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Tag Archives: fiction
g emil reutter’s first fiction release since 2008, Thugs, Con-Men, Pigs and More, has been released by Red Dashboard Press and is now available for purchase at Amazon.
Thaddeus Rutkowski, author of Haywire said of this collection:
“Reading these short, muscular stories by g emil reutter is like walking into the lives of good people who experience bad things. When trouble comes, these people do the best they can, but often it isn’t enough. Violence and heartbreak are just around the corner, and most of the stories end with a twist—perhaps the twist of a knife. As you keep reading, though, you find the humanity, community and even love in each difficult situation.”
Poet and critic Stephen Page said:
“These are stories that knock you back with short powerful jabs of empathy.”
To check out the book simply click this link: http://www.amazon.com/Thugs-Con-Men–Pigs-More-Reutter/dp/1502434873/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414853825&sr=8-1&keywords=thugs%2C+con+men%2C+pigs+and+more
Robert Milby, of Florida, NY has been reading his poetry in the Hudson Valley and beyond since March, 1995. He hosts 3 Hudson Valley poetry series: Florida Library Poetry Café in Florida, NY, Noble Coffee Roasters in Campbell Hall, NY and Mudd Poets Poetry series at Mudd Puddle Café, New Paltz, NY. He has been published widely in several dozen magazines and 12 anthologies. He and Carl Welden are the poetry and Theremin duo, Theremin Ghosts! haunting the Hudson Valley each October since 2003. Robert wrote the column Poets Comitatus: Dead Poets of the Hudson Valley, for Heyday Magazine. He was also co-founder and a board member of the Northeast Poetry Center’s College of Poetry workshop series at Seligmann Estate in Sugar Loaf, NY. Robert’s first book of poetry is Ophelia’s Offspring (FoothillsPublishing, 2007). His 2nd book, Victorian House: Ghosts and Gothic Poems—publication…still… pending. He is the author of several chapbooks and cds. Most recent chapbook: Crow Weather (Fierce Grace Press, 2009). http://www.robertmilby.com/
Interview with g emil reutter
GER: Will Nixon has said you are the hardest working poet in the Hudson Valley. Tell us about the Hudson Valley poetry scene and how you find the time to host and read at its many venues?
RM: The Hudson Valley poetry scene stretches, from Westchester County, up past Albany, NY. This is excluding the NYC poetry circuit (is far too large and diverse to discuss here). Albany’s poetry scene is massive as well, but I am more familiar with it.
There is a strange absence of younger poets today. I began reading my poems and the works of the greats, in public, back in March, 1995, when I was turning 25. I sought out readings all over the Valley, and found that there was a great variety of poets, yet, there tended to be large and consistent groups of of high school, college, grad students, and in general, young poets in addition to the prevalent middle-aged and elders.
After 6 months of reading at as many poetry open mics as I could(in galleries, coffeehouses, cafes, bookstores, libraries, bars) I began hosting a poetry series with a group of young poets at The Beatnik Hollow in Wappingers Falls, NY. My travelling group (poets I had met around the Valley in spring and summer of ’95), Omniscient Omnibus, gradually became well-known as an official group of poets with aims of publication and featured readings. We decided to look for venues to host readings at. I found The Beatnik Hollow, having heard about on a radio broadcast.
The poetry scene itself was rich and exciting in the pre-Internet, and cell phone days. The ‘Net was relatively new back in 1995–many did not have access to it in my region. We drew up fliers by hand; folks did them on computers, and we hung them around the region. There were not as many poetry readings back then in the mid-lower Hudson, but those well-attended readings, were solid. These days, we have more readings in the Hudson Valley–many are excellent, but often, there are no young poets, whatsoever. This is not only unsettling, but also serving to be a problem now, and a crisis in the future. Without the freshness, innovation, intellect, and passion of the young, poetry readings become too relaxing and dry up. Not to say that older poets are not or can’t be exciting. But often, in the Hudson Valley region, there is a lack of intensity that is crucial for poetry readings to thrive. That lack is due to the absence of young poets.
