The Bacon Review was an online literary journal published from 2011 to 2016. Its editors Jason Barry and Eric Westerlind were a delight to read as well as to write for, and their commitment to good writing and to the writers they published is evident in the effort they made to preserve the work in an archive that’s easily accessible and well worth the time to peruse.
In July of 2013, they published my short story “Fireflies,” which you can find (all but the conclusion) in the archive. Or, you can read it here. But if you do, please don’t forget to click through to the archive and spend time with work worth reading.
First Published in The Bacon Review (on line) July 2013
(c) Copyright Joseph Saling 2013, 2018
Mary Ann, with autumn hair and eyes the rarest green. Mary Ann feeds the pigeons in the school court yard and prays at early mass with the nuns. Mary Ann teasing, running with my hat in her hand, throws it into a rose bush in front of the convent.
“Ouch! Stop that Jason! You’re pulling my hair!”
First, you’ve got to clear your head. Because your head just keeps saying things that aren’t true. Well they are true most of the times you’re saying them. But sometimes like last Wednesday, they aren’t true. That was the day I saw the biggest, most beautiful butterfly I’d ever seen….
Go ahead — hit that space bar.
I have some writer friends that I know will recognize an exchange similar to this:
“You should get out if these dreary rooms, Henry. They’re half the reason you’re blocked.”
“Am I blocked? I’d just thought of myself as a slow typist.”
“What do you do, hit the space bar once a day?”
John Updike in “Bech Panics” in Bech a Book (1970)
Just my way of saying, like I said in the comment on the last post, I’m coming back. Just watch this space. Things have happened.
Enjoy your day —
Who needs lasers? (Hint watch it in full screen in a darkened room. But don’t forget to hit escape and come back.)
Hi. I feel like I’ve been gone forever, even though I didn’t go anywhere. Well that’s not exactly true. I did go up to Vermont in January — yes it was cold — to see S graduate from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She now has her MFA in children’s lit. You can expect
good great prize-winning things to come.
And I’ve had a few more poems see the light of print. I plan to share those here over the next few weeks, so watch (and listen) for them. But, first, below, you can find a link to my latest publication. It’s a short story called “Huntington” in the March issue of Blue Lake Review. That’s an online journal edited by novelist Mitchell Waldman and journalist/poet Diana May-Waldman, both quite talented writers themselves. I can highly recommend Petty Offenses & Crimes of the Heart, Mitchell’s collection of short stories that I’m reading now, and Diana’s strong collection of poems a woman’s song. I plan to add reviews to The New Word Mechanic over the next few months and I’ll tell you more about both of them then. But I highly recommend you make the effort to get to know them and their work yourself.
So here’s the tease and the link. Enjoy.
Huntington (Printed at Blue Lake Review March 2015)
By Joseph Saling
I have this idea about how we live our lives — that there is no such thing as foreplay or afterglow. Not that life’s one fantastic orgasm, though sometimes it can be — laser light shows, the earth moving, waves crashing on the beach, startled quail, like a fourth of July fireburst, suddenly exploding from the bush in all directions against the sky. But for most people, life is simply anticlimactic. The kind of thing that sputters before you’re ready and doesn’t leave you feeling any different after it’s done. A series of slow shudders that makes you wonder why you even bother at all.
By the summer of my forty-third year, my life had settled into one of those slow shudders…(Blue Lake Review)
© Joseph Saling and The New Word Mechanic, 2015.
If you hurry…
…you can still catch my story “Fireflies” in the lead position of the July issue of The Bacon Review. Simply click on the title after reading the editor’s comments on the left side of the front page. If you wait, you’ll still be able to see it, but you’ll need to go to the archives section of the The Bacon Review Web site. Whether you read the story now or later in the archives, there’s space on the site for you to leave a comment. I’d like to know what you think.
In the meantime, enjoy Ennio Morricone’s music.
That’s all we have, finally, the words, and they had better be the right ones.
Quoted on the Stories page at Carve Magazine, a fiction journal S and I just recently discovered. When you get to the site, read the stories. They are true gems filled with the right words. I’ll have more to say about them later.