Fiction Fix: I Have to Feel Halved by Gary Lutz


The Fiction Fix is your weekly dose of short story. If that’s not your drug of choice, too bad: consider it medicine. Every week, we’ll scour the literary magazines you don’t have time to read, online and in print, and let you know where to find one story worth reading.

NOON is a literary annual edited by Diane Williams, and the latest issue is the 10th. The magazine has been widely and highly praised for qualities that aren’t surprising to readers familiar with Williams’ work: the fiction is often brief, and its remarkable qualities are to be found on the sentence level rather than in the scope of the plot. Gary Lutz is no exception. Read more about the latest from NOON and Lutz after the jump. This issue of NOON features many writers who have contributed regularly to the magazine over the years – Lutz has appeared in 8 of the 10 editions. “I Have to Feel Halved” is a series of memories and observations a lonely older man is making about his much younger lover and their doomed affair, but it is also a series of Lutz’s sentences, each a poem unto itself:

“The way his name broke itself out of the alphabet and could barely be held to its spelling: it queered the mouth that pronounced it.”

“He had had a chandeliered childhood, I have made delay to mention, and grown up trading spectral affections with grandaunts, letting great-uncles pant and prevail.”

If these sentences don’t make you want to run out and buy NOON, and Gary Lutz’s collections, we don’t know what will.