Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Three stories and an essay from The Saint Ann's Review

These are all continued in the Summer/Fall 2008 issue of The Saint Ann's Review.


Now, if I may be permitted another small comment on a matter so large as art, I only wish that, in casting me as the pedantic, spinsterish anti-heroine in your book, you'd given me a fuller head of hair; baldness in women is so difficult, so tragic, that I think you, as a writer, might have misstepped in failing to imagine my character's suffering sufficiently. But, no matter—the book was hilarious and at one of our Friday seminars everyone in our department concluded that your fame was indeed well deserved after we'd read and exhaustively discussed it, the book I mean, from the first sentence to the copy accompanying your author photo. Do you remember our Friday seminars?

(From the short story "Eleven, the Spelunker" by Diane Greco, pp. 12-24)


She had been sitting at a table in the evening, having a drink. She recalled feeling very much like a vulnerable woman, sitting at that table alone—she felt it described her well—that was how someone watching her would have put it, and it didn't matter to her to have been thought of that way. Anyone could have come up to her. She looked good—she knew it, too. Tan from the first few days of the vacation and she wore most all clothes very well. She had never had a problem with weight and she thought of that as a talent which had a certain shelf-life—eventually it would give out, it would become exhausted, and she intended to use it while she could. She was having a Corona. She was a woman who could drink beer. She always felt this was a skill, too. And then this man, wide-cheeked, narrow-jawed, extremely athletic, extremely masculine, salt-and-pepper stubble on a kind face, asked her if she'd seen a billiards ball roll under her table.

(From the short story "An Overqualified Woman" by Peter Levine, pp. 131-144)


Whether you like it or not, that's not the problem with us. It's the lint trap. Or at least, with her it's the lint trap.

It was on a Sunday. I put my clothes in the dryer and walked out of the utility room.

"Did you clean out the lint trap?" she asked.

How many times has she asked me that? She never gets tired of asking me, but I'm tired of answering. She knows the answer and she knows my position.

"Did you?" she asked again. "The lint can catch fire."

(From the short story "Trap" by Glen Pourciau, pp. 154-158)


Earlier in the day my brother and I had asked my grandfather if it was all right to put on the casket a large photograph of my father and his motorcycle, a red and white Yamaha YZF R-1, one of the fastest superbikes in production. He agreed, and that was the first thing you saw upon entering the room: this photo of my father smiling behind the machine that killed him.

(From the essay "Of Men and Motorcycles: An Inquiry into the Death of My Father" by William Giraldi, pp. 183-195)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"Late Afternoon" by Joanne Page

The phone rings. I hold the phone to her ear while she says goodbye.
I can hear someone crying at the other end. She does not say who.

"Late Afternoon," a poem by Joanne Page, is continued in Queen's Quarterly (114/4, Winter 2007), pp. 530-533. The poem, which is about Bronwen Wallace, is accompanied by photographs of the letter and bracelet Page describes in the text.

Friday, February 4, 2011

"Pulse" by Grete Tartler

In Athens a woman threw herself
in front of a train
as people were rushing to the Olympics
and all shouted, "No, no!
Couldn't she find a better time?" . . .

This is an excerpt from "Pulse," a poem by Grete Tartler (translated from the Romanian by Adam J. Sorkin and Grete Tartler). It was originally published in The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review (Winter 2010) and reprinted today (Friday, February 4, 2011) at Poetry Daily. The full poem can be found here.