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Letter to the Reader:

Ten Years

The internet that we now well know, came into its own in only 1997, in the so called “Dot Com Boom.” I was personally caught up in all the excitement, which changed my life dramatically, to say the least.

In 1998 I was living in San Francisco. This was the starting point of startup high tech firms moving into our city instead of Silicon Valley. An old friend, and former writer of mine from The Crisis, Molly Askin, recommended me for the job of editor of one of the first major shopping portals on the web.

It turned out that it was my Ph.D. in what was to come.

What an interesting world Molly introduced me into. The chief engineer was in his early 20s, and had orange hair. This was my boss. He liked me because old fashion bohemian San Francisco was still in play.

Once everyone in Engineering learned that my first novel, The Womanizer, had been published, and I was planning a big bash, and was going to invite everyone in the new company, suddenly I was “interesting.”

And, also, even after them learning I once taught for many years at UC Berkeley, didn’t dampen the rumors surrounding me.

I realized long after, that I was lucky that I was placed under Engineering, not marketing. I have to admit that at first that gave me pause. I thought that maybe these young white men (with few blacks, Asians and women of any color) would have me for lunch.

I knew nothing about computers. I didn’t even know now to turn one on. I wrote my novels on a typewriter, or word processor.

***

I think being a former university professor saved me.

I was used to smart young people like them. After all, I taught at UC Berkeley, which with Stanford, lord it over the entire Bay Area. You don’t have better intellectual chops in the Bay Area than that!

My new young friends taught me most of what I now know today and even how to hack; and I would tease them that, despite all their money, they can’t get a date because the tech world is almost all male.

“At least I have a girlfriend. So, don’t bother me!”

***

I first thought the job was going to be a breeze and thanked Molly profusely. After all, I ran national magazines and newspapers for years. What’s a couple of paragraphs per the 2,500 stores I had to keep an eye on? Plus, they gave me a small staff of writers.

But, I soon realized that folks like Macy’s, Andy’s Basement, in Boston and the mighty Niemen Marcus, change their copy daily. Oh Vey!

Brodia.com worked my black, Bronx, wise guy ass off, mainly because none of us at the company, not even our CEO, knew quite what we were doing, although the pay was beyond good. I held meetings where we discussed for hours should it be E-Commence, Ecommerce, ecommerce, e-commence?

There was no language yet.

When the bubble busted in 1999, and the Dot Com Boom was no more, we pioneers, the new 49ers, if you will, knew that it was not over.

***

The internet is new. Neworld Review has been a part of it for half of its life, thanks to you, the reader. Let’s have ten more years, and ten more years after that, and ten more years after that.

Fred Beauford

Editor-in-Chief

Publisher



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This Month's Articles


REVIEWING

VANITY FAIR’S
Writers on Writers

Edited by Graydon Carter  (Introduction by David Friend)

Reviewed by M. J. Moore

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THE BEST OF THE BEST

 

Each month a mysterious alchemy takes place in magazine publishing.  And then: A new issue of Vanity Fair appears.  What does one find in that periodical’s pages?

For starters, there’s great photography complementing the spellbinding (and often serious) journalism, with articles and pictures exploring, exposing, and confronting issues far and wide: distant wars and America’s foreign policies; domestic tensions and the crises of addiction, abuse, and economics; all the metrics of modern life.

Yet somehow, amid that admixture, there are also a slew of star-powered cinematic flashes, high society lowdowns, interviews and profiles – all written with muscle.  Literary muscle.  Powerful sentences and surprising transitions.  Diction intended to delight and challenge, but never mystify.  In other words: Great writers are at work.

Of course we hear echoes of George Plimpton when the phrase “writers at work” is recycled.  That’s no accident.  Just as The Paris Review (in all of its distinction as a literary quarterly for decades) manifested Mr. Plimpton’s well-educated, bon vivant persona, and just as William F. Buckley’s Ivy League high IQ personified much of the National Review for half a century, so, too, does Vanity Fair depend on its editor.

