Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

The Road Home / Just before Dark: Collected Nonfiction

Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

The Road Home / Just before Dark: Collected Nonfiction

Article excerpt

The Road Home Just Before Dark: Collected Nonfiction

As a poet and novelist I've grown rather inured to my own peculiarities but have long openly accepted my penchant for secret places, mostly thickets, that I depend on almost daily for solace. I can think of specific locations in Michigan, including the Upper Peninsula, but also in Arizona and New Mexico, a single place in New York City, one in Paris, and another near a friend's house down in western Burgundy.

The original, the ur-thicket, was near the porch of our childhood home in a dense collection of shrubs. I often retreated there for hours with my dog after I was blinded in one eye by a playmate. Soon after this accident (intentional) I also lost the dog because she was over-defensive but kept the thicket for years.

The prerequisite of a first-rate thicket is that you can see out but it is unlikely indeed that you'll be noticed by others. It is helpful to have a dog with me, even if it is a friend's dog, which is the case in Burgundy. …

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