Victoria Redel

Tell me it’s wrong the scarlet nails my son sports or the toy
store rings he clusters four jewels to each finger.

He’s bedecked. I see the other mothers looking at the star
choker, the rhinestone strand he fastens over a sock.
Sometimes I help him find sparkle clip-ons when he says
sticker earrings look too fake.

Tell me I should teach him it’s wrong to love the glitter that a
boy’s only a boy who’d love a truck with a remote that revs,
battery slamming into corners or Hot Wheels loop-de-looping
off tracks into the tub.

Then tell me it’s fine - really - maybe even a good thing - a boy
who’s got some girl to him,
and I’m right for the days he wears a pink shirt on the seesaw in
the park.

Tell me what you need to tell me but keep far away from my son
who still loves a beautiful thing not for what it means -
this way or that - but for the way facets set off prisms and
prisms spin up everywhere
and from his own jeweled body he’s cast rainbows - made every
shining true color.

Now try to tell me - man or woman - your heart was ever once
that brave.

—  Bedecked- Victoria Redel
youtube

“I really try to allow myself in the walking around in the world to see things and mumble sentences to myself. I try to mumble sentences and then mess around with those sentences—just play with syntax, just try to see if something will spark up.”

Bedecked | Victoria Redel

Tell me it’s wrong the scarlet nails my son sports or the toy
store rings he clusters four jewels to each finger.

He’s bedecked. I see the other mothers looking at the star
choker, the rhinestone strand he fastens over a sock.
Sometimes I help him find sparkle clip-ons when he says
sticker earrings look too fake.

Tell me I should teach him it’s wrong to love the glitter that a
boy’s only a boy who’d love a truck with a remote that revs,
battery slamming into corners or Hot Wheels loop-de-looping
off tracks into the tub.

Then tell me it’s fine - really - maybe even a good thing - a boy
who’s got some girl to him,
and I’m right for the days he wears a pink shirt on the seesaw in
the park.

Tell me what you need to tell me but keep far away from my son
who still loves a beautiful thing not for what it means -
this way or that - but for the way facets set off prisms and
prisms spin up everywhere
and from his own jeweled body he’s cast rainbows - made every
shining true color.

Now try to tell me - man or woman - your heart was ever once
that brave.

I do really strongly believe that to spend time examining a writer’s work for insights into her private life is missing the mark,” she wrote to The Millions recently about the media impulse to dig for dirt when a woman produces a chilling book. Still, 13 years after the publication of Loverboy, adapted in 2006 into a movie by the same name that starred Kevin Bacon, she continues, she admits, to field public concern. “At readings, there’s always someone who raises their hand and asks, ‘Do you have children?’” (Redel, 54, has two grown sons from her former marriage: Jonah, 25, and Gabriel, 21.) “I began to say, ‘Yes,’ she adds, ‘but I don’t have a garage.’
Sometimes I think we need to tell our stories more than anyone needs to hear our stories. Maybe just so that anticipation or happiness can be reached for again. But other times it is almost as if the story itself wants repeating. So that the strand of hair caught in a kiss or the turn of a beautiful face isn’t lost forever. So that, especially when it comes to beauty, we’re not alone and left with the burden of remembering.
—  Victoria Redel, The Border of Truth

{ Gary Kaleda, ‘Pink Celebration 1,’ 2012, Susan Eley Fine Art}

Bedecked

Tell me it’s wrong the scarlet nails my son sports or the toy
store rings he clusters four jewels to each finger.

He’s bedecked. I see the other mothers looking at the star
choker, the rhinestone strand he fastens over a sock.
Sometimes I help him find sparkle clip-ons when he says
sticker earrings look too fake.

Tell me I should teach him it’s wrong to love the glitter that a
boy’s only a boy who’d love a truck with a remote that revs,
battery slamming into corners or Hot Wheels loop-de-looping
off tracks into the tub.

Then tell me it’s fine - really - maybe even a good thing - a boy
who’s got some girl to him,
and I’m right for the days he wears a pink shirt on the seesaw in
the park.

Tell me what you need to tell me but keep far away from my son
who still loves a beautiful thing not for what it means -
this way or that - but for the way facets set off prisms and
prisms spin up everywhere
and from his own jeweled body he’s cast rainbows - made every
shining true color.

Now try to tell me - man or woman - your heart was ever once
that brave.

