Jeder Engel ist Schreklich — Rainer Maria Rilke

“Every angel is terrifying.” So writes Rainer Maria Rilke in his Duino Elegies. I loved that line in my 20s, when I was trying to activate things deep in my subconscious, seeking Rilke-esque epiphanies, and trying to make poetry of the stuff.

Note: This is an analysis of David Joy’s book The Line That Held Us, not a review. As such, it is full of spoilers.

I discovered David Joy when I asked a friend to recommend some “dark” fiction. A friend recommended Joy and I read Where All Light Tends to…

from “It Should Happen to You”

Anybody remember Gladys Glover?

Last night I watched the 1954 Judy Holliday film It Should Happen to You, Jack Lemmon’s first major role, directed by George Cukor. Holliday, most famous for winning the Best Actress Academy Award for her role as “brassy blonde” Billie Dawn in Cukor’s 1950 film Born…

Frances McDormand in “Nomadland”

I loved the film Nomadland, which I see as a critique of late-stage capitalism and also as a powerful film about aging in America. I did not think it in any way glorified the lifestyle of these nomads, as they moved from one temporary, seasonal job to another and eked…

Yesterday, I learned something that has shaken me to my core. I learned how much it is costing to keep me alive.

For most of my adult life I have taken on and shed jobs. I did this so I could concentrate on writing, usually taking a job for a…

One thing is very obvious watching The Crown on Netflix. It is a very, very good piece of art. Every element is well done, it’s downright cinematographic, and the storytelling is first rate. To watch the now-40 hours of film is to take in a story of high drama with…

When my mother made apple pie,
my sister and I sat at the table
and ate the long, tart peels.
She did the task with a skill
and privacy she often had.

We talked, no doubt,
saying things children say,
but I think of us as silent,
watching her wield the paring knife
and chunk the apple to its core,
listening to the shearing sound,
eating the red strips like candy.

When she peeled potatoes, too,
we would sit at the table, hungry
for a raw, pale chunk, salted,
for anything, everything, she gave.

Sippakorn Yamkasi for unsplash

I’m worn down and heartsick
from my neighbors responding “Fuck you”
when I’m text-banking for my candidate
so often it doesn’t faze me, I click the buttons
to “opt out” and protect the next volunteer
from being told the same.

It is worse, when I’m asked:
How can you vote for…

Susan Sink

poet, writer, gardener, cook. I’m the author of three books of poetry. Pedigreed at Stanford and Sarah Lawrence. I blog at

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