December 9th, 2010 / 3:05 pm
Author Spotlight

Cami Park

I am very blue to learn this afternoon of Cami Park’s passing. Cami lived in Nevada, and she was a sly and observant writer, someone whose work knew the world tenderly and could—as Scott Garson put it—”wake you up where you sleep.” Cami was also a generous and delightful person to correspond with. Read some of her work at Fictionaut, Necessary Fiction, Night Train, PANK, and No Tell Motel. Her blog can be found here. I am sad to have never met Cami Park in person to tell her how much I enjoyed her writing. Her story “Everyone the Same But Not At Once” appeared in NOÖ [11], and I’ve excerpted it below the jump. Cami’s words will live on and around in these windows of ours. She will be missed.

—Cami Park

ONCE, AS A BOY, the man at the bus stop holding a tri-folded newspaper found a small ragged poodle in his backyard, curled around a gutted tomato. He sat next to it and petted it for longer than an hour, until his mother came outside. She told him two things: one, that tomatoes are poison for dogs, and two, that the dog barked too much. Now, when the grownup man checks his watch and looks at the sky, it’s because the words in his paper have begun to peel and slough, like dead skin.

The boss of the man at the bus stop was so terrified of the dark as a young girl that she would pee in the floor duct in her bedroom rather than negotiate the dark stairway to the bathroom downstairs. Now her corner office has a bathroom steps away from her desk, where she’ll go sometimes just to turn the faucets on and off. She enjoys the sound of her heels on the hard tile. She wears skirts and dresses always, and is never in the building after hours.

The intern of the boss of the man at the bus stop has a dead kitten in her refrigerator. Her father is building a box for it, the smallest of the house cat’s litter, that could not eat. When it is finished and buried, the intern will climb into the hammock in the backyard, cupping her hands to her chest in the same way they cupped the kitten at the end. She’ll lift up her face and feel the warmth of the sun on her hair and her skin; closing her eyes she’ll let it run through her veins, drugged.

The sun shines on everyone the same, but not at once. The sun is constant. The Earth could go about its orbit in a purposeful way or in a lackadaisical manner and to the sun it would make no difference. The sun has eaten hearts, is regularly smothered. The sun is the subject of much gossip, rumor, and science, not all of it true. The surface temperature of the sun is 9,800 degrees Fahrenheit. The sun has packed so many suitcases.



  1. Rachel Jane Andelman

      Cami was genius. I don’t know why anything happens.

  2. Reb Livingston

      This is terrible news. Cami was a gifted poet and thoughtful reviewer. She will be missed.

  3. Timothy Gager

      She helped me when I wasn’t writing. She encouraged me to write flash fiction which I had never done. We left on bad terms. I never made amends to my part in that and I regret it.

  4. Matthew Simmons

  5. Joseph Young

      whoa, i had no idea. wow. she was a believer in my writing much before i was, and a good and ubiquitous force. sad to hear.

  6. Bruce Covey

      Oh, no! I can’t believe it! Cami is so wonderful! What happened???

  7. Tim Horvath

      So so sorry to hear this. I only knew Cami online but she was such a presence, so talented and intuitive and so utterly herself.

  8. Reb Livingston
  9. Ani Smith
  10. Sean



      i feel down

  11. SmokeLong Quarterly

      Absolutely unready for this. Seems like everything of hers I’ve read today was an unknowing foretelling of today. Here, from her “Eating Heart” in Corium:

      When you awaken with a pain
      in your breast, you know your heart
      is almost done. Serve with rosemary,
      for remembrance.

      I’m fucking numb. Wish she’d come back.

  12. Jensen
  13. Roxane

      That’s my favorite story of hers. I included it in next week’s roundup. So so good.

  14. Thank You Cami Park « Wufniks

      […] links to Cami’s stories: Wigleaf, HTML Giant, For Every Year, […]

  15. Jeremy Bauer

      Whoa. I don’t know her work, but that excerpt is killer.
      Good echo. Dying’s real weird. Sorry to all who knew her.

  16. Bonnie ZoBell

      Thanks for letting us know, Mike. I’m so sorry to hear this. She was a wonderful writer and online pal.

  17. Lincoln Michel

      This is awful and sad news.

  18. PANK Blog / Something Meaningful and Poetic Belongs Here

      […] recently received the sad news that Cami Park passed away. While we did not know her, we are fans of her work and this community will feel her loss for some […]

  19. down in me » <span class="dquo">“</span>And if all I got out of indie lit was you, I’m fine with that.”

      […] is. I had the thought, ‘Cami hasn’t tweeted lately’ a few days before I learned that very sadly, she’d died. I often wish Sam would write more online like he used to but I guess I understand why […]

  20. Curious about Curio by Laura Ellen Scott? You Should Be. « Straight from the Heart in my Hip

      […] I’ve come to realize that my reading tastes have limited my experiences and my literary nourishment. When reading and writing, I need to push beyond my biases and known loves. Thus my reading choices will no longer be limited to ‘by whom’ or ‘about what,’ but informed by ‘why’ I read. I demand fiction and all art have meaning and make me care. I care less and less how writers and artists make me care, I only ask that they make me really, really care. Thank you, Laura Ellen Scott, for Curio and for making me really, really care. Curio is lovingly and fittingly dedicated to Cami Park. […]

  21. Something Meaningful and Poetic Belongs Here | [PANK]

      […] recently received the sad news that Cami Park passed away. While we did not know her, we are fans of her work and this community will feel her loss for some […]