ADELAIDE FOUNDERS / FUNDADORES
Independent Quarterly Literary Magazine Stevan V. Nikolic & Adelaide Franco Nikolic
Revista Literária Independente Trimestral
Year II, Number 7, Volume I, June 2017 EDITOR IN CHIEF / EDITOR-CHEFE
Ano II, Número 7, Volume I, junho de 2017 Stevan V. Nikolic
ISBN-13: 978-1546872573 [email protected]
MANAGING DIRECTOR / DIRECTORA EXECUTIVA
Adelaide Literary Magazine is an independent Adelaide Franco Nikolic
internaƟonal quarterly publicaƟon, based in New York
and Lisbon. Founded by Stevan V. Nikolic and Adelaide GRAPHIC & WEB DESIGN
Franco Nikolic in 2015, the magazine’s aim is to publish IsƟna Group DBA, New York
quality poetry, ﬁcƟon, nonﬁcƟon, artwork, and
photography, as well as interviews, arƟcles, and book PORTUGUESE LANGUAGE EDITOR / EDITORA PORTUGUESA
reviews, wriƩen in English and Portuguese. We seek to Adelaide Franco Nikolic
publish outstanding literary ﬁcƟon, nonﬁcƟon, and
poetry, and to promote the writers we publish, helping BOOK REVIEWS
both new, emerging, and established authors reach a Heena Rathore
wider literary audience. We publish print and digital Jack Messenger
ediƟons of our magazine four Ɵmes a year, in Septem- Ana Soﬁa Pereira
ber, December, March, and June. Online ediƟon is
updated conƟnuously. There are no charges for reading ScoƩ Morris
the magazine online. (hƩp://adelaidemagazine.org)
CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS IN THIS ISSUE
A Revista Literária Adelaide é uma publicação
trimestral internacional e independente, localizada em João Tordo, Robert McKean, Ted Morrissey, Steven
Nova Iorque e Lisboa. Fundada por Stevan V. Nikolic e Sherwood, Joyce Polance, J.R. Gerow, Vince Barry, Amr
Adelaide Franco Nikolic em 2015, o objecƟvo da revista
é publicar poesia, ﬁcção, não-ﬁcção, arte e fotograﬁa Mekki, Rachel Cohen, Ed Meek , Heide ArbiƩer,
de qualidade assim como entrevistas, arƟgos e críƟcas Monique Gagnon German, Mike Dorman, Leah SackeƩ,
literárias, escritas em inglês e português. Pretendemos Krista Diamond, Alex R. Encomienda, Heather Whited,
publicar ﬁcção, não-ﬁcção e poesia excepcionais assim Lao-Tzu Allan-Blitz, Nick Comunelli, Tara Fritz, Anselmo
como promover os escritores que publicamos, ajudan- J. Alliegro, Stephen Baily,Shayna Boisvert , Tony D’Aloi-
do os autores novos e emergentes a aƟngir uma
audiência literária mais vasta. Publicamos edições sio, Neil D. Desmond, Melanie Pappadis Faranello ,
impressas e digitais da nossa revista quatro vezes por Laura DellaBadia, Marc Simon, Melanie Simms , Harlan
ano: em Setembro, Dezembro, Março e Junho. A edição Yarbrough, Melissa DosSantos Sullivan, Lauren Bush,
online é actualizada regularmente. Não há qualquer John P. Midkiﬀ, Emma Fuhs , Stephen Mead, Kaylynn
custo associado à leitura da revista online. Raschke, Sally Miller, Brennen Fahy, Erin Conway, John
(hƩp://adelaidemagazine.org) Davidson , Katy Major, Jill Jepson, Richard Pacheco,
Carol Frith, Jeton Kelmendi, Obi Nwakanma , Susan
Published by: IsƟna Group DBA, New York CosseƩe , Jim Hanlen, Anne Babson, Anwer Ghani, Gary
e-mail: [email protected] Beck, Faleeha Hassan, Pierre Sotér, John L. Stanizzi,
phone: +351 918 635 457 Geoﬀrey A. Rubin, William Waters, Samantha Zimbler ,
Olaf Dammann, Kevin Rabas, Maureen Eppstein, Ray
Copyright © 2017 by Adelaide Literary Magazine Fenech , Laurel Kaye, Henry Reneau, Shirley Jones-
Luke, Bruce McRae, Leilani Ahia, Ed Hack, Elliot Greiner,
All rights reserved. No part of this publicaƟon may be Zach Trebino, Jean BerreƩ, Katharine Coggeshall, Paul
reproduced in any manner whatsoever without wriƩen
permission from the Adelaide Literary Magazine Editor- Bamberger, Manuel Neto dos Santos
in-chief, except in the case of brief quotaƟons
embodied in criƟcal arƟcles and reviews.
