Crumbs of Wisdom, a writing blog
Song: “Use the Back Door,” for Steve Mitchell’s Cloud Diary music project, April 2018
“The Mechanics of Hope: An Interview with Heather Bell Adams,” South Writ Large, November 2017
“Coming into the Present: An Interview with Nancy Kilgore,” Fiction Writers Review, October 2017
“M Train by Patti Smith, A Partial Index,” The Believer Logger, May 10, 2016
“Exactly What To Say,” The Sun Magazine, April 2016
In 1984, our last year together, there was still a big green open field behind the Mission Valley Shopping Center near our house in Raleigh, North Carolina. One Sunday you saw a man there inflating a hot-air balloon, and you went out to talk to him.
“Breezeway,” r.kv.r.y. quarterly literary journal, spring 2014
Wednesdays we go for counseling in a new white brick building designed by an architect. Every detail has been planned so that patients can come and go in private.
“Charles,” elsewhere magazine, 2014
I hid from him—leaned against walls, stood in shadows—but his camera always found me. Even when he pretended to aim at other people, there I was in every background, conspicuous in my homemade clothes. He liked me, Charles did, because I once said hello to him.
“World Without Columbo,” Redux, 2013; Shenandoah, 2004
After the hurricane, when our cable service was finally restored, we began picking up channels we hadn’t paid for. It’s been months now and the company still hasn’t caught on. My husband feels guilty, but I tell him to look at it this way: we’ve been given a gift, the best kind, one we didn’t expect or deserve, and we should make the most of it, especially since we know it can’t last forever. The truth is, I don’t want to lose my Columbo reruns.
“Cafeteria Lady,” Prime Number Magazine, 2011
Backlit, faintly glowing, she waves me to a booth by the window, one of the narrow ones she knows I like, with cushiony seats and natural light, good for reading. I have a book on my tray as always. I come in every Wednesday after therapy for the vegetable plate, $2.99 plus tax. Today I’m having lima beans, mashed potatoes and applesauce—soft foods, because my teeth are loose.
“Victuals,” Painted Bride Quarterly, 2010
Picture a man walking into a grocery store—Harris-Teeter, say. An old man in a corduroy coat, tufts of acrylic pile spilling out the sleeves. He stops between the automatic doors, feels around in his pockets, checks his wallet. No list.
“Museum of Hands,” Mississippi Review, 1998
A certain sculptor is known for his fragments—hands, ears, and noses he makes instead of whole bodies. Works of art in themselves, the critics proclaim; each fragment “reveals a whole character.”