Scoundrel Time

Anna,

Here’s Schubert at 17, short and thick, nickname Schwämmerl, “little mushroom,” deep in his cups at the Hunter’s Horn, a dingy beer hall in Vienna, with the after-opera crowd, poetasters and brainy pundits...

Blessing for the Lice Check

Miss Rosier, who was childless, had us bow our heads to our fifth-grade desks on the appointed day, as though for prayer. She slowly ran the side of a pencil from the nape of each neck to the top of each head...

From A Series of Portraits of the Most Dominant Possessions in Rap Music

#1 A Portrait of a Gold-link Chain Great material of this kind requires mastery, requires great digging, yes, a great digger, and a heavy, well-stropped shovel. It purports the need for a good licking, a...

People have started Saying, “Nip it in the Butt”

Is this a mishearing of “bud” or a mash-up with “Come back to bite one in the ass,” the desire to breed a new expression from established ones, the way my daughter’s science class imagined mating superheroes...

Taking The Service Road

Ice on asphalt, fog on wing mirrors, land flat, a yardstick, a bad tire, dry rot on the sidewall, the map of where I’ve been— Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, the mechanic tells me, hard times lurk, bad news ahead. On to...

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