How “Karen” Became a Synonym for A** H***


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Oddly enough, the organization that keeps track of the popularity of baby names is the Social Security Administration, the same friendly people who constantly fill my in-box with phishing alerts as enterprising young folks seek to make a quick buck bamboozling boomers.

For the last five years or so, the most popular names for girls are in descending order: Emma, Olivia, and Ava, the terminal “ah” sound dominating.

These names seem rather old-school to me, e.g., Emma Wodehouse, Olivia from Twelfth Night, and St Ava[1] have been around for centuries.

On the other hand, up-and-coming girls’ names sound much more exotic. Here are the top trending choices for this year’s pink clad newborns: Meaghan, Dior, Adalee, Palmer, Oaklynn, Haisley, Keily, Novah, Yara, and Ensley, five out of ten scoring a red-squiggly underline from my spell checker.

One female name that you won’t find on any popularity lists is Karen, which recently has entered our lexicon in the form of a common noun denoting a certain irritating sort of entitled mom easily offended and quick to ask to speak to the management.

Here’s Urban Dictionary top definition (which violates the rhetorical stricture of placing the word to be defined in a category and distinguishing it from other members of the category):



gives raisins to kids on Halloween

drives an SUV to carpool her kids to soccer practice… better hope the ref doesn’t make a wrong call because she will sue!

love to use snapagram to post her workout selfies

after a long day of talking to managers and driving her kids around she sits down with her mom friends at book club and drinks lots and LOTS of wine

“oh my god Karen do you really have to talk to the Burger King manager every time they forget to give you a ketchup packet.“

“LOL! Yes!! I have to Facebook and instasnap it to all my friends to make sure everyone knows to watch out LOL!!!”

##karen #soccermom #probablyaboomer

by omgurmomsaboomer November 27, 2019

I had never heard of the term Karen as a common noun until the other day when I ran across it in Brian Hick’s column in our local paper, The Post and Courier. He wrote, ironically, “Because, of course, public health decisions should be based on the protests of some Karen in front of a Baskin-Robbins and not, you know, the fact-based recommendations of epidemiologists.”

I found the phrase “some Karen” odd, and, as so often happens when you run across a new word or locution, I started seeing “Karen” all over the place, especially on Twitter, the high church of herd mentality.

So I wondered why Karen and not Cindy or Debbie or Caitlin. So I went to my number one source for literate explanation, VOX.

The “Karen” meme has multiple origins, each one using the idea in slightly different ways. But one of the most prominent uses developed on Reddit, thanks to a redditor known for posting amusingly bitter invectives about his ex-wife — posts so amusing, they inspired a high school student to make an entire subreddit, r/FuckYouKaren, devoted to turning his saga into a meme.

Karmacop97 is a 17-year-old from Irvine, California. He made the subreddit two years ago as a joke and named it after the now-deleted user account Fuck_You_Karen. At first, karmacop97 told me, the subreddit was “just to compile the lore behind this guy’s relationship,” which he viewed as likely being a parody. The villainous Karen had taken the kids and then the house, both typical parts of the “Karen” meme. Soon, a few thousand redditors had subscribed to make memes based on the redditor’s enraged posts — but when that aggrieved user eventually deleted his account and vanished shortly after the subreddit’s creation, the forum kept growing. Since then, the subreddit has grown from 4,000 redditors to more than 435,000 — and the memes posted there call out all kinds of “Karen”-ish behavior.

In particular, the “Karen” has evolved into a figure known for her hypocrisy, rudeness toward working-class staff, and anti-science beliefs.

So there you have it. Like the name Bubba, which has come to designate an unsophisticated  white Southerner, we have Karen, a name that now is an insult, designating an entitled, unsophisticated pain-in-the-ass white woman with an untrendy hair-do, which is too bad if your name happens to be Karen. The first Karen that comes to my mind is a former colleague who is the antithesis of the meme’s caricature. She’s witty, compassionate, well-educated, a believer in global warming and vaccination – and she’s not a boomer!

[1] BTW, Today (29 April) is St Ava’s  Saint’s Day. Cured by blindness by St. Rainsfredis, she was elected abbess at Dinart, Hainaut in c. 845.