CONTENTS / CONTEÚDOS
SUMMER RUSH – By Stevan V. Nikolic 6
FICTION / FICÇÃO CARNIVAL – By Shayna Boisvert 113
GOODWILL – By Tony D’Aloisio 119
THE GLANCE OF ORPHEUS II 8 LEAVING KARACHI – By Neil D. Desmond 124
- By Ted Morrissey EVERYBODY NEEDS SOMETHING 128
– By Melanie Pappadis Faranello
A WILDERNESS OF MONKEYS 15 CHECKMATE - By Laura DellaBadia 134
- By Robert McKean OBIT – By Marc Simon 136
WAITING FOR JACK – By Melanie Simms 143
GRAND LAKE – By Steven Sherwood 22 HE STOPPED – By Harlan Yarbrough 146
HOW THE FIRE STARTED 151
FOREIGN PASSAGES - By Joyce Polance 29 – By Melissa DosSantos Sullivan
FLIGHT - By J.R. Gerow 32 NONFICTION / NÃO-FICÇÃO
“THE TRUTH OF BEING AS NON BEING” 157
ASH WEDNESDAY - By Vince Barry 34 A Search for Truth within a Limited PercepƟon
- By Lauren Bush
THE MAN WHO DID NOTHING - By Amr Mekki 40 HANDBOOK – By John P. Midkiﬀ 160
THE CRYING THRESHOLD – By Emma Fuhs 165
SOUP - By Rachel Cohen 47 IMPRESSIONS FROM THE LAND OF VANISHED BEAU-
TIFUL THINGS 167
NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY - By Ed Meek 51 – By Stephen Mead
WE ARE THE BUFFALO – By Kaylynn Raschke 171
SANCTUARY - By Heide ArbiƩer 56 THE SHOW MUST GO ON – By Sally Miller 173
THE BLUE-BLOODED PANTHER OF BANGALORE 175
THE COMEBACKS 58 – By Brennen Fahy
- By Monique Gagnon German STRINGS IN OUR HANDS – By Erin Conway 177
THE PRICE OF GINGER – By John Davidson 183
SUPERMARKET PAPERBACK – By Mike Dorman 63 CICADAS - By Katy Major 186
SCREW, BUTTON, POTATO - By Jill Jepson 191
THE ROME CLUB – By Leah SackeƩ 67
THE DESERT SWALLOWS THE RIVER 69
– By Krista Diamond
SACRED GEOMETRY FOR ARIEL V 75
- By Alex R. Encomienda
THE MISSING STAR OF CANCER 82
– By Heather Whited
THE RAIN – By Lao-Tzu Allan-Blitz 88
PURBLIND – By Tara Fritz 94
KISS OF THE RED SERPENT 101
– By Anselmo J. Alliegro
RECKONINGS – By Stephen Baily 109
POETRY / POESIA BALD EAGLE – By Jean BerreƩ 258
FATHER AND SON – By Richard Pacheco 193 SOULS IN LOVE – By Katharine Coggeshall 260
SOME LIVING STRUCTURE IN THE UNDERLYING MIRROR – By Paul Bamberger 262
THOUGHT – By Carol Frith 195 DORSOS DE LUZ DE ÁGUAS MAIS PROFUNDAS 264
LOVE IN A WAR TIME – By Jeton Kelmendi 199 De Manuel Neto dos Santos
THANKSGIVING – By Obi Nwakanma 203
TOURNÉE DU CHAT NOIR – By Susan CosseƩe 207 INTERVIEWS / ENTREVISTAS
AS OF NOW – By Jim Hanlen 210 JOÂO TORDO 272
AT THE SCUOLA DI SAN ROCCO 211 – The author of a novel
– By Anne Babson O Deslumbre de Cecilia Fluss
TIMES – By Anwer Ghani 214
CONTUSIONS – By Gary Beck 215 BOOK REVIEWS / CRITÍCAS LITERÁRIAS
FACES OF LOVE – By Faleeha Hassan 216 FRANZEN’s STYLO - structural Debt to DFW 275
PALAVRAS – By Pierre Sotér 219 – By ScoƩ Morris
RISEN – By John L. Stanizzi 221 EXOTICISM AND EROTICISM IN PAUL THEROUX’s
MEMORIAL – By Geoﬀrey A. Rubin 224 “MONKEY HILL” 276
A SONG FOR AHN, MYONG HWA 225 - By ScoƩ Morris
– TranslaƟon by William Waters BROKEN CHAINS by Emiliya Ahmadova 278
THE HOUSE, AFTER SANDY 226
– By Samantha Zimbler NEW TITLES
WRITING FOR STRANGERS 229 O DESLUMBRE DE CECILIA FLUSS 279
– By Olaf Dammann de João Tordo
FINGERNAIL CLIP #2 – By Kevin Rabas 231 CONTOS E DESENCONTROS 281
CAPRICCIO – By Maureen Eppstein 232 de Alexandra Pinto
FORBIDDEN LOVE – By Ray Fenech 235 SUDDEN CONFLICTS – A novel by Gary Beck 282
LULLABY ON WEST 133rd – By Laurel Kaye 239
THE MAN-UNKIND BLUES #1 240 ART & PHOTOGRAPHY / ARTE & FOTOGRAFIA
– By Henry Reneau GOD HEALS 284
SIMPLE PLEASURES ELUDE ME LIKE FIREFLIES 245 – Art work by Caroline Manley
– By Shirley Jones-Luke VIRTUAL DETROIT 285
DOWNPOUR – By Bruce McRae 248 – Photography by Michelle Brooks
TO MY MOTHER’S FRIEND – By Leilani Ahia 250
LIKE WIND – By Ed Hack 252 HAPPENINGS / EVENTOS 286
R + N 4EVER – By Elliot Greiner 254
MORAL ORAL – By Zach Trebino 256
Jesus Wept / From the Photo Essay Virtual Detroit © 2017 Michelle Brooks
Stevan V. Nikolic
Summer is supposed to be the Ɵme of the year again hopelessly glued to the desktop monitors
when things slow down in all ﬁelds of human ac- reading, reading, and reading…
