Category Archives: Issue No. 7: “Omaha” and “Sort of a Memoir” (and Miscellany)

PROLOGUE

Museum-goers look out at a view high above Golden Gate parkThe past rattles through my consciousness like so many trains running on errant schedules. They arrive unbidden, coupled together by association. I step in and am carried back. And often I take notes, observing how it was and how I felt, but from a new vantage point.

OMAHA BEACH

A collage of fractured images including a burning barn and an airshipA bedroll out on the sidewalk, a drunk
asleep, my father noted, building smashed,
my mother jarred awake, the Atlantic
between them. “Something has happened to George!
But he’s okay!” her story repeated—
how she knew, how knowing was a curse:
what if someday he were dead? She would know.

SORT OF A MEMOIR

John Parman reading in a dim room under a lamp.Stendhal uses three different memoir-writing strategies: in media res, placing the reader at some middle point in the life from which the years that led up to it are recounted; starting from childhood, which Stendhal characteristically uses to show a certain authorial self-consistency; and the coming-of-age recapitulation that gets the hero from mere youth to the beginning of maturity.

MISCELLANY

Looking again for a poem written long ago, apparently lost, I found typed-out extracts from a 20-year old diary. It’s always a question what to take from them, but I agree with Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s observation that a diary’s immediacy gives it a faithfulness to unfolding events that’s missing in post-facto accounts. We live among […]