The 'we' you find anywhere in my essays is the conventional editorial we, the we of most social commentary, the we that sets before it, as a rhetorical strategy, you and I, not solely the collective plural. I am not separate from you, another form of the I and thou we all need to understand … Continue reading The Mask He Wears [Flash Fiction]
A Printed Copy of a Download from a Website by an Editor-in-Chief of another Web Journal Dedicated to Being a High Literary Review I came across this from a friend who was present at the cafe meeting called by his Editor-in-Chief. My friend has for some time now been considering leaving the web journal … Continue reading What Then Should This Title Be? [Flash Fiction]
Charging someone with double homicide for killing a pregnant woman is an anti pro-choice ploy to get us conditioned to accepting a fetus as someone with rights independent of the mother. A bar tender does not have the right to refuse a pregnant woman a drink. Refusing a pregnant woman a drink in a bar … Continue reading Double Homicide? [Flash Fiction]
I do not want to discuss what a literary review is, although I should--discuss, not want to; I still do not want to discuss what one could be because I am only publishing this review for those who understand, and it would be lie in this context to say I am trying to convince anyone … Continue reading A Preacher in Search of a Choir
She says my soul is her blank slate, a clay tablet for her to impress. She passes through my heart again, what she isn't sure she believes. I call out her name in my dreams. I wake waiting for her to respond. She continues to hammer her tacks into my head. I ask her to stop. She says I never listen. jvr
The essays I have written. For as long as I can recollect having written essays. Fragmentation staved. Not starved. The duration of time involved is quite long already. Now it is nearly the fourth decade of writing. As if I were in some kind of solitary confinement. Everyone is in solitary in their skin. Tennessee … Continue reading Critical Condition
Pro Choice is Pro Freedom; this is self-evident. The right to choose is a human right; this too is a truth undeniable, unless one wishes to argue in favor of tyranny, oppression and general inhumanity. Human Rights are Women's Rights, universally and unilaterally. With respect for the self-evidency of the former truths, a woman's rights … Continue reading Pro-Choice is an Argument Broad and Variegated
He dedicated the following "to [his] . . . father, Dylan Thomas and Montaigne." That was it. That was all he said at the head after the title, herein the same as the entitlement to this presentation: "Centers and Circles; Post and Lintel." I do insist that the kind of critique or commentary or exposition … Continue reading Where Every Stream Begins
The prophet's message is prophecy. What profit in the prophet's message? The medium is the message, no? The prophet's message has been mediated by the divine. Mary is a prophet of Christianity. Islam and Judaism do not have their women prophets? Is this true? Mary is contacted by Gabriel. She is told what we repeat … Continue reading What Profits the Prophet in his Prophecy?
Everything works together toward one single idea here, and that a new anthropology is due. I understand that anthropos is ancient Greek for man and so anthropology is the study of Man; or, as we once held blanketly, all human beings. Our focus might have been cultural, ethnic, evolutionary; nonetheless, it was anthropology, and … Continue reading Humanology
I There is no horror from the past we cannot aggrandize in our cultural blindness. I'm not here to insist that Americans are the only blind people in the world. However, knowing that blindness is a pan human condition regardless of the sightedness or lack thereof in any person of any people does not lessen … Continue reading Hysterical, Historical
I used to make corn meal pancakes when I was younger and still in love with corn muffins. In fact, I used to make the batter for muffins only a tiny bit thinner or sometimes the same consistency to pour onto a hot cast iron frying pan greased with butter. The medial 'r' disappearing in … Continue reading Journals, Journeys and Jonnycakes [Short Fiction of a Kind]
I do not want to debate the merits of my tradition, one I have been calling the Western Tradition for as long as I have had the acumen to critically read and write about this tradition when I was university student and since. I do not want to get into contemporary American diatribes or delusions … Continue reading A Review in the West
Now and then, here and there, in and out; binary inclusion, exclusion, dynamic duality rather than static dichotomy?
