Cox Farm Hands detail

A poem

Once in a summer at haying time, / My uncle Dave and the neighbour— / A coarse fellow in bib overalls / Who shat in the barnyard among his beeves / Whenever the urge took him— / Gave me a pitchfork and said to come along.

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Chinese Brothers small


Nothing is spared and nothing is explained. No motive, no reason. Eventually we will get there but not now, and anyway these are not really very important. What is important is that we are pitched headlong into the story. Propelled by pity and terror.

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Oral Roberts small

Cargo cult

There was no time when one might not freely solicit custom, while the sounds of the healing business somewhere in the brightly lit centre wafted out inconsequentially. “Heal!” would come. A hush. Groans and cries. Applause. A refrain struck up. More quiet. “Heal!”

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Henry Moore London 1941

A gentleman

“To be honourable and courteous and brave,” he says. What is wrong with that? Why is that useless? Perhaps because Lewis does not wish to persuade us to be gentlemen; he wishes to persuade us to be Christians.

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No. 7

On the bus

It is snowing and the streets are busy. The driver navigates with a fair bit of dash. We lurch forward when she makes a quick stop, from side to side when she veers around obstacles—not at all unpleasantly.

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carhop detail

Driving lesson

Carhops on roller skates, occupying the precarious outer porches of respectibility defined by divorce, childlessness, dyed hair and lipstick.

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Is Donald Trump the Antichrist? A quaint sort of question in these days of general Biblical illiteracy. But I am reading Denis de Rougemont’s Talk of the Devil, written in 1945, and I am up to the section called “Is Hitler the Antichrist.”

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Walt Whitman small

Old men

There was a time when it might be said I grew more mellow, more good-natured and tolerant. More than I had been in a turbulent, not to say destructive, youth. Now that I am old I would not say I am no longer mellow.

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The street runs parallel to a sort of harbour, an estuary formed by the confluence of three rivers, the Esk, the Mite and the Irt. Esk is cognate with many other river names in Britain, including the Axe and the Usk, and means a good place to fish.

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A recipe

Butt-ends of celery. And fennel—the stalks as well. Coarse outer leaves of everything lettuce, especially escarole. Radish tops and kohlrabi tops. (The colour of beet tops is off-putting.) Plucked-clean stems of kale, collards, parsley. Also, discarded stems and twigs and woody parts of any herbs.

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