the price of confession


Bible Study in the Basement – Namara Smith – London Review of Books – July 13, 2017

Two days after ‘Rape Joke’ went viral, while Lockwood was living with her parents, she received an email from the editor of the Penguin Poets Series, to whom she had submitted a manuscript six months earlier. He apologised for not responding sooner and told her he wanted to publish her book. Lockwood’s husband was thrilled; her father chuckled with delight, ‘the way he does when the rogue cop gets the better of the by-the-book police chief’. But Lockwood was uneasy. Elsewhere in the memoir, she describes feeling ‘transparent to God and everyone’ as a child. During her first confession, she ‘streamed tears’ over an innocent lie, as though the priest could see through her. After ‘Rape Joke’ was published, she felt something similar, ‘something even beyond bare, as if some interior room had been turned inside out and I found it was large enough to contain the whole world.’ ‘This was the price?’ she couldn’t help thinking. ‘This was the purchase of entry, into that closed and impregnable world?’

Government Spending

Patricia Lockwood 

The government spent a Patricia on me,
“a huge waste,” it lamented, “when we could
have been spending it on another Nixon,”

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