The Poverty of Poverty

In October, the World Bank bookshop, the "Infoshop" closed. In addition to works on development in various countries and sectors, it had a very good selection of creative writing from Latin America, the Mideast, Africa, and Asia. In a selection of closeout books on sale, one shelf was labeled "BARGAIN POVERTY." - Somehow, that made too much sense. … [Read more...]

“Ice Machine” / Memorable Fancies #699

[“I live by the ice machine. ... It’s so annoying.” – Jeanne Morel]      The old motel was the only place the County could find for me. So here I am, in room 414. I keep wondering why I was assigned to 414. I guess it’s OK, but there’s a drink machine on one side (where 412 would have been if 412 had been given a life, not aborted in favor of Coke and Pepsi) and the ice machine on the other side, where 416 might have been.       The daily routine here is simple. A rattling sound as quarters … [Read more...]

“The Twice” /: A Memorable Fancy #071

“Two times,” he said, “two men, one at a time. The first begged me quietly on the street. I fixed him in the eye, straight and square, meaning to shame him for his begging. But I saw deep in his eyes a coaly flame, with so much pain that I shook from my head to the soles of my feet. I may not remember today, nor how a hot stone shimmers air, but I will remember those coals of eyes until I am charred and burnt. “The second time,” he said, “was like the first: another beggar, but this one … [Read more...]