Features

Leo’s Bomb

When the bomb goes off Leo is thinking of dogs. In particular: how he doesn’t like them.

It’s something about their eyes, which blink with an odd depth of understanding that appears almost human to him. A few years back, he read a story about a St. Bernard who remained by his owner’s grave for five years after the man died. . . .

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Invasive Beauty

No other creature holds the same romance
in the minds of Icelanders as herring. 
   —Anita Elefson, historian, Herring Era Museum

I sit at a tiny coffeehouse nestled on the southern rocky coast of Iceland’s Snaefellsnes Peninsula, a finger of jagged volcanic rock that juts out from the western shore. . . .

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The Goal Now Has to Be to Listen: An Interview with Barry Lopez

INTRODUCTION

Barry Lopez is one of the world’s foremost thinkers and writers about human beings and their place on this planet. Few writers have thought more deeply about that relationship or have written more powerfully and eloquently about it. The stories and meditations in his expansive new book Horizon (forthcoming in March 2019 from Knopf), . . .

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Saving a life

My mother hanging sheets on a line 

in ’47. The wind believes it won the war, 

just like the rest of America, 

and swirls her black hair in a manner 

the photo likes to recall. 

Her simple skirt and blouse 

are proud of her youth.  . . .

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Lotioning My Mother’s Back

Because she lives alone and my hands reach

where hers can’t, she asks of me this favor.

 

It is narrow and soft, my mother’s back.

When I massage in small circles, my mother

 

circles her own mother, . . .

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She Did Not Speak

Wir sagen uns Dunkles
                       —Paul Celan

 

It began so quietly that no one could hear it.

How to begin a story that can never be told? For a long time, I started to tell the story by not telling it, . . .

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Standard Hole

My truck’s compromised radiator steaming, I pulled off for pepper flakes, expecting nothing more than having to call Triple A if I couldn’t fix the situation. This was in the parking lot of a place called Halfway Barbecue, down on Highway 176. I ’d chosen to take back roads all the way to the South Carolina coast in case something like this happened. . . .

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None

1.

Hazel Hicks was the first “None” to graduate Crossley State College as a religion major. Hazel herself thought it nothing special. She thought it an obvious choice for someone like her. Which is to say, a person who took every form of life seriously but who found all creation stories implausible—even the most entertaining and compelling. . . .

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Hao

 

1966

Qingxin remembers that the character 万comes fromin the Oracle Bone Script—a scorpion with large pincers and a poisonous sting at the end of its jointed tail. How does a bug come to mean ten thousand, as in “毛主席万鋸”—Chairman Mao lives ten thousand years, . . .

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Earth Obituary

Born four and a half billion years ago from flecks of matter, particles of helium, the teeth of gravity, dust, light, ghosts, and ice, she married the sun, bore children from wind and plankton, tethered herself to the hearth with the rearing of men and mice and fruit. Her bosom was full of water and her belly full of wild trout. . . .

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