ƟviƟes except for those related to the Summer
rush on roads and airports by people trying to get No, this is not a complaint. WriƟngs that we get
to their holiday desƟnaƟons. from our contributors are great, and it is our privi-
lege to bring them to the wider reading audience;
In the world of books, it is the Ɵme right aŌer the to give our small contribuƟon to the making of
Book Expo in New York and Lisbon Book Fair, great authors and their bestsellers. Running a
when writers, editors, publishers, and agents, literary magazine is more than a publishing pro-
beach-bags loaded with new books and manu- ject or creaƟve endeavor, it is a mission. And
scripts, try to ﬁnd a quiet place on the beach, someƟmes, it is almost like an obsession with
each of them with their own aim. Writers – to literature.
ﬁnd an inspiraƟon for their new story; editors – to
read in peace without crazy deadlines; publishers And it not like we didn’t have anything else to do
reading their bestsellers while pretending to be this Summer. Just closed Adelaide Literary Awards
readers who just came over a good book, and Contest for 2017, brought in front of us a pile of
agents – on the constant lookout for a new proﬁt- manuscripts to read, judge, and select winners in
able voice. three categories – best poem, best short story,
and best essay. On the top of it, wriƟngs by win-
Our editors’ desk in the Adelaide Literary Maga- ners and ﬁnalists will be published by the end of
zine is located just quarter of a mile from the June as an Anthology.
beach, but I don’t think that this Summer we will
get any closer. Our “Summer rush” is in the full If it was not me who came out with all these won-
swing. AŌer being forced to make two volumes of derful ideas of running a literary contest and
the Summer issue due to many quality contribu- starƟng with a bimonthly magazine in the middle
Ɵons, we are now facing a new challenge – con- of the Summer, I would be upset with the amount
verƟng our quarterly magazine into a bimonthly of work that we have in front of us. But, since it is
publicaƟon. Instead of four issue a year, we will completely my responsibility, I must enjoy it and
have six issues coming out every two months, forget that all I wanted this Summer was to be on
with ﬁrst such an issue being released in July. the beach, in the shade of the palm tree, and read
a good book.
So, aŌer six hundred pages of two volumes of the
Summer issue, one hundred and forty contrib- And to all of you reading this arƟcle—a friendly
uƟng authors, sixty-two short stories, twenty advise: take your copy of the magazine to the
essays, and over three hundred poems, we are beach. Everything you read will sound much
Quiet Storm Lounge / From the Photo Essay Virtual Detroit © 2017 Michelle Brooks
THE GLANCE OF ORPHEUS II
By Ted Morrissey
The City AthleƟc Club was more ornate than the the hum of many voices speaking over each oth-
Blackstone, more extravagant by the looks of its er. With the subdued lighƟng and added clink of
façade of brick and stone. Workers were shovel- glassware, the complete tableau seemed to run
ing snow and spreading salt on the sidewalk. The together, like too-watery watercolors: no face
party entered the lobby, black and white Ɵles was disƟnct, no voice comprehensible. In high
underfoot and an old-fashioned interior that school he had gone on a group tour of Europe,
seemed dim to his snow-Ɵred eyes. Dark ﬁgures something like eleven ciƟes in six days, and he
milled about or were seated on an assortment of recalled stepping oﬀ the tour bus at a market-
equally darkened furniture. square in Pamplona, at the peak of its business
day. Exhausted from the tour’s nonstop pace and
Their small search party went about warming sƟll drowsy from the long ride, he found the
themselves, while taking oﬀ gloves, pockeƟng crowd and the cacophony of Spanish-speaking
stocking-caps, loosening coats. voices to comprise a single organism of confusion.
