Rappahannock Review's Contributor Spotlight

“Sleep, sleep, sleep," my mother says. But I cannot help thinking about waking the next morning. To the white and pink light, to the green-winged pigeon’s murmuring, to the breathing of my brothers, to my uncle already speaking his mind to the pig. To rolling from my sleeping, my twisted covers, my corner mattress. To touching one toe to the floor, my own luck for the new year.  

- from "Waking" - Rappahannock Review, Issue 2.1, Winter 2015

Last year the fiction editors of Rappahannock Review accepted my story "Waking," and later they asked if I'd agree to an interview. Of course, I said yes, knowing how much this would help me think about the larger project of which the story is a very small, yet important part. I loved responding to the thoughtful questions, which moved from inspiration for the piece to its quiet acts of rebellion. The interview is now live at Rappahannock's Contributor Spotlight.




Breakfast of Champions – Reverie 2011 – Day 12

The glass of fresh-squeezed OJ, the bowl of steel-cut oatmeal littered with golden raisins and walnuts, the deep black coffee colored with cream.  And the books of war poetry: Brian Turner, Yusef Komunyakaa, Bruce Weigl.  Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam.  I look into my empty coffee cup and wonder about the cold sweet water, the betel-black smiles, Nixon’s Christmas bombing, the way the world turns for the soldier shot down amidst elephant grass and the man who was once a boy on the coast of Oregon, where a beached sperm whale died and was then removed by dynamite. 

I load the dishwasher with rinsed dishes and think about the boy who lost his father, who watches the news, who learns nothing from a world so far from all the fighting.  How no one in his school understands, except the girl whose mother has just been deployed for the third time.  I wash the soaking oatmeal pot and consider the complexity of war, the way anapest and aubade, caesura and synecdoche, image and irony fall into place, just as thousands of miles away, men and women fall to the ground, a final act, no breakfast to follow.