Writing the Blue Book Richard Weems Micro-Fiction

pages Writing the Blue Book

by Richard Weems

Published in Issue No. 28 ~ September, 1999

This book I’m writing. The cover I have down. The cover will be something to behold. That much is certain. The cover was my neighbor’s idea. My neighbor is helping me with this book. I lie on his floor, talking talking talking about the book, and he tells me one day, there I am on his floor in mid-thought, “You need a blue cover, man.”

“Explain,” I say.

“Blue,” he says. My neighbor is an artist. He is all set up to start painting me, but he is not up for it yet. He is talking with the end of a brush between his teeth. “Give it a blue cover. Stark raving blue. Blue with no good name for it. Maybe that thing on the book, that thing on the front.”


“That. Title. Maybe the title. Maybe that towards the bottom, but that’s only maybe.”

My neighbor the artist hangs his stuff in bookstores. Sometimes they sell. Other times there are complaints to the management.

Another time he suggests, “Blue binding, too. You need a blue binding. No name, nothing. Save that shit for the inside.”

From the floor, I ask, “You know binding, but you don’t know title?”

“So I get a day job,” my friend says.

The painting my friend is doing now is of something like a fetus – not quite human to be sure. It’s under attack from these strawberries, maybe pomegranates. A spray of dangerous-looking seed. Who knows what this fetus did to get the fruit so irate with it.

So a blue cover it is, an elegant, blue binding, blank, to jump out from all those busy bindings, those imitations of font and style from popular books, etc. I can see my book written on the ceiling of my neighbor’s loft. I see my neighbor painting lines through it, brush strokes like a blind or crazy editor’s pen. Brush strokes very Rorschachian.

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Richard K. Weems (www.weemsnet.net) is the author of Anything He Wants, winner of the Spire Fiction Award and finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Award, and The Need for Character. His short story publications include North American Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Mississippi Review, Other Voices, Crescent Review, The Florida Review and The Beloit Fiction Journal. He will be teaching once again this MLK weekend at the Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway in Cape May, New Jersey.