Micrograffiti: Blue Grate by John W. Evans


Blue Grate by John W. Evans

At first, he told himself that grief was a shallow bowl filled with water, and when you carried it, it spilled, and when it spilled you filled it again.  Those were the days of walking across the state highway to the video store, coffee shop, supermarket.  Always, the same path back, in front of the same neighbor’s house, with the dog and the electric fence.  When the city replaced traffic lights with roundabouts, his name appeared in the paper.  He had said something about it to a woman outside of the hardware store.  That evening, he decided to leave the state.  The seal on his driver’s license was out of date.  His bumper: last election.  Later, he would miss the certainty of repetitive acts, day after night watching full seasons of old television shows.  They embraced variations on the same kinds of redemption—charity, sublimation, self-actualization—that he found comforting, then suffocating.  Too much stasis and compromise.  The homilies set to tasteful pop-rock.  Grief, he decided, should be linear, then unremarkable.  There were words for loss too finite for suffering.


John W. Evans is a Jones Lecturer in poetry at Stanford University


Micrograffiti is a project edited by Stacey Swann. The writers were asked to respond with fiction to Ben Walters’ photographs of the South London graffiti tunnel. Click here to read more >>



One comment

  1. […] a number of interesting things to share with you today. the first of these is a short paragraph of prose that appeared in The Owls a few days ago; i found the first line particularly resonant and lovely. […]

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