Both of these statements often occupy me, fanning my flames more than the food I eat or the merriment I make. Shall I bend an eye and singe an ear over Dickinson or Stevens? Hop into bed with Borges or Bishop? Yet when one starts reading essays pointing to other works one should read, one compounds an already compelling problem. A few weeks ago some force intervened with an answer, possibly signaling a caesura to my yen for other books to fondle while carrying three or four masterworks in my bag at a time, daily stealing kisses from each. Sluttish, yes, but also tremulous—I only need wink at Rilke or Valéry in order to gain affection I know will be good for me, a guarantee anything with a heart would scoff at.

An Adequate Idea

By Doug Bruns

Essay

I was recently engaged in a conversation that ended with the phrase, “The difference between us, Doug, is that I am a man of faith and you have no faith.” It was delivered with shrugged shoulders, a slightly tilted head and the nervous hint of a smile. It was not mean-spirited, just a declaration, yet it seemed to carry the impress of righteousness. I found it a curious thing, this conversation-stopping declaration. But I am getting ahead of myself.