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Jim Culleny
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Hearing Parker for the First Time The blue notes spiraling up from the transistor radio tuned to WNOE, New Orleans, lifted me out of bed in Seward County, Kansas, where the plains wind riffed telephone wires in tones less strange... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at 3quarksdaily
Breaking Pitch My father raises his hand to signal "enough," but I'm still pitching, and the ball spins off my fingertips–a breaking pitch with so much stuff on it my imaginary batter is too baffled to swing, so much stuff... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at 3quarksdaily
Extracted —For my mother, Paulina (1926–2000) When I go out to my garden all I desire is a world with the mute on, but there comes my neighbor, the haughty one, the one who distinguishes himself by pronouncing words wrong... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2016 at 3quarksdaily
Refugee Blues Say this city has ten million souls, Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes: Yet there's no place for us, my dear, yet there's no place for us. Once we had a country and we... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2016 at 3quarksdaily
Making Foots Many a foot was chopped off an African highgrass runner and made into a cotton picking plowing peg was burned away into two festering runaway sores was beaten around into a gentleman’s original club-foot design They went for... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2016 at 3quarksdaily
The Traveler I Among the quiet people of the frost, I remember an Eskimo walking one evening on the road to Fairbanks. II A lamp full of shadows burned on the table before us; the light came as though from... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2016 at 3quarksdaily
How Things Happen Rain comes when it will. It doesn’t care for us. It’s hitchhiking its way to the sea on a cloud. The sun is interested in its own fires. If light comes, so be it. Bees feel an... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2016 at 3quarksdaily
The Language Issue I place my hope on the water in this little boat of the language, the way a body might put an infant in a basket of intertwined iris leaves, its underside proofed with bitumen and pitch, then... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2016 at 3quarksdaily
Consider the Hands That Write This Letter —after Marina Wilson Consider the hands that write this letter. Left palm pressed flat against the paper, as we have done before, over my heart, in peace or reverence to the sea, some... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2016 at 3quarksdaily
White Spine Liar, I thought, kneeling with the others, how can He love me and hate what I am? The dome of St. Peter’s shone yellowish gold, like butter and eggs. My God, I prayed anyhow, as if made in... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2016 at 3quarksdaily
It Begins in August I You think back to childhood when the days of summer seemed endless, and time long enough. Then the school bell rang, and you woke with a jolt into the mortality of arithmetic. II After supper,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2016 at 3quarksdaily
On Love, Proust, Chorus Girls, and Martha Nussbaum I’ve been thinking about trying to read Proust again. The legendary chorus girls of my youth were said to carry him, volume by volume, from try-out to try-out, perusing him in the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2016 at 3quarksdaily
Born in the USA We were pumping our fists with Springsteen, chanting the chorus as Reagan galloped the campaign trail, still pretending to be a cowboy, and the old man who lived in the blue house with the white fence... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2016 at 3quarksdaily
At the Center Today doves flew from my head and my hair grew the longing is gone from my body and I'm filled with peace, perfect peace No longer shall I speak of electrocuted poets or the ones who inhaled... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2016 at 3quarksdaily
What is the Difference Stein asked what is the difference. She did not ask what is the sameness. Did not ask what like is. Or proximity. Resemblance. Did not ask what child of what patriarch what height what depth didn’t... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2016 at 3quarksdaily
Campari and Smoke Rings In the side street bar, below the church of St. Catherine, the drinks are cheap and the music loud. Girls in tight jeans lean into young men who might be Zepharelli extras with their dark halos... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2016 at 3quarksdaily
Resignation I love you because the Earth turns round the sun because the North wind blows north sometimes because the Pope is Catholic and most Rabbis Jewish because the winters flow into springs and the air clears after a storm... Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2016 at 3quarksdaily
Afternoon in Siena —After Cavafy Soon I will know this room. It will have become familiar. Then sometime after I’ve left they’ll rent it to another writer or student, a couple on holiday for a long weekend. For now I’ll... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2016 at 3quarksdaily
. Tonight I've watched the moon and then the Pleiades go down The night is now half-gone; youth goes; I am in bed alone . by Sappho . Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2016 at 3quarksdaily
The News of Flowers . Spring. Everything’s liberated. The news of flowers eases the poverty of this world. Throughout this fractured country (some say it’s a pity, others not so) spring has come full force. An azalea blooming at Cheju... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2016 at 3quarksdaily
Daphne in Mourning Palm fronds have woven out the sky. Fog has infiltrated every vein. My hair has interlaced with vines. Cobwebs lash their gauze across my eyes. I’ve stood so since the world began, and turned almost to stone... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2016 at 3quarksdaily
Strange Fruit Where the plows can’t reach snow crusts brick tenements in a black-and-white photograph. Outside the apartments streetlamps glow like twin moons, as if belonging to another solar system, one where Billie Holiday didn’t die. Still, the thin blade... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2016 at 3quarksdaily
The Last Time The last time we had dinner together in a restaurant with white tablecloths, he leaned forward and took my two hands in his hands and said, I’m going to die soon. I want you to know that.... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2016 at 3quarksdaily
Valençay Paying for identity. Paying for tradition. The French State pays when it subsidises an agricultural activity whose workforce in days no longer measured from sunrise to sunset over farmland first ploughed at least some seven millennia in the past... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2016 at 3quarksdaily
Fishers of Men —After Duccio di Buoninsegna A raw blue light. The morning moon and a small wind hold us fast between sea and sky. Dawn hangs exhausted above the lake of Tiberiade, our sails weighted down with morning dew.... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2016 at 3quarksdaily