~Victoria Redel

Bedecked by Victoria Redel

Tell me it’s wrong the scarlet nails my son sports or the toy
store rings he clusters four jewels to each finger.

He’s bedecked. I see the other mothers looking at the star
choker, the rhinestone strand he fastens over a sock.
Sometimes I help him find sparkle clip-ons when he says
sticker earrings look too fake.

Tell me I should teach him it’s wrong to love the glitter that a
boy’s only a boy who’d love a truck with a remote that revs,
battery slamming into corners or Hot Wheels loop-de-looping
off tracks into the tub.

Then tell me it’s fine - really - maybe even a good thing - a boy
who’s got some girl to him,
and I’m right for the days he wears a pink shirt on the seesaw in
the park.

Tell me what you need to tell me but keep far away from my son
who still loves a beautiful thing not for what it means -
this way or that - but for the way facets set off prisms and
prisms spin up everywhere
and from his own jeweled body he’s cast rainbows - made every
shining true color.

Now try to tell me - man or woman - your heart was ever once
that brave.

Sarah Yaw on Victoria Redel
 

My Literary Mama

In 1996, I walked into a night class at The New School and I had two things: a musician’s ear and a desire to be a writer. I didn’t understand what either of these things meant to each other, until the instructor demanded we write something and read it aloud. We read. She listened. When we hit a sentence that rang, she stopped, and, in the tradition of her training said, Start there. The first thing I wrote disappointed her.

Keep reading

Happy Valentine's Day from Four Way Books

WOMAN WITHOUT UMBRELLA, TAROT

 

It went like this: disaster, disaster, ridiculously bad disaster, 

until she somehow woke into a calm easy every day

that her friends tried, to no avail, to convince her might actually be love. 

 

From Victoria Redel’s poetry collection, Woman Without Umbrella, published by Four Way Books. 

Bedecked by Victoria Redel

Tell me it’s wrong the scarlet nails my son sports or the toy store rings he clusters
       four jewels to each finger.

He’s bedecked. I see the other mothers looking at the star choker, the rhinestone
       strand he fastens over a sock.
Sometimes I help him find sparkle clip-ons when he says sticker earrings
       look too fake.

Tell me I should teach him it’s wrong to love the glitter that a boy’s only a boy
       who’d love a truck with a remote that revs,
battery slamming into corners or Hot Wheels loop-de-looping off tracks
       into the tub.

Then tell me it’s fine — really - maybe even a good thing — a boy who’s got some girl
       to him,
and I’m right for the days he wears a pink shirt on the seesaw in the park.

Tell me what you need to tell me but keep far away from my son who still loves
       a beautiful thing not for what it means —
this way or that — but for the way facets set off prisms and prisms spin up
       everywhere
and from his own jeweled body he’s cast rainbows — made every shining true color.

Now try to tell me — man or woman — your heart was ever once that brave.

"Bedecked," Victoria Redel

Tell me it’s wrong the scarlet nails my son sports or the toy
store rings he clusters four jewels to each finger.

He’s bedecked. I see the other mothers looking at the star
choker, the rhinestone strand he fastens over a sock.
Sometimes I help him find sparkle clip-ons when he says
sticker earrings look too fake.

Tell me I should teach him it’s wrong to love the glitter that a
boy’s only a boy who’d love a truck with a remote that revs,
battery slamming into corners or Hot Wheels loop-de-looping
off tracks into the tub.

Then tell me it’s fine - really - maybe even a good thing - a boy
who’s got some girl to him,
and I’m right for the days he wears a pink shirt on the seesaw in
the park.

Tell me what you need to tell me but keep far away from my son
who still loves a beautiful thing not for what it means -
this way or that - but for the way facets set off prisms and
prisms spin up everywhere
and from his own jeweled body he’s cast rainbows - made every
shining true color.

Now try to tell me - man or woman - your heart was ever once
that brave.

Review of "Make Me Do Things" by Victoria Redel in "Bookforum"

Make Me Do Things is a series of profiles made beautiful by its author’s restrained and elegant prose—Redel’s characters are on the brink of loving someone or nothing, and we watch them hesitate even as their worlds shrink. The characters’ uncertainty echoes the title’s urgency—Make me do things! Make me save myself!” Read the full review by Annie Piotrowski in Bookforum

Make Me Do Things is available from Four Way Books.

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