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Poetry: I read it, write it, teach it, edit it, review it, publish it; Etc.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

One line story

When I woke up, the dinosaur was still there.
--Guatemalan writer Augusto Monterroso

Calvino cites Monterroso's line as a favorite example of the one line story. Yes, I'm still hanging with Calvino, still proceeding slowly through this second chapter, "Quickness." Because the short prose object, be it flash fiction, prose poem or vignette, falls under consideration in this chapter I'm finding it even more difficult to leave behind. Only the promise of 3 more chapters, each considering another essential aspect of literature lures me on, the sixth memo never written down. That in itself teaches the writer something essential: for god's sake, write it!

Poet, etc, David Lehman is another advocate of the one line story. If any of you have written one, send it to comments. Here's one I've composed. See what you can do.

He forced open the door and found the pilot slumped over the controls.


  1. Reminds me of this: http://www.jasminestarblog.com/index.cfm?postID=451
    which was started by the author's love of Hemingway's six word story-

    For sale: baby shoes, never used.

  2. Screaming their names throughout the burning house, she sees her children through an upstairs window, waving from the yard.

    Not quite it..I'll keep trying. Fun exercise, grazie!

  3. Well since mother's and Kelly's sentences instill a slightly morbid image in my mind, I offer this one:

    By now his fingertips smelt more of sea water than of her.

  4. Everything went smoothly the first time she blew up a bridge.