Japa by Lola Donoghue
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Old Writers Talking About Old Writers
Bob and I were at The Cage after a Hemingway’s reading
and I was telling him about how I wanted to make a book
or a CD or something called that. We’d just seen Ochester
and after the reading, Ed treated us with some great stories
about Harry Crews, stories you could tell he had told over
and over again to get the pacing right and to suck us all in
and to know the right way to punch line. Maybe the book
or whatever it is could be called Younger Writers Telling
Stories About Old Writers Talking About Old Writers—
I could ask Bob and Dave and Lori and Kris to tell some.
And I could tell about Gerald Stern talking about Gilbert
jumping over the Cathedral hedges along Forbes Avenue
or recount Chuck Kinder’s tale about Richard Hugo and
his big bowl of vanilla ice cream. It’d be nice to get some
down so we don’t lose them. Stories grow soft with time.
Though sometimes we fill in the gaps with juicier details
to make the story better, making the story our own, with
the hope we don’t lose the best parts, we don’t sacrifice
the real story. As if we really know or care what that is.