We have all either read or heard about a book titled The Joy of Sex, unless the book is now too old to interest today’s young people, who seem to have preferred to discover the joy of sex firsthand rather than in print. The trouble with relying on sex as a source of joy is that it does not last long. Sex may be fun, but afterwards it can turn cold. Getting out of a bad situation can be a bleak way to start the day — or the middle of the night. Even spectacular sex diminishes in retrospect. The French have a well-known phrase: la petite mort, or the little death. After the climax, the comedown. After the high, the down-low. After love, boredom. Are you ready to do it again? Maybe yes, if you’re 19 or 20. Older than that and you’ll be getting up to wash the dishes.


But there is another kind of joy that will stay with you through all your days and nights, through marriage, separation, and divorce. It never turns cold. It is the joy of syntax, and you definitely want to enjoy it.

More… “The Joy of Syntax”

Kelly Cherry‘s new poetry book is Quartet for J. Robert Oppenheimer. Her book of flash fiction titled Temporium is now available.


Why has Christmas eaten all the other fall and winter holidays? I feel as though we’re disconnected from the particular joys other holidays have to offer, specifically the non-costume, reflection-on-mortality aspect of Halloween, and its month-later anodyne, Thanksgiving, which celebrates all the hard work of the harvest and begins the convivial atmosphere that helps us all get through the long dark nights of the winter. How can poetry help us get back to appreciating our other holidays for what they are? — Dr. Sunshine


From what I understand, Christmas dominates the winter holidays because it boosts our economy. In the 1930s, in the hope that it would pull us out of the Great Depression, Thanksgiving was even moved up from the last Thursday to the third Thursday in November so that people would have more time for Christmas… More…