Inhuman Swill : October 2013

Flat Stanley in Chicago

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Flat Stanley and I wait for the el train
Back in May as we were preparing to move back to New York, I realized that I had a visitor sitting on my desk. My nephew Mark in Utah had sent Flat Stanley my way, and for months I'd done nothing with him. The school year was soon to end, so Stanley and I headed out for a Chicago adventure. Here's the letter Stanley wrote to accompany him on his trip back home to Utah.


Dear Mark & everybody--

It's nice to see you again. How have you been?

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My dear and generous friends, I want you to meet our good friend Laura Peterson again. I've told you many times before about her amazing dance company, Laura Peterson Choreography. Now Laura and her company have been invited to perform their piece "Forever" at the Kennedy Center on November 15th ... but they need your help to get there.

They're looking to raise $6,000 by October 24th to fund their trip to Washington, to construct and transport a custom stage, and so forth. They're doing this in partnership with the arts organization Hatchfund (formerly USA Projects), which will provide some matching funds. But first there must be funds to match.

The Kennedy Center invitation is an amazing honor. Please help make it a reality. Make a tax-deductible donation now, and help fund a breathtaking evening of dance in the nation's capital. My wife and I have already donated as much as we possibly could, but Laura Peterson needs a lot more help. She's 35% of the way there, with less than three weeks to go. Donate, please. Any amount will help, and will be augmented by Hatchfund.

My wife is also helping out by organizing a fundraising performance and party on October 19th in New York City. If you'd like more information about that, please drop me a line.

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"We"

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"We got our asses kicked yesterday."

Monday morning at a diner in the suburbs,
the words spiral over from the next table.
The men have been talking about work,
and at first I think they mean on the job site.

But of course by "we" they mean the Bears,
and the ass-kickers are Detroit, I realize,
as the sentence stutter-steps around the offense,
drops through an alternate parsing route, and scores.

This "we" that makes such strange linguistic sense,
I still can't wrap my hands around it and tuck it under my arm.
I'm not a part of this "we," this synecdoche,
the "we" meaning "they" meaning "us all."

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Featured Book

William Shunn

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