Wild Kingdom 2020, Folly Beach Backyard Edition

bunting uncnscious

To tell the truth, I’m not a fan of nature documentaries. For one thing, I don’t need to be constantly reminded that exotic habitats are rapidly disappearing from our poisoned planet, nor do I enjoy the spectacle of claws, talons, and incisors ripping the flesh from scampering rodents, warthogs, zebras, giraffes, antelopes, or baby elephants. The whole Darwinian horror show of survival shivers me timbers, sends rushes of disgust up my spinal cord.

And who in the hell are you supposed to pull for?  The pride of lions with their adorable cubs and dead-beat dads need to eat, but the elands about to be preyed upon seem somehow more sympathetic. Inevitably, after the kill come packs of scurvy hyenas (who also need to eat) who chase off the lions and take over the flesh-ripping and ravenous swallowing. Yuck.

Not surprisingly, given my delicate sensibility, in my youth I became an avid indoorsman, an inept male incapable of stringing a rod and reel (or baiting a hook for that matter) but one who could distinguish Jimmy Cagney from George Raft, Buster Keaton from Harold Lloyd. Why go traipsing through insect infested swamps when you can read “The Big Two-Hearted River” while sipping on a peaty single-malted Scotch?

That said, I happen to live in a spot that provides wide open views of the Folly River, which boasts an abundance of wildlife. Out back I’ve seen dolphins, otters, a mink, herons, egrets, ospreys, bald eagles, wood storks, bats, racoons, and rats. About twenty years ago, my late wife Judy Birdsong cajoled me into building a bird feeder, which consisted of a sheet of plywood positioned on a metal pole in the backyard. Judy would scatter seeds there, and birds would visit, chasing each other off until that fateful day when a red-tailed hawk swooped down and snatched one of the birds while the rest frantically peppered the plate glass windows that provide us our views. Afterwards, Judy insisted I disassemble the feeder, which suited me fine.

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against sunlight, consider vitamin D an asset. In fact, my favorite watering hole Chico Feo is an al fresco bar that closes when it rains or gets too cold. So now with Chico Feo shut down during the quarantine[1], my wife Caroline and I spend our happy hours on our back deck enjoying a couple of pre-dinner libations. This April has featured unusually low humidity, and it’s enjoyable looking out over golden sunlight dappling the greening marsh and watching merchant ships in the distance sliding past the Morris Island Lighthouse in and out of Charleston Harbor.




So there we were yesterday sitting on our deck enjoying our ridiculously highbrow conversation (was Wallace Stegner’s Lyman Ward a more sympathetic amputee than Hemingway’s Harry Morgan) when Caroline suddenly stood up cried, “Oh, no!”

“What’s the matter?”

A bird just slammed into the window and dropped to the ground!”

“What kind of bird?”

“I think it was a cardinal,” she said.

“Oh, it’ll probably come to,” I said, unmoved (and unmoving), but Caroline was already scampering down the steps to comb through the Asiatic jasmine for fallen bird, which, amazingly she found in a couple of minutes, a male painted bunting, not a cardinal, inert but not dead.


Caroline picked him up and placed him in a net we use for scooping out our water garden and placed the net in the middle of the yard. We watched intensely, hoping for some movement, but there was none. Then the shadow of a large bird darkened the deck, and sure enough, we looked up to see a red-tailed hawk cruising.

So both of us went down and placed the net in a wax myrtle for greater camouflage. The bunting was now standing, but otherwise not moving, looking like the taxidermized Carolina Parakeet (long extinct) that was displayed in the Old Charleston Museum off of Calhoun Street.

Caroline noticed that maybe his claw was entangled in the mesh of the net, and as she reached down, the bunting flew off into a thicket of Elaeagnus, where I think he and his mate nest.

We cheered!

The gorgeous fellow will live to see another day –– maybe.


And as far as the red-tailed hawk is concerned, let him eat rats.

hawk 3 (original)

[1] You can on some days still get takeout.

Sunday Evening Blues

Melancholy_ Wes (1894)

“Monday, Monday, just can’t trust that day,” sing the Mama and Papas, but T Bone Walker in “Stormy Monday” argues Tuesday is just as bad.

Not so for Steve Wright of the Easy Beats, who feels better on Tuesdays, claiming that “even my old man looks good.”

It’s Wednesday morning at five o’clock when that Beatles girl slips away from her parents to meet “a man from the Motortrade.”

Tripping on acid, Donovan claims “the gulls go willing spinning on Jersey Thursday,” referring not to the scavenger gulls of Asbury Park but to the ones of the isle between England and Normandy.

