You enter a diner far from home, in a state or neighborhood you’ve never visited before – and you know the place: it comes straight from the catalog of diners so you’re sure you’ve been here – the brass chandeliers and the Early American formica; the railings and tables; you know where the restrooms are […]

I am Jessica, the visionary, and this is what I am here to tell you: there are people who look everywhere – like homeless collectors of bottles and useful trash, we look everywhere – . in garbage, in libraries, on mountains, in watercress, in soda fountains, sometimes at church, and in the eyes of animals […]

23rd Street. On My 40th Birthday 6:30 a.m. . . . a mug of bitter coffee in a diner named Chelsea Square. This morning, the middle of winter, is dark as night. I’m surrounded by fellow survivors, bloodshot-eyed, unshaven, some at late suppers of corned beef, some with eggs and bacon. The coffee’s to keep […]

John was one of the students who seemed to begin to think the year he spent in my class. He called me in New York when John Lennon was killed; I’d presented lyrics by the Beatles for analysis as poems, and he thought I’d have something wise to say. . I didn’t, but a few […]

Originally posted on GARDNER SPEAKS:
When we moved up to the junior high for seventh grade, I was assigned to a homeroom that was some kind of catch-all. While all my friends and the high achievers were in other homerooms, mine consisted of everyone repeating seventh grade, all the hard-core discipline cases, several precociously mature…

Originally posted on GARDNER SPEAKS:
Middlesex Dairy could be called a dairy only because ice cream was made on the premises. It was a short-order restaurant serving nothing more complicated than tuna-salad sandwiches and fried clams, one of the few places in town where you could order food or ice cream. The owner and his…

  Listen to what they say when the wind moves, the trees, taller than houses, and the swamp grasses, taller than men: . Life thrives for this instant; people dizzy themselves with words, as the insects buzz; . sticky life flows through your veins, as it does through ours; . dry death and decay lie […]