Writers’ Conference

Josh Goldfaden’s short story The Veronese Circle” appeared in NER 24.1:

By Pentti Helenius, via Wikimedia Commons

“Seven,” Camus says. “Goddamnit, seven.”

“Tell me about the couplets,” I say.

“You wouldn’t understand,” and he looks me over (bitter distaste), his vanity eventually winning out over my abject non-writer status. “Okay,” he says. “Try. To. Follow. Along. Think of Whitman, in his poem ‘I am the Poet,’ when he says ‘all the things seen are real.’ It’s a poetic truth, and I’m close, Ted, I’m brutally close to discovering an even greater truth: something which can tell us why the things we see are real, and even more importantly, what value we have in relation to these things: what the value is of a single human life!

“I can see by your bewildered gape that you have no conception of what I’m talking about. I’m talking about why Eli made the right decision not to throw himself off that train. If I write this as well as I think I can, it’ll answer that question.”

“I understand,” I say.

“I doubt it,” he says. “Now go wash yourself.”

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