43 Chapters
Medium 9781574413090

Felix Culpa

Caki Wilkinson University of North Texas Press PDF

Felix Culpa

Without a hitch, the ice cream maker churns in whirling jerks that shake the mirrored tray of geometric cheese and crudités.

Another bride-to-be stands clueless—Blessed, she says, thanking her hosts, who take the hint and raise their glasses. It’s good company save for no-see-ums and humidity, nothing they can’t survive. With funeral fans and empty cones, they crowd the patio like a life raft, concurrent conversations adrift in genteel reconciliations—

Let’s get together sometime. Out front, groups of subdivision kids retrace their loops around the cul-de-sac. Most sacrifice control for speed and flout the good advice of partygoers—careful!—who don’t know a prank will overturn their evening plans: they lean on the verisimilitude of a table held with half its screws unscrewed, the rest clinking like milk money with lint inside the prankster’s pocket—she, a guest of guests, who’s looking forward to the crash and unicycles past with crack panache, ecstatic that the ice cream maker churns.

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Bower Bird

Caki Wilkinson University of North Texas Press PDF

Bower Bird

Old news, the midnight warblers worrisome to introspective bards, the nagging taps and jugs that left so many haunted, dumb, behind their coppice gates or chamber doors— but witness, now, this feathered architect, a bricoleur, exotic, who ignores convention, working long before he sings to gather fragile lumber, sticks and seeds, although, part larcenist, his favorite things come from the human world: milk caps or pairs of pearly buttons once attached to tags; matchsticks, cigar bands, red synthetic hairs uprooted from some coconut baboon or other Florabama souvenir, stripped screws, receipts, even the jagged moon of a fingernail blown, dusty, from the Hoover.

And steadfast to the finders keepers rule, this passerine Houdini will maneuver through apertures in transoms, cracks in attics, encroaching on such odd forgotten hobbies as medieval reenactments, numismatics

Hummels, and paint-by-numbers, hauling back whatever he can muster, though he’s less a petty crook than kleptomaniac, since unlike history’s most famous thieves,

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VII. Offices

Caki Wilkinson University of North Texas Press PDF
Medium 9781574413090

Miniatures

Caki Wilkinson University of North Texas Press PDF

Miniatures

They tell you everything goes back to childhood, as if you could fathom that prelapsarian world packed in the basket of your first banana seat 1-speed, crack it like a buckeye and pick the meat of what you saw through the fourth wall you crouched by. Tidy latticework and shutters hid the inside’s lack of baths and stairs and, troubled, you shifted the shower stall from room to room with too much furniture— sealed wardrobes, chests of empty drawers.

And worse, the family didn’t mesh: one older child, a daughter/son in knickers melted flush with flesh; one baby like a swaddled raisin, abducted from some snowy crèche.

Why would the cookware set include a tub of Crisco, colander, and gravy boat—no knives or spoons?

And what about the escritoire, its little green glass banker’s lamp without a battery or cord, only a filamentless bulb?

Like any kid, you only wanted stories uniformly built— that’s why you made the collie stay guarding the hearth; her master, trapped inside the flue, had learned the flue was not a suction chute. Dislodged, he lounged before the gramophone, wishing for feet instead of shoes.

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V. Dramatis Personae

Caki Wilkinson University of North Texas Press PDF

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