering: Drawings by Howard Skrill

I Have; Home by Benjamin Harnett

cut tree trunk
 

I Have   I have never been so tired in my whole life. The mountains run across the river—pointing like a knife. Forlorn boathouses perched out on rotting piers. Empty lots of naked scrub. A water tower. A column of fire. The lattice of clouds make sparkling fishmouth, the intervening atmosphere, twinkling distant lights. Crepuscular, this stand of trees. In my hands, a paperback— its yellowing leaves. Everything I have and everything I need.   Home   It may not be as surprising to you as it was surprising to me to learn that a … Continue reading I Have; Home by Benjamin Harnett

Ernestine Goes to Heaven by Susan Heeger


 

“Old age ain’t no place for sissies,” the actress Bette Davis famously said, and these words reeled through Muffin’s head as she crammed a pill pocket down the throat of her ancient basset hound. Ernestine was no sissy. Overweight, asthmatic, maybe a little depressed, the dog had the droopy-eyed mournfulness of Davis during the late “Baby Jane” phase of her career. Some of her teeth had fallen out. Her swaybacked body was knobbed with benign tumors the vet said were “evidence of her aging immune system.” She smelled musty, cheesy, like a Brooklyn deli on … Continue reading Ernestine Goes to Heaven by Susan Heeger

Holding Onto Silver by Rich H. Kenney

Streaks of color on black
 

In the summer of 1960, my father got high and I held the ladder. “All you have to do,” he told me, “is to hold it steady and turn the radio dial when I tell you. Whatever you do…” he said, sternly, “don’t move the ladder. That means no talking to friends, no kicking pebbles, and no daydreaming. Got it?” With that, he scooted up the side of our house to the second story, fresh paint from his bucket splattering and sticking to Silver, his aluminum ladder. He ascended rungs like a seasoned fire-fighter but, … Continue reading Holding Onto Silver by Rich H. Kenney

What I Saw in Charlottesville on August 12, 2017 by Cora Schenberg

Snack squad holding food and their sign
 

At 7:40am, the streets of downtown Charlottesville are eerily quiet. If not for the barricades, it would be hard to believe these streets will soon teem with people: busloads of Nazis come for the Unite the Right rally, and counter-protesters, like us. Some people told us to stay away this morning. Terry Sullivan, president of the University of Virginia, where I teach in the German Department, urged us not to risk getting caught in the violence. But as a Jewish Germanist, I know too well what happens when you don’t stand up to Nazis. Besides, … Continue reading What I Saw in Charlottesville on August 12, 2017 by Cora Schenberg

Best Intentions by Erika Raskin

Copy of novel on table
 

My second novel, Best Intentions, is a medical thriller that falls solidly between Write-What-You-Know, a form of untaxing research I heartily recommend, and Write-What-You-Worry-About, a selfless act of spreading alarm. (You’re welcome.) Shining a light on important issues while plucking details floating around my house to flesh them out was pretty much my dream project. As a doctor’s wife and a mother of a child with a serious illness, I’ve had an interesting vantage point from which to study our medical system. While I don’t claim to be an expert on the subjects I touch … Continue reading Best Intentions by Erika Raskin

Joshua Trees by Carla McGill

Joshua Tree National Park
 

Joshua Trees   They are repetitive across the hills for hours, stillness in the space around them. As for the sky, one dark cloud drawn out as if between two hands and me underneath, held together by skin, scrutinizing the world for severity, for intention, for final episodes. The other cars seem lost, but the road is even, the pavement, newly blackened and unbroken. Destinations and departures, resolutions of the human creature—they all soar past like blackbirds and hawks. It is the piercing alertness of the lizards that stays with me. I know they are … Continue reading Joshua Trees by Carla McGill

Sliding by Anne Carle Carson

snowy neigborhood road
 

It had just snowed a heavy snow, and my mother picked us up early from school. The roads were not that scary or impassable, but she drove with great care that day anyway—this was Richmond, Virginia and no one was accustomed to snow there. We sat bundled in the grey Chevrolet station wagon, all four kids in our colorful, puff polyester coats. I remember liking that name, Chevrolet, saying it over and over to myself. The radio broadcasted the AM station, the one that always shared the school closings or delays, and how much snow … Continue reading Sliding by Anne Carle Carson