Author: Lowry Pei


This note pushed through the mail slot      Hey guess what! You’ve died.      I forgot to tell you.      Congratulations on passing over. we all have weird days sometimes I went around the house looking for evidence of my death books missing from the shelves, my closet empty of clothes boxes in the hall marked Give Away now my wife could throw out the letters I saved for decades and never read again the boxes of manuscripts, the negatives and contact sheets of my youth to say nothing of the thoughts that still floated in...

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  a body leaned against mine and now it seems I can never forget it never go my own way without asking where is that body I love? today I woke up dispossessed the mirror I’ve always sailed past has turned the color of someone’s eyes this sound of a foghorn, we heard it together the taste of this changing air we shared now in the afterwards I’m pretending I still take up space in this world the truth is – want me to tell you? or would you rather keep believing you’re the one the only one who’s...

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Fire Weather

(for David Gardella) my friend once made an ocean passage so seasick he could only lie on his bunk and stare working up resolve to drag himself on deck in case there might be tankers my beloved died five years ago this summer I finally quit selling cars last night in an undertow of forgetting my hand sought hers and she held on vanishing submerged until I was holding nothing now half the hours of the day I sleep and every three hours day and night I wake and leave the house, walk up and up a hill of...

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Walks on the Boundary Line (Waterways)

When I was seven years old, during a summer in Madison, Wisconsin, I spent an afternoon following a trickle of water running down a shady, wooded slope on the campus of the University. Finding this miniature stream and following it downhill was like a voyage of discovery. It would disappear beneath leaves and twigs, then re-emerge a few feet lower. It fascinated me; every time the stream emerged it remained thrilling. Later, I found out that it originated out of some building; if I remember correctly, it was the outflow of a lab. I had stumbled upon an ambiguous...

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The River Owns Itself (Waterways)

The River Owns Itself by Lowry Pei   “Those who are good at controlling water give it the best opportunity to flow away.” — Chia Jang, Taoist engineer of the Han period [With this posting by Lowry Pei, we are initiating what we hope will be an ongoing series of posts on waterways. We intend the category to be capacious, to designate the streams and rivers that enlace the landscapes where we live, marking boundaries, empowering economies, encouraging human flows, causing floods, and delighting fishermen (sic), swimmers, sailors, poets, and the lovers who recline along their banks. Also the...

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