Lilianes-Balcony-206x300“But its language was not language at all,” Kelcey Parker writes. “Music, perhaps, chords of concrete, stone, glass; the melody: falling water.” How very apt. As I’ve been reading through Kelcey Parker’s Liliane’s Balcony I’ve had a confession on my mind: that I often read for language. I’m not a poet, and I’m not a novelist, but when I read in either genre what I’m looking for so often deals with language—the way words hit like a rock, or fall like water.

 

Parkerauthorphoto1As we speak, so to speak, your teenage daughter is sitting across from you at your 1950s yellow Formica table. Your cat, having just eaten, is at your feet mewing loudly in search of a lap. Your daughter shushes him without even looking up from the screen on her phone, which is playing a video. The cat leaps onto the table and nestles his head against your daughter’s hair and sweatshirt, trying to get her warmth or attention. Suddenly the phone rings (i.e., Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” plays), and your daughter answers: “Hey Haley, I’m going to take you downstairs.” And exits for the basement to review the American History notes that she just sent Haley as a series of text photos. Would this be the same daughter who inspired the character of “The Daughter” in Liliane’s Balcony?

You could say that. She was with me on my first visit to Fallingwater.

LBalconyBy 1933 the painting is more or less forgotten.

A mad man is rising to power in Germany.

Junior is on his way home to the U.S.

An aging architect of some former renown has no clients or prospects.

And Liliane’s husband has embarrassed her further by paying thousands of dollars to a competing department store (it is this fact that makes her feel most betrayed) to lavish jewels on his most recent conquest.