Title Page, Copyright, Acknowledgments, Dedication

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Contents

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Section 1. Failed Escapes

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p. 19

On the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of John Lennon’s Murder

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p. 21

Corned Beef Hash and Two Eggs Over Easy, Coffee

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p. 22

William James Still, Drowned in the Delaware River

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p. 23

Fight or Flight

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p. 24

She Remembers How They Fled from the Liquor Store Robbery in New Mexico

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p. 25

The Fugitive Spends Christmas in a Las Cruces Motel Room

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p. 26

Section 2. Examinations and Conclusions

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p. 27

Poem Begun on the Autumn Equinox

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p. 29

Magnificent Frigatebird

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p. 30

Photographs above the Desk (Amphisbaenics)

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p. 31

Genealogies

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p. 32

Mirage

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p. 33

History

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p. 34

A Suburbanite Briefs a Historian

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p. 35

The Pessimist Prepares for What May Well Be His Last Winter

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p. 36

The Retired Literary Critic Pauses in His Sunday Reading

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p. 37

White Noise

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p. 38

Dear Plato

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p. 39

Tourist Economy

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p. 40

Section 3. Legendary Misbehavior

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p. 41

Church Street

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p. 43

A Few Drinks and We’re All Poets

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p. 44

Cautionary Tale; or, What Goes Up Must Come Down

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p. 45

Up Late on a Work Night: A Lament

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p. 46

Coil

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p. 47

Improprieties

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p. 48

Blotter

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p. 49

Domestic Situation

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p. 50

A Sad Last Number for the Gentlemen at the Tavern

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p. 51

Section 4. Satires and Observations

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p. 53

Fortunate Ones

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p. 55

The Singles Scene

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p. 56

Prophetic Outlook

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p. 57

His Secret Foe: Gravity

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p. 58

AAA Vacation Guide

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p. 59

“Thou Shalt Commit Adultery”

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p. 60

Reality TV

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p. 61

Andromeda Chained to the Rock

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p. 62

Gold Rush (On Disposing of an Old Sofa)

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p. 63

Epitaphs

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p. 64

She Discovers an Unsent E-Mail to an Ex-Boyfriend

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p. 65

Guide to the Modern Man (Beach Issue!)

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p. 66

The Otherwise Sedentary Novelist Finds His Fantasy Turns Out All Wrong

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p. 67

The King Issues His Annual Report

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p. 68

Section 5. Small Consolations

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p. 69

Song

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p. 71

Symmetries

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p. 72

Letter to a Godson

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p. 73

Love Poem

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p. 74

Section 6. Literature and Related Embarrassments

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p. 75

Meet and Greet

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p. 77

Literary Artifacts

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p. 78

Leander Without Heroes

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p. 79

Rules of Order

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p. 80

In the Arena

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p. 81

Decisive Victories

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p. 82

The War Correspondent Returns to His Neighborhood

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p. 83

Thoughts upon Reading George Gissing’s New Grub Street

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p. 84

Section 7. Elegies and Laments

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p. 85

At the Grave of Thomas Eakins, Late Winter

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p. 87

Biglin Brothers Racing

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p. 88

The Ancient Sailor Leaves His Heartless Patrician Lover to Her Lyre

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p. 89

Nightmare

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p. 90

Lines on the Winter Solstice

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p. 91

In Bed for a Week

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p. 92

Calavera for a Friend

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p. 93

About the Author

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p. 95