introducing readers to writers since 1995

April 06, 2004

"Interlude: A Wager," Jesse Ball

by Ron Hogan

He took a tiny bell out of his pocket
and shook it three times.

Doors began to open out of trees, walls, beds, bottles.
The premises were soon crowded.

"I didn't know they lived here," Joan said meekly.
"I thought they all died in the London fire."

"Yes, well, pay up."
They went into another room.

Joan removed her skirt and blouse
and began to recite from memory

Ball's infamous Study No. 11.
"That's good," he said quietly. "That's perfect."

From March Book.

See also Ball's "Inside the Stove," from the same debut collection.

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