My Writing

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"Details are all there are." - Maezumi

Deirdre / her mom / house / downhill street / Frederick Avenue.

Porch / cracked wood / rocking chair / Deirdre painted purple rockets / black stars.

Kitchen / red table / vase / wild zinnias / plastic chili peppers dangling / back wall / winding staircase.

Basement called The Passion Pit. Made out / “Date with the Night” / Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Deirdre’s mom / shorthaired woman / pointy teeth. Leinie’s Honey Weiss / watching Six Feet Under.

Deirdre’s dad / started new family / didn’t see them anymore / Deirdre’s mom came out / lesbian.

Deirdre’s mom invited him / Deirdre’s high school graduation / he didn’t come. Daniel sat beside Deirdre’s mom / watched her cry / she said “Don’t tell her I cried.”

Visiting / break from college / four months before break-up. Deirdre’s mom asked Daniel / why / still with her daughter. “You seem like an interesting guy. Deirdre’s insipid.”

Met / John’s house / August 16 / 2003.

First time hanging out / Deirdre’s mom saw Daniel looking / plastic skeleton in the closet. “That’s where we put her last boyfriend.”

Second time hanging out / Daniel kissed Deirdre / Benny & Joon.

Third time hanging out / preparing / say goodbye. Daniel / decided / say “I love you.”

“I love you.”

Deirdre stuttered / her face flushed / blood / shifted her weight / bright green Chuck Taylors. She avoided Daniel’s eyes. Deirdre stopped shifting her weight / looked / the eyes / said “I think I love you too.”

Daniel thought / the word “think.”


  1. Hey Joey

    Hey, thanks, Alice. I've been seeing your name various places

  2. love you too Deej :) excited for your reading with Shaun. hope you can tape it! idk if i'll be by a computer then

  3. stephen bro
    i'm enlivened by your exercise of unorthodox prose style.
    for months we have been saying to each other "weird, you called that poetry because i would have called it fiction"
    "weird, you called that fiction because i would have called it poetry"

    in this piece i did feel the fiction vibe more near the end. the second-to-last paragraph feels less broken up, sounds closer to normal narration.

    some of the breaks/jumps are really interesting to me
    such as when cutting out the connecting words makes it feel like i dont know what the exact message was:
    "Deirdre’s mom came out / lesbian."
    it seems like deirdre's mom is being connected with "lesbian" in some way here, but we dont really kno exactly what the connection is, and it feels fresh and surprising kind of, to me, to have that disconnect. the ron silliman writing i was showing you is kind of like this. listing different scenes, usually just one fragment/sentence at a time, and the jumps between them are hot even if they are kind of "random" in a sense

    i MOST loved, i think, getting in2 the individual scenes and collections of details, especially a lot of the ones earlier in the piece that had less clear continuity between them. like lil descriptions of the different times hanging out. this is kind of like our vulns emailing the other day with lists of memories, except this broken up form makes it seem more interesting and higher potential for literature. i could see a piece being just a list of memories from a relationship or friendship or a certain period of life, put into this kind of form; it could be hot as heck. i mean this is already basically that, but this maybe has more of a clear narrative to it or something connecting the different scenes, especially nearer to the end

    also i appreciated the parents/mom but possibly could have those details spread out a little more. if u added more scenes, paragraphs etc, then those lil moments might be a lil more subtle and spare, allowing it to 'color' the piece without being quite as dominant at any particular place

    just some of the things i was thinking

    im loveing the form and i'm loveing a lot of the lines as usual! nice job bb, stay true to ur Inner Self

    also it seems kewl to have a quote (with attribution) as the title. i think i considered doing that once before, it seems avant garde

  4. thank you for your comments, Steve. your feedback is helpful.

    i agree that it has some of the feel one might associate with poetry, and i like that. i hope to continue writing prose pieces and eventually novels that feel like poetry in some ways.

    Re "Deirdre's mom came out / lesbian." I agree that the way it's presented, broken up, does potentially obscure what exactly the sentence is saying.

    I'm glad you like the details in the story. My goal was to make it all details and to cut out connecting words that were there in previous drafts.

    I agree it does have some narrative and continuity a bit. It's interesting to me how the story moves chronology-wise. It cycles almost to the end, then starts over, goes for a while, ends.

    I agree that it could be sweet to have a story with even less continuity and narrative. I might try that.

    Re the prevalence of the mom character: i think she compelled me somehow, like she turned out to be crucial to the story for me, or maybe the most interesting character to me in some ways, now. So while I'd like to write about other relationships without featuring a mom and/or dad so much, this story is about the mom as much as it's about anything (though i don't think my stories are ever about anything in the conventional sense).

    The bit at the end is my take on a scene. I will probably write more scenes in life whenever it feels right. Maybe that is one thing that separates a lot of poetry from stories, is sometimes having scenes. This one feels good to me, it is another collection of details in a story full of them. I feel the story builds up to it kind of. And the final sentence to me adds something to the piece, as the title does. Glad you like the title :)