top of page

Shop Talk

Connotation Press 2014

November 24, 2014

Shop Talk

Dora put me in her poems even though she promised not to any more. I kept hoping that she'd stop on her own but finally I had to say something and she said, "You should have said something."

I confronted her again after her reading from her latest chap book, "My Secret Snookums and What We did To Cause All the Chatter." I wasn't her "Secret Snookums" in her poems but I was the cuckold and heads kept turning my way during the reading whenever she and her Secret Snookums snuck off for a tryst.

She said it wasn't her and the cuckold wasn't me and my being a writer myself I should understand and encourage her and not read my insecurities into her poems.

Maybe Dora was right but her poems kept hitting closer and closer to home and I had but a few choices and certainly one was to retaliate in my short stories which seemed to be a better alternative than splitting up since we got along so well in every other way.

When my collection of connected short stories came out one by one in magazines Dora was furious and called me spiteful and immature.

"Possibly," I said, "but how'd you like my stories?"

“Except for having a bunch of facts wrong the writing was great and the stories connected beautifully.”

"What facts wrong?" I demanded. "I don't write essays—you know that. I'm a fiction writer and I take my inspiration from life that passes around and by me and also things that just pop into my head. You being a writer yourself should know that."

There wasn't much more that Dora could say without having a huge dustup and she dutifully handled the comments from our mutual friends like a pro and announced to me one day that she was going to write a children's book and in fact had sold it already on the strength of the first chapter.                          

I congratulated her and asked what it was about and unblinkingly staring into my blinking eyes she said sibling rivalry and the more I though of this the more I feared that I was going to regret getting into this writer's pissing contest.

As it turned out I had every reason to worry and soon after it's publication we broke up and both of us ended up with new material for our writing endeavors; my first of which was an essay entitled "Why I Took up with a Woman Who Didn't Read, Much Less Write."

The last I heard of Dora she had taken a hiatus from writing and was into performance art which caused multiple shivers whenever I thought of what might be coming my way.

bottom of page