brief encounters-ed. judith kitchen and dinah lenney

“That the bookstore divides into romance and mystery suggests that the two most powerful fantasies are someone to love and someone to blame.” (22, James Richardson, Aphorisms & Ten-Second Essays)

“There are silences harder to take back than words.” (24, ibid)

i’m 85% sure that this one is related to meghan daum (i’m happy to report that i’m down to 57 on my holds’ list) and i enjoyed it as much as a solid contribution to the collections of collaborations that i’ve read in the past little while.

“Irony isn’t equipped to navigate rough democracies.” (70, Lia Purpura, Brief Treatise Against Irony)

“Irony travels in one direction, around and around an inner circle.” (72, ibid)

“The ingratitude of children is staggering.” (122, Roxane Gay, There are Distances Between Us)

“Nobody won, nobody lost. Nobody learned anything. Nobody added up the cost and realized it wasn’t worth it. The two of you just kept blundering into skirmish after skirmish, because that was all you knew how to do.” (270, Joan Wickersham, Mom x 3)

“I can’t say for certain how much of my father’s life was a lie.” (186, Tod Goldberg Joltin’ Joe Has Left and Gone Away)

as per usual, i gravitate towards the feelings about parent/child relationships, and words (quelle surprise). this is a thematic continuation from selfish-writers choosing not to have human children in favour of birthing literary legacies.

the standout piece for me was jericho parmsred, and i could easily have pulled the whole thing as a passage, and was blown away by the whole form and content. i didn’t, but there are these…

“Before death, there will forever be the injuries of love.” (146, Jericho Parms, Red)

“We say, red-eye and we mean flying overnight. But it is also what I call crying until morning. The kind of weeping-silent, full-that might be reserved for blue, except that it hoods our lids and circles the underside of the eye in red. This, the kind of weeping I learned from my mother, the kind you wake to the next morning and nurse like jet lag, like a hangover, face puffed, swollen, a little older around the eyes. The red of rage and grief and euphoric sadness; the red-eye of weightlessness, of rebirth.” (147, ibid)

and, well. all i can say is that there is evolution after catharsis, and if you give up your familiar hurts every now and again, there just may be someone who will see into you and reflect a glimpse of what’s possible. and sometimes, that person might even be you.

abre los ojos….


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