Therefore, in the remarkable new anthology Vanity Fair’s Writers on Writers, it’s not just the 41 writers whose work is featured or their 40-plus subjects who are on display.  This bold collection also puts editor Graydon Carter in the spotlight.

The book’s concept is a tribute to the power of the word.  No photos appear in this book.  Only words.  But the unified theme of having more than forty writers say what they have to say about more than forty other influential, innovative, astute, visionary, consequential authors is a theme that helps sustain this engaging work.

Divided into nine sections, Vanity Fair’s Writers on Writers begins with Christopher Hitchens’s piece on Dorothy Parker – aptly appearing under this rubric: “One Vanity Fair Contrarian Recalls Another.”  That opener, though, follows a highly necessary (and meticulously brief) Introduction by David Friend, who joined Vanity Fair as editor of creative development in 1998, after being Life magazine’s director of photography.  Providing readers with a comprehensive summary of Vanity Fair’s storied publishing history, David Friend asserts right away: “Literature runs in Vanity Fair’s veins.” 

The body of work that follows in this book supports his claim.

Peruse the Contents of this chronicle and you might feel giddy.  There is a dizzying amount of talent on display, starting with the first section: “On Poets.”

The legacy of W. H. Auden is assessed by Joseph Brodsky and Susan Cheever (yes, daughter of John) marvelously highlights e. e. cummings.  In her own mercurial way, legendary poet Elizabeth Bishop is then featured, with Marianne Moore as her topic.

That first section is a feast.  And it only gets better.  “On Literary Lions” is the follow-up, and its eight profiles of iconic authors give the reader an octet of captivating biographical essays, all written by notable, idiosyncratic, distinguished scribes. 

It’s a Who’s Who: The late, great Willie Morris (once upon a time the youthful and trailblazing editor of Harper’s magazine) reminds us in “Eudora Welty” that she was “game for anything, always peering around the next bend.”  And Anne Tyler is quick to note in “Reynolds Price” that he “used to wear a long black cape with a scarlet lining.”  Just as particular and detailed are the many ways in which Martin Amis anatomizes a Nobel Prizewinner in “Saul Bellow” or the flourishes that James Wolcott brings to his “Jack Kerouac” profile. 

The heft of “Literary Lions” is enhanced by A. Scott Berg’s exquisite work “Ernest Hemingway,” as well as Sam Kashner’s in-depth “Truman Capote” piece.   “Tom Wolfe” by Michael Lewis also shines.

Inevitably, in a section called “A Family Affair,” there’s a powerhouse trio of pieces on the Dunne clan (John Gregory, Dominick, and Joan Didion Dunne).

In a funny way, though, even amid such a mighty array of writers composing commemorative essays on colleagues in the pantheon, someone looms large.

You guessed it.  Biographer Patricia Bosworth’s piece, “Norman Mailer,” is in the middle of the section dubbed “Literary Lions,” just as ol’ stormin’ Norman managed to make his advertisements for himself the center of literary attention for almost all of his lengthy, foot-stomping career.  Ms. Bosworth’s deft ability to make Mailer’s all-too-familiar name and endeavors seem both inspired and illuminating is admirable.  She accomplishes the nearly impossible....Read More



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REVIEWING

Night's Dancer: The Life of Janet Collins

By Yael Tamar Lewin

Reviewed by Robert Fleming

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Two years ago, a group of celebrities decided to create an animated feature about the career of Janet Collins, once one of the finest ballerinas in America. Her stellar life would be developed by the Sweet Blackberry organization, which chronicles the achievements of often-neglected African American talents, under the leadership of Karyn Parsons, the actress popularized in the TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Comedian Chris Rock has been chosen to narrate the upcoming 20-minute feature.

Who was Janet Collins? Most Americans do not know Collins, who was the first black prima ballerina of the Metropolitan Opera House in the early 1950s and a force in American classical ballet. What makes her remarkable career is that it excelled during the political firestorm of Jim Crow and racial discrimination. This notable life is revisited in journalist Yael Tamar Lewin’s recent biography of the dancer, Night’s Dancer: The Life of Janet Collins, a hybrid of the pioneer’s words and the writer’s observations.