I have hosted 26 poetry series since September, 1995; 27 if I count my current co-hosting of the venerable Calling All Poets series at the Howland Center in Beacon, NY. 4 years ago I was hosting 8 regular series. No young poets were–only middle-aged and geriatric poets. Currently, I host 3, and I co-host the Calling all Poets series. I have the time because I do freelance during the day, and interview people for a small, local arts paper; teach workshops, in addition to hosting readings and setting up readings for myself and many others, all over the Hudson Valley, NYC, and beyond.
I am a grass-roots poet. I “hold” a library card. I buy used books at book sales. New books at indie bookstores, when able. I do not have a Bachelor’s Degree. Younger poets need to put in their biography which poets have stirred their hearts and minds, taught them how to see the world; venerate Freedom and Love; not where they got the MA, MFA , or PhD, in English.
Why does it matter, when a poet is pouring out her or his heart on stage, which degree they “hold,” or where they went to college to buy the expensive degree(s)? Degrees are more important in secret societies or some job interviews, not to determine a poets’ credibility–only they can do that, by sharing their work in public and with publishers.
RM: The Romantics (English, French, German Russian, Italian) and the Victorians, and Pre-Raphaelites are my chief influences for poetry.
I respect the Dadaists, Avant-Guard, Surrealists, the Beats, the New York School, but do not rely on them, nor do I return that often to them.
Modern poets such as Teasdale, Yeats(who was a late Victorian then, a modernist) Millay, Wallace Stevens, Vachel Lindsay, DH Lawrence, Ezra Pound, Maxwell Bodenheim, Amy Lowell, Robinson Jeffers, Hilda Doolittle, Dylan Thomas, Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, Heaney, McGuckian, Paul Durcan, Michael Longley, Carl Sandburg, Hart Crane, Harry Crosby, Rilke, TS Eliot, Spender, Milosz Frost, Ransom, C. Day-Lewis, MacLeish, Merrill Moore, Anne Sexton, Lorca, Gottfried Benn, Robert Lowell, Philip Larkin, Fernando Pessoa, Theodore Roethke, Randall Jarrell, WC Williams, Delmore Schwartz, Maire Brennan, Harry Chapin, Nick Drake, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, and others.
Novelists: Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Wilkie Collins, the Brontes, Anthony Trollope, Jane Austen, George Elliot, Victor Hugo, Flaubert, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, and others of the late 18th, and entire 19th century are my chief novelist interests.
Modern Novelists: Ian McEwan, Arturo Perez Reverte, Hesse, Kafka, Umberto Eco, Tracy Chevalier, Steinbeck, Agatha Christie, Caleb Carr.
GER: There was a recent article asking where the poets have gone on social issues. You consider yourself a political and social writer of social consciousness. Where do you fit in the modern poetry scene and are poets addressing social issues ?
RM: I began, when I started writing poetry ( June, 1987) and remain a political and social-conscious poet. I feel that my political poetry is effective and often a vanguard for younger poets to heed. No. There are not enough poets writing political and socially-relevant work. Public schooling, main stream mass-media, and electronics are the reason younger people/poets do not engage. How ironic!
GER: Your first full book of poetry Ophelia’s Offspring was released in 2007. Share with us how the collection developed?
RM:Ophelia’s Offspring(Foothills Publishing, June 2007) is a sampling of my diverse interests(Literature, politics, social consciousness, ecology, male-female relationships, family, gothic, ghosts, life and death matters. I did not write specifically for that manuscript, per se; rather, I compiled older and newer poems, such as one written when Clinton was in his 2nd term, several penned as a result of US politics during and after 9/11, Katrina, a near fatal car accident I suffered while rushing to host a poetry reading series back in November, 1995, a few about ex-girlfriends, one about an ex-fiancé, etc.)
GER: You have said you see a decided lack of originality in a lot of modern poetry. Please expand on this?
RM: I see a lack of originality in modern poetry for one reason and one reason only: Younger and older poets are not reading the Classics and contemporary poets to the degree that I hoped they would. A poet needs to study the classics, and explore contemporary poets.to shape their own vox as a writer.
GER: As a poet who performs frequently in the Hudson Valley scene and who tours other states what value do you place on performance?
