Jennifer Habel is the author of Good Reason, winner of the Stevens Poetry Manuscript Competition. Her poems have appeared in the Believer, Gulf Coast, the Massachusetts Review, the Southeast Review, and elsewhere.
As he was riding home to visit his mother,
the train slowed to a standstill. Heavy weather.
He didn’t like to think about his father,
much less take after him, but like his father
he loved to curse. He started snarling, “Mother—”
With the end of 2020 nigh, an unconventional holiday season is fast approaching. Our staff rounded up some of our favorites—books, but not just books—that may make a thoughtful gift for someone on your list.
When I first laid eyes on James, he was fast asleep. We were in the high school auditorium, at assembly. James was wearing a green windbreaker, and stuffed in its mesh kangaroo pocket was a brand-new paperback copy of Moby Dick. Even though I went to one of the most competitive public high schools in New York City, the tomes the teachers handed out were almost always ugly hardcovers covered in pen marks.