August 20, 2014

From the archives: “Isaac and Rachel: A Love Song”

There may be a few typos in the doc, but that’s because it’s really old and locked.  Whatever that means.

I had a poet friend who used to teach this short story as a “prose poem” in one of her classes.  I was never sure what a prose poem was exactly, but I was flattered nevertheless.

Looking back on it, I hope that was the proper reaction.

Oh well, for those of you interested in a bit of light reading and able to open a doc

 

Posted by Jeff G. @ 7:58pm
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Comments (19)

  1. use open office

    >Isaac and Rachel: A Love Song
    Analepsis/Prolepsis.
    This is how his father was. Opportunity for prayer, which the old man couched in the secular giving thanks, lay open everywhere, a ubiquitous pressing together of fleshy palms, a collision of large-fingered hams pruning the air, centering the world. This is what the son noticed most, those meaty and majestic pink hands–and the worn patches of corduroy near the knees of his father’s trousers. At dinner, over post roast and buttered rolls, a pleasantly distanced muttering would issue from his father’s lips, the hum of a faultless fan whirring through words reduced to sounds reduced to pauses. The son would look into a spoon, flip it over, catch the curvature of his reflection–a mooning face spread like cream over the outer edges of the silver. This is how the son was. Quietly, his head bowed, he’d listen to his father’s words–throaty, coarse consonants and curdled vowels funneled together into a mist of liquid supplication–which settled over the braised beef, over a bowl of kernelled corn. In the pauses he thought of Rachel, her nipples burnt and brown and rolling stiffly between his fingers. Sometimes he thought of nothing.<

  2. See what I mean? Who eats “post roast”? Nobody does, that’s who.

  3. have you tried sous vide post roast? sublime.

  4. Opportunity for prayer, which the old man couched in the secular giving thanks, lay open everywhere, a ubiquitous pressing together of fleshy palms, a collision of large-fingered hams pruning the air, centering the world.

    Being primed by the giving of thanks, I read that initially as the “pressing together of fleshy psalms” and then we come to Rachel with her fun nipples and I started thinking we’re in Songs of Solomon territory. Then I thought of a possible Biblical allusion to Rachel. Then I noticed Isaac and Rachel.

    Good times.

  5. Hope you like it. I like the sounds of this one. There are some really not bad sentences that I composed to match cadence and aural sensation to content.

    I think that’s what the poet’s liked. Either that, or nipples.

  6. It’s hard to not appreciate bits like “a faultless fan whirring through words”.

    Say it out loud. It’s fun.

  7. Thank you for that.

  8. One of my faves as it tapers down to pauses.

  9. We used to call vertical roasting “post roast” before we found out about kebap and shawarma and gyros. We had this goofy vertical rotisserie thing that the wicked TV made us buy because it would save counter space and it was GREAT with chickens!

  10. We’d impale hot dogs on it.

  11. Then I found out you could cook a hotdog in the flame of a gas burner on the stove. Messy but worth it. And probably a fast lane to cancer. But ‘twer the 70’s.

  12. He thought, if only she were here to stop the blow. He thought, if only she knew how much I loved her, how deep was my faith. He thought, if only I could find the words to say those things. But no. Those belonged to him. It was this he hoped she understood. Then, then, he was certain, she wouldn’t cry. Then, he thought, she’d learn to forgive him.

    I think “him” should be “Him” in the bit I bolded. Or maybe “him” refers to the father?

    Very well done Jeff.

  13. I recall that from the archives. Glad you brought it out again; there’s nuances that I missed prior. It’s aging well. Or I’ve aged, and my focus is shifting in a vain attempt to hang on to burnt, brown nipples.

  14. Thank you.

  15. I was never sure what a prose poem was exactly

    maybe the written version of a tone poem?

  16. Then I found out you could cook a hotdog in the flame of a gas burner on the stove

    Deep fry for 90 secs at 375. Quick treat and still cancer causing no doubt.

  17. -….and I can just imagine some nitwit Prog undergrad teachers assistant literately peeing her skanky self at her desk as she revved up for a classic case of the Left brain vapors having read the word “gun”.

    – The anal retentive morons that inhabit the school system need to be locked up for their own safety. Of course they only react with such vigor if there’s some group warm fuzzies to be gained. The Colorado dudes mentor/phyche couldn’t be bothered, or rather as I believe is actually the case, knew he was a whacko as a junk yard rat and stayed as far away from him as she could. When all the moronic theories break down they’re nowhere to be found.

  18. Outstanding work Jeff. I still think you should assemble your work and sell it, at least, as an ebook. I know some folks that have been doing just that. They’re not making a mint, but not starving either.

  19. Hat’s off! Bob Reed inna house!

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