Alison Clement

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

politics

alarming information, what to do with it

I think I’m too distractible to write in a coffeeshop. Instead of figuring out what Rose will do with the alarming information she just discovered, I listen to the girls next to me discussing electrons. I listen to some guys complaining about a co-worker. I listen to the men at the next table speaking in Spanish, trying to see how much I can understand (not much). Should I resume my […]

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not exactly Pinochet, but you know what I mean

an uncomfortably accurate post from my blog dated TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2010: “not exactly Pinochet, but you know what I mean The photographs of Chileans celebrating in the streets after Allende was elected remind me a little of the pictures of people here, after Obama’s election night.  For a moment, goodness triumphed.  And then it changed again. And then it was worse, more stupid and more cruel, than anyone could […]

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to my high school English teacher

Dear Mrs. Gist, I remember when you were my English teacher and encouraged me to read poetry. I remember you took me to a reading competition, and I read a poem by Ferlinghetti. I remember once you assigned us to give show and tells, and I showed how to make a Molotov cocktail, which was an intentionally provocative choice on my part — and you jumped up from your seat in alarm. […]

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targeted for elimination

  I wrote a novel based on eugenics, but my agent didn’t like it. Once she didn’t like it, I found that I didn’t either. I thought the backstory was more interesting than the front story. I thought the whole section that takes place when the protagonist lives with a male prostitute in New York City was just an excuse for me to write about when I lived with a […]

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the wrong reader

Dense, dreary and boring,  one Amazon reviewer calls WG Sebold’s book, Austerlitz, like it doesn’t occur to him that he might simply be the wrong reader. Like maybe he doesn’t get it. Man Ray says if you don’t like something, turn away, go find something else. Which is hard to do but good to keep in mind. I was walking with Harrison yesterday at dusk, my favorite time of day. […]

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Also a Sandhill Crane

My yoga teacher moved to Florida. Every few days she posts a photograph on Facebook. While most of my friends post updates on Gaza or Ferguson, on labor efforts, climate change, police brutality, Monsanto, or economics, she posts the image of a bird, flying over the ocean; the sunset; a tree. It’s messy, being alive. It’s never all one way or another. It’s Gaza and Ferguson, and it’s also a […]

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