Whenever he had himself gone there, all he felt was the excitement, the buildings, like any hick, he remembered.
–Robert Creeley, The Island
According to the morally superior Dalkey Archive Press, Excitability
collects the best of Diane Williams’s bold, often hilarious, stories of love, sex, child-rearing, death, and space aliens–stories that are (in the words of Bradford Morrow) “wry, sensuous, spiritual, wise, raunchy, familial . . . alive to the contradictory nuances which define our lives.” With the speed of light, Williams’s stories flash scenes which encompass entire lives, yet leave a myriad of possibilities open to the reader. When Diane Williams burst onto the literary scene with This is About the Body, the Mind, the Soul, the World, Time, and Fate in 1990, she received critical acclaim for forging her own innovative tradition. Williams followed this initial success with Some Sexual Success Stories and The Stupefaction, from which she has gained a large following of admirers from critics and poets to students of creative writing.
The stories in Excitability are some of the finest in American literature. They verge on prose poetry but Ms. Williams does not care about this distinction. Seemingly she cares about one thing only and that is surprising the reader, of never delivering the expected. This is probably the finest quality a writer can have. You may buy Excitability here. If a woman has you at her mercy and you give her this book as a gift, she will be at your mercy. Either that, or she can’t appreciate the finer things in life and you were never meant to be together anyway.
The Meaning of Life
by Diane Williams
One point must be made and this concerns what we learn from the history of the world. It must be noted that usually men do not possess valuables or huge sums of money. Their sense of their being sorry about this grows and it grows and it grows. A woman may be their only irreplaceable object. That’s why I think the meaning of life is so wonderful. It has helped millions of men and women to achieve vastly rich and productive lives.
Recently, this woman appeared on TV. She has a small head, a big head of hair, and she sings solo. She’s wonderful, but because of her dread fear of almost all men, she does not want any more than one man at a time in her life, which is reasonable, but she is always at a loss.
by Diane Williams
You should not read this. It is too private. It is the most serious. It is even too serious for me. I should make a something of this.
Here is the best part, when he said to me come here. That was the very best part of my life so far. In the doorway to his bathroom was where I was. It was where I was when I asked him, “Are you peeing?”
He said, “No, but now I am.” He was seated to do the peeing, so it would not be any problem to do it, facing me. I didn’t even hear it, the peeing, if he peed.
Well, why?–why can’t all of it be dirty parts, every part a dirty part, or quickly leading to another dirty part? –the part when he just put himself into my mouth?–or the part when he said you looked–I can’t remember how he said I looked to him, with that part of him in my mouth, but he jiggled on my jaw. He said open up before he went ahead and he peed.
Oh! That’s how babies could be made!
That’s kinda enough said. This woman is a freakin’ genius, I hope somehow she is absorbed in the canon between David Henry Hwang and Joyce Carol Oates. That would please my heart’s desire.
As we told you at the very beginning of this experiment, pointing out what’s morally righteous and beautiful is the purpose of what we’re doing here, except when we do posts about male sex toys. Chalk that up to youthful indiscretion, I guess.