The ciƟzens seemed to be all one person cloned
This way, said Germanness, apparently familiar many hundreds of Ɵmes, and their voices were a
with the hotel. She led them through the lobby mulƟlayered din, alien accented and more closely
and into a carpeted lounge and restaurant. Be- akin to a hive’s insect hum than the marketplace
neath her faux-fur hat her hair was blond, he had drone of humans.
thought, but now he could see it was white—
even though her face and litheness projected This sensaƟon, in the AthleƟc Club’s lounge, was
youth. She may have been twenty-ﬁve or ﬁŌy- similar but on lower frequencies: less light, less
ﬁve. color, lower volume.
Since Elizabeth Winters’ death everything seemed Now what? said Beth, speaking mainly to the
indeﬁnite and unsolvable. It was if she, alone, was Swede, Too (the Norwegian). Too was checking
the mechanism by which some sort of cosmic his phone, speciﬁcally his TwiƩer feed. According
compass remained properly calibrated, and with to hashtag EWalive, she was seen here in the
her absence the gears and sprockets and gyres lounge . . . in the exercise room . . . geƫng on an
were slipping further and further out of sync. elevator on the third ﬂoor. . . .
The lounge area, which was intended to resemble Sounds like we should split up, said the woman
a speakeasy of the TwenƟes, was crowded but Quite, who was tall and lean in her REI parka of
not as lively as the gathering at the Blackstone. sunburst yellow.
Patrons were mainly siƫng, drinking and talking.
There were no billiard tables or other amuse- Good idea, said Beth, stepping over to him. Chris
ments that encouraged people to move around. and I will check out the exercise area.
Nevertheless there was a small sea of faces and
Let’s stay in touch with the TwiƩer hashtag, said Meanwhile two more tweets popped up. One
the Aussie, Here. He and Too would check out the from their group. Beth read it: CAC 3rd ﬂoor na-
third-ﬂoor sighƟng. da.
Everyone paired up and headed toward their cho- Excuse us, said a woman as she and a man need-
sen search area. He and Beth decided to take the ed to pass by them in the hall.
stairway to the fourth ﬂoor, where the exercise
room was. Beth led the way up the carpeted Sorry, he said and stepped aside.
steps. At each landing was a modernist-style
painƟng, something slightly abstract and geomet- The pair walked past, and he and Beth looked at
ric in its lines, each owing a debt to Picasso or each other in simultaneous recogniƟon. Beth, her
Léger. On the landing between the ﬁrst and sec- back to the couple’s backs, mouthed Marian Tate.
ond ﬂoors was a painƟng of a bookshop, with
customers standing or relaxing in oversized char- He nodded, watching aŌer them.
treuse chairs, books in hand or spread open like
lilies welcoming the sun, while other rectangles of They waited a moment then began following
books, many-colored, appeared to be ready to Marian Tate and her companion, a middle-aged
project themselves from the foregrounded fellow with thinning hair of black and gray, wear-
shelves. Between the second and third ﬂoors was ing a charcoal gray business suit. They turned a
some sort of stargazing scene: a couple, a man corner in Ɵme to see them stop at a door. The
and a woman, close but not touching, look night- man ﬁshed the key card from his suitcoat pocket
skyward, where octagonal stars blaze here and but before he could use it, someone inside the
there like queerly shaped pearls strewn across a room opened up. Marian Tate and the man en-
pond of lavender ice. On the next landing: An tered without much in the way of greeƟng who-
image framed through a window, a frame within ever was inside. The door closed.
the frame, and beyond a grayscape of old build-
ings, their doors and windows and steps at not- Holy shit, said Beth.
quite-correct angles, as if a quake had leŌ them
standing but only barely, and an aŌershock might Let’s not let your imaginaƟons run wild. It could
bring their dully colored structures tumbling be anyone in that room.
down altogether, all together.
I know, but. . . . What can we do? Stake out the
Once on the fourth ﬂoor, they followed the sign room all night? Pretend we’re delivering room
to the ﬁtness room. AdmiƩance required a key service.
card but there was no need. A large window in
the door oﬀered a view of nearly the enƟre room, We’re suddenly in a Wilder-Pryor picture. It’s a
which had a single occupant: a heavyset man on good thing there aren’t bellboys any longer. We’d
one of the two treadmills. be knocking one out to steal his uniform.