RM: I enjoy reading in states outside of my home state, New York. Performance is vital. To paraphrase the great Harry Chapin: “You must seduce the audience over and over.” It is important to keep the crowds’ interest. A poet can connect with his or her audience in many ways. It is up to the novice and/or younger poet to go to readings and study the poet onstage. Take notes if need be.
GER: Please share with us your experience as a touring poet?
RM:My experiences as a touring poet, whether each October with Thereminist, Carl Welden performing as Theremin Ghosts! Visiting colleges such as Vassar, SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Oswego, etc. An alternative community in upstate VT, Boston, Cambridge, Lennox, Mass. Sites in CT, NJ, NYC, Saratoga Springs, Long Island, Northeastern PA, have all enriched my writing, mind, and purpose as a poet–to show that poetry is crucial to the human condition, now more than ever in America.
Tell us about the collaboration that brought about the book Ghost Prints?
RM: Ghost Prints. I am friends with Hudson Valley horror novelist, Jason Gehlert. I have had him as a featured reader on several occasions headlining my poetry venues, interviewed him for the Delaware and Hudson CANVAS(Bloomingburg, NY) and he thanked me by inviting me to contribute some of my ghost and gothic poems and prose poems to Ghost Prints(Black Bedsheet Books, Antelope, California, 2010)
GER: You currently lead the Northeast Poetry Center’s College of Poetry Workshop. What do you learn as a workshop leader and what are the benefits to poets who attend?
RM: The Northeast Poetry Center’s College of Poetry workshop and readings series was founded in early 2009 by poet William Seaton, poet and bookstore owner Steven Calitri, and myself, to further the development and celebration of the written and spoken word in the Hudson Valley, NY. We operated out of Calitri’s then-successful/now defunct indie bookstore, Baby Grand Books in downtown Warwick, NY. One of our Board members and major supporter–was peformance poet, educator, fiction writer (and good friend of Musician/Singer-Songwriter, Patti Smith) Janet Hamill. We had a successful run of workshops, famous guest poets such as Ed Sanders(of the Fugs), academic Robert Kelly, Beat and Beat-influenced poet the late Janine Pommy-Vega, poet and owner of the Bowery Poetry Club, Bob Holman, Irish poet, Eamon Grennan, The NPC/College of Poetry has served its purpose and is coming to an end in early December, 2014, after a 5 year run.
Not every poet would enjoy workshops, but I find, after leading many of them since the late 1990′s, that they can be a great resource, inspiration, and motivation for novice and younger poets to develope their crafts, enjoy supportive feedback, and find their voice as a poet. Older poets who may need some brushing up on skills, outreach, and credibility will find this at good workshops. A successful poetry workshops inspires, teaches, and helps to discover courage and encourage freedom in the young, novice, and older poets.
RM: Current poets: Seamus Heaney(recently deceased) WS Merwin, and several others of international reknown. Currrent and former NY state poets who consistently inspire and influence: Skip Leon, Ken Van Rensselear, Carl Welden, Arthur Joseph Kushner, Steve Hirsch, Bonnie Law, William Seaton, Guy Reed, Janet Hamill, Christopher Wheeling, Adrianna Delgado, Barbara Adams, Irene O’Garden, Christopher P. Gazeent, Ken Holland, Chris Wood, Rebecca Schumejda, Mona Toscano, Haigan Smith, Dominic Melita, Mauro Parisi, Mike Jurkovic, Jim Kenny, Glen River, Jim Eve, Glenn Werner, Raphael Kosek, Will Nixon, Frank Boyer, Marina Mati, Gordon Riggs, Roberta Gould, Teresa Costa, Donald Lev(of Home Planet News), David Kime, Walter Worden, Cheryl Rice, Wynn Klosky, Led Klosky, Ted Gill, Franklin Schneider, John Douglas. These local poets and the aforementioned famous poets inspire me with their humanity and courage.
GER: What projects are you currently working on?
RM: Current projects: Theremin Ghosts! Poetry and Theremin performance with Carl Welden, who plays Theremin, to support my ghost poems, and Christopher Wheeling–Geist host. We are on the 12th Annual Hudson Valley, NY Tour, October, 2014. I read the ghost poems, Welden plays Theremin in front of crowds of all sizes.
