Mar/Apr 2015 • Vol. XXXVII No. 2 NonfictionMarch 1, 2015 |

The Clouding of the Clear Clam Chowder

Though he can't see too well, though his perception has given up on breadth as well as depth, though deep is something he applies now only to his favorite gaping soup bowl—the one once etched in red, HAPPY AS A CLAM, now missing in age the ultimate M—or the flavor of the clear broth inside it, Uncle is able, in our state, to count, in meditation, the coins of carrot that outnumber the chopped bellies of the bivalve and curse his chowder clearly, as if his mouth, angry, but hungry, is the thing on his face that can best see what's really going on. • • We wonder: the smaller the thing, the less there is to see, the more clearly we can see that thing. We wonder if clarity has more to do with the size of the observed thing, or the time it takes us to observe it. The gull with the short attention span dive-bombs the littleneck, considers the cherrystone. There's little sustenance in consideration. • • Clearly, we are the smallest state in the union—its Adam's

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