Hatbox Elegy

On June 11, 2013, I went to confession. I wept the whole time. On the wall of my room at home hangs the lid of a hat-box. It was a cardboard hat-box; I say “was” because I have no idea what happened to the actual box. I decorated it—box and lid—at a Quaker retreat once,… Continue reading Hatbox Elegy

On Compost and Mambas

My family has always promoted the organic-free-range-no-high-fructose-corn-syrup lifestyle. I say “my family,” but really I mean my parents; I was usually an unenthusiastic participant in the community gardening and Tom’s of Maine toothpaste purchasing. In keeping with middle-class environmentalist philosophy, we kept a delightfully putrid compost pile nestled in the pachysandra shrubs of our New… Continue reading On Compost and Mambas

The New Scarlet Letter: Hester, Donald, and the Failure of Shame

In a moment, however, wisely judging that one token of her shame would but poorly serve to hide another, she took the baby on her arm, and, with a burning blush, and yet a haughty smile, and a glance that would not be abashed, looked around at her townspeople and neighbours. On the breast of… Continue reading The New Scarlet Letter: Hester, Donald, and the Failure of Shame