Well, so much for that, he said. Hey you two.
Beth removed her phone from her purse and They turned, a liƩle startled. It was Quite, in her
tweeted about the dead-end using the hashtag. sunburst parka, and Deliberately, with his tas-
Holy cow, she said, in the last ten minutes Eliza- seled impracƟcal shoes.
beth Winters has been seen in two dozen places,
including a Safeway in San Francisco. There’s even So, no Elizabeth Winters on an ellipƟcal? said
a picture. She showed him. Quite.
Red hair, female presumably—yup, goƩa be her. No, he said, but there’s been something of a de-
Never mind that we can’t see her face and she velopment. They went on to describe what hap-
looks to be about a hundred pounds heavier than pened.
any other photo I’ve seen of Elizabeth Winters.
Isn’t she vegan? Holy shit, said Deliberately. Which room exactly?
Maybe she switched to the Neanderthal diet. Ne- They pointed it out, and Deliberately walked
anderthal and peanut buƩer diet. down the hall. They weren’t sure what he was
planning. He stood listening before the door, his
head Ɵlted like a German shepherd’s. He was at it
a minute a two before returning to the group.
“The White Man’s Grave,” West Africa. But not a “What codswallop,” he’d ﬁnally decree in calm
word of it all this Ɵme—this Ɵme only an opales- and sober moments.
cent dream of vast, transcendent release, corus- But they were becoming rarer, those cooler, clear
caƟng behind the face of a man whose race has -headed, au fait Ɵmes, while the foolish and
been run. gloomy preoccupaƟon with his service grew more
The waiƟng silence passed and Trevor resumed. frequent, more subverƟng, unƟl just below the
“Interest you?” he said, a bubble of gin on a lip. surface of his consciousness hardened a discon-
Then, “It does, admit it. C’mon. . . . If not you, cerƟng doubt, a kind of radical skepƟcism that leŌ
who? If not now, when? Tell me, I’d like to know. him at once trusƟng and distrusƟng the reliability
Give me one good reason not you— No; I knew it. of his own senses.
Then it’s a go, eh?” He blamed it all on the khat and worried what
A safe house for undercover operaƟons had gone he’d do when the stash he’d brought up in the
wrong, that was the gist of it—and, of course, 300 ran out.
that something had to be done. “Do you,” Aschenbach said distantly to Mrs. Gar-
Some training, at a “spy school” at London’s cia, as he emerged from the brown study of his
Hounslow Barracks, was all that was needed. That post-coital tristesse, his sleep-heavy eyes in a
and, of course, a cover story, which Aschenbach's hazy, melancholy mist gazing through a chain of
handler, McArdle, gave him once in Dublin. improbably perfect smoke rings, “d’ever feel you
know, but wonder too?” He could have been talk-
“Yer roots,” went the cover, with a heavy Scoƫsh ing to himself in cathinone-induced happy lassi-
accent, out of a mouth too small for its great mul- tude.
berry of a face, “it was yer roots that brooght “Ah!” broke from Mrs. Garcia, quickly, earnestly,
ye—tae trace them, ur ﬁn' them, ur mebbe tae with a head toss and a smile wrinkling a straight
invent them, oan yer mother’s side, ay coorse, nose above a wide mouth, “de eternal tension
spreadin' nicely, coothie —yer shoods imagine— twixt certainty an' doubt.”
loch a late summer perennial oan its herbaceoos
borders, mebbe e'en within th’ middle ay th’ “Ex-actly,” Aschenbach said with the mincing pre-
strath ay th’ Wild Boar,” which was what Newcas- cision of a mellow alcoholic, and he felt the warm
tle West was once known as—the valley of the embrace of a kindred spirit.
Wild Boar. Then nothing but inscrutable murmurous silenc-
SomeƟmes aŌer he and Mrs. Garcia had had cas- es, as squashed buƩ ends mounted in the Sun-
ual sex—what she termed gnéas gan choinníol—, burst Flag paƩern ashtray inscribed: Tiocfaidh ár
and they were sharing a Player’s and Aschenbach lá.
was studying the arching, tapered, unringed ﬁn- And they plunged on, into the forgiving warm
gers of the landlady—though she preferred darkness, unaware of the yellow ﬂannel fog roll-
“mesné”—, his mind would slip back to his wife. ing low just outside the Estrella del Mar.
