Charles Baxter

January 22, 2020 Baxter Charles




Somebody dies, for example, or is gone
and then there’s more to pain than pain:
there’s a light within it, without a radiance
that only the skin, and not the eye, can see.
A call goes out: some blue necessity
is ordered up, or at least a magician
to bring some thing out of the nothing that
is present here, and from the woods a whistling
sound occurs, as someone else starts reading
a timetable, or departs, or is staying invisible
just out of town, and then the sky ripens toward
autumn with the flash of heat lightning,
and the apples fall, and a stranger is saying
hello, in an unfriendly way.


Charles Baxter is the author most recently of There’s Something I Want You to Do (February 2015), and Gryphon: New and Selected Stories (2011). His third novel, The Feast of Love, was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2000. He has authored a book of poetry: Imaginary Paintings: And Other Poems.  He has received the Award of Merit in the Short Story and the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His work has appeared in The New YorkerThe AtlanticThe New York Review of Books, and Harper’s, among others. He lives in Minneapolis and is currently the Edelstein Keller Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Minnesota.