The Simile Museum

Tag: Story

“When Danto helped Magda Maria out of the black fur coat, tenderly he folded it beside them on a barstool where it seemed to drowse like a pampered beast, we saw then that Magda Maria wore clothes, or strips of cloth, that were layered, flimsy as cobwebs, black muslin and black silk and black lace, a black skirt with a jagged hemline and an unexpected slit at the sides that exposed her beautiful pale legs, a cobwebbed black-translucent fabric through which Magda Maria’s small ivory-white breasts shone, and the shadows of her prominent collarbone could only just be glimpsed; and Magda Maria wore shoes with stacked heels, or boots with stiletto heels, that caused her to teeter like a little girl in an adult woman’s footwear.”

-Joyce Carol Oates

“Paper cups floated in the foamy brown lake serene as swans.”

-Lucia Berlin

“Generous gestures, when she attempts them, seem to swipe through the lives of others like a random bear paw, often making matters worse. And she finds no momentum in sharing, in benevolence, in charity, no interaction with another person ever brought her a bolt of pure aliveness like entering the water on a still morning with the world empty in every direction to the sky. That first entry. Crossing the border of consciousness into, into what?”

-Anne Carson


“For a long while she lay on her sweaty sheets listening to the cacophony of toucans and araras and howler monkeys, rude and relentless as dengue.”

-Edward Hamlin

“Before long, we’re eating krill. They’re clear-bellied, feather-limbed. They feel like onion skins in our mouths, and we have to eat handfuls to feel like we’ve eaten anything at all.”

-Dana Diehl

“Our neighbors stop by and leave bones for the dog, then they go around the dumpster and leave milk in small plates and jar lids around the other mother, like votive candles.”

-Sofia Stambolieva

“Here’s Jacob: thirty-four god-damn years old, rock in his hand, beard like a troubled distraction, like an itch, the red eyes of someone sleepless and wild. Here’s Jacob, tongue-cottoned and pale, ragged and unkempt. He looks like an old man, or like an old man dipped in wax. It’s bad. He looks like people you see on the street and you think, ‘Jesus fuck, what happened to that guy?’ His beard is a dead animal glued to his face.”

-Zulema Renee Summerfield


“Standing in the bathroom she was as anonymous as a chicken.”

-Clarice Lispector