Go Creative… With Stephen King

Last Week: Go Creative… With David Byrne

“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it?
The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it.
That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.”

Next Week: Go Creative… With John Patrick Shanley

After The Rising 3. Never Say Never.

The story so far: Jo Devereux has returned to Mucknamore, the Irish seaside village where she grew up, for her mother’s funeral after an absence of 20 years. There she reconnects with her sister Maeve and her ex-boyfriend, Rory O’Donovan, the only man she has ever loved, who caused the rift between her and her family. Now read on:

‘So, Dev,’ he says, after my sister has made her excuses and scuttled away. ‘What’s going on? Why are you receiving us in bed, like a courtesan? You don’t look sick to me. You look better than ever.’

As he’s talking, he’s pulling out the chair from the corner and bringing it over, close to the bed. ‘Don’t think I don’t know what you’re up to. Lying low, avoiding the mob. Avoiding me too, you brat.’

Brat-sh. The soft Irish T. He sounds so Wexford to my ears now, such a strong streak of Mucknamore in his accent: the nasal vowels, the singing rise and fall to his sentences. But of course it’s my speech that has changed, not his. I am stuck again by the newness of him, the short hair that makes him look unfinished.

‘It’s all a bit Mucknamore for me.’

‘I knew it.’

‘I hear you’re a full fledged resident now.’ I speak as if I only heard today, as if Maeve and Dee, my Wexford friend who also lives in SF, hadn’t passed on everything they knew about him since I left. ‘Was the progressive liberalism that drew you? Or the cultural stimulation?’

‘No need to sneer, city girl. It’s a good place to live.’

I raise my brows into a question. The Rory I knew could not have

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Salema Moods: Three Short Poems

I. Ocean Pulse

Rising, curling, foam unfurling,
waves of cold Atlantic sea,

next one coming, meet it running,
plunge into the safe beneath.

Avoid crashing, hard sand-smashing
that could knock me to my knees.

Out here holding. Look I’m floating!
Blood-beat drumming in my ears.

Waves keep surging, endless burgeon
sent up from the darkest deeps,

surface playing, breath delaying,
I dive into your mystery,

always saying all to me.

II. Here is Where
I’ve been here
before but
now I’m here
for healing.

Twice times ill
with cancer
and its cure
here is where
I’ve come. Numb
beneath – or
should I say
beyond? – these,
my extremities.

I’ve been here
before but
now I’m here
for healing.

III. Seeing Eye

I’m rocked in salt arms: the ocean,
waves pillowing under my head.
The sky’s eye seems to wink open
to glint all I seek to reflect.
For one glittering, infinite instant
I can’t tell the fall from the swell.

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Tormentor Mentors

IN AUTUMN OF 1916, Iseult Gonne sent a long letter to her friend and mentor, WB Yeats, in which she referred to his recent critique of her writing: “I am most thankful to you for those criticisms you have made on my scribblings,” she wrote. “Yes, they are bad. I knew it all the while and I am glad of what you say about truth and beauty. I will try and put it into practice . . . but just now I am still too tired to work.”

Too tired to work. When I first came upon those words, as part of research I was doing into Gonne’s life, I felt like weeping. Yes, the writing she was doing at the time could sometimes be

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