A monologue from the play by Richard Manley
MARY (early forties)
Alright, alright, here’s the truth . . . I bought your out-of-print marvel ‘cause Google said it was a big deal when it came out
and I thought it’d make me sound cultured to drop your name in a client meeting and then throw in a coupla lines or whatever
to make it seem like you and I talk about this stuff over glasses of French wine. This is as honest as I’ve been in a while and it feels good,
so I’m not stopping ‘till I finish this little speech, even if I end up giving it to your god damned door . . . so I read the blurbs on the back
and the first poem, so that I’d have somethin’ to quote… and then I end up reading the next one, and then the next,
and then the whole damn book, and then I read it again… I didn’t know what some of those poems meant but something happened to me anyway . . .
because of the sound of the words or because a phrase called up something in my memory . . . when I read
“she’s eggshell frail, she weighs no more than gathered autumn leaves,” I saw me as a little girl raking leaves with my dad and jumping on the pile . . .
but it was layered over my grandmother’s last year, when she was so bent over she could hardly see me
and she sobbed every time I hugged her little curved body because she had so little time left . . . and I could feel every bone of her spine through her clothes.
I cry every time I read that poem. It pisses me off . . .
you shouldn’t be allowed to write another book if you don’t give a sh*t that you can do that to people you don’t even know.