Jesus As An Old Man

What do I know from carpentry?

With all the wood

And the saws and the sawing

And the hammers and the hammering

And the nails (Oy! The nails!) and the nailing

And the tape and the measuring

And don’t get me started on the splinters

Splinters! Feh!

But my father — the one who raised me — now there was a mensch!

Such tables. Such chairs.

I still have the manger.

 - J.L. Stankus

James Salter

James Salter

The Weeklings: Saturday Music

[Originally published in TheWeeklings.com.]

Three Songs About Red Shoes That Are About Much More Than Red Shoes

JIM SIMPSON

Saturday, February 9, 2013

 

I’M NOT OBSESSED with shoes, though I appreciate a sexy black high heel or the occasional thigh-high leather boot on a long-legged woman like Salma Hayek—OK, maybe I have a thing for Salma but I’m sure I’m not alone there. I mean, did you see her table-dance scene in Tarantino’s From Dusk Till Dawn? I digress. Still, I don’t spend my days thinking about shoes and I don’t own a ton of shoes, just enough to cover the proper occasion: clogs (which I could wear year round), black dress shoes, blood oxford leather loafers, flipflops, running shoes, casual slip-on mocs, and a pair of cowboy boots, which I almost never wear. I think I still own boots; I’d have to check. That’s just how shoe-neglectful I am.

For me, shoes are utilitarian, and they’re not the main things I notice about people when I first meet them—unless they’re wearing red shoes. Those I notice. I’ve always secretly admired people who can pull off (or put on) the red shoe look successfully. It’s not easy. I’ve never had the guts to own any, much less wear a pair in public (my big feet in red shoes would look clownish), which may contribute to the reason I so admire people who do. My good friend Crew got married in a black tux and a pair of bright red loafers, a flashy nod to The Wizard of Oz and Elvis Costello, walking up the aisle—a path, actually, in a historic garden in Athens, Georgia—making a bold statement about his whimsical nature and good fortune at finding a woman with a sense of humor to match his own. Crew totally rocked the red shoes, and I admit I was damned envious. Was it simply an homage to the iconic film and Costello—he and I are both huge fans of the latter—or did it go much deeper?

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My Unique Stand on Gun Control (and Space Aliens)

#9 Dream

by  
ATLANTA, GA 
22 May 2012

[This originally appeared in The Nervous Breakdown, 22 May 2012.]

“There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why… I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” – Robert F. Kennedy

“Oh it’s too sad to be true
Your blue murder’s killing you.” – Elvis Costello, “Shot With His Own Gun

Basically, I am equal parts realist and dreamer. In most cases I know I am powerless to effect change beyond my little corner of the world, if even that. Still, I often concoct schemes to make the wider world a better place, at least in my mind. But what I am about to propose is much bigger than any “Occupy” movement. This could be the beginning of a utopian paradise. Join me in my excitement.

I have no agenda, nothing to promote but the simple wish for everyone to lead happy and productive lives where no one else suffers needlessly or is hurt unfairly in the bargain. I offer this as a public service, and if any technological savants are reading this, please feel free to canoodle with my ideas on the couch in the living room of your genius and figure out a way to make them a reality.

This is my plan to rid the world of handguns and firearms, starting with North, Central and South America, for these are the places in the world with the highest percentages of homicides involving guns.

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Music reviews and interviews at Awaiting the Flood

Music reviews and interviews at Awaiting the Flood

Fiction featured in Literary Potpourri, Anthology 4, available for purchase at Amazon.com. More info. also at Good Reads.
"My Father, The Boxer"

Fiction featured in Literary Potpourri, Anthology 4, available for purchase at Amazon.com. More info. also at Good Reads.

"My Father, The Boxer"

Fiction in Big City Lit
"Never Had It So Good" (Nominated for the Pushcart Prize.)
"Eduardo Tends the Garden"

Fiction in Big City Lit

"Never Had It So Good" (Nominated for the Pushcart Prize.)

"Eduardo Tends the Garden"

Fiction in Word Riot.
"Everyone Just Wants to Feel Good"
Award-winning fiction in Kennesaw Review.
(Winner of Kennesaw State University journal’s 2008 flash fiction award, judged by David Bottoms, Georgia Poet Laureate.)
"Swift as a Shadow, Quick as a Dream"

Award-winning fiction in Kennesaw Review.

(Winner of Kennesaw State University journal’s 2008 flash fiction award, judged by David Bottoms, Georgia Poet Laureate.)

"Swift as a Shadow, Quick as a Dream"

Fiction in StorySouth magazine.
"One Small Step"

Fiction in StorySouth magazine.

"One Small Step"

Fiction in Eclectica Magazine.
"On the Eve of Leaving"

Fiction in Eclectica Magazine.

"On the Eve of Leaving"

I did not write this, Joyce Carol Oates did. Her novels freak me out, but I enjoy them just the same.
Smithsonian Magazine: Joyce Carol Oates Goes Home Again

I did not write this, Joyce Carol Oates did. Her novels freak me out, but I enjoy them just the same.

Smithsonian Magazine: Joyce Carol Oates Goes Home Again