Russell Shorto

No Tricks

Faintly, just what's here.

Do fan blades hum or whir?

The washy angle of the light

you get on August 18, a day past

the day that told you summer

has remembered its death

is imminent. No tricks in light or weather.

No tricks in life, really, so that only,

ultimately, the tricksters are fooled.

So sit, alone, with some sounds.

Screeck, or reeech, so tiny you almost wonder,

the noise of bones getting older.

It takes a little sip of your breath,

doesn't it? And then you say,

Ok, ok.


About the Author

  I was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. I have three children (Anna, Eva and Anthony) and three step-children (Reinier, Hector and Benjamin).  I write books of narrative history; I believe history is most meaningful to us when it manifests itself through individuals in conflict. My books have been published in fourteen languages and have won numerous awards.  I am senior scholar at the New Netherland Institute and a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine. My interests include the past, the present and the future, not necessarily in that order.  

photo by Keke Keukelaar