Born in March 7, 1917 in New Orleans, Louisiana, Collins moved with her family to Los Angeles, California, where her parents encouraged her in dance classes. Her first instruction occurred at a Catholic community center, a series of classes that spurred her to seek further guidance from teachers, including Carmelita Maracci, Lester Horton, and Adolph Bolm. These whites saw no difference in the abilities of their young black charges, contrary to the popular belief at the time.

Critics of the diversity in modern dance embraced the black stereotypes, the erotic, the vulgar, the primitive, the other. They remembered the huge buttocks and breasts of Venus Hottentot, which captured the national interest generations before. The black physique, according to some, lacked the elegance and grace required for classical dance.

As master dancer Alvin Ailey commented about the furor over the African American body, he said: “Those were the days when they told you, ‘Your hips are wrong, your back is wrong, your feet are wrong, your legs won’t turn out, so don’t come to our ballet school.”

The magnificence of this book is that Collins’s words were gleaned from her unfinished autobiography to start the work. Lewin, writing on assignment for Dance Magazine in 1997, did a piece on Collins. In fact, she thought they would collaborate on her memoirs, but the dancer lost interest in the endeavor while confronting health issues.

The first two chapters of the book consist of her thoughts as she sets the table for what is to follow, the bulk of the Lewin’s text compiled from research of the New York Public Library and Met Opera archives.

“As early as I can remember, I loved to dance and I loved to paint and draw,” Collins wrote. “My entire family encouraged me – in fact, we were all encouraged to follow our natural endowments. Actually, I remember no one in my entire family ever being like anyone else – all were staunchly individual, and outspoken. It is a miracle how we ever managed to be a family, but that we were.”

Collins struck to her dream of dance despite society’s objections that she quit. In 1932, she, as a 15-year-old girl, auditioned for the famed Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, which demanded that she painted her face and skin white to enhance her performance. She refused the job.

Later, Collins was interviewed by the New York Times in 1974, explaining her response to the racist request. “I said no,” she said emotionally. “I sat on the steps and I cried and cried.”

With her art skills, Collins was awarded a scholarship to Art Center College of Design in 1936, but she continued to dance. She performed in Lester Horton’s Le Sacre du Printemps at the Hollywood Bowl, followed by dancing two years later in a Federal Theatre Project, a revival of Hall Johnson’s Run, Little Chillum. At 21, she performs in the Los Angeles run of Swing Mikado and joined with actor Eddie “Rochester” Anderson on a national tour to New York.

Evolving into an artist of worth, an individual must dedicate herself to a goal with a determination and steel resolve that sometimes stretches her reality. Real zeal. Collins realized that she was....Read More



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MEMOIR

Wear and Tear: The Threads of My Life

A memoir by Tracy Tynan

Reviewed by Fred Beauford

Beware of Being Born to Artists

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“Tracy Tynan uses the universal medium of clothing to tell the highly specific story of her bohemian British upbringing, and she does so with wit, candor, and yes—style.”

̶ Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham’s cover blurb summarized this book quite nicely. For me, however, the clothing aspects of Wear and Tear takes a decidedly back seat to the often horrific home environment that the author had to grow up in, being the only child of renowned theater critic Kenneth Tynan and novelist Elaine Dundy.

One was a chain-smoking drama queen, the other a bi-poplar unpredictable mess. Both were chronic alcoholics, with her mother also becoming a pill popping drug addict. But both could be extremely charming, and well dressed, and social, and loved parties and witty, famous people; people they collected the same way some people collect stamps, or first editions of novels.

Tynan writes, “I lived in a flat with my often irritable, unpredictable mother and my nervous, chain-smoking father, who was forever struggling to meet writing deadlines. We never ate dinner, or any meal together. My mother did not cook. Very occasionally we ate together at restaurants, but these were usually large social occasions where I just happened to be included. Most of the time I ate alone or with the au pair, who probably would’ve preferred to be out with friends her own age.”