Working with Calling All Poets, Inc. as a poetry series co-host and Board Member. The CAPs poetry series, one of the oldest in the Hudson Valley, meets 8pm on First Fridays at Howland Center, Main St. Beacon, NY. We are over 15 years old, and host at a popular reading site in the Valley, Howland Center (historic landmark, 1872).
Also, I am working on a novel about French poet, Baudelaire. Hosting my three, regular poetry series at Mudd Puddle Cafe, in New Paltz, NY, The Florida Public Library in Florida, NY, and Noble Coffee Roasters, in Campbell Hall, NY. And daily writing: journal, poems, fiction.
The poetry of Robert Milby is forthcoming in the Autumn 2014 edition of The Fox Chase Review
-g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa. (USA) http://gereutter.wordpress.com/
Born in Bikaner, India, on August 18th 1965, Vinita Agrawal did her schooling in Kalimpong and Kolkata and college from Baroda. She was is a Gold Medallist in M.A. Political Science from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda and earned the UGC scholarship in College. She has worked freelance as a writer and researcher ever since but has remained a poet at heart. Her poetry has been published in print and online journals on countless different occasions so far, the prominent publications among them being Asiancha, Constellations, raedleafpoetry, The Fox Chase Review, Spark, The Taj Mahal Review, Open Road Review, CLRI, Kritya.org, Touch- The Journal of healing, Museindia, Everydaypoets.com, Mahmag World Literature, The Criterion, The Brown Critique, Twenty20journal.com, Sketchbook, Poetry 24, Mandala and others which include several international anthologies. Her poem was nominated for the Best of the Net Awards 2011 by CLRI. She received a prize from MuseIndia in 2010. Her poem Thoughts won a prize in the Wordweavers Contest 2013. Her debut collection of poems titled Words Not Spoken published by Sampark/Brown Critique was released in November 2013. http://www.vinitawords.com/
Interview with g emil reutter
GER: You are a writer of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. What draws you to each of these forms?
VA: I am first and foremost a writer of poetry. I write so much of it that sometimes I think it’s a malaise with me. It’s my first love across all genres of writing. I write fiction occasionally – because some ideas simply cannot be expressed as a poem. They need a longer narrative and only prose will suffice to portray them adequately. Compared to fiction, I enjoy writing non-fiction more. I enjoy writing about spirituality, culture and travel, enjoy researching my subject and creating something that throws more light on it. That gives me great satisfaction.
GER: How did you come to being a poet?
VA: I’ve been writing poems since I was very young – as far back as five. I think my dad has some of my childhood verses saved up somewhere. I was good at English literature in school and received awards regularly in the subject. I contributed to school and college journals and other in house publications. But most of the poetry that I wrote till my early twenties was an outpouring of the angst of growing up and about teenage crushes. It had no literary worth at all. I made a bonfire of those diaries when I re read them at a later stage in life and realized how atrocious they were.
Then there was a long phase of remaining a closet poet. I wrote regularly but what I considered as reasonably good poetry was rejected by editors as worthless. It was then I realized writing poetry was not merely the outpouring of emotions, rather it was a serious art of conveying the deepest meanings of life and portraying its most profound perspectives using the bare minimum of words. Because of this realization, I started reading poetry seriously. I concluded that if you didn’t know what the art was all about, how were you going to experiment with it?
I read the classical poets like Byron, Keats, Wordsworth, Whitman and Eliot. I read works of the newer poets like Neruda, Paz and contemporary Indian poets like Jayanta Mahapatra, Nissim Ezekiel and Kamala Das. I have to confess that Neruda and Mahapatra blew me away! ” God!,” I told myself, “That is how I want to write!” I was officially bitten by the bug; writing poetry became a compulsion, an obsession…a desperate need. For me personally, it took the lid off the pressures of existence.
VA: As I mentioned in my previous reply, I’ve been majorly influenced by most great poets. There’s something to learn from each one of them. I learnt extravagance of imagery and emotions from Neruda, learnt pinpointed poignant succinctness from Mahapatra and the art of making guileless womanly confessions from Kamala Das. I’ve also been very inspired by the works of RUMI, Vikram Seth, Jane Hirshfield and Seamus Heaney.
