Thursday, March 07, 2024

Some Annotated Reading March 8

I probably found Julija Sukys' (I apologize for my inability to deal with accent marks here) site through a Facebook essay group. I'd saved a link to her on my iPad, so I really don't know for sure. She says on the page I linked to that one of the writing forms that interests her is "life-writing (letters, diaries, and all kinds of archival materials)." I had never seen or heard the expression "life-writing" before, but I love it now. There is so much I could be exploring at her website. 

Someone on X was talking about My Last Duchess by Robert Browning this week, which led me to reread it. There's a little more subtle part I'd had trouble with years ago that worked for me this time. I thought this might be a narrative poem, but I've seen it called a dramatic monologue on-line.

Reading My Last Duchess reminded me that I meant to read writing by all the United States' poet laureates this year and never got past the first one. I can still do it! But not this week.

What I did read this week was some flash fiction. Candied Lemon by Grace Kennedy at Fractured Lit grabbed me with all the food mentioned in the beginning. I am not quite sure about the ending. 

New Yorker humor you probably can't read without a subscription:

  • Scenes From My Open-ish Marriage by John Kenney. It's probably just as well if you can't read this, because while I thought it was very funny this used to be a blog for childlit people and Scenes From My Open-ish Marriage is not childlit-ish.
  • I liked that John Kenney New Yorker piece so much that I found this article about him and read it. This is why it took me four years to write my last book and not eighteen months like it took him to write his first one. You can bet any amount of money that John Kenney's not spending any time looking up and reading articles about me.
  • What Blurbs Really Mean by Dana Maier and Gila Pfeffer. I've said many times here at OC that as a reader I distrust and dislike book blurbs. So, yeah, I ate this thing up. They did not go anywhere near far enough.


noochinator2 said...

John Kenney piece is funny, thank you. Polyamory is a "thing" now, I've read-- oh well, good luck to them, they'll need it. Kenney's comedic vibe recalled to me the c.v. of novelist Jess Walter, who wrote this in his novel 'The Financial Lives of the Poets':

A Brief Political Manifesto

Jess Walter

I was driving around the packed Costco parking lot
looking for a space and listening to some guy
on NPR talk about America’s growing suburban poor
when I saw this woman with four kids—-
little stepladders, two-four-six-eight—-
waiting to climb in the car while Mom
loaded a cask of peanut butter and
pallets of swimsuits into the back
of this all-wheel drive vehicle
and the kids were so cute I waved
and that’s when I saw the most amazing thing
as the woman bent over
to pick up a barrel
of grape juice:
her low-rise pants rose low and right there
in the small of her large back
stretched a single strained string,
a thin strap of fabric, yes,
the Devil’s floss, I shit you not
a thong, I swear to God, a thong,
now me, I’m okay with the thong
politically and aesthetically, I’m fine
with it being up there or out there,
or wherever it happens to be.

My only question is:
when did Moms start wearing them?

I remember my mom’s underwear
(Laundry was one of our chores:
we folded those things awkwardly,
like fitted sheets. We snapped them
like tablecloths. Thwap.
My sister stood on one end,
me on the other
and we walked toward each other

We folded those things
like big American flags,
hats off, respectful
careful not to let them
brush the ground.)

Now I know there are people out there
who constantly fret about
the Fabric of America;
gay couples getting married, violent videos, nasty TV,
that sort of thing.
But it seems to me
the Fabric of America
would be just fine
if there was a little more of it
in our mothers’ underpants.

And that is the issue I will run on
when I eventually run:
Getting our moms out of thongs
and back into hammocks
with leg holes
the way God

Gail Gauthier said...

I cannot believe you typed all that!

Thanks for bringing this book and Jess Walter to my attention. I'll be looking for it.