Category: Short Stories
Willie Smith Review
Erasmus or one of those guys once said something like: When I have money, I buy books; if there’s any money left over, I buy food. Well, here’s biblio proof, in the shape of James Ross Kelly’s latest and loveliest collection of short stories AND THE FIRES WE TALKED ABOUT (title taken from a beautiful David Whited poem, the relevant passage from which is quoted on X. of the intro pages), that when I have money I buy books; if there’s any money left over, I buy a new sweater. This is some hot reading, kids. Buy a copy: it’ll keep you warm on those dreary chilly fall evenings when there are no ongoing debates to heat you up.Willie Smith, Poet, Novelist–Pacific Northwest raconteur
From page X. of the intro to And the Fires We Talked About by James Ross Kelly
This book is dedicated to the memory of my good friend, the poet David Lloyd Whited (1950-2015), who, not finding me home left this poem on my Smith-Corona in 1993.
Even the fish stories were out today
And the lies we told were truth one time
Before they cut the hills and butchered out the
Trout pond, all of us good looking clear-eyed boys
All of us searching for the right ax
And wondering if the bait that we had was the bait
Which they were biting on. Times like these
I’m just too busy to get to work
Times like these that the friends and the neighbors
Which we grew up with are telling us the
Summertime, in the wintertime, in the falling rain
Good stories and good kids, each of them good
And the fires we talked about
Are probably still burning up there on
That damn hillside.
A Man’s Voice–from And the Fires We Talked About
HE HANDED IT TO ME THEN, I DUNNO, how I did it—knew I shouldn’t, but I just sliced me a slice of fruit with the ol’ barlow knife while I was looking at a coiled up snake, who’d been talking to my woman.
Yes, damnit, I know I should have been suspect of a talking snake. Howsoever, first thing I know, I was making moonshine, skip and go naked foolin’ round til waay after midnight, every-night, everything seemed clear for a while, but trouble was I ended up havin’ to get-a-job, plus plow the farm and then the woman left, and I had to take care of the kids too, and keepin’ the house from fall’n apart.. No more huntn’ and fishin’ just makin’ mortgage payments for a farm I had been given free and clear long ago. Before the bank was even a notion, and it seems like there was a time when there was just plants and animals and clear blue sky, white clouds and the low and high blue flint hills and the woman had really just been a part of me that couldn’t no more leave than I could say anything bad about anything and having kids didn’t involve them growing up and killing each other. Back then I don’t ever remember screaming in the middle of the night either.
From Barnes and Noble
And the Fires We Talked About–Copyright © 2020 by James Ross Kelly
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used reproduced in any form by electronic or mechanical means without permission in writing from the author and UnCollected Press except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
UnCollected Press to publish Book of Short Stories in 2020
A Man’s Voice/A Woman’s Voice Published by Rue Scribe November 2019
A Man’s Voice/A Woman’s Voice November 2019
From: And the Fires We Talked About
by James Ross Kelly
Uncollected Press–176 pages
From Barnes and Noble
Three Day Pass by James Ross Kelly–published in Down in the Dirt Magazine
Follow the link below find my name and click to the story.
Above Lyman’s Riffle–by James Ross Kelly published at Fiction Attic
by James Ross Kelly
The old man’s house was falling down ten years after his death; twenty-years after, the whole south face of Lyman Mountain and Ernie’s place by the Rogue River, was divided up and there were expensive homes built at various river viewpoints and no notion of Ernest Lyman, who had lived there for almost a century—was in anyone’s mind. However, one year after he’d passed, on a hot August, dusk evening that was beginning to cool, I waited for the red glow down river and Vaux’s swifts darted through warm air and willows along the river. Swifts in the red day glow off in the west and evening light.
Go to Fiction Attic for the entire story: