Savoring the end of Great Jones Street. It wants to be a really bad movie in my head. I want to read the DeLillo plays.
Good sentence: "I picked up the telephone and listened to the dial tone, music of a dead universe."
Now most of us don't even hear it.
"A touch of comic paranoia, I thought. One disguise covering another. The touring clown doubly self-effaced."
The narrator, the rock star experiencing privacy, frequently fades into the background while speaking in his own voice. We get the meta DeLillo narrator talking our ear off, then a little bit of Bucky Wunderlick jumps in to remind us who he is:
"They will study us not by digging into the earth but by climbing vast dunes of industrial rubble and mutilated steel, seeking to reach the tops of our buildings. Here they'll chip lovingly at our spires, mansards, turrets, parapets, belfries, water tanks, flower pots, pigeon lofts and chimneys.
"I turned south on Broadway."
Wunderlick interjects with his "I" then a new paragraph begins, similar to that above. I love those moments. We're steered through the story with sentences borrowed from reality. Diction changes from matter-of-fact to wildly repetitive, invented slang, real slang. A character's thought can take up a page. The response to it may be one word. This is how the rhythm balances itself.
- Claire Becker
- My full-length book, Where We Think It Should Go, can be yours via Octopus Books, Small Press Distribution, or Amazon. We better celebrate these hard copies while we can. When I'm not writing poetry, I teach amazing young people who are blind. I believe in a healthier future.