This morning the Carolina wren is singing his signature tune in a minor key. What’s different, I wonder? Or should I instead be asking: what’s the same?


Sleet rattles against the empty shell of the old nail factory, passes through the missing panes of once-gray windows that stretched the length of the block.


In every book its receipt, saved for a bookmark. One can tell at a glance which among the thousands of volumes he has read clear to the end, & in which ones after a night or two of perusal he planted the white flag of surrender. Two ranks deep, the books crowd the shelves, immigrants bristling with the evidence of far-flung births.

(Prompted by a remark in the comments to a post at languagehat.)


That last line deserves a page of its own, the printer thinks. How else to rescue these shopworn words from irrelevance? A ladybug beetle has just drowned in the half-inch of cold coffee in the mug at his elbow. An hour from now he will think to reach for it, & stop in mid-sip. Is it just him, or has it always been this bitter?

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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