Again, the Easy Beats: “On Monday, I got Friday on my mind.”

Twenty-four hours later, Tom Waits is gassing her up, hand on the wheel, arm around his sweet one in his Oldsmobile, looking for the heart of a Saturday night.

That leaves the Christian sabbath, Sunday, Bloody, Sunday. Lucinda Williams and I can’t seem to make it through Sunday. [sigh]



Sunday Evening Blues


On Sunday nights

I remember

lying on the bottom bunk

in my pajamas,

wishing I’d done my homework,

listening to the stampeding notes

of Bonanza’s theme song

echoing from the den as I dreaded tomorrow.


In the stasis of quarantine,

it seems I should be able to shake

this chronic case

of the Sunday blues.


After all, Monday mornings don’t matter anymore.

I don’t need machines to measure minutes,

yet that childhood sadness endures,

indelible, resistant to erosion,

carved into the tombstones

of so many Sabbaths. [1]

[1] Yes, dammit, the shortening of each successive line of the last stanza is intentional.

Into the mystic


We were born before the wind
Also younger than the sun
Ere the bonnie boat was won
As we sailed into the mystic

Van Morrison

Somewhere along the line I lost my fascination for what Walter Cronkite used to call Outer Space.

Sure, black holes and red giants possess a certain hellish Boschian charm, but let’s face it: OS is mostly vast vacuity. Oh, plenty of stuff swirls around out there, but the most interesting phenomena –  the aforementioned black holes, the birth and death of stars, etc., –  are so way out and so far apart that they offer no hope of cosmic closure to eschatological questions concerning the ultimate nature of things.

Our closer neighbors, the little stuff, your dinosaur-erasing asteroids, once in-a-life-time comets, barren planets, and birdshot meteorites amount to small change interest-wise. Mere detritus from Deism’s Watchmaker’s washing his hands of the entire enterprise.

In short, enormous stretches of faraway nothingness leave me cold.

outer space

For me, inner space is where it’s at.  By inner space, I mean not only the mysteries of subatomica, but also all that’s inside of us, e.g., that microcosmic flash-forwarding through all the evolutionary changes we undergo in utereo: dividing cells develop gills, lose tails, sprout lungs, etc.

We have evolutionary history embedded in our very beings.  Our brains are reptilian as well as humanoid.  Whether you buy into Jung or not, the idea of a collective unconscious – a storehouse of symbols passed down genetically – offers intriguing speculation.[1]


Jung’s conception of the collective unconscious presupposes a genetic transference of universal symbolic conceptualizations, a sort of mental equivalent of that evolutionary progress described above as we morph in the womb from fertilized egg to ameba to fish to flesh to human.  In other words, according to Jung, our mental heritage includes submerged traces of our ancestor’s obsessions – mother, other, trickster, crone, etc. – passed along somehow genetically as a sort of stillborn instinct that haunts us without our being aware of its haunting.

For, example, Jung considered the Trickster archetype a rudimentary mental relic from prehistorical times as evidenced in that archetype’s dominance in pre-agrarian myths.

The archetype appears in various cultures at various stages, e.g., Greek Hermes the infant cattle rustler, Norse Loki the shape-shifter, Native American Raven the sun-stealer, Br’er Rabbit the African transplant prevaricator, and, of course, Bugs Bunny the Brooklyn wiseacre cross-dressing seducer of Elmer Fudd.

elmer bugs

An excavation of our stratified consciousnesses uncovers layers of archetypes, the most primitive lying at the deepest layers, but it’s more complicated than that, because it’s as if the strata are always in motion, like the contents of a washing machine, the loin cloth and aerodynamic ski suit tumbling in a dynamic that might make loin cloth rise to the surface. E.g., check out on any fall Saturday engineering undergraduates at Georgia Tech or Clemson or Purdue stripped to the waist, applying the tribal colors, headed to the stadium to roar and screech like howler monkeys.

saisy bullet point


How instincts travel through the inner space of genetics is a mystery. I had a dog named Saisy who was a longhair German pointer/ border collie mix. On our walks, various strains of her ancestry would manifest themselves. A child on a bicycle teetering down our lane became a sheep to be guided (or as it turns out, driven into a drainage ditch). That was the border collie in her.  When she pointed after picking up a scent, that was the German longhair pointer in her.  When she barked ferociously at the UPS truck rumbling outside our house, that was the pure, unadulterated dog in her. I have no clue how science explains these genetic transfers.  For me, it’s a fascinating mystery, and I love mysteries.

