Devin Johnston

James Merrill House and Its Disembodied Transmissons

Like some piece of technicolour cover-art from a 1950s mystery novel, James Merrill’s Stonington apartment loomed in the background as I stepped out of the gutter-snow and onto the street. I was wearing a bright red coat; the apartment matched the slate-blue winter sky. From the outside, the poet’s house felt as gorgeous and twee as everything else in this tiny – dare I say quaint – fishing village.

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1 One could fall asleep and float a hundred miles off course, or rob a restaurant in broad daylight, or weep openly on the air. Contretemps could snap the line that anchors date in memory, uproot the smell of eucalypts, …

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We live each other's death and die each other's life, borrowing a cold flame from sycamore in early leaf. This morning, after heavy rain the street erupts with birds: grackles sharpen swords and cedar waxwings strip the vines, declaring love …

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