Mark Scott

"the best damned poet in the business"

Charm

Our nakedly autobiographical memoir columnist fires off emails when he isn’t writing autofiction. We try to clean his tool at source. His ouster is coming. Let us wet his coordinates before Odious writes his history and the gray areas stand out. “Charm” is one of those. Latin in all its vitals and Greek as a talking point, charm is now a global concern. It’s hard to like people you can’t […]

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A Dream of Bloom

Last night in a dream I met Harold Bloom’s friend of thirty years. We were eating artichokes and oil, and his friend, who was the father of the bride whose wedding I was attending, forged a declaration I had to sign saying that he was my father. I didn’t think it would pass muster, but he was sure it would. It was a formality. Finish your dinner and let’s go. […]

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“Opportunities That Disappointed”

My father never called me “son.” He never said, “Son, why do you want to be a poet?” He never said, “Son, what do you want poetry to do?” He did say, “You’ll never make money as a teacher, but I’ll always be here for you.” I think what people want to know, or hear, more than how the perfect crime was committed, is how it was come up with, […]

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Love poems

Single Bed You preferred men older, and one man to many, but he was in Atlanta and we were in Boulder. You hung back at first, like the figure in the black cameo you liked to wear. Then all was fair: every feature forward, every surface glad on the single bed, the only kind my mom let me have.   The Heart Why do you always have to start crying […]

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All Hid

At the Cemetery The gravediggers keep to themselves. So do we. They do their work, we do ours. We hold gloves, keys, flowers, a purse, a Bible, a whiskbroom, a hairpin, the other hand. Each of us notices something and speaks, bending. Some headstones, having sunk in, lean, but ours stand up straight. They need grass pulled back off their edges and dirt swept out of their engraving. Doing that, […]

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Japan, Japanese

Japan [or, insert your country here] is a behaviorist society. Japan pays attention to antecedent circumstances. Japan doesn’t give pats on the back. Pictures of the floating world? I don’t see any. The Japanese world is heavy and slow and dull with repetition. You can see it any morning at 8:30 or 9:30 or 10:30, before bureaucracies, businesses, and shops open, in the faces going to work. Like everywhere else, […]

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