February 4th, 2014 | 9:00am

Joshua Mehigan, whose poems “How Strange, How Sweet” and “Believe It” appear in Issue 06 of The Common, was born and raised in upstate New York. His poems have been published in a variety of journals and magazines, including Poetry Magazine, Ploughshares, The New Republic, Parnassus: Poetry in Review, and The New York Times. His most recent book, The Optimist, was published in 2004 by the Ohio University Press and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prive. His second book, Accepting the Disaster, is forthcoming in July 2014 from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 

February 3rd, 2014 | 9:00am

Hello, everybody. My name is Julia, and I am becoming an Internet genealogy addict. I don’t believe in higher powers, except, like, the NSA and the IRS. So I must rely on my failing willpower. Unless you find a rich uncle, Internet genealogy is hard to justify as useful. Why should I care that four hundred years ago, some remote ancestor was a rabbi in Moravia? Geni.com, where I listed my family tree, says it has 74,346,170 people on its site. I’m already up to 1,820 blood relatives.

 

January 31st, 2014 | 9:00am

Lake Huron, summer, just before midnight, and we are floating night blind through black water. M. and I have paddled past the first sandbar and its shallow eddies to the almost-deep—still and quiet here, our small boats barely swaying. At first, we can see nothing but lights from the vacation homes on shore, square amber windows glowing inside darkened shapes, a yellow half moon, the black outline of rooftops and evergreens cut out against an ink-blue sky. 

January 29th, 2014 | 9:00am

There was a pile of old vines and twigs in the vineyard. We lit a bonfire and the flames licked daylight into the night sky. Next morning there was a gray and black patch of coldashes, perfectly round. It looked hard, like crushed marbles, so I stepped on it. My boot sank deep into tiny feathers. A gray boot and a brow none told me I should have known better.

 

January 28th, 2014 | 9:00am

 

From the elevated train in Queens, I’d glimpse the phantasmagoria that was 5 Pointz. A riot of color and occasional faces covering every inch of the old, block-long factory, it felt hallucinatory. In a minute—not enough time for the eye or brain to take it all in—the images vanished and the train rumbled underground, heading to Manhattan.