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All posts by Mary Camille Beckman

Midnight Reads

* Mary Camille Beckman *

How do I soothe myself when I react, as if allergic, to my own need for sleep? Just calm down, I plead. My insomnia strides forward, unchecked.

A Form of Loss: On Writing an Obituary

* Mary Camille Beckman *

The obituary form is form par excellence. It’s formula—a formula that prefigures its content. Like air inside a balloon, the content of my grandmother’s life—names, dates, places, accomplishments—took the shape of its container.

On Being Bad

* Mary Camille Beckman *

Sometimes—too often—I forget what it feels like to be thrilled by poetry. So, every day I press the cold body of the guitar against my chest and stomach and feel again what potential feels like—how well I might come to know this body and neck in my arms.

No Man’s Land: Robert Altman’s 3 Women

* Mary Camille Beckman *
What value does the culture place on this “girl-woman transition” that it won’t name the people going through it? Robert Altman’s film 3 Women (1977) doesn’t quite answer this question. It does, however, dramatize its premise: the problem of inhabiting an unnamed space. And it does so by launching two of its three title characters—Millie Lammoreaux (Shelley Duvall) and Pinky Rose (Sissy Spacek)—into that girl-woman no man’s land. The dramatic tension that arises propels 3 Women forward.