By Michael Heffernan
A considerate and stylish assortment from entire puppy Michael Heffernan.
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No one looked up with any semblance of regard from the heroic Russian people. I had ﬂown from Paris to visit the faubourgs of Omsk, Irkutsk, Novosibirsk, but they were ﬁlled with a smother of blue coal ﬁres, shadows of shadows coughing up tendrils of gray phlegm onto ice ﬂoes that passed for boulevards, back alleys, byways that ended in country lanes over the Urals to Ulan Bator and the Mongolian grasslands. What is the object of going but to bring back free toothbrushes, peach-bloom porcelains, and colorful boxes of sandalwood soaps from marble-tiled hotel baths with the only water pressure in Datong or Yingxian?
In fact, everyone is praying. The skinny boy hops. His lightning bolts have batwings and dragon claws. He hops and hops. His dreadfulness abounds. The fat woman has died laughing. Her table screams. The Second World War is over and we all scream. I seem to be looking around me fearfully. 51 Ancient Fathers The town poet and the village idiot met for lunch on the terrace at the Café de la Gare. They both were having the soup & salad bar. “My wife is in Paris,” the town poet wept, “visiting one of her Algerians.
The blower made the blinds move side to side. 22 A Sudden Shower A restorative walk in the garden, a rock in the shoe, cantankerous clouds, a split-second view of a bluebird lighting in the cherry tree, swallowing itself among plump new leaves—all these were for you and the incorruptible memory of your love. I had awaked from night sweats and murderous dreams. I held my head. I begged the cat to die. I contemplated the smashed ﬂy on the windowpane above the sink. I got my coffee going. I said my prayers to the small gods of plumbing, wiring, domestic engineering.