Susan M. Schultz

Belleville, Illinois,
Susan M. Schultz
Belleville, Illinois,
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Monday, September 25, 2006

- The former President lost his temper. Loss of content in our public life. Only forms remain, intonation, affect. Why did you yell in my mom's house? Radhika asks our neighbor.

- She sounded like she does when her hands shake. She does not want to be there. Bryant calls to ask about her things. A tape on osteoperosis. No. Foundations of Economics (from the 1930s). No. The Soviet shelf. No. The Nazi shelf. No. The Greeks, the Moslems. No. The speech and drama shelf. No. Encyclopedias, no. Check reigsters back to 1964. No. Harry Truman, no. Mrs. Ike, no.

- Was her reading too intense?

- Grief is excess of sound. Anger is excess of form. Sadness can lack, or still exceed. Excess is overtone, the note beyond the note you sound. Without the tone, there is no object. Did I kill Bin Laden? No. But I tried.

- My task is to inventory sentences, place them in order, box them up and ship them in a container. They are a sturdy furniture, haphazard art. They are boxes of papers, bills, pieces of a dissertation. A computer shopper magazine (discard). Titles whose aura was a life, or two, or three. The house is now full of light. A girl wanders through the rooms, trying keys at the windows. My mother knows none of this.
- My father might be in the garden, or the scarecrow that wears his hat. Let him wander the house this last, inspect the plumbing, lights, air conditioning, the rows of beans, sort through medals, papers, release them as excess.
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