selected past writing at 42opus


The Tartarus of Maids by HERMAN MELVILLE

Immediately I found myself standing in a spacious place intolerably lighted by long rows of windows, focusing inward the snowy scene without.

At rows of blank-looking counters sat rows of blank-looking girls, with blank, white folders in their blank hands, all blankly folding blank paper.

11 January 2007 | fiction, short story, classic


Historiography for the Body by ALLISON TITUS

What I keep of you I keep in my stomach

where it is easiest to feel empty,

easiest to feel full.

2 June 2004 | poetry


Monody on the Death of Chatterton by SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE

Now prompts the Muse poetic lays,

And high my bosom beats with love of Praise!

But, Chatterton! methinks I hear thy name,

For cold my Fancy grows, and dead each Hope of Fame.

11 September 2007 | poetry, classic, rhyme



Curious are the ways

holiness is achieved (that freezing

and melting point, that instant

when your perfect attention changes

and unchanges you or the world) and unforeseen

the consequences.

2 January 2007 | poetry, editors' select


Ficus: A Tragic Love Story by LAURA RODERICK

When I first bought my plastic ficus he was small, about as high as my knees. The bottom half of him was buried in a plastic, earth colored pot that looked heavier than it really was and there was a bed of faux-moss covering his lack of roots.

I wanted him for my home office because I was missing summer in the middle of November. He had been dumped onto the sale shelf and I saw him and knew that it was meant to be. His glossy leaves reflected the fluorescent lights in a way that was perfectly unnatural and completely beautiful to me.

20 August 2010 | fiction, short story

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