You learn quickly to not poke yourself in the eye but slowly to recognize sticks which after all are everywhere suggesting you might bow at the altar of branches practice the burn the sting the ocean on your cheek and consider their hidden kindness how they rub the velvet from your antlers that you might […]

If you feed wild birds long enough,  you begin to feel as if you are doing something important. Especially during the winter, when the mercury flirts with zero and every natural food source  is blanketed in snow,  the birds come to depend on your largesse. In return, they reliably offer pleasures only sporadically available in the realm […]

Cooking for one you bought the Mini quicker to pressurize but — you learn — slower to cook except when it’s not. Maybe it’s the altitude or mysteries no one can name that explain why proven formulas fail dubious experiments succeed though always the Bundtlette pan pleases making comely the humblest recipe causing you to […]

The last heist ends as you knew it would: Roy Earle tumbling from the high sierra. His weeping woman; his crying dog.  But before that, love, for which Palance and Winters are too pretty, too well-fed; even in CinemaScope even in Warnercolor love needs Bogart and Lupino, their small desperation,  the sharp angularity of his […]

Already squirrels courting on the maple’s bare branches chasing, tumbling, wild and determined as teenage boys while my old hen sings softly the ancient song of her kind approaching again the nest box long empty which I cushion now with clean straw, feeling her feel the eggs soon to come, how already they speak to […]

Having labored through the night to extinguish the day’s wickedness, God sleeps in that you might awaken at just the right moment in the liminal space between adjudged sins and feel, fleeting, the world made new — its wild and profligate beauty — the innocence of flesh upon bone the softness of the unguarded heart the […]


Truman Capote is best known for In Cold Blood, the chilling account of a Kansas farm family’s 1959 murder that birthed a new form of journalism. But at this time of year, he is remembered for A Christmas Memory, a short story that recalls his little-boy life with a distant cousin, a woman in her sixties with […]


  “Jingle Bells” by Benny Goodman and his Orchestra, 1935.  This post originally appeared in December 2015.