Catalogues for Bruegel

We go like a fog in an overgrown estate, the rich relative gone, the upper rooms darkened. We go like a world of lens grinder’s dust falling, a world stumbling into the darkness of a ditch. The slim catalogues we took over time of our green world, the ripe fruit and the animals darkened under […]



Years ago, when I was an under-aspiring and entirely unlikely college English professor in America, there used to be an insider joke I shared with myself around the department Xerox machine, and that always sent me away entertained. Whenever any one of us esteemed faculty members would ask another if he’d read such-and-such a book—let’s […]


We rode in many trucks in Spain. I liked this because the noise of the engine and the business of shifting through multiple gears precluded chit-chat with the driver, and I felt safer sitting up in the cab of a big truck. It was the end of 1969; the truck drivers had caught wind of […]


Big, Round and Smooth

In 1626, Francis Bacon plunged into a snowstorm to test his theory on meat preservation, fatally contracting pneumonia after stuffing a chicken with snow. In 1837, Rev. Sylvester Graham (inventor of Graham crackers) preached that vegetarianism cured alcoholism and lust, inciting Boston butchers to riot. Such are the spirited moments in the long relationship between […]