Redux: The Shopping Mall of Loss



Every week, the editors of The Paris Review lift the paywall on a selection of interviews, stories, poems, and more from the magazine’s archive. You can have these unlocked pieces delivered straight to your inbox every Sunday by signing up for the Redux newsletter.

Carolyn Kizer.

This week, we bring you Carolyn Kizer’s Art of Poetry interview, Doug Trevor’s short story “St. Francis in Flint,” and Debora Greger’s poem “To the Fifties.”

If you enjoy these free interviews, stories, and poems, why not subscribe to read the entire archive? You’ll also get four new issues of the quarterly delivered straight to your door.


Carolyn Kizer, The Art of Poetry No. 81
Issue no. 154 (Spring 2000)

Painters teach you how to see—a faculty that usually isn’t highly developed in poets. Whether you take a walk in the woods with a painter, or go to a museum with one, through them you notice shapes, colors, harmonies, relationships that enhance your own seeing. Also, male artists always have had the qualities that modern women find lacking in most men; these guys know how to cook, change a diaper, take responsibility for entertaining and educating their children. Of course part of this is due to economics: most good painters are poor. But mainly it’s because they are tactile, earthy; like Antaeus, they have their feet firmly in the dirt.



St. Francis in Flint
By Doug Trevor
Issue no. 158 (Spring–Summer 2001)

In the mornings, Edwin walks down the Sixteenth Street Mall to Larimer Street and lingers in the natural skin-care shop on the corner. Around ten, ten-thirty the shop is filled up: people drink protein shakes at the juice bar while women push strollers, dropping bottles of calendula baby oil and boxes of echinacea tea bags into their shopping baskets. There are women who Edwin suspects are anorexic, the ones who stand in the vitamin aisle in leggings, scrutinizing labels.

Sometimes he catches himself staring at their hipbones or wrists and he grows ashamed. He would like to say something apologetic at these moments, or better yet supportive, but he is horribly shy and so never says anything.

Every weekday begins like this for Edwin, who is thirty-two years old and allergic to ragweed, cat dander and pistachios.



To the Fifties
By Debora Greger
Issue no. 165 (Spring 2003)

Some pets, Horace says, spend their lives
going over the same old ground: some suburb
of love. A parking lot
at the shopping mall of loss.

My river, wind-hammered into a silver tray,
bears a tumbleweed past the nuclear reactors.
Past my parents’ house,
my heart has turned to dust.

I am five again, what have I done to myself?
The doctor setting my broken wrist on Sunday
was the county coroner.
Over the helium balloon …


If you like what you read, get a year of The Paris Review—four new issues, plus instant access to everything we’ve ever published.