OŌen, in fact, it would do so, but not for very long
at any one Ɵme, like Proust’s poor old Swann, Estrella del Mar—that’s what she called called
who oŌen thought of his dead wife, but could her ménage, Mrs. Garcia did, always careful to
only bear to a liƩle at a Ɵme. say “Estreyela,” the inﬂuence of her late hus-
Then there was the quesƟon he’d put to the band’s CasƟlian heritage, but with a heavy CelƟc
FCPA about having served in an “unhealthful brogue that bespoke a greater inﬂuence. “Star av
post” that vexed him like an itch he couldn’t de sea”—that, too, she someƟmes called it, which
scratch. Eventually, Aschenbach came to ask him- puzzled guests since, as far as anyone could see,
self, “What diﬀerence does it make?” He meant, Newcastle West was not a seaside resort of any
not whether or not he had so served, but that he sort. Their befuddlement wilted as if under the
should know. What diﬀerence would knowing it weight of the sapped sigh of a beleaguered
make? Did not knowing it make? Oh, he was sure schoolmistress, and a pracƟced syllogism:
he had—he didn’t need any FCPA to tell him that. “’Tis on de River Arra, yer see.” Newcastle West
SƟll, he was, at the same Ɵme, unsure that he Mrs. Garcia meant. “Whaich ﬂows into de River
had. He believed yet disbelieved; knew but ques- Deel,” she’d go on, “whaich itself ﬂows into de
great Shannon, whaich—” here emphaƟcally,— white beneath generous lips, “Ah, so dat's waaat
“aŌer turnin' dis way an' dat, empƟes into the it'd be meanin’. Oi’d ’av nare guessed.” Then,
mournful Green AtlanƟc.” And then,with a rhetor- appending with gentle implicaƟons and an elﬁn
ical ﬂourish that bespoke Q.E.D, “Nade oi say grin, Mrs. Garcia said, “‘Ash’—Oi like dat,” and
more?” bent a curious and intent look upon him.
The spare, stoop-sholdered Aschenbach had Such were the soŌ chitchat and gentle implica-
made no such inquiry when he cauƟously bent Ɵons on ﬁrst meeƟng of tenant and landlady of
over to register, his stained teeth set over an in- the erstwhile safe house. And something more:
visible cigareƩe poking out of a barricaded face half revelaƟon, half invitaƟon, from her, that
with a spurt of eyebrows. should he need anything, “anythin’ at al’,” her
bedroom lay just below his.
Mrs. Garcia regarded him for a Ɵme. Then she
thought, “‘E’s de ’abit, an’ is tryin’ ter keck it.” She Not long aŌerward Aschenbach sought it out, and
meant her habit, not to be loved, not cigareƩes. they started having gnéas a bheith agat.
For his part, Aschenbach took in Mrs. Garcia It was while carrying out her trimonthly maƩress-
through the lowered lids of his pale exƟnguished turning ritual that Mrs. Garcia came upon Aschen-
face. She reminded him of pictures he’d seen of bach’s journal.
Maude Gonne, the Irish revoluƟonary—a tall,
voluminous woman, with an evenly, charmingly As if with the arms of a stevedore and a back to
chiseled face and dense, wavy hair piled high— match, Mrs. Garcia turned and ﬂipped the bed-
only moonless black, was Mrs. Garcia’s, not ﬁery ding, shaking free, by chance, from its ﬁƩed white
red like Maude’s. He couldn’t say, though, wheth- waterproof cover an owl embossed Bombay
er Maude had the same pointy breasts and puﬀy brown leather journal with gold leaf pages—a
nipples—he hadn’t read enough Yeats. His wife useful prop, compliments of McArdle. Mrs. Garcia
had though, such breasts. Had she read enough instantly and correctly recognized it as “a bleedin’
Yeats? He couldn’t say. Had Ruthy—pointy diary.”
breasts and puﬀy nipples? He couldn’t remem-
ber. Brushing away a soupçon of inwit like a sliver of
dust, she read a bit or two, wriƩen in pen in a
Then, he said, “Nyota samaki.” careful hand, always on one side of a page, and
did the same three months later, and again there-
Mrs. Garcia inquired as to its meaning. “German, aŌer, only at two month intervals. Then, caught
innit?” is how she put it, meaning “Aschenbach.” up, she read monthly, then weekly, then ﬁnally
whenever Aschenbach was out on his daily consƟ-
“Swahili,” said Aschenbach, then translaƟng, tuƟonal along Maiden Street, or just plain out and
“Starﬁsh.” about. She read and she read, always standing, so
as to permit a speedy retreat should she hear
From her an apology: “You’ll 'av ter excuse me, ascending the wooden staircase the unmistakable
sir,” she said, “but oi love me words.” footsteps of Mr. Aschenbach.
