• Anna and I did not make love. I don't remember why. Maybe we didn't need to. She might have been afraid, although I doubt she was afraid of much. She'd been a midwife before she opened a studio; she'd held life in her hands, like a wire from a galvanic cell. Maybe death was too strong in me for an act so inspirited with life. Although I sometimes think that death is what gives lovemaking its desperate and terrible joy

    Norman Lock
  • Forgive me,' Poe repeated earnestly.I nodded coldly. I was not above acting like a child; I was hardly more than one.'I want you to have this,' he said, fishing a gold watch and chain from his pocket. He took a step toward me. I stood my ground. He closed the distance between us, the timepiece in his hand. 'It belonged to my father, David Poe--not John Allan, who fostered me but would not adopt me. My real father was David Poe, Jr., the actor. It's said that he abandoned my mother and me. It's a lie. He died--too young: He was only twenty-seven.'I accepted his gift. It felt substantial in my hand. In spite of myself, I was pleased to have it

    Norman Lock
  • Talking of appearances, I would like my future readers to know that the picture of Jim and me that Thomas Hart Benton painted on the wall of the Missouri state capitol bears not the slightest resemblance to either one of us. ... I've never been satisfied with any representation of myself and have seen only one picture of Jim that did him justice. I don't know why this should be, unless it is evidence of a nearly universal prejudice against us, instigated by Sunday school superintendents, Republicans, and bigots

    Norman Lock
  • I insist on caprice as a necessary countermeasure to slavery. Otherwise, my own dictatorial mind must take -- unknown to me -- its instructions from a mastermind

    Norman Lock
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