I envy those shamans like Blake, Yeats, Jung, and Van Morrison who have gained egress into mystic, into inner space where they can commune with the spirits.  I suspect that if there is a God, we won’t find him searching above, in outer space, but below, in the deep mysterious realms of our own psyches. As some literalist put it to me one time, if Jesus upon his ascension were travelling at the speed of light, he still would be within the Milky Way.


[1] Although I think it’s a fascinating theory, the genetic transfer of memory seems to me impossible.

Emily Dickinson, Queen of the Quarantine

Emily 2




Emily Dickinson, Queen of the Quarantine


“Soul selects her own Society.”


When it comes to social distancing,

Emily is the prototype.

On her solitude insisting,

Forsaking FaceTime, Zoom, and Skype.


Allow me to wax anachronistic –

She out-garbos Garbo –

Transliterating Nature’s hieroglyphics,

Her isolation self-imposed.


Warren Zevon’s on auto-replay,

“Splendid Isolation,” she don’t need no one,

Like Georgia O’Keefe, all alone in the desert,

But basking in moonlight instead of the sun.



Last Rites





Last Rites

a poem for Richard O’Prey

The rocky wastes of Connemara

Possess a beauty all their own,

Treeless expanses with whispering grass,

random heaps of scattered stones.


When my lungs have ceased to breathe

And my body returned to dust,

Spread my ashes in Connemara

After the day has turned to dusk,


And when the dusk has turned to night,

Look up at the myriads overhead;

Then seek the warmth of a convivial pub

And raise your cup to the countless dead.

Presidential Spouses

pat dick nixon

I hesitate in this family blog[1] to broach the provocative subject of political spouses, those other halves who often elicit irrational and vehement emotional responses from the brave and the free. For example, some members of my extended family despise Hillary Clinton with such an amped-up animus you might think that she had deliberately poisoned one of their beloved pets. I mean, I can see how someone might find Hillary off-putting somehow, but good lord, what could she possibly have done to generate such animosity? Is marrying and constantly forgiving a philanderer, not initially taking his name, working outside the home, and murdering your ex-law partn– choosing garish brightly colored monochromatic pantsuits so wrong?


These irrational responses to candidates’ spouses, however, can also be positive (in a manner of speaking).  For example, I know a delightful, compassionate, witty woman who idolizes Laura Bush as if she were St. Teresa of Avila.  After enduring an earnest catalog of Laura Bush’s many virtues – poise, spunk, and good taste – I asked my interlocutor (I’m waxing Buckleyean this morning) if she knew that Laura was a smoker.  Oh-no-she’s not.  Oh-yes-she-is.  I mentioned the smoking not because I consider it a character flaw but because I merely wanted to suggest to my friend that Mrs. Bush wasn’t absolutely a paragon of virtue. However, Laura is all right. My son Harrison briefly spoke with her at a Congressional picnic, and he said she was chatty, asking him for whom he worked, mentioning that she and George (as she referred to W) had flown once with Harrison’s Congressman (Bud Cramer) in some kind of official capacity. He said she came off as a genuine and humble person.

2880px-Big_Bird_and_Michelle_Obama_(8555066920)Michelle Obama seemed to be a fairly popular First Lady within the realm of the non-poisonedly partisan and non-racist segment of our population. I somehow never picked up that her father’s side came from the Gullah population of the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Anyway, she embodied upward mobility, following her brother to Princeton and becoming the first family members to receive a college degree.  Then off to Harvard Law and later to land a job at a prestigious firm where she met her future husband, ol’ whathisname. Anyway, she was poised and delivered some killer convention speeches . . .


Good Golly, Miss Molly

Which brings us to Melania Trump, who is the first First Lady you can check out nude if the inclination strikes you. (I myself have no desire to see any first lady nude except perhaps Dolly Madison.)  Anyway, early in Trump’s term, I sympathized with Melania, wrote this piece about her, but then after her wearing a ”I Really Don’t Care, Do You?” raincoat while visiting detention center for migrant children, my sympathy dissipated.

