One sentence

Slowlearner
Member
Joined: August 30th, 2017, 11:32 am

June 28th, 2018, 9:07 pm #1

After another of my one-sentence masterpieces up at RKVRY. It isn't long. Hope you enjoy it.

http://rkvryquarterly.com/the-first-day-by-john-riley/
Quote
Like
Share

Osel
Member
Joined: June 20th, 2007, 3:33 am

June 30th, 2018, 1:54 pm #2

that link is bad, John. It redirected several times quickly, and led to an “..ipad infected warning.... exit at your own risk, blah blah”. stuff that would scare my mother.  
Quote
Like
Share

Slowlearner
Member
Joined: August 30th, 2017, 11:32 am

June 30th, 2018, 3:07 pm #3

I see. Don't know. Maybe the site has a bug. Here's the story:


The First Day

When they told me there was still no sign of your boat, that they regretted nothing more could be done but to wait for the tides, their looming faces full of exhausted compassion, I turned without a word and walked down the pier, waves breaking against the pillars below, on through the fish market with its once reassuring smells, up the hill past the park where the acorns had begun to fall and the surface roots of a silver maple weaved through the black topsoil like shoelaces in a fishmonger's grimy boots, on to the top of the hill where our tiny house waited, the doors locked, last night's dark sealed inside.
Quote
Like
Share

Osel
Member
Joined: June 20th, 2007, 3:33 am

July 1st, 2018, 8:09 am #4

beautiful sentence! 
A lot of your poems are one sentence, aren’t they?  And epic. It seems a very natural form for you. 
Quote
Like
Share

Hadley R.
Member
Joined: August 9th, 2017, 5:02 pm

July 6th, 2018, 5:35 pm #5

very Hemingway-esque

a sentence from The Green Hills of Africa

That something I cannot yet define completely but the feeling comes when you write well and truly of something and know impersonally you have written in that way and those who are paid to read it and report on it do not like the subject so they say it is all a fake, yet you know its value absolutely; or when you do something which people do not consider a serious occupation and yet you know truly, that it is as important and has always been as important as all the things that are in fashion, and when, on the sea, you are alone with it and know that this Gulf Stream you are living with, knowing, learning about, and loving, has moved, as it moves, since before man, and that it has gone by the shoreline of that long, beautiful, unhappy island since before Columbus sighted it and that the things you find out about it, and those that have always lived in it are permanent and of value because that stream will flow, as it has flowed, after the Indians, after the Spaniards, after the British, after the Americans and after all the Cubans and all the systems of governments, the richness, the poverty, the martyrdom, the sacrifice and the venality and the cruelty are all gone as the high-piled scow of garbage, bright-colored, white-flecked, ill-smelling, now tilted on its side, spills off its load into the blue water, turning it a pale green to a depth of four or five fathoms as the load spreads across the surface, the sinkable part going down and the flotsam of palm fronds, corks, bottles, and used electric light globes, seasoned with an occasional condom or a deep floating corset, the torn leaves of a student’s exercise book, a well-inflated dog, the occasional rat, the no-longer-distinguished cat; all this well shepherded by the boats of the garbage pickers who pluck their prizes with long poles, as interested, as intelligent, and as accurate as historians; they have the viewpoint; the stream, with no visible flow, takes five loads of this a day when things are going well in La Habana and in ten miles along the coast it is as clear and blue and unimpressed as it was ever before the tug hauled out the scow; and the palm fronds of our victories, the worn light bulbs of our discoveries and the empty condoms of our great loves float with no significance against one single, lasting thing—the stream.”
Quote
Like
Share

Osel
Member
Joined: June 20th, 2007, 3:33 am

July 28th, 2018, 1:30 pm #6

the venality and the cruelty are all gone as the high-piled scow of garbage, bright-colored, white-flecked, ill-smelling, now tilted on its side


venality is such a beautiful word, and not seen enough, has such a fine tilt in this, and oh boy, the beauteous refuse! 
Quote
Like
Share

Slowlearner
Member
Joined: August 30th, 2017, 11:32 am

July 28th, 2018, 4:20 pm #7

Several of my favorite writers master the long sentence: Joyce, Woolf, and several others. Hemingway is best at the sentence level I think.
Quote
Like
Share

Osel
Member
Joined: June 20th, 2007, 3:33 am

August 3rd, 2018, 4:22 pm #8

John, have you seem the video I posted in The Shipyards? I sometimes think of your poems, and my poems being animated in some manner. 
Quote
Like
Share

toniclark
Member
Joined: May 5th, 2006, 6:47 pm

August 17th, 2018, 7:45 am #9

This is really terrific, John! What a whole lot of story in a sentence. Over the years, I've seen journals and/or contests for one-sentence stories. This sounds like a winner. I especially love "looming faces full of exhausted compassion." 

The link worked fine for me. They probably fixed it. Enjoyed the Hemingway, too. 
Quote
Like
Share