May 10, 2024

There was a Will but There was No Way

by Kathryn Maris

It was a legal will but there was no way: the executor loathed the wife, for the executor was an ex of the deceased, and exes don't like being replaced.

The wife said hello. The executor said hello also, but in a way that wasn't very nice to the wife. 'How's the career?' she added.

The wife admitted there was no career: she had never gotten the prize. 

The ex already knew the wife had not gotten the prize, and had no career, because the ex was both a winner and a judge of the prize.

The wife got the man but didn't get the prize. The ex got the prize but didn't get the man. Together they could have had everything.

The executor and the wife sifted through the dead man's papers, which included the prize.

The papers went to the Archive. The Archive sealed the papers for many years as per the conditions of the will.

When the papers emerged, so did the squabbles, for the papers revealed discord.

The biographers and the readers aligned themselves with one side or the other. A libretto was written, and the opera was entered for the prize.


  • From The House with Only an Attic and a Basement, published by Penguin, 2018.
  • Japanese translation by Rogan's which is an anonymous translation team.



訳 Rogan’s










  • The House with Only an Attic and a Basement, Penguin, 2018
  • 翻訳を担当したRogan’sは、匿名の翻訳グループ。

Kathryn Maris

Kathryn Maris

Kathryn Maris is originally from New York and has lived in London since 1999. Her previous collections are The Book of Jobs (Four Way Books, 2006) and God Loves You (Seren, 2013), and a selection of her poetry appeared alongside the work of Frederick Seidel and Sam Riviera in Penguin Modern Poets 5: Occasional Wild Parties (2017). Her poetry has been published widely, including in Granta, The Nation, The New Statesman, Poetry, The Best British Poetry 2015 (Salt) and The Forward Book of Poetry 2017 (Faber & Faber).