Alison Clement

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


if I knew how to take advice

I’ve been writing all my life and sometimes I’ve felt bad for doing it too much, and other times I’ve felt bad for doing it too little. Sometimes I’ve felt that my writing is exactly what it needs to be. I mean not that it’s perfect, but it’s mine. When my second novel was published, my agent then told me to next write something like Jennifer Weiner’s GOOD IN BED, […]

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pizza with the nazis

The neo-Nazis were having pizza too. My French student sat at the table next to the Nazis with her girlfriend and child but she must not read the newspaper or follow local social media because she didn’t seem to know. The neo-Nazis’ pictures are all over the place. They are quite famous in our little town. They remind me of the bikers I hung out with, years ago. The bikers […]

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I Dream of Obstacles

  The night before the term begins, I dream of trying to get to my classroom. I dream of obstacles. Instead of the community college where I work, I drive to a high school My car turns into a child’s tiny toy car and must sometimes be carried The first classroom I go into is a small bedroom The second is a stadium The third is a history class I […]

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the opposite of nostalgia

Early in the morning and I can hear the crickets. I can hear birds, but I can’t tell what kind. It’s only August, but already some of the cottonwood trees are losing their leaves. Cottonwood. Soybeans. Early morning, but someone is out walking. I can see their bright green shirt across the lake. Every day the cardinals come and for a few days we saw an Oriole. Rose of Sharon. […]

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mémoire (masculine), a special use of mémoire (feminine) ‘memory’

This is the way I write it: my sister says she doesn’t remember anything about the Cuban Missile Crisis interrupting our family vacation to Texas or whether we still had the turquoise Thunderbird convertible then or not. Why don’t you write about it? One night in a bar Chuck tells friends the story of when we went to Antigua to set up a printing press for the Antigua Caribbean Liberation […]

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unless it’s cancer, or something

I just lay in bed and think about my body. All the ways it hurts. I dream about words. When you are sick with the flu, it isn’t the time to watch a documentary on HIV. In my dream I am writing my thesis, but I’m not sure what my thesis is and anyway I thought I already got my degree. When you are sick with the flu, it’s a […]

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