I just received my copy of issue 70 of Potomac Review. Some great poetry, essays, and short stories are included, as well as my latest essay, “In Maggie’s Shadow,” about my visit to a haunted plantation house and subsequently being stranded on a boat.
Don’t have time to read a story? Tall Tale TV publishes fantastical short stories as audio podcasts, the perfect length for your work commute, your dinner alone, or your putting yourself to bed at night. The site’s creator, Christopher Herron, has a bright, articulate voice perfect for pieces like mine. Many thanks to him.
There’s good beach reading and there’s bad beach reading. I found a copy of John Grisham’s The Appeal at a beach condo this year and elected to read it, having never heard about it before. While Grisham’s legal thrillers aren’t the most literary around, you can always count on them to be well researched and executed. This is no less true of his sprawling 2008 novel.
I think the creators of the Netflix hit show Ozark borrowed from a famous hundred-year-old novel.
I realized this as I came to the last episode of Ozark. The story is sort of a rural, modern Gatsby tale. I mean, if you always understood Fitzgerald’s masterpiece to be about the American Dream and not just a love story.
[The following is a poem I wrote in high school in reflection on the suicide of a classmate]
There’s an empty desk today And yet the textbooks are still open The chalk is still in motion The class is still in session, The space cannot be filled For the presence is forgotten A parent’s own begotten A youth’s demise is rotten, Was he more a ghost In the present or the past A living outcast Life ceases way too fast, The others shrug their shoulders There goes another one It cannot be undone Bless the little son, Sadness will fade slowly Nothing will be the same way The kids will always say There’s an empty desk today.