Life Itself

William Faulkner and the Nobel Prize for Literature

The poet James Galvin once told me this story about when Faulkner won the 1949 Nobel for literature:   There was a cub reporter in Oxford, Mississippi who was nuts about Faulkner, so his editor sent him to tell the great author that he had won the Nobel. The kid, delighted and nervous to meet

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Three Novels

In the late spring of of 2013, my father was stricken with a swift and sudden illness that took him from a reasonably healthy 76-year-old to a bottled oxygen-dependent invalid in a matter of a few hours. In a few weeks, he was dead. In his final days, he was unable even to speak. My father, a

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Aunt Ethel

“Ladies and gentlemen, we got us a real surprise today.” The announcer’s voice rolled across the stands, tinny speakers creating an echo at once grand and ridiculous. Ethel knew what was coming and made a face, darted a glare at Fonty III. “I swear, Aunt E,” said the boy. “I got nothing to do with this.”

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Any Saturday

May closed the cash drawer. It would not close. “I thought Henry fixed this,” she called to the back of the shop. “He did,” answered Joy. “Which means it’s broke in a new way. I call it Henry fixed.” She came behind the counter, bumped May out of the way with a friendly hip. “You got

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The Articles of War

Captain Fitts gripped the makeshift lectern and stared grimly down at the boards on which were inscribed the Articles of War. In a terrible voice he boomed “Article Twelve: Every person in the fleet, who through cowardice, negligence, or disaffection, shall in time of action withdraw or keep back, or not come into the fight or engagement,

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Time and the Fountain

It’s been a long time since I posted anything that wasn’t part of some prompt or other. My girlfriend says I’m addicted. Maybe so. There is something refreshing about flash fiction. I’d never done it before on any regular basis. In fact, I used to make fun of it. I’ve changed my mind recently. It’s

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My Kind of Alcoholic : Friday Fictioneers

A dramatic image from Rochelle this morning begets a less dramatic story.   “Ask you another question?” “As long as you’re buying.” He motioned for two more shots. They came and we toasted. “What’s the deal when you guys leave the fire truck in the street? No sirens, just the lights rolling.” I sipped my beer. “Well, lots

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Überhaus Diary: At the Train Station

This is a shorter vignette, almost a poem. It dates from October, 1999. The rainy city poised on the brink of a new millennium, floodlit cranes in sharp relief against the blooms of gray mist. The world was full of possibilities for a man just past thirty, full of longing. This little piece brims with some

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Überhaus Diary: Monster Mart

One of the benefits of city living is that you generally don’t need a car–f you are willing to make certain compromises.  Cargo carrying is one of them. Groceries, laundry and other bulky errands require ingenuity and planning. Groceries especially, since laundry can be put off ad infinitum. I grew up in the supermarket era.

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