Chip Livingston

St. Nicolás

Once thought the patron saint of shoreham lepers, St. Nicolás made a public apology for being too sexy, that curandero, end-chanting his confession regrettably that he was likely to do it again, meaning The fox can lose his fur but not his manners, and that we'd miss his developing affiliation like a mujer guerra. He said You have to sell it if you want someone to buy it, and we, the well-known anglers who willingly cohabit with St. Nicolás, said Sell winter? Imagine a large private garden surrounded by the unusual, imagine Christmas inserted like church music.

Chip Livingston is the author of THE MUSEUM OF FALSE STARTS (Gival Press, 2010) and the chapbook ALARUM: (Other Rooms, 2007). Individual poems and stories have appeared in Barrow Street, Columbia Poetry Review, Gargoyle, McSweeney's, Mississippi Review, New American Writing, and Ploughshares. He lives in New York City.

"My mother's front porch in rural northwest Florida runs the length of the house and has two painted rocking chairs and a matching porch swing, five or six ferns hanging in macram from hidden nails, a couple of iron kettles planted with geraniums beside the front door, and two ceiling fans to circulate the air and keep wasps and dirt daubers from settling in the sitting area. On the porch rail often sets the coffee cup someone forgot to return to the kitchen. It is a Southern front porch and is the scene of gossip and family stories passed around on coffee-breaks while shelling peas or pecans.

"In New York City, my building's front steps substitute the tradition, and paper Starbucks cups with extra shots of espresso replace my mom's ceramic mugs of milked-down, sugary Folger's. And while the accents and intonations of the narrators are a bit more varied on my Greenwich Village stoop, the stories are actually no more dramatic or colorful than those recalled from the lazy, humid porch days of my youth."


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