Saturday, February 26, 2011

Spanking Cupid

The Month of Love, February, The Valentine Month, saw published the following flashes of alienation and deceit. Read, and be troubled.

If I Should Fall in Love appeared in Dog Eat Crow World:

'"A thousand times,” she whispered into the darkness of the stubble on his chin. “A thousand times." By conservative estimate, they'd got it on twice a week throughout ten years of marriage. So the math was easy...'

and A Walk through Midtown, in Pure Slush:

'The Asian man with the terriers wears open leather sandals. He looks up as I approach on the Atlanta sidewalk, his face unveiled, eager, without smiling. His gaze follows as I pass. But I don't do men...'

Stay tuned. March is nine-months pregnant with the promise of a new story in Dew on the Kudzu, a poem is slated for The Clockwise Cat come summertime, and who knows what other slush piles I shall rise from in the coming lunar cycle. Thanks to all who read my tales, especially those who share them with facebook friends and elsewhere.

Fight the good fight, from Islamic Africa to Wisconsin and beyond. Love and be loved. And always, tell your story to a friend.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Book of Hotels, by Nicholas Shaner

This is the Book of Hotels. The ledger I record from vantage of sagging windowsills
this is the act of traveling miles
the cigarette I record with as ash into paper
this is the crack in the highway that the poetry connects
swiftly along the line of night's remainder
as roads pike with other roads and words of poems
fulfill a need for the wind, the walls of
old hotel rooms rented in grime, I secure the key
I step on in
greeted by the dust of other travelers, the clean cold
ashtray glass and cellophane-wrapped plastic cups
The question being what liquor can compel me toward
morning outside the thick curtains, what compels
me to rust like the claw-foot tub
rusted through like lives we succumbed to
when under the energy of a bare bulb my walk retraces
the pages of The Book of Hotels,
hearts of monsters and infamous foils
guiding down their arms in rags directing
me to the wind, to the outside door chained shut
rudely against the road which bears any direction

Room 105 to Room 19 to outside the city limit
sunk under a highway bridge I drag from under
the bent of traffic and railroads freighting,
I swear there's a demon beside me made from old tobacco pouches
and empty bottles, his teeth fashioned of rusty tin
and there's a stench about him nothing worse than carrion
and death
I'm following him because he's all that I have left
from what I left behind with wool covers and fitted sheets,
with ice buckets and bleached thin-towels,
as he encroaches, his fingers splayed complimentary matches
until somewhere on the periphery of that fated city
I drive my hobo knife thru his heart only to find a deadbolt
to a door, Room No. 4 where the warp of the carpet is treacherous
cockroaches scatter and I note everything down to the last cigarette burn
note that there seems to be only one escape from the greatest hotel fire in history
a fire in the room that I refuse to believe as it manifests
in a dark fever over me laying down the transparent pages of
the Book of Hotels


Nicholas Shaner is a former Kentucky author who is notorious for turning down literary engagements. Little is known about his literary career and when prompted he insists he no longer writes. He lives alone in a small town in the foothills of the appalachian mountains.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Collected Works

I have compiled a list of links to the various stories and occasional poem I've had published over the years. Enjoy.

"Breakfast in a Macon Diner"

Fried Chicken and Coffee
"Sunday Afternoon at Earl's" (This is a personal favorite.)

Dew on the Kudzu


Steel Toe Review
"A Father's Love" (A recent addition.)

Muscadine Lines
"A Night out in Flat Rock" (Also a recent addition.)

Dew on the Kudzu

and "The Age of Belief"

The Camel Saloon

"The Confrontation"

Wrong Tree Review
"Landscape with Strange Fruit Trees" (Another favorite.)

"The Deciding Game"

Dog Eat Crow World
"If I Should Fall in Love"

Unlikely Stories
"Maoists Don't make Puppets"

"The Flotsam and Jetsam of War"
This story received the Tacenda Literary Award for Best Short Story of 2007, illuminating social injustice.

Clockwise Cat
"Jailbirds Like Me"

Thieves Jargon
"Mailing Van Gogh's Ear"

Pure Slush
"A Walk through Midtown"

"Action Novels" (since removed)

"Appalachian Portrait" was also published in the print journal Blue Collar Review.