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The Book of Crow

The unfinished, epic series of narrative poems, Crow: from the Life and Songs of Crow, served as a repository for Ted Hughes’s grieving and guilt. As a locus of bereavement, the Crow poems made intuitive sense as a shadow text for Max Porter’s Grief is the Thing with Feathers and, here, for Lyle Rexer’s picaresque that attempts to make sense of the past two years. This excerpt comes from two short stories, “The Last of Crow” and “Crow in the Time of Cholera.” Playful absurdity emerges with the crow’s-eye view, and there’s much to be enjoyed in the trickster experience of corvid covid.

Cooler Heads

Over the past many years in New York City, we have witnessed closures of stores, restaurants, movie theaters—businesses of all kinds—on a scale that most have not seen in their lifetime. The identity of the city is shifting quickly, dramatically, and the empty storefronts piling up on nearly every block throughout the five boroughs is very much at the center of this change. A crisis of this magnitude requires our immediate attention. By considering the phenomenon of the cursed corner—those corner commercial spaces that cycle through one tenant after another and often spend long periods vacant—this column has always aspired to open eyes and awaken minds to the very factors at the forefront of the city’s empty commercial spaces.


The Brooklyn Rail

APRIL 2022

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