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James Tate


A Sound Like Distant Thunder

Summer 2002 | Poetry

I had fallen asleep on the couch with the TV on. Every now and then I would open an eye and see someone get stabbed or eaten by a monster. Once, a beautiful woman was taking off her blouse. And then the phone rang. I couldn't tell if it was a TV ph [...]

The Healing Ground

Summer 2002 | Poetry

Mimi was going to take me to her special place, some kind of sacred healing ground, though she never said whose. For over a year walking had caused me great pain, and none of the doctors I had seen gave me any help. I viewed Mimi's invitation as an [...]


I long for some, even one would be a beginning, not this long flat stretch of just me and my improvising of waste, of a kind of heroic negligence that life does not appreciate. My loved one is wobbling—O creme de menthe! See, I am making my own int [...]

Constant Defender

My little finger's stuck in a Coca-Cola bottle and I've got three red checkers lodged in my watchpocket. In a rush to meet my angel, now I don't even know who my angel was. I can see seven crimson jeeps lined up outside Pigboy's Barbecue Shack— mus [...]