In early 2012, Burrow Press released Fifteen Views of Orlando, a collection of fifteen linked stories by Orlando-based authors about Orlando. This year, Fifteen Views Volume II: Corridor includes Fifteen Views of Orlando II and Fifteen Views of Tampa back-to-back in 250 pages of goodness. Professors of mine Jocelyn Bartkevicius (editor of The Florida Review) and Pat Rushin (wrote the screenplay for the soon-to-be-released The Zero Theorem). It’s got Chris Wiewiora in it, Vance Voyles, and a whole bunch of great writers (of both the young and established varieties) in it.
“There is a sign. Welcome to Orlando it says. Underneath: The City Beautiful. There are shrubs and spongy St. Augustine grass on either side of that sign. There are trees, and there is sky, and a corridor of road in either direction so perfectly flat and straight that it looks like the perspective exercises the boy had been made to do in Art Class. There is a steady stream of cars and trucks, bass vibrations of engines that reverberate in the boy’s lungs and gut, and the smell of exhaust. The boy can sense houses nearby, but he can’t see or hear them.
Toward Orlando, maybe a mile, there is something that could be a highway exit ramp, and a sign for a gas station. Further, almost too far to see: a cluster of tall buildings. The boy takes a step past the welcome sign and says Orlando, then he backsteps and says Not Orlando. Orlando, Not Orlando.”
Fifteen Views Volume II: Corridor can be pre-ordered on the Burrow Press website here until March 28th 2013 for $16, after that it bumps up to $20. So far, I’m pretty sure it has the coolest cover art of any publication I’ve been a part of.
The windows turn from black to blue to orange to white and back to blue again. The boy cleans up, packs. The door is silent, and the boy waits until midnight. He wants to break down the door. He’s tried, once, to break down a door, just to practice in case he’d ever need to. In case of a fire, or something else dangerous. He couldn’t, and he hurt his shoulder, and this was when he was younger, so his father was angry. He sits by the frame. “Hey,” he says, “we have to go.” And he thinks that, if she doesn’t answer, then she doesn’t love him. She doesn’t, and then he thinks, if he doesn’t break down the door, then he doesn’t love her…”
“…Trish’s hand became sweaty and she squeezed it from Mark’s and wiped it on her pants and that’s when this pickup truck passed, whizzed by, and she noticed the What Would Jesus Do? bumper sticker, and the stop sign, and she heard this grinding sound, like a zipper opening up, only wetter, and then she held out her hand for Mark’s only to find vacant air…”
-Zone 3 Issue 26.2 (Fall 2011) is available for purchase through Small Press Distribution. There’s also a great pair of Sherman Alexie poem’s in the issue, which Zone 3 put online as a sample. It’s definitely a subscription-worthy issue.
“…Three million jumps in a year, less than two dozen deaths, Jenny tells you. Her breath is a prickle on the back of your ears. Only a couple were students, and none on a first time dive, she says. This is safe, she says. You feel only a little better. But then you think, if this is safe, then it’s worthless. It’s posturing…”
-The story is available online via The Good Men Project website. From their site: “The Good Men Project was founded by Tom Matlack in 2009 as an anthology and documentary film featuring men’s stories about the defining moments in their lives. The original, modest goal, was to tell stories about men that ‘changed the writer and changed the reader.’”
Fragmentation & Other Stories is an anthology of Florida writers writing about Florida published by Burrow Press. Contributing authors include Chris Heavener of Annalemma, Jonathan Kosik, Gene Albamonte, myself, and others.
“…there was a man selling sand sharks nearby, an old man with sunburn so bad that his face had turned hard and stiff, like clothing, or a second skin. He sat in a lawn chair and must have been there forever, because when Nick’s father bought one of the little ones from him, still alive, and the old man stood up to take his cash, there were pale stripes across his belly where his skin folded over itself and hid from the sun. Nick’s father carried the sand shark around on its fishing line, slapping its tail with his free hand so it spun around on its hook like a marionette…”
-The story was shared online in celebration of Shark Week 2011. The collection Fragmentation & Other Stories is available for purchase from Burrow Press’s website, or at various bookstores and shops in the Orlando area: Park Ave CDs, Culture Mart, Ginger Boutique, Little Joe’s Primrose Tattoo Parlor, and others.
“Seed” – Redivider, Fall 2010 (8.1)
“…There was shaky black and white footage of a woman standing behind a tree. She didn’t look very frightened, even though the tree offered little cover. She wore a light-colored sundress and her dark hair was short, in a bob. Regular gun reports sounded off in the background every two and a half seconds or so. They echoed the way guns do when they are fired from high places near buildings, vibrations ricocheting off concrete, like the crack of a whip…”
-Print issues and the full story are available from Redivider’s website.
“Eulogy for Maria Mamani, Fire-eater” – SmokeLong Weekly / SmokeLong Quarterly, November 2010
”…Maria would have found this, this ritual, ridiculous. All these people, she would have said. She would not have been able to remember your names…”
-Full story and interview available on SmokeLong, Nov. 2010.
“Potential Energy” – Roger, an art and literary magazine, Spring 2010
-Full story available online from Roger‘s website.
“Nightvision” – Our Stories, Summer 2010 (4.4)
-Full story available online from Our Stories.
“Bright And Loud And Then Gone“– Etude, Spring 2011
“…Everyone’s suffered a first-degree burn: minor damage to the skin, some redness and swelling, a little pain, a sunburn. A second-degree burn blisters and hurts a lot more. With a third degree burn, the reticular dermis and the fat and tissue beneath boils, creating a bubbly effect on the skin, massive inflammation and maybe exposure of sub dermal tissue, a “wet” look. A fourth degree burn is when a person is burned to the point of being at least partially destroyed, when the skin and tissue peels off the bone like meat left in a barbeque for hours, when entire body parts crumble at a touch, barely held together by the threads of their physical existence. Pain actually becomes a mercy—it speeds shock and unconsciousness. But fourth degree burns cut straight through the nerves, denying even that. Harlan had fourth degree burns…”
-Available online at Etude‘s website
“Oysters” – The G.W. Review, Spring 2010
“… ‘And if you’re really going to marry my wife, then this is my advice to you,’ I say. ‘Keep your friends. I mean it. Listen, I hope you two have the best little life together, I really do. I hope you never fight and you both grow old and wrinkly with each other and have old-people sex and when you’re a hundred and five you both die in a plane crash at the exact same instant. Really, I do. But keep your friends. Because if you two end, then she’s fine, she’s got people. But you…’”
-Spring 2010 issue available for purchase from The G.W. Review
“The Couple in Room 202B” – Red Wheelbarrow, 2008 National Edition
“… She pauses at the door. ‘You said ‘hours.’ Clark, have you been listening to them?’
For the second time, Clark jumps. ‘Hey,’ he says, and then he realizes that that isn’t an answer. ‘No,’ he lies…”
-2008 issue available for purchase from Red Wheelbarrow