A silence which comes over my life as well, I am not unwilling to express it. It is not the great squares of Europe that seem desolate to me, but the myriad small towns closed tight against the traveler, towns as still as the countryside itself. The shutters of the houses are all drawn. Only occasionally can one see the slimmest leak of light. The fields are becoming dark, the swallows shooting across them. I drive through these towns quickly. I am out of them before evening, before the neon of the cinemas comes on, before the lonely meals. I never spend the night.
—James Salter, A Sport and A Pastime
From the Stealing from Yourself Files
Max kissed my hand when he left, a little bow that reminded me I have always wanted to be the person who remembers the difference between frankincense and myrrh — Joyous, but with facts. I am not that person. I am the person who has always known how to spell myrrh.
Why no one writes lyric realism anymore
Because it isn’t real, for A.
The rest is up at Necessary Fiction today. Thanks to Steve Himmer for giving a story that starts with cheese-crisps and Pac-Man a chance.
(See, now you want to read it…Pac-Man!)
To Certain Men in Certain Cities that I’ve Left
Thrilled to continue my Epistolary Takeover Plan with a new story up at Corium Magazine. It’s a great issue - start your November there. Here’s the start of my piece, and a little lovesong to New York. (Love you, New York.)
No, this plant-sitting gig hasn’t swung me into the New York-or-Die camp, but what I will say is you can get a fried egg sandwich at any time of night here, made-to-order, on thin buttered rye toast with a glass of juice-your-choice and a booth to eat it in. Not like our dinners of last resort—salt and vinegar chips and Newcastle at the Thirsty Scholar those winter Sundays when we’d sleep till midnight and wake, starved, to find nothing else open. Insomnia is easier here, half-holy, even, to prove with your own small acts how the world (at least this one) never closes.
People have been stacked so thick and high and long here that on certain corners this one-size déjà vu comes up at you, stings like subway heat: pigeons thwapping down into in that park on Christopher St., another person dropping his dollar coffee and dancing out of its way. The booksellers, unfurling their swaybacked tables of Nabokov and Salinger around Washington Square at noon.
It keeps going here.
poetry and Halloween go together like a bob and wheel.
before I say Stop
I believe I want this more humane existence for my next—to spread carelessly among one’s friends—to feel the width and amusement of human life: not to strain to make a pattern just yet: to be made supple, and to let the juice of usual things, talk, character, seep through me, quietly, involuntarily, before I say Stop and take out the pen.
—Virginia Woolf, A Writer’s Diary, 20 August 1932
Sometimes they let me write about sports
—have updated my tumblr theme and added this essential category. Check out the left rail!
There is currently one entry. There would be two, except the Arizona Republic (like the Arizona Everything Else) is stuck in some inconvenient past, this one involving paywalls in Times New Roman.
I would love to have more entries, she said, winking at everyone who knows a sports columnist near retirement…