P

Pillows of snow have come down, the first real snowfall of the winter, a heavy, wet flatness over everything in sight. It sags beneath its own weight: an icicle I plunged like a flag into the railing’s drifts now leans at a crazy angle over empty space, pulled almost to a horizontal by the slow … Continue reading P

O

[Many thanks to Erika Birkeland for this guest post!] On September 20, 2019, 16-year-old activist Greta Thurnburg declared in an Instagram post: “Change is coming, whether you like it or not” (“Greta”). While poet James Merrill could not have foreseen the rise of Instagram or the global climate strikes that prompted this post, in 1991 … Continue reading O

N

November has turned into December.  Keegan and I each have multiple small roles in a dramatic adaptation of A Christmas Carol.  We are phantoms of the past and people of the present.  Ebenezer Scrooge first threatens us, then showers us with munificence.  I haven’t been in a play in decades.  It’s intimidating to share the … Continue reading N

M

M: mid-point, center, middle of the line. Halfway through the alphabet. I can only think of something my dad once told me: Once you’re halfway into the forest, the quickest way out is forward. — Months have gone by, and for those months those lines sat on my desk, were typed up, were shuffled here … Continue reading M

L

Life keeps hitting the stands.  Having spent the weekend in Boston, I’m now in the small town of Stonington, CT, five miles east of Mystic and just west of the Rhode Island border, on a small peninsula that gestures towards the Block and Long Island Sounds, staying in an Airbnb just around the corner from … Continue reading L

D

"Beacon in a Dark Fog" by Adam Strauss Deep haze and dreamscapes penetrate my waking-states, almost daily. It’s been about a year since I “quit” drinking; I would have expected more clarity. Then again, I still have a cocktail once every month or so. Still, I never would have expected (relative) sobriety to be a … Continue reading D

C

Cold nights. Some storm’s come whirling down from Canada, and Bozeman’s streets are pale and clear—a skiff of snow over white ice. The wind is bitter, raw, and hollowly cold, fringed with humid frost. I’ve been stuck inside all day. Merrill’s Fire Screen is open next to me—mocking me, I suddenly think. His face peers … Continue reading C

A

A selfie of Merrill and Friar at Amherst, from Langdon Hammer's James Merrill: Life and Art A black and white photo snapped in 1945 at Amherst College depicts the face of a  man, dark hair receding, gaze appearing somewhat drowsy, the deep marks of time carried in crow’s feet parenthetically framing his mouth.  Next to him a boy, lighter … Continue reading A