July 2009


i guess copy/paste really screws up formatting–though i DID try to fix it, I am not that smart, and my attempt failed 😦

I never-ever-ever-ever–I can’t stress it enough: EVER post actual work of my fiction/poetry etc. for several reasons:

  • I don’t want to scare people.
  • Sometimes I think it’s too revealing of my process… not that I am so mysterious… I just feel like a stripper, that’s all.
  • I’m self-conscious–of course.
  • I really wouldn’t want someone to steal it. Does that sound egotistical?

But I’m breaking my Never-Ever Rule and posting some here, for several reasons:

  • I’ve sort of been a Hybrid-Fiction skeptic… in that, mostly, I feel I am not good enough to attempt such post-modern arts.
  • I’m attempting hybrid-fiction, even though I feel too inferior to attempt such post-modern arts.
  • I could really use some feedback in relation to this attempt.

Please–let me know what you think: here’s an ever-so-short blip of something that will (hopefully) evolve into something much better (PoV issues certainly plague this little excerpt, and a lot of other big issues… but I’m mostly interested in thoughts about the little poetic diversion… but any thoughts are MORE than Welcome!!):

Prologue

“I got cancer of the liver,” Violet said over dinner one night. Jenny had the strangest urge to laugh, but let it crumple in the back of her throat, wadding it up and stuffing it back down.
“Well, then.”
That was all Jenny said.
The man at the end of the table spoke, his voice ragged.
“When did they tell you?” He asked. This man, called Tam, didn’t know who they were, even as he said it. They. The proverbial they: all knowing and all seeing; it seemed a mundane way of saying that, when thinking of the collective, one rarely involved the inclusion of himself.
“I got three months, they say,” she said, ignoring Tam’s question.
“Aunt Vi?” Samantha asked. “Does this mean you’re gonna croak like Momma did?”
Samantha was seventeen; her thoughts were often out before her tongue could stop them. Usually, though, Samantha’s thoughts were the collective thought—only the insolent narcissism of youth dared to speak so honestly.
“Of course,” Aunt Vi said, grimly nonchalant. Her eyes were flat brown and didn’t show the slightest emotion. She smiled then, and said, “Dessert, anyone?”
Her smile didn’t reach her eyes, but her hands reached for the pie plate; she had baked a cherry pie especially in honor of her announcement, though no one had known why Violet had been so insistent on fixing such an elaborate dinner of fried chicken, collards, mashed potatoes and, finally, the cherry pie. Everyone assumed it was one of Vi’s many whims.
No one ate much, except a few polite bites; Vi ate greedily, though, shoving bite after bite into her mouth. She never said another word, but let the still warm cherry pie push any words she might have wanted to say down into her belly. She finished two pieces of pie and pushed herself back from the table.
“I best get on to bed,” she said. “Cancer—it wears on a body, you know.”
“Aunt Vi?” Samantha asked again.
“Yes dear?” Vi asked finally when Samantha sat still, not asking anything.
“I don’t know. I guess… goodnight.”
“Yes, of course,” Vi said: calmly, matter-of-factly: goodnight.
Violet shuffled from the room, her steps heavier the further she got from the table; the three left around the table could hear her muttering, though they couldn’t tell what. Jenny, Tam and Samantha exchanged glances; it was Tam who broke the silence.
“Jenny, you go rest; Sam and I will see to the cleaning.”
“We will?” Samantha asked.
“Of course,” Tam said with a wry but tired grin. He reached out to tousle her hair. She dodged his hand and stood up quickly.
“Y’all can clean the damned table. I’m going for a walk,” she said. She left so quickly that her chair rocked back as she clumsily brushed past it.
“I don’t think she took to Vi’s announcement too good,” Jenny said. She wiped her hands on the front of her dress, the one sign of nervous energy that Tam observed, but then began picking up plates as methodically and steadily as any waitress working a mundane shift might.

We jump into dreams, as into days. We flatter ourselves to think it’s only one more: one more thought,

one more moment to be held and let go.

Into dreams we let ourselves fall, like logs dropped into fire.

Into dreams we jump, headfirst, to quench thirsty smiles.

Tam had jumped into dreams, into days, into moments and fires and rivers. He had seen others do these things, too.

His mother, into days,

Sunny: into Fire.

Bitsy: into a river.

Himself?

Maybe it was he who jumped into dreams.

I am making a sweater (pics later, I’m sure). It’s made out of the clearance yarn from J’s, and though I decided I am not thrilled with the yarn, I’m certainly not going to end my endeavors 80% through the process. You see, I have a sleeve and a half done and the front and back. I have only the yoke and collar left to do, so you can imagine my panic when I discovered I would be about two skeins short.

J’s closes at nine. My discovery was made at 8.02 pm. So. My live-in baby-sitter (thanks mom!) agreed I MUST attack the sale bins to finish the project before others snatched up the $1.97 purple skeins. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to continue on that same night, which was the plan; into the car i jumped and out I went on my way. One red light. Two red lights. Green, Green, Green. I got there at approximately 8.40 pm. I glided through the store to the ridiculously cheap sale bins; funny, I thought, could have sworn that I’d gotten all the lavender … but here they are…. I counted: 14 skeins! I took eight, made my way to the front to check out, thrilled to be able to finish the sweater with virtually no crises.

I got home, pulled out the balls and found, when placed next to my sleeve-in-progress, that yes, my first thought was right: there was no lavender left in the bin. Oh, but there was plenty of light blue. Fourteen skeins of light blue, in fact–eight of which now reside in my room.

The only pic I do have is of the new mitten, whose mate will be begun this weekend:IMG_8276
I have some ideas as to how to save the sweater…pictures and updates to follow.

Much to write, but little time, so in short:

Goddard’s residency was the experience of a lifetime. Really. “They” say you go to Goddard as you are and come home leaving as who you want to be. Maybe that should be, who you are meant to be–because I didn’t mean to come back the way I did, but I see now it’s who I should be–in a good way. I learned a lot about writing, but I learned more about life: like how one really can’t choose, in the end, who impacts them. This seems ambiguous. Let me just say, sometimes, we try really hard not to care, but then we realize, oh damn, I do care. Again, very ambiguous, but… Vermont was so surreal, so wonderfully isolated and created such a tightknit community. K, M, S, B, OK and OK–what wonderful people. I know I’m leaving some good friends out, but these were the ambiguously-initialed individuals who had the greatest impact on not only my work, but also my life. I learned a lot about being an individual and letting my individuality serve as a parenting mechanism in itself. Here I thought that having a “life of my own” was a bad thing–but I learned from OK and OK and M and a few others that kids appreciate a mom who fulfills a dream, who proves things don’t have to end because the unexpected kicks your ass.

UGH. I can’t say what I want to say here–not well, anyway.

The pattern for Lark Books is seriously a drain–but I think I can do that. I’m wondering now, though, how I will write/read/write/write so much for the next six months and keep up with everything else. I guess we’ll see.