Dispatches from Solitude
Edited by Bradford Morrow
November 25, 2020
The smell was profound, suffocating, singular. My skin and clothes stank until I washed them; I had to stop at a gas station and wet my shoes under a faucet and scrub them with disintegrating Kleenex because the smell hung so potently in my car. It was dead fish and bird droppings and the bottom edge of a body of water, brought to the light and baked too hot. I once visited a blooming corpse flower at the Huntington and it smelled alive, at least. This was death of a hundred kinds braided together.
November 18, 2020
Where there is no fact, there can be no consolation.
We chose to be plural in the presumed grace of what
is presumed to be moving in the dark.
November 11, 2020
You, Shtuli, went to a school and sang a few songs.
The children, with skybright eyes, listened rapt, their mouths hanging moistly open.
Strumming my balalaika, I, Shtuli, sang.
Shtuli, you asked Asfalyi, your child, to come to a noisejazz concert with you.
“I’d rather stay home and read my grimoire tonight, to be honest, Boombi,” Asfalyi said.
“That’s all right,” you gloomily said. “I’ll go by myself.”