A little known fact, Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina was inspired by a writing prompt suggested during his Thursday evening writing group at the Moscow library. The prompt: “write a story that ends with a suicide via railway. Make vocab twelfth grade reading level and use numerous flashbacks, a minimum of one blizzard, and two characters with names ending in ‘nina.'”
Sitting in the backseat heading
north on 95 after the
game eating cold pretzels straight out
When John Thompson Morris of Philadelphia turned forty-four, he took early retirement from the presidency of his father’s Iron Works to pursue other interests. Morris, unlike his father and uncles, preferred the role of benefactor, one who reaches into the past and buys up rare objects, then donates them for public edification.
When I was a junior in high school, I got a job at a flower shop. I worked there for almost five years, scraping money together for SATs and prom dresses. On the weekends I roamed South Jersey roadways and highways in the shop vans.
Our days are longer than glass, longer than
Stone, longer than light and air, longer than
The waters of this softly flowing river that will
Pass, rise, fall, and pass again while we speak
E A G L E S written in vapors in the sky
A dalliance of eagles overhead
I weep at cartoons.
Wile E. Coyote free-falling from a cliff,
Sylvester flattened by an iron safe,
scads of sodden Kleenex at my side.
create gods that work better for us
no gods requiring two sets of dishes
or prayers five times a day knees-in-agony O Lord
The fragile bones.
The highway snaking
through the maze of rigs.
I understand why the shore line
is uncertain; why castles are sand.