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Donal Mahoney: New Short Fiction

Donal Mahoney: New Short Fiction

Doing Laundry on a Farm in the Fifties   Grandma Gretchen’s in her rocker and she has something to say. She tells a visitor, a young man from the city, if he plans to write a book about life on a farm in the Fifties, he likely has a lot to learn. She knows about that life because she was there. She says he needs to know about the little things as well as the big things if the book…

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The Letter

The Letter

Response to a Letter Recently Received Fiction by Donal Mahoney   Dear Margaret, Your life as explained in your letter recently received is very difficult to read. It’s been 40 years since we last saw each other or talked. Most of your problems I knew nothing about. Bits and pieces I somehow became aware of over the years. One of your brothers or sisters may have mentioned something they had heard at Christmas or on Father’s Day, but they were…

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Foundations

Foundations

We have new poetry, fiction and a screenplay this month at Spinozablue. Donal Mahoney brings us the first two, while Charles Tarlton brings us the last. *     *     * Speaking of film, Martin Scorcese pens a wonderful essay in the latest New York Review of Books, entitled The Persisting Vision: Reading the Language of Cinema.” A short excerpt: “Or consider the famous Stargate sequence from Stanley Kubrick’s monumental 2001: A Space Odyssey. Narrative, abstraction, speed, movement, stillness, life, death—they’re all…

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Donal Mahoney: The Deli on Granville

Donal Mahoney: The Deli on Granville

Patsy Foley Was Roly-Poly in 1947   It may have been the devil himself who prompted the kids in my schoolyard back in 1947 to chant “Patsy Foley’s roly-poly from eating too much ravioli.” At first, no one could remember who started the chant. Patsy, a sweet and ample child, was in the third grade. As happenstance would have it, I was in that same third grade, infamous already as the only boy wearing spectacles in our class. After I…

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Summer’s Eve

Summer’s Eve

June brings us poetry by Neil Ellman and a short story by Donal Mahoney. Summer is around the corner. Will there be dancing in the streets? *     *     *     *     * Reading a fascinating book about Occupied Paris. Alan Riding’s And the Show Went On. About 110 pages into it. He tells the story of heroism and collaboration in France, the Resistance, the complicit Vichy government, the attempt to flee the horrors of the Third Reich. For me, World War…

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Donal Mahoney: Paddy Murphy’s Wake

Donal Mahoney: Paddy Murphy’s Wake

Paddy Murphy’s Wake   The priest had been there earlier and the rosary was said and relatives and friends in single file were offering condolences. “Sorry for your troubles,” one by one they said, bending over Maggie Murphy, the widow silent in her rocker, a foot or so from Paddy, resplendent in his casket, the two of them much closer now than they had ever been. A silent guest of honor, Paddy now had nothing more to say, waked in…

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May Days and Freedom Walks

May Days and Freedom Walks

Spinozablue welcomes the poetry and fiction of A.J. Huffman and Charles Tarlton, plus new work by returning champions Donal Mahoney and Steve Klepetar. *     *     *     *     * I’m currently reading a fantastic history by Eric Foner, The Fiery Trial.  It’s a biography of Lincoln in a sense, but focuses on his relationship to slavery and its abolition. Two hundred pages in, I’m reminded of just how far we’ve come, and how incredibly, tragically long it took us to get…

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Donal Mahoney: Behind the Barn With Carol Ann

Donal Mahoney: Behind the Barn With Carol Ann

Behind the Barn with Carol Ann     Back in 1957, kissing Carol Ann behind the barn in the middle of a windswept field of Goldenrod with a sudden deer watching was something special, let me tell you. Back then, bobby sox and big barrettes and ponytails were everywhere.   Like many farmers, Carol Ann’s father had a console radio in the living room, and every Saturday night the family would gather ‘round with bowls of ice cream and listen…

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After the Ides of March

After the Ides of March

April showers us with new poetry and fiction by Cameron Gearen, Damien Healy and Donal Mahoney. *     *     * I’m currently reading a very interesting bio of Cleopatra, by Stacy Schiff, who also wrote a fine biography of Ben Franklin. She has range. Cleopatra is a difficult subject for any biographer, but Ms. Schiff does a good job trying to sort truth from legend, and admits when she can’t be sure about certain events or years in the life of…

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Donal Mahoney: It’s Almost Sunday Morning

Donal Mahoney: It’s Almost Sunday Morning

      It’s Almost Sunday Morning          In the summer of 1956, any Saturday at midnight, especially when the moon was out and the stars were bright, you would be able to see Grandma Groth sitting on her front-porch swing waiting for her son, Clarence, a bachelor at 53, to make it home from the Blind Man’s Pub. He would have spent another evening quaffing steins of Heineken’s.          Many times that summer before I went away to college, I’d be strolling…

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