e c l e c t i c a n o n f i c t i o n
(Click on the title to view the whole piece)
Outlier Heart (Spotlight Runner-Up!)
Impossibly fervent, intolerably vulnerable, I made my growing up an exercise of mind over body, reason over feeling. I thought everyone did this and assumed adulthood would generate its own sense of connection and substantiation to replace what I'd sacrificed. But the more I hid my haunting, the more ethereal I became, until I almost wasn't present at all. So I started living by my outlier heart, and I'm seeing where it takes me.
À La Recherche Des Parents Perdus
The first thing I thought of as an aide-memoir was no crumbled, evanescent recollection of a tea biscuit like Proust's madeleine, but a cigarette lighter I found in a bureau drawer beneath the nylon hose left behind after my mother's sudden death a month short of her 80th birthday as she sat dressed for work, awaiting the taxi's horn in the street outside.
Vindicating Holocaust Poetry
I have searched for literally these past 30 years for a way to bear witness, a role Elie Wiesel himself urges upon us. In his 2003 Days of Remembrance address at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, he asks, "Who will bear witness for the witness?" reminding us of the question posed by poet Paul Celan, considered to be one of the most singular of those who have written poetry about the Shoah. In the address given for this same occasion in 2001 Wiesel spoke these words: "How does one mourn for six million people who died? How many candles does one light? How many prayers does one recite? Do we know how to remember the victims, their solitude, their helplessness? They left us without a trace, and we are their trace."
Howard Richard Debs
Finding Machu Picchu
When Speller put Golienewski in the room with Smith, the two immediately recognized one another and began conversing in a mixture of English, Russian, and French. They traded recollections and stories, confirming for those present that the pair was, in fact, long separated siblings now rejoined by fate. Speller would go on to secure Golienewski's own 'autobiography,' the first chapter of which recounted his reconciliation with his dear sister. The book would sell well, especially when packaged alongside Smith's own 'autobiography.' The only problem: none of it was true.