“Granular” (#2)

Lisa Moore was the best discovery of the short story course I did in the fall.  I had read and loved February but hadn’t really paid that much conscious attention to the writing.  Her short stories were a revelation, and the second person point of view in one of the ones we read was the model/inspiration for the story I ended up writing in the course.

The first scene of Granular is a page-long extremely graphic, sensual description of very connected sex, followed by an accusation.

I’m thinking about all the possibilities that spring up every time we act, then fall away to be replaced with another set of possibilities.  Sometimes the import of our actions catches up with us.  Import settles on one thing or another, the rim of a coffee cup, for instance, like a butterfly.

That moment alone is worth the story.  And her writing is a complicated weave of these kinds of possibilities. Moore fits into the category of “intimate orator,” I think, though she also fits “visceralist” — describing the indescribable with language.

Sometimes when we are having sex, a lost afternoon from months ago, or years, will creep over my skin.  It’s visceral, the way a flatfish draws shades and patterns from the sand it floats over.  Grainy blushes, they’re gone before I can speak them.

That image stopped me dead.  I now imagine this from a writer’s perspective — did she write the words “flatfish, blushes, shadows, over sand, flashes” in a little notebook?  Where did the words “grainy blushes” bloom as she wrote sentences?  What happened for her when that phrase appeared — where did she feel it and know its rightness in her body?

“Granular” is in the collection Degrees of Nakedness, and I can’t photograph it because it’s in the kindle app in my ipad (a clause that would have make no sense 7 years ago).








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