At first after the brouhaha, she said there was no message intended by wearing the coat, but later claimed that she was sending a message to the leftwing media, not to the detained children, which begs the question, if she didn’t really care what the media thought, why bother to wear the coat?  Anyway, as some wag has pointed out, Melania can come off pretty creepy, looking as if she’s trying to bend spoons with her mind.


Okay, who’s next?  Jill Biden or will we get another dose of Melania or – I shudder to imagine it — will an Adderall overdose or massive heart attack usher in First Lady Karen Pence, aka “Mother?”  Or then Biden could win and keel over post inauguration, and  we’d get our First Gentleman.

karen pence

Who knows?  I certainly don’t.

  1. [1] Many of you have told me how sometimes the entire family, youngsters and oldsters alike, enjoy gathering around the old monitor and reading these posts aloud).
wesley blog

Now that’s what I call wholesome


Alms for Oblivion


“The Walking Lesson” by Jacek Yerka

Back in my teaching days, I’d sometimes ask my students what they considered the worst invention in the history of mankind. Typical answers included gunpowder, nuclear weaponry, Whoopie cushions, etc.

I’d do my ol’ slow shake of sage educator’s head routine and admit that those contraptions were indeed pernicious but that the worst invention in mankind’s horrid history was the clock, which was a by-product of womankind’s worst discovery, agriculture.[1]


I’d go on and invite them to imagine a world without clocks, a world of delicious imprecision governed by states of light rather than the ticking of mechanical hands or the silent progression of illuminated digits.

Now that most of us have placed ourselves under house arrest, we can experience for a time an existence not governed by sixtieths – seconds, minutes, hours – especially if we don’t have children involved in distance learning.

Here’s a snippet from a Facebook post written by a former student of mine who suffers from an auto-immune disorder:

Oddly, as the next week took shape, with the kids out of school and the shutdown picking up steam, my anxiety eased. It wasn’t because I was less concerned about the virus and my potential exposure, but because so many other self-imposed stressors were instantly out of my life. Just like the pollution in Venetian canals seemingly cleared up after a short period of decreased activity, my mind seemed to clear up when we couldn’t race from work, to after school activities, sports practices, piano lessons, social commitments, and whatever else had previously cluttered my schedule. We couldn’t grab dinner on the go, and stopping in at the grocery store 3-4 times a week no longer made sense. We went on more walks and bike rides the week of March 16th than the previous six months. We watched the sunset each night from our back porch instead of driving 45 minutes to volleyball practice. We’ve had family meals almost every night. We’ve had family movie nights, and we haven’t missed a church service because our church quickly got online. We’ve reached out to friends over Facetime, text, or calls that we’ve not found time to connect with before. And we see others doing the same. In short order, despite a deadly threat, I was more relaxed than I’d been in a long time.

Yes, the world is too much with us, late and soon, getting and spending, and as Ulysses points out to Achilles in Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida, “Time hath, me Lord, a wallet at his back/Wherein he puts alms for oblivion.”

No telling what will follow this pestilence — recession, depression, repression, armed insurrection?  I dunno.  What I do know is that my coffee cup is empty and that there’s a bottle of Jameson’s on the kitchen counter.  I think I’ll have another cup sweetened by another dollop and enjoy this beautiful mid-April morning while the getting’s good.


[1] Most anthropologists posit that pre-agrarian female gatherers put two and two together regarding seeds and soil, which would explain the Pandora and Eden myths. Hunting’s fun. Plowing desert soil not so much. It’s all her fault.


Off Folly Beach’s Beaten Path

rusted rooftop

I’ve never been one for neatness – in my dress, in my handwriting, in my housekeeping, in my prose.  I blame this lackadaisical attitude on the South’s losing what a few of our stubborn old folks still insist on calling “the War Between the States.”  Don Doyle’s fascinating study New Men, New Cities, New South: Atlanta, Nashville, Charleston, Mobile, 1860-1910 details Charlestonians’ postbellum refusal to do business with Northerners, unlike the folks in Atlanta and Nashville, who resumed trading with the victors and flourished.  Meanwhile, on the coasts, we sat around with empty pockets talking about the good ol’ days while the paint peeled from the clapboard of our houses.  With no money to keep up appearances, the heat aiding and abetting our lethargy, we became tolerant of  a certain sleepy seediness.  There are many exceptions, of course, but I am not one of them.

