Six-Word Memoirs Cut to Chase

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imageErnest Hemingway once wrote, “For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Lyrical sextet, one poem, life story. Rumor has it that Hemingway even called it his best work. Years later, Smith magazine set up a contest, whereby participants were asked to create their own taciturn poems—not unlike, say, Frank Warren’s online art confessional, PostSecret. The contest was an immense success, and to celebrate the results, Smith and Harper Collins are set to release Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six Word Memoirs By Famous & Obscure Writers. The anthology includes entries from artist Harvey Pekar (“Fight, work, persevere—gain slight notoriety”), Deepak’s son Gotham Chopra (“Soul’d out so I could prophet”), and basketballer Darius Logan (“Adopted? Are you fucking shitting me?”). It’s the entries from normal folk, however, that cut deepest, from people like Andy Young (“Fact checker by day, liar by night”), Seshie Hargett (“Just in: boyfriend’s gay. Merry Christmas”), and Greta Orris (“Risked it all; wasn’t quite enough”). These tiny windows into people’s lives are at once addictive and illuminating, challenging and accessible. So, what’s ours? “Two girls, one cup, one web editor.” (Damn you, seven!) —Nick Haramis