Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Sindri Skúlason
August 27th, 2014 | 6:00am

Were taking a two-week August break from publishing new content. Please enjoy these hand-picked selections from our print and digital archives. Original writing, audio, and visual features will resume on September 1. Happy August!

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Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Sindri Skúlason

I’m carting a 55-inch flat-screen

to the car when I’m surprised

by sounds I haven’t heard

for some time and can’t believe

I’m hearing here—the nasally peent, peent

of a woodcock broadcasting its call

from the fields beside this new Wal-Mart. [Click here to read more]

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Deborah-D
August 26th, 2014 | 6:00am

Were taking a two-week August break from publishing new content. Please enjoy these hand-picked selections from our print and digital archives. Original writing, audio, and visual features will resume on September 1. Happy August!

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Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Deborah-D

A vinyl sombrero. A needlepoint rendition of Gainsborough’s Blue Boy.  A macramé lawn chair.  If you go to the thrift store with a specific item in mind, you probably won’t find it.  You’ll find something else.  I forage for the else. 

My relationship with the thrift store started a few months after my life-partner died and I dropped off the first bag of clothes he wouldn’t be wearing any more.  Before that, in the early weeks of mourning, I couldn’t let anything go.  Taking bookmarks out of his books, or emptying his pockets of keys or chapstick, could capsize me. . . . [Click here to read more]

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Chris Sorge
August 25th, 2014 | 6:00am

Were taking a two-week August break from publishing new content. Please enjoy these hand-picked selections from our print and digital archives. Original writing, audio, and visual features will resume on September 1. Happy August!

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Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Chris Sorge

1. goose girl

I’m chatting away merrily to his back
About how my grandmother worked here
As a nursemaid. Little changes
On an island. Look, a goose girl
In a floppy bonnet, charges honking. [Click here to read more]

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Michelle Ucciferri
August 24th, 2014 | 6:00am

Were taking a two-week August break from publishing new content. Please enjoy these hand-picked selections from our print and digital archives. Original writing, audio, and visual features will resume on September 1. Happy August!

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Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Michelle Ucciferri

1.

We worry about the gifts. Unable to sleep, we think to ourselves how best to please her, what gift will be most memorable, anxiously turning over the pages of catalogues or searching the Internet—each of us in our own room, dark except for a ghostly light shed by the computer screen. Next morning 
we hurry to her house with some token or other purchased earlier, hoping to be among the first to knock at the door and, having been let inside the house by her son, to press into the old woman’s hands a porcelain thimble, a tortoise-shell comb, a bottle of the chocolate liqueur she favors—asking only that we 
be remembered by her. . . . [Click here to read more]

August 23rd, 2014 | 6:00am

Were taking a two-week August break from publishing new content. Please enjoy these hand-picked selections from our print and digital archives. Original writing, audio, and visual features will resume on September 1. Happy August!

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Scents conjure up times, people, and places distant from the here and now. At the heart of Kate McLean’s Sensory Maps is the power of aromas, their ability to trigger and concretize emotion and memory. McLean, born and raised in Britain, was inspired by the idea that we form our experience of place through sensory perception. She has researched, recreated, and charted the dominant scents of several cities to paint urban portraits through smell. . . . [Click here to read more]