Mary E. Adair
The month that is sometimes referred to as the start of Fall.. or as the Football season, around here, as the rest of the year is either 'before' or 'after' Football season. The children, however, anticipate it as the "trick or treating" month, and it has thus become a "scary" month as the kids look forward to the costumes they have dreamed up or coveted (perhaps as much as the mothers dread the making, assembling, escorting, cautioning, disciplining, of those same costumes plus the attendant duties of the treat-provisioning and house-to-house trek.)
In a literary sense, this month is scary, too. We are short a few of our well-loved, and well-read columnists - pbobby and Darren Bardsley. I miss both and their judiciously chosen words. We do have a treat with "Cassandra's World," as always, for Cassandra sees that it is assembled with abundant love and joy. We have another treat as we go "Cookin' with Leo," and Leo Helmer is right on cue with the Fall bounty of apples as a main ingredient in his recipe. LC Van Savage would be shaking her head at all this love talk, no doubt, as she expounds on her view of such this month in "Consider This." Mattie Lennon, in "Irish Eyes," discourses on mundane subjects with startling and humorous references, then treats those who are able to travel with a delightful menu of tours in Ireland. An additional treat comes with our guest columnist, the beautiful Denise Tanner in "Alas, To Muse and Ponder."
Dr. Sam Vaknin does some philosophical analyzing of international journalism's shortcomings in "Taming The Beast" with the truly frightening sub-title of "Books of the Damned." Michael Craner jumps into "Mike's Place" to favor us with his own brand of ironic, and all too true, humor. Though we have the October column "Thinking Out Loud" with some cosy sweater plans from our humorist Gerard Meister, we also begin a special treat - his continued tale about a forgotten hero in "The remarkable true-life adventures of Samuel Dreben, the fighting Jew." The other continued story "The Sighting" concludes with a scary Part Six segment for the trick or treat theme of the month. Casey B. Shelton knows how to do the trick ... just as you thought you had it all figured and settled.
We have outstanding poetry in this issue! Beginning with "Beginning" by M. Jay Mansfield (also from Jay: "Keeping It Real," "Red Cherry Wine," and "The Shun") and going to "You Are Always There" by Sheila Keith, most are reflective treats, a few humorous tricks like Mattie Lennon's "How I Stack Me Oul CDs" though the scary ones are "The Shun" (Jay's) and "Old Houses." The latter is by John I. Blair who also has three more in this issue - "Don't Leave Love for Tomorrow," "The Bowl," and "Lizard on the Window Screen." John's wife Clara Blair also has four, starting with "Bitch on Wheels," "Love Found Me," and "Green Fire" which is her own lizard poem, but the scariest poem this month is her "Losing Her Slowly."
Mattie Lennon also has a poem about William Geary (who is 103 year old resident of New York) called "The Slopes of Sweet Cloonee" detailing his tribulations. Bruce Clifford could scare you if you let him with "Cover-Up" but his other three compositions are basically love poetry - "I Keep Looking Through" (a companion poem to one previously published) "Pure Energy," and "Thinking about the Days." Jeffrey MacNair (aka one-of-four) brings us "Treasure Your Wounds," "Love's Prelude," and "Mysterium Tremendum" with the special treat of its own glossary and a clarified second version...interesting...like writing in 'tongues,' or God's shorthand.
There is a feature to click from the sidebar: A Novel Idea that will bring you a new review this month. David H. Schleicher (aka Daf or Caleb) has a murder mystery thriller, "Carabolia," released in September 2002. It is not a sequel to his January 2002 fiery crime novel, "Crematorium," but stands alone with its own chilling intrigues and characters as "a modern tale of the Undead." What more can we do for you to treat or trick? oh....
Now, get started reading!