Heaven, My Home, p. 94

“Forgiveness has a limit.”

It was a luxury black folks couldn’t afford . . .

Attica Locke, everybody.

HEAVEN, MY HOME, pp. 5 – 6

Attica Locke! Love the atmosphere of this. Self may just have found a new favorite mystery writer.

The setting, a lake, “inlets like a tangle of snakes on the Texas side, at least the part that sat in Marion County”:

The antenna was bent halfway down, and in the pockets of silence, a deeper kind of fear took hold. He’d heard the lake went silent come nightfall, Spanish moss on the cypress trees dampening all sound, so that you could feel in this primeval lake on the edge of the state, this swamp at the edge of time, that you were the last man alive.

Poetry Saturday: Cristina Querrer

The Man Who Lives on the Crooked Lane

An Excerpt

There is a man
who lives slantingly
with an uneven sky
peeking through
missing teeth
of the Venetian blinds

Has a yellow dog
that half yawns & half wags
walks sideways
like a sidewinder snake


Cristina Querrer was born in the Philippines and grew up as a U.S. Air Force military child. Querrer is also a U.S. Army Veteran with an MFA in Creative Writing. Her first full-length collection, By Astrolabes and Constellations, won the silver medal from the 2020 Florida Authors & Publishers Association President’s Award. She is also a visual artist, singer/songwriter, and podcaster.

How To Be

Fabrizio’s looks save him over and over again. After the defeat of the French, he stumbles across the canteen woman who, despite having lost her cart and her horse, is still intent on protecting him.

Chapter Four, The Charterhous of Parma:

Canteen Woman (That’s all she ever goes by) to Fabrizio: “Get yourself away from this defeated army; find some way out . . . The first chance you get, buy yourself some civilian clothes. Once you’re eight or ten leagues away and you don’t see any more soldiers, take the mail-coach and rest up for a couple of weeks in some nice town where you can eat beefsteaks . . . As soon as you’ve got a gentleman’s clothes on your back, tear up your travel-permit . . . never say you were in battle, and don’t breathe a word about Bonaparte . . . When you want to go back to Paris, get yourself to Versailles first, then enter Paris from that side, walk right in as if you were out for a stroll. Sew your napoleons into your trousers. And above all, when you have to pay for something, don’t let anyone see more than what you need to pay. The saddest thing of all is that people are going to cheat you and gouge you out of all you have, and what will you do once you have no money, when you don’t even know how to take care of yourself?”

3rd Saturday of August 2020: Evan Thomas

As a newcomer, one of three women on the Maricopa County Superior court bench, O’Connor was given the worst courtroom, a dark, noisy, poorly-airconditioned chamber in the basement. The overpopulated drunk tank of the county jail was next door. O’Connor sometimes stepped over or around slumbering bodies in the hallway, and she kept handy a large can of bug spray.

First: Sandra Day O’Connor, p. 106

“A Good Wife and Mother”: Rosario Ferré

The day of my debut as a writer, I sat at my typewriter for a long time, mulling over these thoughts. Inevitably, writing my first story meant taking my first step toward Heaven or Hell, and that made me vacillate between a state of euphoria and depression. It was as if I were about to be born, peering timidly through the doors of Limbo. If my voice rings false or my will fails me, I said to myself, all my sacrifices will have been in vain. I will foolishly have given up the protection which, despite its disadvantages, at least allowed me to be a good wife and mother, and I will justly have fallen from the frying pan into the fire.

Recommended Reading: Rosario Ferré’s short story, The Youngest Doll, from the collection of the same name

Quote of the Day: Richard Brautigan

Karma Repair Kit: Items 1 – 4

  1. Get enough food to eat, and eat it.
  2. Find a place to sleep where it is quiet, and sleep there.
  3. Reduce intellectual activity and emotional noise until you arrive at the silence of yourself.
  4.  

 

 

 

Also #amreading Laszlo Krasznahorkai’s SEIOBO THERE BELOW

Seiobo There Below is her first Krasznahorkai (translated from the Hungarian by Ottilie Mulzet), and she can’t believe she didn’t know before that this author is known for writing sentences that go on for as long as 50 pages.

From Story # 6 (Which appears in the Table of Contents as Story # 13, like we’re being punked by the author. Punked, punked, punked!), He Rises at Dawn.

(P.S. If you want to know more about Japanese temples, and that stillness of being which is only possible for true adherents of Buddha or Zen Mind, this book is for you)

  • He rises at dawn; more or less the same time as the birds; he is a bad sleeper, only falling asleep is easy for him — in the evenings this happens quite often, although afterward there are frequent startled awakenings, where he’s drenched in sweat, worn out from a dream, and it goes on like this till dawn, when finally the skies begin to turn greay in the neighborhood of Kita . . .

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Poetry Saturday, September 2017: Joanne Diaz

Excerpt from “Pyrrhic”

from My Favorite Tyrants, winner of the Brittingham Prize in Poetry

Art can make war look wrong, but most of the time
it doesn’t. Consider this terracotta jar, once filled
with olive oil to anoint the dead, now a souvenir
of fire, clay, and spittle standing in the back
of the Ancient Wing. Look closer: some dancers
are clothed in robes, others are naked, and all
wear helmets while the musician plays a double flute
and taps his toe. First, they join hands, then the delicate,
ceremonious footwork begins.

Poetry Saturday: Laura Jean Baker

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Moon Over Park Avenue, New York, May 2016

Human Weather (an excerpt)

by Laura Jean Baker

August made a habit: warming our bodies
to the point of sacred.
On Dog Star days for twenty years
we loved to our dew point,
honeyed our moon,
and kneaded our bodies
into the wholesome shape of babies.
Girl-boy-girl
slid into the not-yet warmth
of every other May.

Better late than incomplete,
we made our last
between Autumn sheets; a boy named Frank,
he’d skid across the cusp of June and July.

The poem originally appeared in Calyx, a Journal of Art and Literature by Women, summer 2012.

About Laura Jean Baker: she earned her MFA from the University of Michigan. Her poetry, fiction, and memoir have been published in The Gettysburg Review, Connecticut Review, Cream City Review, Third Coast, Confrontation, and War, Literature, & the Arts.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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