Thursday, January 22, 2009

I'm not smart enough to tell you why

This is the first paragraph of Barry Hannah's short story, "The Ice Storm":

Most of the leaves are fallen and this place looks bombed all over again.  Last February the ice storm of the century passed through the Arkansas delta into north Mississippi and lower Tennessee up to Nashville.  Eleven at night, I was out in the front yard waiting for it, led by a special alarm, even horror, in the voice of the television weather-caster.  Like a Jeremiah just miles ahead of the storm and pointing backwards down the road, raving.  The edge of the storm came on in feather-light little BB's, then began to drive and pile.  The glass on the west of the house went pecking as if attacked by a gale of birds.  Under the streetlights the swirls of white-silver turned almost opaque.  It was a determined blizzard.  A Southerner doesn't see such driving ice more than twice in a lifetime.  But at one I went to bed pleasantly aroused, rich as a caveman with the weather outside.

I absolutely love it.


Bryan said...

He's got a new one coming out this year...Sick Soldier at Your Door (excerpt available in the most recent edition of Gulf Coast). Get yer wallet ready.

DeWolf said...

I heard about it. Thanks for the info on the excerpt! I'll definitely check it out.

Er ist glaubhaft said...

More lovely writing from Mr. Hannah. I once had the pleasure of driving through Alabama during a light snow. It was one of the creepiest things I've ever experienced.