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If you put all the components of summer in a blender – barbeques, swimsuits, campfires, love, ice cream – and mix them up, you get a parade.

Is anything more summery than a parade?

And let’s, for nostalgia’s sake, make it a small town parade. A small town parade is a mortally personal affair.

The perennial debate on the technological threat to the institution of the novel rages on flatmancrooked.com (and elsewhere)-see Shya Scanlon’s excellent Faster Times piece here, and Mike Shatzkin’s note on ebooks-but there’s not much on this on TNB, as far as I can see…

So, in the interests of stimulating debate, I include an email exchange between TNB contributors Kip Tobin, Megan Power, and myself which took place off the blog last month.

Cyprus

By Megan Power

Poem

I tap on his first floor window late
He parts the drapes, smiles faintly
Fag? I ask
He dresses for the cold
Joins me outside the residence entrance

We could be chest to chest
Steam enveloped in my shower
We could be front to back
Blanket wrapped in his bed
We could be mouth on mouth
Rain soaked in the park
We could be all this and
More anytime, anywhere
Right now
Redrawing the boundaries of our imaginations
Plunging into oblivion

Instead a thousand hours
In the cold dark we smoke
Inhaling exhaling three feet apart
On the butt-spangled walkway
Under partial moons and slapdash stars

Detailing particulars
Of the unremarkable
Schedules, forecasts, assignments
Without asking or having to he reaches into
My pocket for the lighter
Beyond that
It never goes

Some mix of
His understandable cowardice
Our lovely friendship
The twelve years
Between us

Detains

Drunk at the union or the pub
While the others carry on, their banter a perfect cover
He stares at me in a way that makes me itch
I can arrange him for you, he sneers, if I glance too long at someone
And I laugh as cruelly as possible,
Go on then
We gather our tools, go out to the patio and
Smoke

Meet him halfway
Provide a signal or
Create an opportunity
I can’t, won’t and shouldn’t
He’s the one with
Illusions left to amputate
A big blank book of failures

My need is not him-specific
Only even projected in his general direction
Since he’s always right in front of me
Smoking, a thousand hours in the dark

I mean – I’d be gentle
Oh so gentle
But his heart needs to be a sieve
Whereas now it is a kite

Something is possible between us
I’m not sure what
But a thing is possible