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Spring 2012

Encyclopedia Floridiana

Green Basilisk / Basiliscus plumifrons / Jesus lizard My roommate Frank finds the basilisk on one of his worksites and brings it home. He puts it in the snake tank, which he leaves on the patio, and tucks some plants in it to make it homey. Sheena puts a towel over one side of the [...]


There is a jasmine vine on the corner of 9th Ave. and 5th St. It weaves across a fence around a 1938 house that holds the vault of a former bank robber. You will find its combination scratched into the garage wall. The bathroom vault was locked, but empty. This is not that story. The [...]

In the Event of Nuclear War

How many have handed over their religions? Come empty fences come power-lines, TVs all promising the fall-out won’t make landfall. I’ve been in rooms full of people while they haunt themselves with the forest-fire sunsets of Arizona. And we share the same disease, sincerely, they’ve never slept very well. By which I mean their elegance [...]

The Hard Because

The crook of my neck: the hairline once made a perfect cursive M: you wept over the dishwater in the same sink you had once washed my infant body (the soft machinery): you the mother within my mother who will not know what I won’t want you to know is why I am:     [...]

Restraining Order

I am sitting in the attic closet with the cobwebs and mothballs, holding my baby, her hiccups ceaseless as the paint can smashes through the window below and the diaper rash is getting worse and cradling the freshly coated doorframe, they climb the pull-down ladder. They are dressed as clowns but they are my ex-wife’s [...]

To Ipswich

They sent me to London for a summit on Global Water Leakage. I lasted no time at all because feeling like a lame duck I soon began to sweat. We were in a convention centre, some stuffy four star hotel near Marble Arch. Waiters deposited jugs of water. Buzzards fiddled with microphones, wearing expressions that [...]

The Doors: A Lifetime of Listening to Five Mean Years by Greil Marcus PublicAffairs 2011   In the twenty-five minutes it takes to drive from Berkeley to San Francisco—in the spring of 2010—Greil Marcus made a curious discovery. Flipping through radio stations in search of a good song, he was surprised to notice that The [...]

The Greatest Show  by Michael Downs Louisiana State University Press 2012 Michael Downs is the son of a man who­–as a three-year-old boy–did not attend the infamous Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus in Hartford, Connecticut on July 6, 1944, thereby escaping one of the greatest fire disasters in history. Instead, a family quarrel [...]

Draw a Straight Line and Follow It: The Music and Mysticism of La Monte Young  by Jeremy Grimshaw Oxford University Press 2012 Minimalism. Art’s 50-year-old movement. A force of stasis. Of repetition. Of the barest materials. In writing. Ray Carver. Language eviscerated of ornament. The impact: disturbingly hollow. In painting. Frank Stella. Primary colors, perfect [...]