Saturday, May 8, 2010

One Thing

I just want to say one thing about Susan Steinberg's story "Cowboys," in the Spring issue of American Short Fiction.

1. This is great!

"I am still able to lie there nights. But I am unable to do much more than that.

Meaning I am still able to lie there nights, but I am unable to stick around in the mornings.

Meaning I am unable to lie there pretending I want what it is certain women want.

Because of this and because of that. And I cannot pretend to be anything other than the result of this and that."

1. This is great!

"...The doctor had been up all night.

Trying to save your father, he said.

To no avail, he said, and I wondered at the word avail, wondered if the doctor got to be a doctor because of whatever it was he had that made him use the word avail."

1. This is great!

"A man I knew in Warrensburg, Missouri, a man I knew from the job I needed to quit, had been bitten by a brown recluse. He'd rolled over it one night in bed and got bitten in the ass. When he told me the story I laughed. I was like, Why were you naked? He was like, Wrong question. Because he was trying to tell me the bite dissolved the skin on his ass. Because he was trying to tell me that this just wasn't right.

The technical term is necrotized.

The point is I was not always serious.

No, the point is we're limited."

1. This is great!

"There is no intentional meaning in this story.

I would not subject you to intentional meaning.

I would not subject you to some grand scheme."

1. This is great!

2. Okay--a few other things.

3. Those quotes? Those are just from the first five pages. There are five more. And I could have quoted stuff just as good from the first five. Easily. There are enough good sentences in this story to last you all year--if you read w/ your flashlight in bed.

4. I guess I make myself clear but just to be sure: you have to fucking read this story.

5. And one more thing: Susan Steinberg, if you're out there, if you've figured out a way to get Google Alert to separate you from all the other Susan Steinbergs in the world: please send something to Wigleaf! We can't give you that dollar appreciation which is so nice--which I don't mean to knock--but we can love you. We're good at loving people. And is there ever enough love?


Matt Bell said...

This story is the best new one I've read in months, and I'm so glad you posted about it. I've been meaning to myself forever, and probably still will. (And Susan, if you find this: Send to The Collagist too!)

Tawnysha Greene said...

Great suggestion! It's a good story.