The Report

A weekly poem, read by the author.
Dec. 18 1997 3:30 AM

The Report

The Report

Trying to remember what it was like to live
Here and how it was I used to feel and fit
Into those days--like a convict in the movies
I have come back to put on my old clothes.

Dogs I used to know give me a sniff.
The salt's on my skin; the air dark roasted.
Street people appear lucky and familiar.
I nod and some respond for whatever reason.

Better luck in shops where my kited checks
Clung to the register with a tail of tape--
In the stand of little birches set by itself
Where I kissed a neck in the bend of the river--

Behind windows where I looked out, lifeguard
To the street below, where my wife believed
Beautiful women passed just so I could see them,
Where my old cat, black bag of dust, blinked in the sun.

My memory is an upright sweeping back.
In its housing coins and splinters, fingernails, fur,
Shells, grinds, and peels: the literal stuff of that bereft,
A man would be a scarecrow in a birdless field.

Stuart Dischell is the author of Good Hope Road and Evenings & Avenues. He teaches in the MFA program in creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.



More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

The Best Way to Organize Your Fridge


The GOP’s Focus on Fake Problems

Why candidates like Scott Walker are building campaigns on drug tests for the poor and voter ID laws.

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

Farewell! Emily Bazelon on What She Will Miss About Slate.

  News & Politics
Sept. 16 2014 7:03 PM Kansas Secretary of State Loses Battle to Protect Senator From Tough Race
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 8:43 PM This 17-Minute Tribute to David Fincher Is the Perfect Preparation for Gone Girl
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 6:40 PM This iPhone 6 Feature Will Change Weather Forecasting
  Health & Science
Sept. 16 2014 4:09 PM It’s All Connected What links creativity, conspiracy theories, and delusions? A phenomenon called apophenia.
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.