I prefer hodgepodge to uniformity, black-eyed susans to manicured lawns, the eastside to the westside of Folly Island (though the westside also has delightful pockets of funkitude). Although you constantly hear how Folly has changed – and it has – many homes and lots tucked away on the east side from Second to Ninth retain a rustic tinge – a vibe I have come to call paradoxically rural Folly.

Here’s a brief tour

clothesline 4

rusted wheels

vine house

the hanged man

I do not find/ The Hanged Man. Fear death by water.

8th st lantana

legalize it

Now that the majority of the mainland has been barred from the island, things are extremely quiet, no ear-splitting sirens, no whooping and hollering, no thumping bass notes blasting from climate killing jacked-up trucks.


Folly Post Office (original)

On Desert Islands, Independent Bookstores, and Joanna Hershon’s Latest Novel

desert island wes

We’ve all been asked the desert island question, what recordings we’d choose, what three books we’d take if limited to that magical number.[1] Although being stuck inside the house with the Chico Feo blues again is vaguely akin to being stranded on some palm shaded atoll in the South Pacific, many of us do possess (unlike Robinson Crusoe) the ability to order out, whether it be rib-eyes from Omaha, Toots and the Maytals from Apple, or Grady Hendrix’s latest novel The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires.


This quarantine offers those of us who have been idled a chance to catch up on our reading. I know that eBooks are all the rage, but this old curmudgeon prefers printed paper, to strum pages with his thumb, to be able to reckon the heft of the tome and how much is left.

Recently, the excellent local independent bookstore, Buxton Books, hosted a poetry reading featuring David Tillinghast, a former professor of mine. Although Amazon is cheaper, that faceless conglomerate doesn’t provide the opportunity to meet authors and hear them read aloud from their works. In this age of e-tail, independent book and record stores need our support, but during the pandemic, even more so. The next time you order a book, please consider ordering from your local bookseller.

My most recent acquisition from Buxton Books is Joanna Hershon’s latest novel St. Ivo, which is being released tomorrow (14 April 2020) by Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux. I met Joanna and fell in love with her work when she came to Porter-Gaud School as our visiting writer in 2009. At the time of her visit, her most recent novel, The German Bride, had not been released. Joanna was kind enough later to mail me a copy, and, man oh man, the novel transported me right out of my reading chair to 19th Century Berlin and eventually to our own wild, wild West.


Joanna Hershon (source Good Reads)


Here’s a snippet from the thank you letter I sent her:

The breadth of the book is remarkable. You’re able to concretely conjure the sights and smells of Berlin, the passage overland, the starkness of Santa Fe, the Shein Brother’s store, and the stage couch’s journey.  Indeed, the last part of the novel, the trip to San Francisco, is a tour de force.  You turn something inherently boring – a slow crawl over virtually featureless terrain – into a psychologically fascinating page-turner.

I was fortunate enough to read an advance copy of St. Ivo, and once again, Joanna’s work has captivated me. She possesses the ability to create a tangible world of sights, sounds, odors, and actions while creating characters who come alive on the page. As her characters negotiate that vivid outer world Joanna has created, the reader is also privy to the rich inner world of their memories, aspirations, and fears. The novel is suspenseful, mysterious. I can’t express it better than Nell Freudenberger’s dust jacket blurb: “Vivid and cinematic . . . St. Ivo has the eerie quality of a fairy tale, as if something inexplicable might be waiting around the next bend in even the most familiar path.”

Oh, yeah, and the prose, at once beautifully crafted yet unobtrusive. Here’s Sarah remembering getting her first pair of glasses as a child:

The case was blue. She wore them on the trip home. While sitting in the back seat of the car, she looked out the window. It was as if the world had suddenly announced itself in every leaf on every tree. She hadn’t realized that one could actually see the shapes of leaves, that it was even possible from a distance. The ordinary view was crystalline suddenly and all too much. She remembered now the sound of her father’s gravelly voice and the static on the radio; she remembered returning the glasses to their blue suede case. She’d closed her eyes for the rest of the trip. This, she realized, was how she felt just then.

So afford yourselves a chance to take an imaginative trip, for a few hours to get out without the chance of contagion, to enter a vivid world whose dangers will thrill you without actually endangering you.

st ivo cover

[1] Shakespeare’s complete works (duh), Joyce’s Ulysses, Norton’s Anthology of Poetry.