Magazine | March 28, 2016, Issue

Poetry

36 WEST PITMAN

What witches, what magicians, but . . . they needed

Sixty years — the slowest sleight of hand

On record. Did they fail to understand

We were sufficiently distracted on

Our own already, as the years receded?

Still, they waved their wands, and what went gone

Were placid, tidy, gabled fronts, not brave

At all (no need) but plain- and vinyl-sided,

Clapboarded, with mums at their foundations;

Neat, painted bungalows that could not save

Themselves from now; the seedy transformations;

Lawns in weeds; the front-porch screens elided;

Junkers blocked on unpaved driveways. Well.

Though sluggish mages, still they cast their spell.

Len Krisak is an American poet. He has taught at Brandeis, Northeastern University, and Stonehill College.

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Never Trump

Donald Trump’s defenders have taken to arguing that his critics are endangering the Republican party. “I’m used to being the moral scold,” Bill Bennett told the Washington Post, “but Trump ...
Politics & Policy

Beyond the Wall

Mexico has been at the heart of Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign from the very start. When Trump first announced that he would be seeking the Republican presidential nomination, in ...
Politics & Policy

Freedom U

Guatemala City — For years, people have said to me, “It’s too good to be true. But it is true. It actually exists.” These people are classical liberals, or Reagan ...

Features

Politics & Policy

NASCAR Nation

I was still in New York City when the sputtering began. “You?” a friend of mine asked, earnestly. “You are going to do that?” “Why not?” I inquired. “Well, y’know. I wouldn’t have ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Inside the Master

The autobiographical works of Henry James (1843–1916) are from the Master’s later period, and we all know what that means: The style is ornate, and reading it is no picnic. James ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

My Friend Florence I’d like to express my thanks to John O’Sullivan for his honest and insightful tribute to my dear old friend Florence King, who died recently after a long ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ We wish Trump talked this much about the size of his government. ‐ Did the Founding Fathers talk about penises come election time? Pretty close, actually. Thomas Jefferson’s 1804 reelection ...
The Long View

Dear Mrs. Reagan:

We were delighted to welcome you to the Heavenly Paradise Above, and we hope that the past few days have been an easy transition for you. Your reunion with your ...
Athwart

Trump’s Golden Ticket

Don’t worry, this won’t be as dorky as it sounds. Nerdy, perhaps, but not so dorky. In the fifth Star Trek movie – Hey, come back! Sit down, don’t worry. This ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

36 WEST PITMAN What witches, what magicians, but . . . they needed Sixty years — the slowest sleight of hand On record. Did they fail to understand We were sufficiently distracted on Our own ...
Happy Warrior

O.J. Trumps Trump

Something surreal happened a few days back. The cable news networks all cut away from the political horse race and their current ratings cash cow, Donald Trump, to focus on ...

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Yes, They Are Coming for Your Guns

At the Democratic-primary debate in Houston last night, Beto O’Rourke formally killed off one of the gun-control movement’s favorite taunts: The famous “Nobody is coming for your guns, wingnut.” Asked bluntly whether he was proposing confiscation, O’Rourke abandoned the disingenuous euphemisms that have ... Read More
White House

Politico Doubles Down on Fake Turnberry Scandal

It's tough to be an investigative reporter. Everybody who feeds you a tip has an axe to grind. Or, alternatively, you find yourself going, "I wonder if . . . ?" You put in your research, you talk to lots of people, you accumulate a huge pile of information, but you still haven't proved your hypothesis. A wise ... Read More
Culture

Four Cheers for Incandescent Light Bulbs

It brought me much -- indeed, too much -- joy to hear of the Trump administration's rollback of restrictions on incandescent light bulbs, even if the ban will remain in place. The LED bulbs are terrible. They give off a pitiable, dim, and altogether underwhelming "glow," one that never matched the raw (if ... Read More