I must also acknowledge the vast and varied influence that every good poet has on me. Sometimes I read a great piece of contemporary poetry and I don’t even know who’s written it but I want to treasure the experience of reading it.
Rather than a poet in totality, a poem per se has a greater impact on me. In that sense I get influenced by all good work. Reading a well written poem makes me write something worthwhile too. You could say that epiphany is my taskmaster!.
GER: Tell us about Words Not Spoken and how the collection came about?
VA: Words Not Spoken is my first collection of poems. It is published by Brown Critique/Sampark India and was released in November 2013.
The book is a potpourri of poems written over a considerable stretch of time. Some poems go back as far as 1997. I decided to include them in this collection because I could still relate to them emotionally. Besides, this being my first published collection, I did not want to miss any step of my poetic journey.
The poems represent my perceptions of life with all its highs and lows, troughs and crests… They trace experiences of loss and grief, pride and joy, betrayal and pain from a very personal perspective. Some poems express my awareness of the injustices I see around me but mostly they centre around the intensely peculiar dimensions of womanhood – its sentimental treasures and curious travails.
Over the years I have discovered that pain has a penumbra of numbness attached to it. And that sooner or later, we choose this numbness to the acuteness. It is this invisible fine shift towards a state of stillness that inspires me to write. Endurance, in any form, is at the core of my writing.
GER: Please tell us about your work as a freelance writer and researcher?
VA: Yes…I’ve changed many cities in the course of my life and therefore was unable to take up a regular job. So I decided to work freelance and work from home. Writing is a profession that allows you that freedom. I relish being able spend time at home and yet be fruitfully engaged with writing. It has its limitations of course but if you’re seeking to balance your personal and professional life than it really is the best option.
As freelance writer I’ve written development based articles, features on gender issues, penned middles for newspapers, written passionately about the Tibet issue, done interviews with prominent personalities in the spiritual/academic field like Robert Thurman, the Official Oracle of the Dalai Lama and even top Defence personnel! God knows how that happened!
As a researcher, I presented two papers on Buddhism at international conferences in Sri Lanka and Vaishali under the Sakyadhita Banner. I have karmic leanings towards the Buddha and his teachings and have taken up researching his life and thoughts independently but with expert guidance from Geshes and scholars. I have to confess though, that I’m very slow with all this work that I’m doing. It’s born out of passion and an academic thirst. It has no deadlines or consolidate demands for being in the market so I take things easy with this aspect of my work.
The good thing that I see in doing it at all, apart from the fact them I read voraciously because of it, is that it puts me in touch with wonderful people and brilliant scholars. I enjoy interacting with them a lot. Sometimes I get to visit awesome ancient places in the course of my self-sponsored research. Anuradhapura, Vaishali and Sarnath are two places that come to my mind in particular.
VA: Scientific case studies carried out at the Emory University, USA, indicate that compassionate meditation enhances our mental and physical well-being. It creates greater connectedness amongst members of the society and thereby reduces the stress levels. I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Lobsang Tenzin Negi, director of the Emory-Tibet Partnership at the university when he was on a visit to Delhi. He pointed out that meditation is an antidote to stress. It does the exact opposite of what stress does to your body. Stress aggravates your adrenalin levels, meditation brings it down, stress shoots up your blood pressure, meditation controls it, stress stretches your nerves and meditation calms them.
Meditating on compassion that is, love for all, is enormously beneficial in fighting stress.
Indeed compassion is a basic human value and need not be practiced in the context of any particular religion. Meditation helps us to develop this positive emotion within ourselves
All these positive emotions, reared through regular meditation, have great beneficial impact on our health. Becoming kind from within changes our behavior towards others and this in turn makes others around us kinder in return.
GER: You wrote a piece, Women on the Path: The Transnational Sangha’, Awakening Buddhist Women, share with us your thoughts on the awakening? VA:
“Free am I, oh so free am I
By means of the three crooked things:
The mortar, pestle, and my crooked husband! “
This is one of the verses written by a female disciple of the Buddha more than 2500 years ago. The lines epitomize the sense of freedom which spiritual awakening brings into women’s lives who otherwise find themselves in the suffocating grind of domestic life 24×7. The message is as relevant today as it was all those years ago because basically, nothing has changed.
