Alison Clement

observations from a novelist who sometimes wants to say something small and see it published immediately

Catholic Church

The Village of Witches

We went looking for a village of witches. We passed a man with a  machete. A donkey. A sign said go back this is an active volcano but nobody went back. People put up signs that said viva el revolultion which we could read even though our Spanish is bad. Masks hung on walls, on fences, and on houses. We passed sugar cane fields. A man walked along the road […]

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Sacred Heart

March 26, from Charleston, SC I’m eavesdropping on the people at the next table. The woman is telling the man the name of her five pets: Otis, Milo, Lucky, Fritz, Lola. At first I thought she was being interviewed for a job. Now I wonder if this is what an iHarmony type date sounds like. I love southern food. I love the smell and feel of the air. I love […]

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sinner

Indries Shah says we have forgotten how to listen to stories. Do you remember reading stories as a child?  I want to read like that again, like nothing else matters. I grew up near a small woods in Greenville, South Carolina. I played there everyday, almost always alone. That was before everyone was afraid and stopped letting their little girls go off by themselves. When I started Catholic school in […]

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taught by nuns

I was reading about lyric essays. I think my essays are lyric essays and not just because they are disorganized. I only learned the term when I went back to school. People do things and don’t even know those things have names, but it doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t know what we’re doing. I kept coming across the name of a particular lyric essayist and I looked her up. The […]

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and then she became a Communist

At a reading at Eastern Oregon University, someone in the audience asked what books I read as a child, but I wouldn’t answer. I could only think: Gone with the Wind, three times, and how could I explain that? I read Gone with the Wind and I read, accidentally, what I think must have been Naked Lunch, which I found on my older sister’s book shelf.. I read The Group […]

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>internalizing repression

Today I posted the first page of my new manuscript, Watching Rhonda Honey, on my website. The first page is about being raised Catholic. I’m glad I was raised Catholic, let me say that right now. It did three things that I like. It made me psychologically complicated, which is useful for a writer. It gave me a sense of shame, which is not a bad thing, I realize now […]

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