Issue 419 | The Sun Magazine

November 2010

Readers Write


A nudist camp, a yoga class, rumspringa

By Our Readers
The Dog-Eared Page


Listen / with the night falling we are saying thank you / we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings / we are running out of the glass rooms / with our mouths full of food to look at the sky / and say thank you

By W.S. Merwin
Sy Safransky's Notebook

November 2010

Summer is getting ready to pack her bags and disappear; she’ll probably break records for the hottest ever. Let’s hope that string theory is right, and in some parallel universe we haven’t made the same blunders, and the earth is doing just fine, thank you, and a hot summer day is just a hot summer day.

By Sy Safransky


Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children and no theories.

John Wilmot

The Sun Interview

Brewing Up Trouble

Chip Berlet On The Tea Party And The Rise Of Right-Wing Populism

I don’t want to alarm people. Right-wing populist movements seldom become fascist, and fascist movements seldom take power. But when you build a major social movement around scapegoating and resentment, things can move quickly in a bad direction.

By David Barsamian
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Under The Moonflower Tree

I sit on the curb in the shade of the bay laurel, head and arms piled on my knees, and admire Dolores Wilde in her green bikini across the street. She is a slim girl with gold hair and large, hazy green eyes. Dipping a sponge into a bucket, she slops on figure eights of suds, then rinses and rubs till her stepdaddy’s turquoise Buick gleams like the abdomen of a bluebottle fly.

By Poe Ballantine
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Girl, Ruined

One December morning in 1967, in the early hours before a dull winter sunrise, I labored alone on the fourth floor of Immanuel Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska. I had expected labor to be work, more or less like it sounded: teeth-gritting effort, sweating, and grunting. Instead furious stallions stampeded across my eighteen-year-old belly, and no amount of shameless screaming in the direction of the fluorescent-lit hallway could quiet them.

By Lee Strickland
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

How I Went Punk

Researching the Clash’s lyrics online, I was startled to discover that they rhyme — though the words are impossible to understand! How touching, like putting on your best shirt to visit your blind aunt.

By Sparrow
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Pink Suitcases

Mom ranted and howled and screamed about how she just gave and gave and gave and we just took and took and took. Dad ran his hand through his hair and looked out the window into the backyard at our lone, birdless tree. I stared into my mashed potatoes, imagining a mountainous alien world.

By John Frank

Let Us Rejoice And Be Glad

And later, years from now, my brother Ed will say, Remember that Thanksgiving? Everything was perfect. He will be referring to this Thanksgiving, with its car accidents and nursing homes and cemeteries and families and turkey and mashed potatoes — like the batch in the styrofoam container that will be discovered in the far back reaches of the fridge near Christmas, a little green and very dry.

By Linda McCullough Moore

Selected Poems

from “Field Manual: Light Duty” | Think not of battles, but rather after, / when the tremor in your right leg / becomes a shake you cannot stop

By Kevin C. Powers


My daughter discovers sex while watching / a documentary about elephants.

By Faith Shearin