(Maureen Blennerhassett)

To quote the French poet Charles Péguy: “A word is not the same with one writer as with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket.”

When the word is shoes, “grownup shoes,” one must dig deep in order to achieve a compelling narrative. Some of the writers from last month’s installment of the Portuguese Artists Colony [Sun, Feb 27 11] wrote literally of shoes—the live writing prompt that won the election was, “She had Stars on her Shoes.” (Colonist Daniel Heath was voted champ.)

Others on the bill this past month used the theme as a springboard into the belly of some strange intimacies. Cary Tennis spun a story of junior high school make-out sessions forever encased within the walls of his memory rehab. Benjamin Wachs and Tim Bauer wrote from two different stereotyped-female points of view, and Matt Stewart, winner of last month’s live writing contest, came back to deliver the high-lariously well written complete story of a convict being driven to the pen by his mother.

Musical guests Fox & Woman were, as Evan Karp likes to say, “an exclamation point on an exceptional evening.” Check out their songs in Portuguese.

Definitely watch the videos of all the readers below, included with some noteworthy quotes. Also, mark your calendars for this month’s installment on Sunday, March 27: “I Live Here,” the series’ one year anniversary of residency at Fivepoints Arthouse! Featuring Beth Lisick and the champions of live writing—Andrew O’Dugas, Caitlin Myer, Matt Stewart, and Daniel Heath.

Cary Tennis

  • “I parked my blond Studebaker outside, I listened to Journey sing ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ on the 8-track, smoked Marlboro Red cigarettes, and I thought about this girl from Staten Island I kissed in eighth grade.”
  • “Billy Rammal saying, ‘Smell my finger,’ and me not knowing what the significance of smelling his finger was, plus then smelling his finger and not being able to smell anything on his finger.”
  • “And here’s this recording session going on with Miles fucking Davis, only his back is turned. When he turned around, blowing fierce and low and peppery hot staccato blasting like gravel on a windshield, then like birds fleeing hunters, then like the low growl of a hound watching the sheriff’s boots in the cool dirt of a crawl space under a shotgun shack.”

Gil Gallagher

  • “The man with the dream in his ear lies back into the couch.”
  • “Sometimes the morning is a hinge…we pin ourselves to the spot, cry out, ‘The Earth spins so unevenly.'”
  • “My heart, the lying bastard, falls silent.”

Matt Stewart

  • “‘Scotch is basically cocaine for rich people,’ my mom implies, which makes it clear she doesn’t know cocaine that well. Since cocaine is really crack for rich people.”
  • “…frown tips hanging limp like a pervert’s mustache…”
  • “…perfect for trying out cigarettes and adventurous girls, so long as they can take the smell.”
  • “Laughter pours out of me like the first beer of the night: sweet, fast and bubbly.”

Benjamin Wachs

  • “Hustling is the one time in your life you want people to be stupid.”
  • “He’d rather be comfortable than delusional.”
  • “We are not on the side of evolution if we won’t fuck the smart ones.”

Tim Bauer

  • “I’m sorry I didn’t mean to get all republican on you…”
  • “I’m an American… you’re probably not… You probably came over on some boat packed to the gills, stuck next to 100 people dreaming of a better life, roads paved with gold, left behind your wife and kid, and i dunno, some kind of goat?”
  • “I’ve loved and lost before—not to an air raid, but maybe an air raid of the soul. That’s what’s so great about you. That was such a retarded thing to say but you don’t laugh, you don’t care. You just smolder.”

Leslie Ingham

  • “And Aunt Jenny stood over me, big as the sky, blotting the sky. And I wondered if that was the measure of her. And if she was measured, did that make her less than—he said the unmeasurable me.”
  • “I wasn’t the sky, I wasn’t the earth. We drove a while and i was the wind. I remembered my Dad saying, ‘Look out the window my girl, remember the world.'”
  • “Words sprang up like grass in his voice, ‘I have no chair, no church, no philosophy.'”

Scott Landers

  • “She was gazing at him with luminous eyes, unnaturally lit by the slanting rays of the afternoon sun which were just now penetrating the blinds.”
  • “He meant to deliver this statement in a rye tone, but his voice faltered at the critical moment and it came out sounding like a lament.”
  • “Probably I should tell you you’re wasting your time, he thought. But instead of saying this, he asked, ‘What did you say your name was?'”