4/18/09

jean follain

Here is another short "prose poem" story by Jean Follain. I like his book. It is funny; I think some parts of this are "meant" to be in quotation marks, like "unwritten rules of etiquette" etc. He is writing about situations I think I would write about/be in but how these things were in a different time period/a different country maybe. I feel like this same story about a person going into somebody else's apartment would be the subject of a "contemporary" story that I would enjoy reading. The stories in his book don't have titles; they are just single paragraphs on a page; this is one of the paragraphs:

In houses one approaches carefully there are stairs to be climbed, once the door's open, before reaching the one room that's lived in. From below, the woman who's calling inquires, "Are you there?" And the woman who's up there alone answers, "Yes, I'm waiting for you to come up." The visitor takes off her clogs so she won't track in dirt. The wooden stairs groan under her weight. That's what it's like to go out in society: one has to observe unwritten rules of etiquette. When the two women are sitting face to face, they speak guardedly and their shadows almost touch on dead white walls. A vegetable aridity takes hold of the space around them: wicker breadbaskets, some other summer's nuts, yellowed bunches of beans hung up to go to seed. Nothing out of place.