Writers I’m Sleeping With

Writers I am Sleeping With


Sometimes it’s good to cuddle up with a writer in bed. Better yet, it’s good to cozy up to several. For now, I’ve decided to sleep with Stephen King, Etgar Keret and William T. Vollman. I tried to sleep with William Faulkner too, but he and I just weren’t seeing eye to eye, so he’s sitting on the bed but we’re not really together. (And I’m not holding it against him that he’s the one who’s dead, either.)

Each of these guys has something different to offer me as I get my brain back into “writing mode” (otherwise known as I made that up so I can trick myself into writing more.) Eh, reading helps me write.

In re-reading parts of King’s On Writing, I’m reminded of how funny some of the stories are in the autobiographical section of the book. The precision of King’s language amazes me, the images are powerful, whether he’s dropping a cinder block on his baby toes, or nearly getting electrocuted by his older brother Dave. The read creates so much pleasure; I could re-read that book many times and never tire of the stories.

I haven’t cracked open The Girl On the Fridge yet, but I’ve read other Keret story collections like The Nimrod Flipout and Suddenly, A Knock On the Door and really enjoyed them; they’re fun. So Keret and I were friends first, now he’s been promoted to a sleeping partner. I’m hopeful that “Girl” will be a worthwhile companion.

Finally, the complicated Mr. Vollmann. I began reading The Atlas earlier this year and explored the strange emotional landscape Vollmann inhabits in that collection of stories. I never finished the book, but I’m ready to spend more time with Vollmann again and given the nature of the content, the best place to read that book is in bed. (No, I’m not going to tell you more, you will have to find your own copy and explore the terrain on your own.)

Yes, blogging about my reading is another mechanism to get my writing juices flowing again too.

Another baby step forward.




Poem: She Took To Her Bed

She Took To Her Bed


She took to her bed

Waited out the wailing winds,

And reckless seas that tossed her,

In love’s empty boat

Without a compass


She floated away from the land of lovers

The shoreline retreated in the darkness

She closed her eyes

And let it go


She took to her bed when the blood flowed

To mourn what never left,

What never arrived, what never grew,

What never died, what never blossomed

And never spoke with a voice inside her


She took to her bed to pass the days, adrift,

To lay on humid sheets,

Where she watched the shadows of trees crawl across the walls

Or heard the cooing of doves outside the window


And in the space around her there grew a calm.

One day a spot opened in the bed, it said,

I am here for you.

She nestled into that spot,

Curled as a lock of hair around a child’s pinky


She escaped without apology

Accepted the solace of pillows to the cheek.

The bed remained steadfast

Restoring strength inside her


With the blanket of time tucked under her chin,

The years passed.


Later, they said of her,

She took to her bed.