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John Engman



James Wright, 1927—1980 On one long road from here I spent the time with some of those you have heard of, who gave up our town. They introduced me to much more of the sky I had missed, and to the only cow of the farm. By some enchanted circumstance [...]


Who thought your life would come to this? Singing along with The Greatest Hits to a few gladioli in a furnished room, Elvis in the suburbs. What you were sure was a knock at the door was only the radiator having spasms as the heat kicked on. And you [...]

Stones That Seem to Have

GROWN FROM THE LAWN Maybe what I wanted was all wrong. I hate to speak against what I know has gone on for thousands of years in the human animal kingdom. I hate to speak against a grim tradition, names and slogans chiseled into rows of stones. I hat [...]


I got down on my knees with the little weeds and whispered to them. I counseled flowers, saying hey you stand up straight. I hypnotized a crepe snake. That's what I did for so many dollars an hour, building a common garden of construction paper, fing [...]