CONTENT

April 22, 2009

posted by Rachel Shine

“Content” was included in the first issue of The Open Face Sandwich,  which happens to be one of our competitors for the Utne Independent Press Award.  But it’s the irregular form of storytelling that got to me.
The piece, in outline form, does what an outline should do: grabs attention  with the opening point, tells the story, and then concludes by referencing the  intro and hinting at future complexities.  But it also sufficiently tells the story  on its own.  Like Hemingway’s words.  Ambiguity makes a story, right?  I mean,  you fill in your own details and thus insert yourself, a piece of yourself, anyhow,
into the story.
But what else is it about ambiguity, about secrets and kept information, that  makes a story?  We talked about how one can read a story and know that  it’s true.  Absolutely happened.  And there’s a moment, you said, that catches  people off-guard.  Sorta makes them recoil because the intimacy is so apparent.
So maybe the trick of ambiguity is the opposite?  It gives the illusion of a universal story to which  one may apply their own vulnerability and keep it for themselves between the pages- to themselves.
Ambiguity allows the private moment to stay private.  Is that it?
Maybe.

C O N T E N T

Sarah Norck

*

1.    Crash! Go Ev and the unborn.
2.    Breaking the news to the father, Kiss, Ev had said in a wan, coy voice that they were cooking up a feast .
a.  As Kiss stayed quiet, the hinge of his jaw pulsing with clenches, she’d screamed he was a cook, wasn’t he?  So wasn’t this right up his fucking alley?  She’d taken his favorite milk-dish and dropped it at his feet.
i. Later, upon moving, upon sweeping and dusting and vacuuming a final time for the realtor, Kiss received a long, deep cut down to the bone in his first finger, from brushing up against the hall molding, from being down on his hands and knees trying to clear any last, invisible specks along the floor away, a more-watery-than-milky thorn-shaped shard tucked tight into the crevice.
3.    Into Ev and the unborn it’s a semi-truck come around the curve, fast.
a.  Boom.
b.  Rip.

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