Pick one up today— Sidewalk Story: the book
Star 82 Review—
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I love Berkeley, but my crush is New York City.
Rocks in My Head
I am sitting still, but I grip the sides of my chair because I feel like I’m falling down a hole. She says that in each ear I have a little bag filled with crystals that are stuck to the sides of the bag. The shifting pressure of the crystals tells me when I am accelerating, but in this case, one has come loose. She points to a diagram of an ear, the loopy semicircular canals. Sometimes a crystal travels into one of these canals. She shows me a maneuver that, through its three steps, may guide the crystal back into its bag, where it will dissolve, thus curing my vertigo. “A woman came to me and said, ‘I’ve had these for thirty years. I don’t think you can cure it.’ But we did.”
Not A Puppy
You hear whimpering outside the open door, but you can’t see what it is without getting up and going to the screen. Did someone leave a puppy tied up? Along with the whimpering you hear birds peeping. As you unlatch the door you peek out and see them: a crowd of little chicks, scared by your shadow. You pull your body back but keep your head poked out. The whimpering continues and you see her, behind a low wall, Mama Turkey. Magnetic Mama Turkey—the chicks line up and follow her away. PeepPeep. PeepPeepPeep.
Little brother sat with his legs straight out in the main part of the grocery cart straddling canned beans, canned peaches, and canned pears. Baby sister squirmed and turned to see him from her front perch. “Corn? Do we want corn?” asked Mother. Her hands flew off the cart and she flitted back and forth across the aisle. Little brother stacked four cans and baby sister pushed them over with a squeal. Happily, he repeated his architectural play, and she, obediently, came in on cue. CRASH. Waaaaaaaaa. Little brother was hit by knocked over cans this time. Heavy beans. Heavy peaches. Heavy pears. No, he did NOT want corn.
Taken With A Full Cup After Dreaming
He’s folded in the middle, walks like a hook. When he feels himself sinking he walks to the corner. Always something there, ignored. Busy street wears a wide grassy tie. Cars play serious tag. He steps off the curb in stop-motion, begins his bent-over shuffle, arms stiff behind him. It’s the honking he likes, sirens, a plus. Cars wait, panting, then gone; he feels hot breath in their wake. He reaches halfway, then the horizon. Waits on the far corner to swallow before he starts the journey in reverse. It usually takes seven or eight spider web crossings before he’s adrenaline charged, ready to go back to muted t.v., feeling that he will live.
I’m up in the hills, trying to outwalk the despair that follows a project’s end. A distance ahead, a man stands under an oak aiming a good camera. I approach slowly and quiet my footfalls so I will not scare the bird? deer? he is shooting. Click. Pause. Click. I look up in the tree. I peer at the big house under it. We are face to face. What do you see? I ask him. Hunh? His eyes wrinkle up. What do you see? He looks down at the long lens, he looks back at me, his mouth in a squiggly Charlie Brown line. And finally he answers in a way I do not expect, A lotta darkness.
Where You Gonna Run To?
I had a little record player when I was a kid and a bunch of singles I played over and over, whether I liked them or not. The flip side of the 45, “Polly Wolly Doodle” was “Sinner Man,” which my father hated. I don’t know why. Maybe he felt guilty for something. No, that wasn’t it. I found it interesting to play “Sinner Man” periodically, though, just to see what would happen. He’d yell. Okay. Eventually, my father took a ball point pen and scratched up the record. So much for “Sinner Man.” I grew up and met a man who loves the movie, “The Thomas Crown Affair,” the one with Pierce Brosnan. Turns out that “Sinner Man” is an important song in the movie. I don’t know what this means.
George Is Thinking about You
Not What You Think
How wonderful! Except the article did not say, “Children should be poetry trained by age three.” And that is not a picture of a little fox or even a hedgehog, all curled up.
She pointed to the bin of imported sea urchin shells and said she found one just like that, a perfect one, right here. She tucked it in her jacket pocket, and then tied the jacket around her waist with a tug on the sleeves. The shell broke. She said she knew it was wrong to pick it up and believed she was punished for it. So she returned it, left it at the state beach where it belonged. “Now I have to buy one to replace it,” she said, picking through the green sea urchin shells imported from the Philippines, seven thousand miles away.
Illusions of Fame
He thinks that by singing into a magic carrot he will become famous, but instead he finds himself followed by crowds of rabbits hoping to become magicians.
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