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Christopher X. Shade

CHRISTOPHER SHADE is author of the novel The Good Mother of Marseille and the book of poems Shield the Joyous. He lives in Queens.

Stories About the Storm

In 1963, a storm approaches Cuba, and an elderly woman named María Sirena knows that it is coming. She sees the “ferocious churn of the sky, like a black mouth opening and closing.” This mouth-storm tells stories—but bigger than stories. The storm is “bigger than all of Cuba.” There is talk that this storm over Haiti had wrenched away the sea to reveal a sunken ship, and then dropped the sea back onto it.

Kevin Carey’s Set in Stone: poems

Carey renders poetic moments of breakaway energy in a tight game of memory, reflection, loss, and regret. He feeds the ball again and again to what hurts him. Carey eschews the technical for poems that ground the reader in a vivid place and tell as clear a story as possible.

The Morality of Landscape

Reading Stanley Crawford’s Travel Notes is like being in a tailspin. A safe one, perhaps, but a tailspin nonetheless. Everything is not as it should be; you feel disoriented. You go up in the air, then plummet; then you are safe on the ground. But you don’t stay grounded. Before you know it, you’re up in the air again, and have no idea how high you are or how much higher you might go.

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The Brooklyn Rail

JUL-AUG 2020

All Issues