American Portraits

Arrested by the Seattle police
for shooting a car’s tires.
Enlisted in the Navy Reserve.
Spent two days in jail
after a bar fight in Georgia.
Investigated for shooting a gun through his ceiling.
Honorably discharged,
despite “pattern of misbehavior.”
Contractor security clearance re-approved.
Told the Rhode Island police
he was hearing voices.
Twice went to Veterans Affairs hospitals
seeking treatment for insomnia.
Killed 12 people at Washington Navy Yard.

One morning she flew
to an early analyst meeting
and realized too late
that she had left
her dress shoes on the plane.
So she eyed women
in the baggage claim area,
spotted a suitable pair
worn by one of them —
and approached
with a $120 cash offer
for the emergency footwear.
The stranger said no
but offered a second pair
from her suitcase. Done.

The tail fin of a sockeye salmon
caught in a net in Bristol Bay, Alaska.

Matthew Sullivan releasing a gull
that crash-landed on the deck of the Rollo.

New buoys sit aboard a crab vessel.

Billie Delaney, a fisherwoman, holds
a dead seabird at Graveyard Point.

Stanza 1 is taken from the New York Times article, A Troubled Past”, 19th September 2013. Stanza 2 is taken from a Forbes article, “A Real Amazon“, about a woman who died on 19th September 2013. Stanza 3 is taken from“Eat, Fish, Sleep, Click”, 21st January 2013. Submitted by Howie Good.