We’re honored to share some recent work by writers in the Frequency community. Local writers are encouraged to share short pieces to be posted here. Submit your work to firstname.lastname@example.org, preferably with a short note about yourself and perhaps a few comments on how your piece relates to your writing project overall.
Pam Elizabeth wrote this ‘small recall’ as part of a memoir writing workshop at the Providence Public Library.
Drop Table and Pie Dough (June 2015)
My mom made her own pie dough. She would roll the dough out on the small kitchen drop table that my dad had made for her. The table was held up as a level work surface by a removable wooden pole, with each end of the pole fitting perfectly perpendicular into the floor and the table. With the pole removed, the table dropped down, flush with the counter it was attached to. The corners that were not attached to the counter, were rounded by design. These features gave my mom the option of more room in the kitchen when she needed it, or more work space.
For pie-making, the pole was always in place. Mom would work on one side of the table and I would kneel on a chair directly across from her, watching her every move, asking questions and chatting away. Evidently I was a very talkative child as my father often explained to their friends that ‘she (meaning me) must have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle’.
As my mom rolled out the pie dough, I would sometimes get impatient and beg her to make some cinnamon rolls, please, please, just for me. She would tease me a bit and pretend that she may not have enough scraps of dough to make the cinnamon rolls. But she would always have some extra pie dough, after trimming the dough to fit the pie pans. She would put all of the scraps together to roll them out, sprinkle the flattened dough with sugar and cinnamon, and using her hands, she would carefully roll it into a small –sized log, and add a smear of butter on the top. When they came out of the oven, flakey and lightly browned, she would cut them into one inch pieces; cool them quickly so she and I could eat them. A special snack we both enjoyed.
Baruch Kirschenbaum wrote this piece in the Improvisatory Poetics class in conjuncture with the River of Words project:
Naming (Fall 2014)
Only dim memory of those
who named them
who knew where the salt line ceased
where the moose
came down to drink and where the wild
black geese flocked
only dim memories over time
down the Woonasquatuxet
down the Moshassuck
down the Seekonk
down Narragansett Bay to the waiting sea
to where the bay meets the sea as
if memories of those
who named them long ago are carried
with the ebbing tide
leaving behind the names of the rivers
now rich in industrial
waste and sewerage where the moose
no longer come down
to drink nor the black geese to gather
Laura Brown-Lavoie wrote this piece during the July Open Fiction Workshop.
“Heads and hooves!” He yelled at her over his plastic cup of beer. “I cut off the heads and hooves.”
She’d never been on a date with a factory man.
The next morning there were shrubs wilting all over the place. Most of the children playing tag in the
courtyard of the housing complex were stunned when she faked left and took off to the right. “Where
did you learn those moves?” “I’d rather not talk about the past.” The grass looked like potato sticks, and
crunched like potato sticks as she ran.
On the next date, she asked him when he thought it would rain.
“Hell I don’t know,” he yelled. It seemed like he was about to say more, but his voice got caught up in a
wave of sound and she closed her eyes. While her eyes were closed, she pictured hogs strung up for
stunning. When she opened her eyes, every smile was aimed at the little TV over the bar. “Did you see
that?” he said. “Yes,” she said, “wow.”
The pay-by-the-day motel had a lot of lifers. July, and the Christmas wreath on her neighbor’s door had
turned a dingy orange. If Spanish were here he’d light a cigarette. Virginia lit a cigarette and leaned out
the window to smoke it. There were a lot of butts on the balcony, but they were a stranger’s butts and
this, Virginia realized, was proof that she was lost. Sparklers, maybe, she thought.
Outside the convenience store the sign said Fireworks! There were also cigarettes, beef jerky, and slices
of pie, all of which Virginia intended to buy. “Do you make the pie?” She asked the woman. “I can zap
it for you.” The woman said. “Well, alright.” Virginia said.
From the balcony, it looked like the sparklers were waving themselves, squealing like children, fizzing
out in the hands of a shadow.