In the quest for enlightenment, men and women are equal. Emancipation is a matter of the heart—so why should it matter whether the individual who seeks it is a man or a woman? In reality however, women face many obstacles in their endeavors towards self-realization—more, perhaps, than in any other area of their lives.
My paper on Awakening Buddhist Women took an in-depth view of the worldwide efforts being made by women to seek a quality space for themselves. It included case studies of women on the spiritual path from different socio-economic, cultural and geographical backgrounds.
GER: Tell us about the poetry scene in your home town and in India at this point in time?
VA: Oh it’s rife with creativity and inspired writing! Of course you have the section of bad poets who write mediocre stuff and pass it off as art! But India does have its share of brilliant poets who’ve been published internationally, whose work has been evaluated by editors of world class journals accepted, published and occasionally even glorified.
That is very heartening to all aspiring and upcoming poets! It sets a benchmark of good writing standards and chisels ambitions to a fine tip.
Most cities organize poetry readings and literary festivals that provide a good platform for poetic interactions and also a good exposure for one’s writing. So many literary journals have mushroomed in the country! I just wish that the better ones amongst them continue to maintain a good standard of writing.
I must also mention here the amazing strength and depth of regional literature in India. My country has over 700 languages! So you can imagine the range of literature that sprouts from different corners of the country. It’s quite fascinating.
GER: Do you perform your poetry and if so what are the benefits to reading in front of a live audience?
VA: Yes I do. In fact I love doing live readings. It gives you an opportunity to connect with the pulse of your readers. Gives you instant feedback about your work and the joy of seeing your words settle in people’s hearts. The experience is quite matchless!
I’ve had youngsters approach me with endearing trepidation after my readings asking if they could keep in touch with me…I’ve had older, established poets come forth and comment on what they see as strengths in my poetry. These are all the delightful fall outs of live readings!
Also, when you read live, you portray not just your work but the entire ethos to which you belong. The way you dress, the way you carry yourself and the way you interact with fellow poets also helps to convey your sensibilities as a poet. It’s a wholesome experience that goes beyond the scope of mere words.
GER: What projects are you currently working on?
VA: As a poet, I have two manuscripts ready for publication. A couple of publishers have approached me but I am yet to make up my mind about how to go about it. I also want to bring out my collection of very short poems. You will probably see a lot of me in 2015 – I hope that’s a good thing!
I’m also helping one of my very dear colleagues to organize a top quality literary fest in the spring of 2015. Hopefully it will turn out to be one of its kind!
On the research front, I’m in the process of writing a book about Buddha’s journey from Bodh Gaya to Sarnath i.e. from his place of enlightenment to the place where he gave his very first sermon. The book is titled Two Full Moons. But it’s in its nascent stages as of now because it requires immense and intense research and my avenues are limited.
In general, poetry keeps me in its grip all the time. Like I said earlier, it’s a malaise…but with a sweet, dervish-like sting to it.
You can read the poetry of Vinita Agrawal in The Fox Chase Review at these links: http://www.foxchasereview.org/12AW/VinitaAgrawal.html http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/s14vagrawal.html
-g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa. (USA) https://gereutter.wordpress.com/
Beauty by Nathalie Anderson http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/w14nanderson.html
Work Song by Jose Angel Araguz http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/s14-jaaraguz.html
Philadelphia Hipster by Peter Baroth http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/s14-pbaroth.html
Cry of my empty womb by Salvwi Prasad http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/s14sprasad.html
Spring at Dames Quarter by Russell Reece http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/w14rreece.html
Martyr’s Day by Dennis Daly http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/w14ddaly.html
Sleeping on the Couch by George Wyelsol http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/w14gwyelsol.html
Bed by Beverly Romain http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/s14-bromain.html
Poetry by: Charles Carr, Bibhas Roy Chowdhury/Kiriti Sengupta, Noah Cutler, Emari DiGiorgio , James Guth, Ben Heins, David Livewell, Maria Masington, Laren McClung, Kelly McQuain, Robert Milby, John Richard Smith, Changmin Yuan, Jason Wright
Fiction by: Dennis Lawson and Danny Johnson