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Posts Tagged ‘poetry prose’

How Do You Write?

By Richard ChessNovember 14, 2016

Do you write with a pen? Do you write with the wind? Do you pray first? Do you pray when you are stuck? Do you pray after? Or are you praying the whole way through? Do you wait for the singer on the beach or the sinner in the confession booth to finish before you…

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The Best Conditions for Work

By Richard ChessJune 9, 2016

For William Carlos Williams I work best alone. In an empty house. When I’m ready to work, I take down the sun-faded poster of the Miro museum from my Barcelona honeymoon twenty-six years ago. I pull the pilled sweaters down from the shelf in the closet—the sweater Nana Sarah knitted for me decades ago, the…

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Caution: National Poetry Month

By Richard ChessApril 22, 2016

How do you know if it’s a poem? Maybe it’s a month, a month-at-a-glance, many days lined with appointments to exchange energy in cells, rows, examination rooms, fields with clients, colleagues, patients, classmates. But, ah, a few blank, spacious days. Maybe it’s an old-fashioned phone book, the white pages with everything you need to call…

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Changing Positions: A Meditation for Campaign Season

By Richard ChessMarch 17, 2016

(With help from Donovan, D. T. Suzuki, Qingyuan Weixin, Wallace Stevens, democracy, REM, Bonnie Raitt, David Bowie, Stanley Kunitz, neuroscience, Torah, Ben Bag Bag, The Rabbis, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, you.)   First there is a mountain then there is no mountain then there is. Donovan, are you flip-flopping? Or is it you, mountain? It…

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Everyone’s Waiting for the Victory Song

By Richard ChessFebruary 18, 2016

Everyone knows what happened. Everyone lifts a steaming spoon of cinnamon oatmeal to their lips. Everyone crosses “t”s. Everyone knows there’s blood on the fence in Wyoming. Everyone hears God in Charleston. Everyone knows what happened. Everyone tries to beat the nightly news home, but everyone knows the news, licensed to drive, drives everyone mad.…

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Sign-Seeking in the Dark

By Natalie VestinJanuary 11, 2016

January is for sleeplessness. Maybe its cause is the temperature inversion that presses pollution down on the city of Saint Paul and holds the river still, pours itch into my throat and eyes as I walk. Maybe it’s the cold and the very real possibility that we would die if left outside long enough. I…

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My Luxury, My Privilege

By Richard ChessJanuary 7, 2016

Though the Dalai Lama has yet to use a computer, the 1990s “Think Different” ad is a reminder that he was a mascot of globalization in its early phase, between the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the terrorist attacks of 9/11. In that innocent era, the universal triumph of liberal capitalism and…

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After a Thanksgiving Feast

By Richard ChessDecember 7, 2015

I carry my failure with me. My embarrassment. My shame. It grows. It sets me apart from men in my life, the hard man with the violin, the thin man with the flask. See them in the photo. They have enough, more than enough. If one day they leave a little, the next they put…

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