“I loved seeing his mind veering into thoughts, each one an original moment. I felt something open in myself. It was right and possible to see the Pacific all at once, the whole goddamned thing. You couldn’t see it at all without having it stretch further than you could see.”It’s an excellent story.
“Testimony” by Keith Lee Morris is also good, and the voice is fresh, despite the narrator’s tedious involvement with drugs. (I’m bored by drug stories; it’s hard to see how drugs—or cancer, or divorce—can be at the center of a good story anymore.) But here we have a narrator who is retelling his testimony at the trial of his friend, charged with killing another friend. The structure makes for awkward but unique sentences, where the witness/narrator is talking about what the prosecutor asks him. He is really telling us that during the course of giving his testimony he came to understand what really happened. It’s well done.
“The Night They First Played Monster Eyes” by Jonathan Lethem isn’t really a story, but it’s a fantastic description of a moment.
There is also some good poetry here but the only piece I’ll mention is “An Aching Young Man” by Reginald Gibbons. It’s a moving poem. Interestingly, I believe Gibbons was one Brigid Hughes’s teachers at Northwestern when she was undergraduate there.
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