A literary web journal dedicated to the literary essay . . . dedicated to the proposition that all of humanity is created equal . . . that our differences do not outweigh our similarities or our sameness, even if they do out number them. What can any of this mean? I imagine there are some who … Continue reading Casting Words, Casting Stones
We cannot continue to pander to our corrupting need for ease--the manner by which we turn simplicity into the simplistic is also the one that turns from necessary complexity because we misunderstand this complexity to be complication. I do not want to sound like some reactionary nut who is going to spout the virtues, if … Continue reading Standardized Tests and Privilege Systems
I can spell cannot be the call out of our literacy. No it cannot. A, B, C, D and so on, yes, Alpha, Beta . . . what next? I do not mis-spell my name and so I say, I am proud of my literacy? Reciting the alphabet is not in itself spelling, and there … Continue reading Being Literate, Literate Being
Letting bureaucrats manage pedagogy is a lot like letting them and lawyers manage health care. But, diatribes herein restrained, I know a woman who is currently in a position teaching ESOL where the new mandates from the state, and the newer administration where she is employed, have the program she works for under fire from … Continue reading Managing Pedagogy
Facts in themselves are never knowledge; knowledge in itself is never wisdom. Only wisdom will make you happy. This is not can; it is will, at least on the level of belief. I believe the former statements to be true, and I do hold these truths to be self-evident. Facts are a matter of arithmetic. … Continue reading The Pursuit of Happiness
No one I know knows how to know, only what to do to appear as if they do.
I wish I knew how to say more than I do about what I should say--and there are shoulds, regardless of how much the adolescent in us wants desperately to cling to the idea that there are no shoulds, another vain attempt at dismissing standards of quality to insure, although falsely, that everyone can be an artist, … Continue reading Art Must Be Useless
I usually do not know what I think until I write.
Why do we imagine that an overall decline in literacy, the fact that almost half of our high school graduates leave high school reading below or seriously below 12th grade, does not affect every single job performed day in day out everywhere in America? It affects how police, firemen, bank tellers, bus drivers, elementary and … Continue reading Literacy Means Civilized
Language does not suffer the limitations we want to heap on on it. The fault is not in our words, but in ourselves.
Most ESOL students will not complete the second language course they have enrolled in. A significant per cent--nearing 20 to 25--will not even show up the first day. Some say it is because the classes I am referring to are free. Humans being what they are--who they are--we cannot value what we cannot put a … Continue reading All Too Human
Reading John Lahr's lucid, eloquent, articulate, informative, revelatory, endearing, passionate, loving, measured, beautiful, literary biography of Tennessee Williams and am loving it, enjoying it, treasuring it, waiting for it night in and night again, or day in day out on the train, on a bench by the bay near my home looking out over to … Continue reading The Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh
He says so much, writes so much . . . he forgets so much. Who is he? You ask again. I am he as well as I am I as well as I am we or you, the mirror appears again in recollection. How often do I refer to me as He? But what … Continue reading A Story Once by Another Name, Now Just as Effective? [Flash Fiction]
In his essay, "On Books," Michel de Montaigne opens with a precise concision of the essay form, whereby he writes that he has "no doubt that . . .[he] often speaks of things which are better treated by masters of the craft, and with more truth," whereby he end-stops the line with a period, only … Continue reading On Essays and Essaying
If The Essays speak for themselves, then who or what does Montaigne speak for, yes, a question begotten not made of the inquiry into what an essay does, what the essays do, have done, can continue to do for those who read them, from among those who read, and the inference must be clear that there is a … Continue reading The Essays Speak for Themselves (a preface to a collection of essays by an essayist who signs his work, “The Essayist”) [Flash Fiction]
Humanism is an idea, it is an ideal; it should remain a goal; it has been a tradition understood and cherished by the Publishing Editor of this Review. What has not been abandoned in these pages is a commitment to this tradition of Humanism, uppercase 'H' imperative. We know here at The Falling Leaf Review that the … Continue reading Ideal and the Human
Most of our attempts at righting wrongs in our society have resulted, perhaps only inadvertently, in wronging our rights.