Tag Archives: specter magazine

When the door closes: on race and having biracial children in America

I’m going to be posting monthly over at Specter+ (soon to be renamed).  My first essay is on race, Hank Williams, Jr., and my own biracial family.  It opens thusly:

Many years ago I was a waiter in a tiny Cajun/Creole restaurant in Omaha. Worked with a chef there, name of Jerry. He was an itinerant fellow. He’d left DC some years previously, working his way down South and out to the West Coast. Now he was slowly working his way back to DC.

After the place shut down the two of us sometimes sat up front helping ourselves to beers from the bar cooler, speaking truths. I was 20. I didn’t know any truths. Jerry was forty-something, a black man in America. He knew plenty.

“The thing about the South is,” he said, “you know where you stand.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Down there they’ll call you a nigger to your face.”

Head on over to Specter to read the rest.

Thanks to Mensah Demary, editor, for pushing me on this piece.

"Lek" is up at Specter

My story “Lek” is up at Specter.  A sort of semi-impressionistic piece that came to me a few years ago, strolling amongst the tweakers and hookers and pimps on Pattaya Beach.

Big things are coming from this mag, by the way.  I’m proud to be a part.

A sampler:

Then she jumps up like someone’s pulling her up and I squat down in the corner and hang tight to the Buddha I have on the gold chain around my neck and pray and pray and pray.  I know this isn’t my friend Lek, not anymore.  Blood is running down her face.  She looks at me.  She doesn’t say anything.  I pray and pray and try not to look at her.

Here is Lek.

 

“Lek” is up at Specter

My story “Lek” is up at Specter.  A sort of semi-impressionistic piece that came to me a few years ago, strolling amongst the tweakers and hookers and pimps on Pattaya Beach.

Big things are coming from this mag, by the way.  I’m proud to be a part.

A sampler:

Then she jumps up like someone’s pulling her up and I squat down in the corner and hang tight to the Buddha I have on the gold chain around my neck and pray and pray and pray.  I know this isn’t my friend Lek, not anymore.  Blood is running down her face.  She looks at me.  She doesn’t say anything.  I pray and pray and try not to look at her.

Here is Lek.

 

An acceptance – Lek makes it in into Specter

My short story “Lek” was picked up by indefatigable twitterer Mensah Demary, at Specter Magazine.

The origins of Lek, the titular character, stem from my time living and working in Pattaya, Thailand, sex capital of Asia (if not the world).  I wish I could say Pattaya had much else going for it, but it doesn’t.  We didn’t stay long.  But I got an eyeful of the seamiest side of life there is out there while we were there.  I’ve got a couple other stories set there out in the world, but this is the first one to see the light of day.  As my writing shifts more and more to the gritty, I think there will be more to come.

Lek was rejected 6 times before it found a home.  It will appear in Specter in October.

Specter Issue Zero goes live about 1 hour from now, by the way.  Go check them out – there’s sure to be a truckload of writing worth reading.  There is also a blog of acerbic and insightful commentary.  Check ’em out.

I’m biased, of course, but I think they’re up-and-comers, and you’ll be hearing more from Specter in the not-so-distant future.