Monthly Archives: January 2015

Dirty Love by Andre Dubus III

After reading ‘Dirty Love,’ I’d have to say Andre Dubus III is a master of immediacy. But he’s also unique in making memory immediate, too. Usually in prose, even in great works, there’s a noticeable sag while describing the past, as if the moment had affected the character but had also become inflexible, a fixed proposition. Because Dubus maintains the intensity of his sensory descriptions while describing the past, we are treated to a double awareness of a character’s circumstances that does not quarantine memory. I realize after reading ‘Dirty Love’ that I have probably written scenes that treated memory like a trial exhibit instead of something alive. It’s not so much what a character can say after describing a memory, but how they can behave! To let the reader know they are attempting to break a mold the past had cast. Or that they have succumbed to the allure of external perception masquerading as identity. Especially in the last novella, we see characters communicating with their past through a behavior in the present. I guess we could do this automatically from a basic storytelling standpoint, (I think writing detailed scenes and getting to know your characters will bring up this depth naturally, even if there’s no specific intention other than putting forward an honest effort) but the simmering and subsequent explosion of memory, identity, decisions and consequences for characters in this book was remarkable to me.

Dr. Dog

tonight…. my lovely band… I remember when I found them and Man Man the same night on Myspace (!) in 2008. (after literally typing something goofily specific like ‘modern indie rock’ into the search engine) I listened to ‘Shame Shame’ last night and was surprised by my emotions. I guess it was the equivalent to seeing an old friend and having a long conversation, because you are both waiting for the same delayed train. And then you both seem to remember at the same time, without an acknowledgment being required, that nobody ever really leaves anyone. We can forget about someone for a long time, but they are always hiding somewhere, especially in songs. And ain’t it strange when that forgotten person is yourself?

A Thousand Kisses Deep by Leonard Cohen

You came to me this morning

And you handled me like meat.

You´d have to be a man to know

How good that feels, how sweet.

My mirror twin, my next of kin,

I´d know you in my sleep.

And who but you would take me in

A thousand kisses deep?

I loved you when you opened

Like a lily to the heat.

You see, I´m just another snowman

Standing in the rain and sleet,

Who loved you with his frozen love

His second-hand physique –

With all he is, and all he was

A thousand kisses deep.

I know you had to lie to me,

I know you had to cheat.

To pose all hot and high behind

the veils of sheer deceit

Our perfect porn aristocrat

So elegant and cheap

I’m old, but I’m still into that

A thousand kisses deep

I’m good at love, I’m good at hate

It’s in between I freeze

I’d work it out but it’s too late

It’s been too late for years

But you look good, you really do

They love you on the street

If you were here I’d kneel for you

A thousand kisses deep

The Autumn moved across your skin

Got something in my eye

A light that doesn’t need to live

Doesn’t need to die

A riddle in the book of love

obscure and obsolete

To be witnessed here in time and blood

A thousand kisses deep

And I’m still working with the wine

Still dancing cheek to cheek

The band is playing Auld Lang Syne

But the heart will not retreat

I ran with Diz I sang with Ray –

I did not have their sweep –

But once or twice, they let me play

A thousand kisses deep

I loved you when you opened

Like a lily to the heat

You see, I´m just another snowman

Standing in the rain and sleet,

Who loved you with his frozen love

His second-hand physique –

With all he is and all he was

A thousand kisses deep

But you don’t need to hear me now

And every word I speak

It counts against me anyhow

A thousand kisses deep

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