Monday, January 11, 2010

A model short story sentence

The motorcycle increased his status, gave him weight, so that people began calling him Uncle and asking his opinion on world affairs, about which he knew absolutely nothing.

from "Nawabin Electrician" by Daniyal Mueenuddin
In Other Rooms, Other Wonders

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Making Scenes, Rachel Wetzsteon (1967-2009)


Each view is threefold. There is the topmost
layer of things unequivocally seen: the man
in loud pants, the forlorn sidewalk cafe, and the
ever-present pigeon who gnaws a wrapper.
There is, beneath these things but glaring
as black at a wedding, a list of what they are not:
not a loved one spotted, not the locus
of a tryst, not a rare, significant seabird.
And onto these two pictures clamps a troublesome
third, through whose distorting surface
birds are half swan, half sparrow, and slumming kings
and their well-dressed subjects eat lunch together.
This last layer, a patchwork of givens and
engineering, shakes the first two until nothing is solid.