I've decided to put all my work online. What follows is the first batch of my short stories, along with some notes about when and how they were written. More will be added as I convert them to digital format.
1985 - Present
Starting in about 1985, I began wandering around Mexico. I essentially lived half of each year there. During that time I wrote six novels and a handful of short stories.
1960 - 1985
In 1960, as a fresh-faced 21-year-old boy, I went off to Australia and then wandered through Asia and Africa. I returned to the U.S. in 1964 with my first novel strarted, then traveled some more through Central and South America, and in 1976 went wandering around the world again, this time with a bicycle. During these years I wrote my first five novels and a dozen or so short stories.
More will be added here as I transcribe them.
I began writing stories at age seven—little "books," actually, folded pieces of paper on which I scrawled sentences and drawings about magical cities. They have all vanished, unfortunately. The earliest story I still have I wrote at age 12. These are childish stories. The stories I wrote in my later teens, however, may have some merit, and are included here.
These stories (with the exception of "The Man Who Drank the Night") began appearing after my novels were published by FC2, and largely, I think, because my editors—Ron Sukenick and Curtis White—recommended my work to the various magazines. Since Ron and Curtis stepped down, I've mostly ignored the literary world. I've always been an Outsider, as Ron noted. The literary scene seems to be run by universities and their MFA programs. It's a bloodless world, I think, and rather boring. Real art is an exploration; it exists at the edge of the world, the edge of the known, the edge of the abyss where the great mysteries challenge everything we know. There's a touch of savagry there, a kind of brutal beauty. To experience that world is a perilous marvel...
"What use were breasts if they were hard? The world was hard enough, she said, and without this sensation of softness men were doomed: 'When women become hard, there is no hope.'"
Ofelia's Breasts was originally published in Black Ice
The Burning City
"It is only now that the meaning comes to her: knots of angry black people at corners, fires burning, rocks shattering windshields, a body beaten on a street...."
The Burning City was originally published in The Spitting Image (1996).
The Night Dreaming Alms Peddler and his Uncle in the Mirror
"You are never too old to learn, she said. Besides, you can play chess. I opened with a queen's gambit pawn...."
The Night-Dreaming Alms Peddler, written in about 1967, was published in Degenerate Prose: Writing Beyond Category (FC2/Black Ice Books, 1995)
"It is true that I am lost and alone, etc., a fatal condition, there is no escape..."
The Store was originally published in Black Ice #14
"I had thought I was alone, the village deserted...."
The Village was written in 1959, while I worked
on a fishing boat in the south seas. I was twenty years old. It was first published in the Santa Monica Review in 1995, thirty-six years later…
The Man Who Drank the Night
"Near a village in Borneo there lived a man with a tremendous thirst...."
The Man Who Drank the Night was written in 1963, in British North Borneo (now Sabah, Malaysia) where I ran a small mining company. It was published in Meanjin, the UCR literary magazine, a few years later.
"She is a pretty girl, of course. In the context of this story she must be pretty...."
Apertures was published in Flashpoint #2, in 1998.
Journey to Ethiopia
"The Carnival in Ethiopia began at one in the morning...."
Journey, one of my Ethiopian stories, was published in Flashpoint in 2001.
The Naked Detective
"The Naked Detective is clad only in the remnants of her profession...."
The Naked Detective was published in the Japanese literary magazine, Dead Sheep, in 2014..