Excerpt for 3 stories/ 4 poems by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

I’m an exile’s book. He sent me. ~Ovid



The Contender6

Lupita and The Devil10

Paschal for Starlings16

The Typer18


Field Notes from the Treeless Forest23

About the Author


Roddy’s third wife Thelma didn’t like me. I’d never met the first wife, and he only talked about her during the rare moment of reflection. All he’d say was that the marriage didn’t take and mumble something about crossed paths and timing and some lawyer named Shanahan. Roddy was married to his second wife and was helping raise her daughters when I came into the picture. The second wife’s name had been Johanna. She seemed more than anxious for me to marry Doris, the older of the two girls. Roddy wasn’t all that excited about it. But like in all things Johanna decided where the Doris and her little sister were concerned, he said very little and found something mechanical to work out his frustrations on.

Roddy was a great mechanic. That was how he ended up meeting Thelma.

Thelma was younger than him. Doris and I had divorced seven years before and were in the midst of another eight years of passive-aggressive warfare over our daughter, Rhea. Roddy didn’t see Doris or her little sister, and only saw Rhea when I brought her by. Doris managed to turn her daughters against Roddy after he made it clear that he wasn’t going to pummel me into a grease spot or run over me in one of his project cars. Thelma crashed into his life when her overburdened K-car blew a belt along the side of westbound interstate 64 outside of Georgetown, Kentucky. Roddy was on his way to see a lawyer. Thelma was on her way to one of an endless array of doctor appointments for a series of unexplained physical tragedies kept her from living a normal life. Thelma didn’t work. Thelma didn’t have boyfriends. Thelma sat on a couch in a trailer in the eastern backwater of small town Appalachia, ate scalloped potatoes out of a box and watched daytime TV reruns. Roddy made her feel wanted. Thelma made Roddy feel like a hero, like out of the old cowboy movies they watched together in her little trailer with the two burner stove and an oven that never saw use until Roddy cooked dinner in defense against one more night of hot dogs and scalloped potatoes.

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