Below is an extract from the story that concludes Cool Brass, a Slow Boat Media e-book. Although Marianne Messing predominates throughout the three stories, this interlude features Paz Duarte, Caleb Abercrombie’s casual lover. The whole of Twisty may be read as reactions regarding how perceived outsiders create places in their respective societies as well as within their own skins. Continue reading Twisty
Both excerpts presented below are lifted from the second third of Cool Brass, a Slow Boat Media e-book. The deep trust between Marianne Messing and Caleb Abercrombie springs from various sources. Misunderstanding and contention are among them. The first exchange occurs in West Germany. (Yeah. Some events happen before reunification.) The second concludes somewhere in New England. Continue reading Sin? Yes. Guilt? No.
Below is an extract from the first of three stories comprising Cool Brass, the second Slow Boat Media e-book.
Marianne Messing, alluded to all over Reveries, shows up and shows off in each Cool Brass vignette. She and Caleb Abercrombie enjoy a connection closer than intimate. Their friendship emerged from instinct. From that start it’s matured into utmost trust.
In a tangent, Hatun Sürücü, a 23-year-old woman the West barely noted and quickly forgot, despite having been one of the better publicized victims of clannish ignorance and exceptional violence, haunts the first and third stories of Cool Brass.
Years on, Sürücü’s waste remains an incomprehensible indignity. Not only could she have done things and gone places, she might’ve become a big somebody. Continue reading Marianne, a Friend from Germany
Caleb Abercrombie found Hajna’s cigarette lighter and lipstick while vacuuming out his car. The previous night she’d badgered him about their disappearance. He’d thought nothing of either then. After all, what were they but trifles?
He and Hajna had been, for absence of a more genteel term, fuck-buddies throughout the period he’d sundered reporting for teaching. Her acquiescence, their finding quick mutual satisfaction blurred his career transition.
Nowhere near serious enough to have substantive conversation, both nonetheless comfortably shared intimacies. They were happily situated in the loose expanse between promiscuity and insouciance. Until Hajna’s drug use veered into irresponsible from recreational, neither saw any need for adjustment. Continue reading Double Down
Demise ignites “One Above and One Below,” the fourth and concluding story from Reveries. Actresses Valerie Quennessen and Consuelo de Haviland inspired “One Above and One Below.”
While glimpsed from today’s vantage, events occur in the pivotal year of 1989. In this telling, Caleb Abercrombie joins Paul Knox, one of his best buds from his undergraduate years, in a European sojourn. Perhaps their travel might be seen as a last gasp of irresponsibility and irrepressibility. Continue reading One Above and One Below
“Stretched Bliss,” the third story from the Slow Boat Media e-book Reveries, begins with Caleb Abercrombie’s interior disquisition on gratification. The professor muses during a late-morning moment of post-lovemaking languor with Paz Duarte.
Long before the sweaty twining of their fevered bodies, mutual satisfaction, apparent exhaustion, and his subsequent daydreaming, they enjoyed a night on the town. Even when the attraction is based on exchanging pleasure, shouldn’t a minuet of sorts be observed?
Hours ahead of sheets getting rumpled and pillows being ruffled in the throes of fulfillment, as well as the random calls and responses of lovers, the pair observed the social component that distinguishes human carnality from lower species’ rutting. It’s the thing that sets both apart. Though just barely. Continue reading Stretched Bliss
A Graham Greene entertainment inspired the second offering from Reveries. One of his earlier efforts.
Greene’s tale features a dip into the wild side. Published in the late 1930s, readers might’ve been titillated by the louche excursion. Looser as society has become what aroused then could now pass as mild diversion. Coolly presented rather than hotly conflicted, the story lacks the agony of his subsequent, more anguished fictions. Continue reading On Display
Four brisk entertainments sharing the same theme comprise Reveries.
Caleb Abercrombie dominates the narratives. An untethered academic, the middle-aged Abercrombie fully enjoys the advantages of being a confident male whose vocation fulfills him.
Paz Duarte, Abercrombie’s considerably younger foil, sounding board, and for lack of a better term, though nonetheless apt, serves as his fuck-buddy. They also share another calling. A vertical one.
The excerpt offered by Amazon Kindle dissatisfied me. What the casually curious could’ve read were merely the first pages of the opening story, “Beyond the Classroom.”
A good start? Yup! The sample gave an interesting taste. Like parfait. But further reading rewards with greater flavor. Why, by the last page of Reveries’ concluding story let’s say a creamy fudge ripple has been whipped up.
Those who’ve already read it are probably chuckling at the reference. Good. Continue reading Beyond the Classroom
When first creating this forum I intended flogging my ebooks Reveries and Cool Brass. That, and resume some kind of writing discipline by telling stories. Nearly two decades have passed since I last graced a newsroom, and 10 years from any article bearing my real byline.
Writing is easy. Self-promotion is craven. Funny thing is while I’m reticent about myself and my product, I could be P.T. Barnum’s spiritual heir if it came to hawking some loser starving for celebrity or another kind of dog food. Continue reading My Akhmatova
Oh man! Did I have a great time writing the three stories comprising Cool Brass, or what?
When I wrote for newspapers my first immediate chief was an editor who loved quoting Red Smith’s dictum. The late Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times sportswriter likened our craft to “opening a vein.”
Puh-lease. Continue reading No Atonement Kabuki