A Literary Feast

Posts by Sarah Kanabay


Posted on March 21st, 2017

It is somewhere in the neighborhood of five in the morning and you are standing in the bare bulb light of your narrow counter-less hallway kitchen holding your cat that you’re secretly worried is huffing paint every night and she has just drooled on your t-shirt.  You have been painting the back and only bedroom and, knowing its carpet is not long for this world, have been letting the paint fall where it may the entire time and now nightly you find her in there, on the floor in the middle of a half circle of three paint cans, purring, and you think you’ve created a problem.   So you scoop her up and think about how this is a tender broken-open sort of…

The Weather Underground

Posted on August 22nd, 2016

1.   How To Have A Body   Here are your limbs and where Oh here is your Head it has these many Places for looking and this line Jaw to hair that a hand Could go, hesitantly   It’s not clear? A finger passage Spells out the unspoken Is an alphabet of unconscious– You mean you just Want the manual, the sockets the Sight and its correction, the bone That follows the other bone, down To where the ground Begins, to where all Sentences end   The allen wrench Of your arteries, the pill That puts you out   Tab A Slot B Requires some Assembly.   2.   How To Be In Motion   It’s been some time, and maybe this is…


Posted on June 10th, 2016

The western field has flooded.  The diner talk is all about the weight and depth of the water, and Ray’s truck stuck in it.  You know where you are, Kath is saying to Ray, because this is news and he agrees.  I’ve had four cups of coffee and won’t call today either, and the note looks back at me from the paper telling me to do it but I won’t.   Ray doesn’t believe in angels.  He told me that once over eggs even though I hadn’t asked.  If you sit in one spot long enough in a regular way, people tell you things, and sometimes, it’s about the afterlife and sometimes it’s about the bait shop.  They’re about the same.  He said their…


Posted on July 14th, 2014

a hot afternoon reading Henri Cole whose 1978 photograph is something i’m sighing over no matter that he has no interest in my underpinnings   it’s a season of push and want and limbs falling through the dead streets i wrote once some letter to a fiction, saying oh your white soft tshirt, your careless hair let’s eat plums or get drunk and let the quiet build up some force between us–   i call my own name in bed at night, drive with the windows down, eating strawberries   the way back to a lost town is non-fiction only.

A Box Opens

Posted on July 14th, 2014

What is the what of talking or not talking or the yard on the right side about to become peonies peonies peonies their chickens down at the asphalt edge, fat forgetfulness, bronze shuffling food purpose–   a box opens and the past falls out, mountains and longing and that time we stopped writing letters, started the truth instead   plants in the ground are you, and so is the turn in the bed, my ankle hooked around a blanket the coffee bag, the dirty spoon, an ocean   it says one name i swallow it with eggs.  

The Good Part

Posted on May 14th, 2014

The lack of surprise on Reg’s son’s face when the door to room number forty-three had swung inward allowing a slice of the blank heat outside to penetrate the dark in an elongated white pyramid should’ve told him something.  What registered there was disappointment.  He might’ve missed if it hadn’t been for the light, the angle of the bedspread, his last minute decision to look in immediately instead of down at his shoes and then up as he’d contemplated in the truck.   Happiness, he’d said out loud on the drive over, is as ordinary as a sandwich.  He wasn’t sure what he meant by that but liked the sound of it leaving his mouth.  There was a notebook in the glove compartment that…

You Tell Me

Posted on March 17th, 2014

The first week I hid in the long grass until my body became vapor and when it reassembled and the light fell down into the water I got up and walked back to the house.   The first week, I catalogued the silences, and their names.  The time before the bird takes off and leaves the branch trembling.  The time of white steam from the brown bowl.  The space between saying the word and the word reaching you.  Hands behind glass, waving.   The first week opened the land and gave me new sentences.  I took the old ones out, and assembled their meanings:  our bodies, moving through the kitchen.  Our bodies spelling one kind of truth.  Our bodies breaking eggs into a dark…

Before and After

Posted on January 18th, 2014

On the day that Anson died we went down to the water in the flat grey light and I found a rock with a split white band across it like a web of heat and put it in my pocket.  Lorna has a jar of these that sits on a shelf in the kitchen, filled with water, so that she can see them as they had been when she found them, and I wondered if she’d prefer to fill Anson’s coffin with water too, for this same reason.  But, we didn’t.  His body was burnt up and then it was parceled out and it left our hands and went into the wind one shake at a time.  The shape of it rising was like…


Posted on January 18th, 2014

I went out to the Pacific with an alcoholic Montanan who ran the camera for a weather program and had a Jeep that smelled like soup.  I bought a key and put it on a chain around my neck and bad coffee and the rain found every unsealed part of whatever I was wearing and put its hands in there, and jesus, it was cold.  He wanted pictures of us there on the sand and I didn’t want to lie but I said sure.  The first week in a new city, a year later, my car was broken into and the photos were stolen and it seemed like it was supposed to happen that way.   Going home is mostly a process of cataloging…

Fatherless in Ypsilanti

Posted on September 30th, 2013

The chief problem with Michigan was that there was so goddamn much of it. And, as with anything large and obvious, its sheer accumulation of facts made it difficult to see. Which is why its disappearance at first registered only with startled birds, farmers, lake lovers, that June. Miles away, on an eastern shore, Milo would tell himself later that he felt the echo of it going when it happened, the way Kepler claimed to have felt the faint warmth of moonlight on the backs of his hands some solitary evening. Mostly because it was a good story, and mostly because of Kate.   They’d only dated for a few months, when he’d worked on Abner’s lobster pots, and she’d had the misfortune to…