‘Romantic Comedy’ started out as a short narrative poem and, years later, ballooned into a 5,000-word story. I included it in a poetry zine I put out—probably around 2001—called XVII Ghost Stories. Its production was flawed on several levels: I alternated folios between standard photocopier paper and mylar transparencies, a concept that proved to be not only prohibitively expensive, but also resistant to staying stapled.
In 2004, I re-designed the zine to eliminate the need for transparencies. Here are scans of the cover and ‘Romantic Comedy’ from that later edition:
In 2007, in the midst of my fiction MFA at Mills College, I decided to turn the poem into a story. At this point, it felt like an outline just waiting to be fleshed out. The biggest change I made to the piece’s overall structure was adding another character: the supervillain. He joined the hairdresser, the drunken mayor, and the second-person Eros.
Click HERE to pre-order The Story of How All Animals Are Equal & Other Tales, my forthcoming fiction collection that includes the expanded version of ‘Romantic Comedy’.