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What Is Real

(after Stanley Moss)

If someone else is kissing you, death is real.
I want no others to know your mouth,
its clever tongue
traveling across my topography
the island of my moxie.

If someone else is kissing you,

then let …

Back from Paris

A journey punctuated by stinks. Crossing a street in Jackson Heights in Queens mother and son drifted from open-sewer smell at one corner to the reek of piled garbage at the next. All manner of mechanized traffic on slush begrimed …

Mortgage Crisis

In the green distance, bank notes
bud from sycamore bough.

Executives trample the meadows
and switchgrass, unable to arrive.

To the west, their fathers re-shingle,
fix pocketwatches.

The executives sell their fathers’
farms to purchase a mile of faraway grove.…

Going Out

Seen outside,
sky’s still white,
but flocculent with cloud
blurs, calming to those
who have stopped
lifting binoculars
to witness cliffs
being scaled sidelong
by ruddy mountaineers;
stopped checking
the newspaper’s contract
bridge advice; absorbing diagrams
of various crashes; reacting…

How to Read Nancy

How to Read Nancy

How to Read Nancy: The Elements of Comics in Three Easy Panels, by Paul Karasik and Mark Newgarden. Fantagraphics, 2017. $30, 276 pages.

To read Ernie Bushmiller’s Nancy is to slip momentarily in time, back to a lazy mid-century morning …

Zachary Lazar

Zachary Lazar

I was delighted to get ahold of a Zachary Lazar’s latest novel, Vengeance, a book that takes readers deep inside the horrors of the prison-industrial complex, where we cannot, in good faith, look away. We begin in the notorious …