From him, “A real epeolatrist,” muƩered between Ordinary things, she read, hum-drum things, eve-
teeth. ryday things, this and that, and that and this,
“verbal snapshots,” McArdle’s term, of a wayfar-
From her, turning his words with a deprecaƟng er, albeit an acutely observant one—
laugh,“Naw, naw, sir, ’twud be words Oi’d be
likin’, not feet.” And then, with a shrewd, inquir- “th’ joƫngs ay a common man’s unevenƞul life—
ing gaze of her quick, black eyes, “D’they ever call things ’at onie sic’ man coods hae wriƩen. Thes
yer ‘Ash’?— yer friends Oi mean.” repair, ’at scran, thes ur’at ﬁlm, sic’ as ’at.” Then
he handed Aschenbach the journal, together with
Aschenbach’s thin lips moved percepƟbly before a magniﬁcent maple burn fountain pen for black
he said faintly with a solemn nod, “They do—did,” ink entries to be wriƩen in a steady hand, all un-
and from her, “Oi tart as much,” and from him disƟnguished, as far as Mrs. Garcia could tell, but
with a foggy voice, under, as always, the inﬂuence for one regular credit entry.
of the khat pinched between cheek and gum,
“‘Stream of ashes,’” and then, “‘Aschenbach,’”
and she said, her teeth uncovered, gleaming
On the ﬁrst of each month, an anonymous pay- Then she slipped the diary back under the
ment, which appeared on the statement simply as maƩress, but not before staining its cover with a
“Transfer,” from an unnamed bank, to an account tear.
ending with the digits 92041.The sum in sterling
was always the same: 50.00. “‘My Paddy’s gone and killed ’imself,’” is what she
told Aschenbach she told the Gardai when they
Shocked out of herself Mrs. Garcia instantly rec- told her, and the Gardai said, she said, “‘Moya ter
ognized them— “Transfer,” unnamed bank, dat!,’” then, “‘An’ why wud yer ’usban' be toppin’
sum—as the same as she’d discovered among her ’imself, tell us dat if yer can?’”
husband’s personal eﬀects and had, naturally,
reported to Iníonacha na hÉireann, the radical She couldn’t say, she told Aschenbch she told the
women’s organizaƟon founded by the feminist Gardai, and got from them: “‘Well dare yer go
revoluƟonary naƟonalist Countess Markievicz. den, don't yer?’”
And she was swept into her own thoughts.
“Imagine,” she said to Aschenbach with hissing
Then the sum of £300, that kniƩed her brows. scorn.
On the reverse side of the same page she encoun- “What did they mean?” he asked.
tered with startling abruptness words, wriƩen in
pencil in a shaky hand, words that easily could She shrugged her shoulders and said, “‘Maybe de
have been wriƩen by someone quite unlike the six pack become too ’eavy a load for ’imself ter
pensive, roots-seeking man who enjoyed her fa- bear,’ ’s whaat Oi towl dem.”
vors— more like a man with a guilty hunger and
nerves on a hair trigger, a man who lacked the “Six pack” was the IRA’s preferred way of dealing
vitality to ward oﬀ the senƟmentalism of regret: with grudge-bearing members—six well-placed
shots, a pair in each of the ankles, knees, and el-
“‘Something’s happening!’” is what she she read, bows. Mrs. Garcia thought it odd that Aschenbach
then, “‘been crying and pacing . . . .’” And then, didn’t inquire as to its meaning. Instead she got
“‘The deadly horrors of remorse.’” from him a bland, “What did you say?”
“Ah,” she said, with a heaving bosom, imagining a “‘Pish!’” she said with a lowering countenance. . .
distraught man wringing his hands with .“‘Or maybe de Provos decided ter complete de
schwarmerei, “so dat’s waat Oi've been 'earin' job,’ dey said—de pasty-faced feckers.”
atop me noggin at noight, back an’forth, back n’
forth, loike a fart on a curtain poll.” Then, in a low “Provos”— the Irish republican paramilitary or-
tone, “‘De deadly’orrors av remorse….’” ganizaƟon.
