“I have two opposing bits of writing advice. The first is from Alexander Pope’s “An Essay on Criticism”: “True ease in Writing comes from Art not chance, As those move easiest who have learned to dance.” The second bit of advice is expressed a little less loftily by some lines I read many years ago as an undergraduate, and cannot now find an author to credit: “The goose who laid the golden egg died looking up its crotch, to find out how its sphincter worked. Would you write well, don’t watch.” Craft is simply a matter of hard work, what John Gardner rightly calls ridiculously hard work. Inspiration is a matter of keeping your ass planted in your writing chair. It will not happen if, when the muse descends on your desk, you are down at the bar telling people you’re a writer.”

– Vic Sizemore

Monster (unused material)

She asked if she knew me from somewhere else; I said no, and that I don’t forget faces. She leaned in close, putting her lips on my neck, her nose on my neck, and took a deep breath. She liked the way I smell, and repeated what she said about me having good energy. I said it was because someone loves me. She hesitated—when I asked if she lived around here. She said yes—and asked if I had a girlfriend. I said yes—and that I live right up the street. She said she had to work later, and what was once attractive and appealing, became languid and stiff. She hung around my space in the park, looking like one of those people that go to funerals not knowing the deceased. Then got up, moved to her blanket, took off her top, and began tanning again—only this time she didn’t look pretty to me at all.