Archive for the favorites Category

A Toast to Brenda Miller

Posted in favorites with tags , , , on June 13, 2011 by The Editors

 

At the beginning of Brenda Miller’s essay, “Our Daily Toast,” she sums it up:

Okay, I admit it: I have an unhealthy preoccupation with toast. Do I eat toast socially? Yes. Do I eat toast when alone? Yes. Do I lie about my toast consumption? Yes. Do I hide the evidence of toast consumption? Yes, Yes. Do I make up lame excuses for toast consumption? Why yes, yes I do.

Miller won the coveted Pushcart Prize for this essay, and we think it well deserved. We’d also like to point out that though some may say that this essay is a reflection the author’s relationships as viewed through the lens of toast, it might also be said more plainly (sans nuts, spices, fancy grains, or fats) that this essay is an examination of the author’s decades long addiction to toast.

Not that there is anything wrong with that. Plenty of people, present company included, do battle with this particular addiction day in and day out. In fact, we would venture to say that a day without toast is like a day without sunshine. Never mind we don’t actually see much of the sun in the Pacific Northwest. We still know if it’s there or not. So, don’t mess with our toast.

Honestly, though, Junk loves this piece, which extols the many and varied virtues of toast, and invites the reader to consider their own life spent in the grainy company of the toasted loaf. We’re happy to bite, and we hope you’ll nosh along.

Read Brenda Miller’s “Our Daily Toast.”

Take, Eat by Lee Martin

Posted in favorites with tags , , , , , , on March 21, 2010 by Holly Huckeba

I really liked Lee Martin’s story about food and family. Food allergy is a useful analogy for the effects of addiction: Even when it poisons our body, we crave that to which we are addicted. It is not uncommon to feel love, yearning and loss–sometimes decades later–for things we lose to sobriety. Family as well as food. 

I pulled the car into a parking spot in front of Hovey’s. “We’re just killing time, right?” I said to Deb, and she agreed to go inside.

That wasn’t the whole truth, that part about killing time. I wasn’t aware of it then, but I am now. Somewhere inside me that evening was the ridiculous belief that I could walk into Hovey’s, order anything I wanted from the menu and make myself at home, order a Big Murt and fries and a chocolate shake, and shoot the breeze with the waitress about the holiday basketball tournament at the high school, the Christmas lights at the park, the dark days of winter we’d face together, by golly, in this small, wink-you’ll-miss-it town.

Read the whole story at Sweet

Aftermath by Elane Johnson

Posted in favorites with tags , , , on March 17, 2010 by Editors

Elane Johnson weaves a tight narrative about a horrific accident, but it is her skillful use of a lowly preposition—the word “after”—that powers the story arc and illuminates the story’s unexpected central crisis.

After the skies broke open with a stunning crack about two o’clock in the morning, brilliant flashes of blue flooding the Winnebago like strobe lights; after the rain cut rivulets through the sand, long scratches of some malevolent creature obviously displeased with the earth…

Read more at Brevity.

Swerve by Brenda Miller

Posted in favorites with tags , , , , on March 14, 2010 by Editors

Not every addiction involves chemicals. In “Swerve,” Brenda Miller offers a lovely example of a relationship that’s not quite right in tight, tense, beautiful prose.

A  pound of marijuana in the trunk and a faulty brake light—any minute the cops might have pulled us over, so you were edgy already, and then I ran over that piece of stray lumber without even slowing down. Thunk, thunk, and then the wood spun behind us on the road. Your dark face dimmed even darker, and you didn’t yell at first, only turned to look out the window, and I made the second mistake: What’s wrong?

Read more at Brevity.

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