Author: Cory Stockwell

Two Poems from Breakup Canyon

  And as for when exactly it took place it had to be somewhere on that drive, because it was all over by the time we arrived (I only say Tomah because I know someone from there); one drive but two lines, and if I can just find the break I’ll— but it’s not the answer that’s wrong it’s the question: I don’t know what a line is because I don’t know where it ends, even if I do know the poets are wrong it’s not a period a substantive the end of a thought, but nor is it...

Read More

Donald Trump, Wartime President

Donald Trump, Wartime President Cory Stockwell   I very much wish that Peter Wehner’s recent claim, made in The Atlantic, that “the Trump presidency is over” were true: not only do I disagree with most of the president’s policies, but I also think that much of the strongest criticism of him has come from Wehner and others on the “never Trump” right. But while I’m not arguing that the claim is false – Trump may very well lose to Joe Biden in November – I think not only that it is far too early to make such a pronouncement,...

Read More

Absorption: On “The Paper”

Absorption: On “The Paper” Cory Stockwell The first thing you notice about “The Paper,” the Croatian political drama currently available on Netflix (season three is slated to be released in the coming months), is its grayness: from the clothing worn by the main characters, many of them journalists working for the newspaper that gives the show its name, through the interiors – offices, homes, and also the smoke-filled bar where the journalists spend far too much of their time – that always seem just a tad too dark, to the stately, off-white Hapsburg-era buildings and concrete docks of Rijeka, the coastal city where the show takes place, everything is strangely muted, and there never seems to be quite enough light to make things out clearly. This is all the stranger, to my mind at least, given The Paper’s setting: this part of the Adriatic coast is known for its many beaches, to which tourists from all over Europe flock every summer, and as I binge-watched the first two seasons, I kept expecting to be dazzled by the light of this region that is just a short distance from Italy. But the summer in which this light might appear never arrives. The series seems trapped inside an endless, rainy winter, even in the establishing shots with which every episode begins, generally bird’s-eye panoramas of the city and the sea...

Read More


Poetic Resistances Aurélien Barrau, translated by Cory Stockwell   We have never been happy. The world has never been gentle, harmonious, and peaceful. Ideas of an idyllic past are pure fantasies. Nostalgia for the Garden of Eden is a naïve and almost dangerous ploy. The cold and insidious violence of our own time, however, is striking. Violence to refugees, violence to those living in precarious situations, violence to women, violence to minorities, violence to protestors, violence to hope, violence to every sign of difference . . . And, of course: violence to life, to nature, to the future. Disasters...

Read More