Fiction. Everyone is constantly admonishing our narrator to keep quiet: "You're full of bull hockey, college boy...Shut up and drink your beer." Or, "'Shut up,' Michelle replied. 'Shut up,' Michelle repeated." Or, "Don't look up. At least don't shout anything when you do. She's here, on the balcony." Or, "'Shit.' Sarah spit this out like a too-hot cinnamon ball, pulled me off the dental chair, and led me to the closet with the skeleton, shushing me with her fingers." Or, "Hush, be still. Tacete, tacete." Everyone admonishes him, when all he wants to do is shout the wonders, the horrors, the terrors that he and his older adoptive brother Galen face as one spiritual incursion after another manifests in their lives, moving from trickster poltergeists to forlornly wandering ghosts to intent fetches to avenging revenants. Perhaps, instead of admonishing him, everyone would do better to heed his early, youthful deliberation: "I never heard his voice again after that night. If we humans could always recognize the last words we were ever to hear from each person we knew or even met, our lives would perch as fragile indeed, gathering tragedy every listening moment to lean over a dark cellar, of dark farewells."
Feature @ Alabama Public RadioInterview with Allen Mendenhall @ Southern Literary Review
Joe Taylor is the author of five novels and four story collections including THE ALLEGED WOMAN (Livingston Press, 2021), BACK TO THE WINE JUG (Sagging Meniscus Press, 2020), GHOSTLY DEMARCATIONS (Sagging Meniscus Press, 2019), PINEAPPLE (Sagging Meniscus Press, 2017), and LET THERE BE LITE (Livingston Press, 2014). Author City: LIVINGSTON, AL USA