The following is in response to Ray Scanlon’s essay “Three Sundays” that I read via Prick of the Spindle, an online literary journal.
At first glance I thought that I would be reading a lyric essay, but I’m not completely convinced that I have; I am not sure what the thread is that holds the three parts together other than what the title suggests that being that they all occurred on Sundays. Is that all you need to start a lyric essay?
Structure aside, I did enjoy Scanlon’s essay, which depicts two Sundays at the train station and one talking about music. I would urge Scanlon to write a longer piece focusing on just the train station. At the end of his nonfiction essay, Scanlon writes, “The carpe diems are implicit. Maybe we sense the past-its-primeness of a soft grey August afternoon.” He is referring to how he is accosted on two several occasions at the train station by people who say something along the lines of “Nice day.”
What I take out of the essay is that simple idea that we have more in common with strangers than we think. I am reminded of Donald Justice’s poem “The Tourist From Syracruse” and I ask myself, “Where the people that Scanlon encountered at the train station just tourists? Car salesmen? Assassins? Writers like Scanlon himself?”