Tuesday, June 12, 2012

To Make a Long Story Short

To Make a Long Story Short

A fast forward button and a steady
finger. A trash compactor and a strong
stomach. A sense of peace about losing
every detail that once mattered. Not
the way it burned down, not the heat
from the flames touching your cheeks
like flushed embarrassment trying to
find a way in. Not the rope ladder that
the infomercial tried to sell you
at age ten, in case of fire, and not the plan
you discussed with your sister for
getting the dogs and cats out of your
house on fire, through the window
in your bedroom, making a soft landing
out of stuffed animals and pillows.
Not the ability to ignore, that would be
impossible. The ability to let go
of all that you noticed, to pick just
one item for show and tell and to say
only one thing about it. A fondness
for timelines, for knowing how to title
them. An appreciation for a dying pen.


  1. Yes, it's that's time thing you were reminiscing about last week, or as Stevens more formally put it "death is the mother of beauty."

  2. A fondness for timelines--knowing how to title them--
    appreciation for a dying pen. Love this.

  3. Several times I thought, "I do that."


  4. intriguing. so much story, not told but suggested by perfect details. is this the difference between poetry and novel?

    but then, my other favorite example of the long story made short is from a novel --

    Vladimir Nabokov: My very photogenic mother died in a freak accident (picnic, lightning) when I was three.

  5. Echoing Nin's thoughts about those last lines.

  6. This was delightful...and I can think about many parts but today I choose "the ability to let go of what was noticed"...sometimes it is a very good thing. : )

  7. This is great. My version would be something like "the house burned down." Not very creative :).


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