In the opening and title story of his riveting collection, Timothy O’Leary returns fire, blasting the S.O.B. Cheney with true facts spun out by a fictional victim in a most entertaining way. As with all of the stories, O’Leary’s exuberant, fast-paced style bobs us down rivers of his savvy takes on the cultures, fun, fears, and realities of our time.
“One Star” gets into the heads and hearts of a struggling immigrant restaurant family and struggling, married, U.S. born customers disappointed by a declined Groupon. A drunken Yelp-like review exposes a cleavage too often exploited by politicians and leading to consequences both sides regret.
A has-been sitcom actor was content with his life of booze and pussy as a travelling stand-up comic until he is blind-sided by an up-and-coming talent using the technology and tools of today in “Hecklers.”
A widower who avoided cell phones and blames them for the death of his wife takes another look at his departed wife and the phone’s benefits when the neighbor boy shows him a video of her at her best in “The Tower.”
Each story in this collection is a gem of thought, language and craft. Some are funny, some are darkly funny (e.g., “Adolph’s [Hitler] Return”), and others are dramatic. All are superbly entertaining. Together, they process and contextualize the world around us from the perspective of someone who has been paying attention for the past four decades.
Personally, I finish about one in every nine books I begin. I finished this one in no time. My biggest criticism is that I wish there were even more than eighteen stories.
In this series, we will be highlighting one of some of the great work from our authors. Our first book is Waitress at the Red Moon Pizzeria be Eleanor Levine
are more than the synthetic joints and toes
sightable apparitions that permit
the live skeleton to indulge in his existence
it is the infrared eyesight
the eschewed reality
of a Danish psychiatrist believing there is
sunlight in Winter
or a born-again Southerner acknowledging that God
is a bathroom seat
or a dog believing that a tissue is food
or a man thinking his mistress walks glibly
down the shopping aisle
that Allen Ginsberg was a misogynist
because he had several affairs with women
or that Kurt Cobain died for our sins
or that red nail polish will hide your dirty nails
or that mice droppings can kill people
and artificial limbs dangle from New Zealand trees
where a daughter cries for love from your heart
and another wraps those limbs from
the pavement because she’s afraid
or your friend, when he tells you,
he can get it up for 20 minutes
or the sister who needs a psychiatrist
tells everyone else they need one
or that Michael Jackson was really a woman
taking piano lessons
artificial limbs are our girlfriends who never kiss us
the homeless man who smells of urine and wants to be our friend
the dead fish, which, when thrown back into the water,
doesn’t come to life
and the snarled reflections of a dead prostitute
who thinks he’s literary
the quaky sound of an old British queen who wittily tells you
“crossword puzzles are the aerobics of the soul”
or that Henry Miller has a stop sign between clauses
and Norman Mailer was a literary genius
and Susan Sontag’s language is more visual than Leni Riefenstahl
and that amusing intellectual conversation
will redeem a thousand wounds
that by placing limbs in the arms of someone
or painting their house
you have given them a heart
it dies when you leave them up a tree.
What kind of images did this poem evoke?
What kind of person would you describe the narrator?
Who would you recommend this poem to? Why?
Who were the people mentioned in the poem? Take some time to research them and share your results.
What smells does this poem evoke?
about the book
In Waitress at the Red Moon Pizzeria, Eleanor Levine has crafted a collection of poetry that will challenge her readers to view their pasts through a new lens: one that is untainted by regret, shame, or fear. She invites her readers to reflect on the honesty in the desire, love, and pain that have driven their lives by following the journeys of narrators using the same lens to view their own lives. A daughter worries about her father buried deep in the ground, alone except for the cicadas that cover the ground every seventeen years. A mother attends Wagnerian acupuncture lessons and struggles to maintain the sanctity of her children’s Jewish heritage even as it slips into the cracks of passing time. A sister laments the monotony of her brother’s chosen lifestyle but wonders if the commotion of her own life merits any higher worth. A woman faces rejection and acceptance from the women she desires as sexual and emotional companions. The quiet moments of life are on display in this collection that refuses to accept that the past is something to be ashamed of. Deeply personal and joyfully candid, Waitress at the Red Moon Pizzeria is an invitation to look beyond the mistakes and missteps that lead us to believe our histories might be nightmares.
- See more at: http://www.unsolicitedpress.com/store/p92/waitress#sthash.7HTChrdU.dpuf
To be honest, I hate punctuation. I still have to look up when to use a semicolon versus a regular colon. To this end, I try to keep my writings and the works that I am editing as simple as possible. I always try to use a little punctuation as possible.
In this day and age, it is a nuisance, a hindrance, and there are way too many people who don’t know how to use it. Of course for that instance, I am talking about texting, IMing, and social media. These mediums of communication are all about conveying as much as you can in as few words as possible. I think that it is only with the help of punctuation that this is possible. Texting is the most obvious example of how much scrutiny is needed when dealing with punctuation.
As part of the 20 and 30 year-olds that have grown up with cell phones, texting has become second nature, and I didn’t need a lesson on the usage of punctuation in texting. Older folks however, I think do. My mother, for example, had the annoying habit of using ellipsis to end her texts. For me, that means there is more to her text, or that she’s upset. For her, it didn’t mean anything, simply that there was a break in between the text and her next message (because she couldn’t fit it all in 160 characters). Texting conveys so much hidden meaning with so little actually being written.
What’s interesting to me is how texting language has started to transfer into the writing styles of authors yet. I’ve never seen a “k.” in a book, or an proper novel that lacks punctuation all together, but the multiple exclamation points or question marks are starting to show up. I think it will be interesting to see if the writing style changes continue to follow the texting generation.
This isn’t a question that I’ve come across before, and it made me pause before attempting to answer. Using correct gender pronouns and having the right to feel safe and non-discriminated against for self-identifying against the “norm” is a movement that has been gaining steam, and rightfully so. Without getting too political, it is absolutely ridiculous that people who feel they don’t fit male or female have to fight this hard to just be acknowledged.
I have read very few books that have gender neutral characters or content. I think there definitely is a need for it, as reading allows for a different viewpoint. But the question is should You be writing gender neutral content. I say fuck it, and write what you want.
I think that it is incredibly hard to tailor a story just for the sake of tailoring it. If the gender neutral parts come naturally, and fit in well with the plot line, great! That book can be written gender neutrally. But if you’re struggling with every line, and having to go off vision, then don’t do it. As a beginning writer, I think it is more important to write what you know, or write what YOU want to write about. Catering to invisible readers before you finish the book doesn’t make sense. If the book has a female’s perspective or a male’s perspective, or any other kind of perspective, then I think that that perspective will help further the plot of the book. There are 2 major reasons (I believe) for writing gender neutral content. The first is that is give a new perspective, something other authors haven’t explored yet. The second is that it attempts to raise or answer a question.
Again, there is definitely a need for gender neutral writing. Apart from actually talking to people who have gone through that process, reading content about being gender neutral is the best way to understand and accept it. But don’t go out of your way to do so. Sloppy and half-hearted content is worse than no content at all.
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