PRINT December 2006

Bruce Hainley

I wanted to get as far as my proto-dream-house,

my crypto-dream-house, that crooked box

set up on pilings, shingled green,

a sort of artichoke of a house, but greener

(boiled with bicarbonate of soda?),

protected from spring tides by a palisade

of—are they railroad ties?

(Many things about this place are dubious.)

I’d like to retire there and do nothing,

or nothing much, forever, in two bare rooms:

look through binoculars, read boring books,

old, long, long books, and write down useless notes,

talk to myself, and, foggy days,

watch the droplets slipping, heavy with light.

—Elizabeth Bishop, from “The End of March”

MAUREEN GALLACE frequently paints houses—the buildings and landscapes, destinations nearby and routes to and from her hometown of Monroe, Connecticut; views and memories of views, abstract and yet faithful to the proto-crypto-structures that give meaning to the phrase “where

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