Things like that she read, and then, what gave her It dimly ﬂashed into Aschenbach’s khat-addled
pause: “Grá,” she said gravely, then “Gra mo knot of consciousness why McArdle said Garcia
chroi,” “love of my life.” had come over. For its part, Mrs. Garcia’s nimble
mind was puƫng together the bank entries and
The Ɵp of her tongue worrying her lips, Mrs. Gar- the quesƟon unasked. Then, with startling abrupt-
cia ﬂumped on the edge of the maƩress and said ness, Mrs. Garcia shared with Aschenbach the
with a slackened voice,“Wid al' de cripplin’ sad- legend of the great black sow of Muckdah, that,
ness, an’-an’ ‘de deadly ’orrors av remorse . . . possessed of an evil spirit, ravaged South Donegal
an’de love av me life. . . , ” and she sank into Ɵll chased down by some bavehearts, through
thought. Sligo and Lenadoon, and slain at Enniscrone by
Then she ﬁxed a kindling eye on the £300 entry “Imagine Ɵnkin’ aboyt a Ɵn' loike dat at Ɵme loike
and said with a sigh in a tenebrous way, “That’ll dis,” she said of the startling incongruity from a
kill yer.” choking throat, as she wiped her eyes with the
back of a hand. Then she said heavily through
And as she did, the thought of her husband grad- closed lips, and as if dressed in widow weeds, “De
ually returned to her, of his body discovered stoney broke soul.”
somewhere along the road from Limerick to Tra-
lee, between Rathkeale and Abbeyfeale, with a Aschenbach, his temples throbbing and eyes be-
Webley revolver in his hand. fogged, thought she meant her husband, but then
she rasped, he thought, “de both av yer.”
The way she said it—the way he thought she said programmed love interspersed, each seemingly
it— drawing away under closed lips, “de both av grateful for the aƩenƟon, neither acknowledging
yer”— well, it made the hair on the back of his the watchful waiƟng cat-and-mouse game being
neck Ɵngle and spread a slight suﬀusion over his played in and out of the bedroom— unƟl that
face when she repeated, he thought, with more aforemenƟoned Ash Wednesday Aschenbach
than a shade of asperity, he thought, “De stoney was taking his daily consƟtuƟonal along Maiden
broke souls,” her eyes pricked with tears. Street, while Mrs. Garcia was seƫng an ash-
stained thumb atop a page Aschenbach had earli-
Then a throbbing silence fell over the maƩer, er dusted purplish white, careful to follow McArd-
leaving Aschenbach’s mind awash with swirling le’s precise instrucƟons for handling the aconite.
thoughts of his wife and daughter, Trevor and Thereupon resounded throughout Estrella del
Ruthy, Mrs. Garcia and her dead husband— and, Mar an aspirated sound, half a gasp, half a
of course, McArdle, who had to be informed. keen,“Women’s bane!”—monkshood, she meant,
tooth of the wolf, the devil’s helmet.
Taking her toast and tea, Mrs. Garcia said aloud, Mrs. Garcia fell silent across the bed.
“Aye, dat wus de worst av it,” and again, “dat wus The young woman hurried on with her black pig.
de worst av it,” and— She went on as if praying Aschenbach turned the igniƟon switch of the 300.
About the Author:
What she meant was hard to say, perhaps even to
her. The deadly horrors of remorse? her hus- Vincent Barry’s aﬀecƟon for creaƟve wriƟng is
band’s fate? Aschenbach’s treachery? Or perhaps rooted in the theatre. More years ago than he
it was “De whole feckin Ɵn’,” as she was wont to prefers to remember, his one-act plays caught the
say. aƩenƟon of the late Arthur Ballet at the Universi-
ty of Minnesota’s Oﬃce for Advanced Drama Re-
In Ɵme Mrs. Garcia might have come to realize search and Wynn Handman at New York’s The
“The worst is not/ So long as we can say/ ‘This is American Place Theatre. Some producƟons fol-
the worst.’ " Conceivably she might have—had lowed, as well as a residency at The Edward Albee
she not taken the zigzag path through a hole in FoundaƟon on Long Island. Meanwhile, Barry was
the wall, as they do in Rabat or Khartoum or some teaching philosophy at Bakersﬁeld College in Cali-
such staƟon where Aschenbach had served and fornia and authoring philosophy textbooks. Now
the windows are smeared with ashes. But at pre- reƟred from teaching, Barry has returned to his
sent, taking her sempiternal tea and toast, Mrs. ﬁrst love, ﬁcƟon.
Garcia just said, “That’ll kill yer,” like somone who
knew about such things.
Ashenbach recognized on the instant the stain on
his diary for what it was, and wasn’t—a tear, but
Aschenbach never cried while making entries,
though tears oŌen brought him to make them.
The discovery that someone— Mrs. Garcia cer-
tainly— was reading—well, it neither angered
nor unseƩled him, nor in any way made him feel
violated. Not that he received it with imperturba-
ble indiﬀerence, mind you. On the contrary. More
like a person, it was, who upon entering a crowd-
ed room turns at least a single head, catches at
least a single pair of eyes and is, thus, singly
acknowledged, if not understood or appreciated.
ThereaŌer Aschenbach always wrote with the
tear in mind, and Mrs. Garcia always read with
the stream in mind.
And so it went, he wriƟng, she reading, occasional