After I read a few more chapters, not knowing what else to expect from this book, I kept thinking Scottie, Scottie. And soon, there it was on page 42:

“My parents frequently separated. My mother even got an apartment of her own for a while. I always stayed with my father and an au pair at the Mount Street flat. During one of the separations, my father went to Malaga for the bullfighting festival. A few days after he left, my mother followed, checking into the same hotel, the Miramar, and immediately taking up with a handsome Scottish laird, Peter Combe. I can only attribute her choices to the fact that both of my parents seemed to revel in humiliation in front of each....Read More



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PORTFOLIO

Portfolio: A Column by Kara Fox

Riley Byington: Perspective


Riley Byington

Everyone has their own unique perspective of the world, shaped by their personal experiences and values.

Seventeen-year-old Riley Byington silently stares through the lens of his camera without conscious thought. His vision is fresh, and the possibilities before his eyes are always infinite. Perception is inseparable from the individual and his work is the result of his unique vision. Riley represents the future artist. One that grows up as a digital native in a world full of You Tube and Instagram. His work has the technological twist that adds new layers of drama.

The world fills him with awe. Riley has always been an observer, living in the middle as the universe circles around him. Silently, he sits in the background and observes...very much in the same way a camera takes in every piece....Read More



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REVIEWING

Four Scraps of Bread

By Magda Hollander-Lafon

Reviewed by Janet Garber

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This slim volume first published in France in 2012 and just recently translated into English is a memorial to the millions who lost their lives in the Holocaust. Hollander-Lafon was a Hungarian Jewish teenager when she suffered internment at Auschwitz,-Birkenau and subsequently, the Ravensbruck, Zillertal, Mittelbau-Dora concentration and labor camps.

As is the case with many survivors, she was loath for years to speak of her ordeal. Clearly, even now, six decades later, the reader senses how difficult it is for her to revisit wartime memories. Over the years she has struggled to find a language suitable for conveying the abject horror of her experience while somehow hinting at the few life-giving moments of compassion and luck that enabled her to emerge the only survivor of her family. Of the 437,403 deported from Hungary, 350,000 were murdered on arrival at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Rather than recount her tale in a linear fashion, Hollander-Lafon has chosen to give us an impressionistic portrayal of life in the camps and immediately thereafter. In very short chapters, in bits of poetry, she captures a moment indelibly sketched in her mind: the time she wished she wanted to change places with the German shepherd dogs, the time the old woman selflessly gave her some moldy bread which allowed her to go on living another day, the time the good German guard took her aside and massaged her feet when she was almost unconscious from the pain, and the time a fellow deportee spoke to her, “saw” her as a person, not just another lice-ridden starving, thirsty, crippled excuse for a human being competing for a crust of bread or a drop of water.

Torture took many forms: the Germans amused themselves by forcing internees outside at odd hours and in the middle of the night for endless roll calls, forced marches, barefoot races.

The prisoners were often naked, shoeless, nearly comatose. To fall, to show any weakness, to get sick meant certain death at the next “selection” of those destined for the gas chambers. Nazi guards and the sonderkommandos they recruited from among the victims to assist them, starve, torture and torment Hollander-Lafon and her fellows for their....Read More



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NOVELLA

A History of The 21st Century

A Memoir By Major Alexander Pushkin Litvinova, U.S. Army, ret.

A Novella by Fred Beauford

Chapter 13

You should see me, Father! I can’t believe it. But it’s true, Father. So true.

I’m standing in front of my bathroom mirror, shaving and preparing myself for dinner with Lucy Libid, and her grandmother, Anna K. Libid. And, I was taking inventory on myself.

I was 53 years old. But, I still had my health and my well-built, 6’3 body. My teeth were still intact, still white and even. Mother’s bright blue eyes shown clearly from my light tan, cooper face. If I might say so, I’m still handsome in a rugged, aging kind of way. I kept my head shaven so I didn’t know if I had any real hair left or not.

Maybe, Father, all those years of military training had imprinted me permanently, because I still got up each morning and did my push-ups. I still cooked and ate the right food. My body was in great shape; it was just my mind that’s all fucked up.

Lucy had made sure that I was going to make this date by setting the time, the place and date right there on the bench! She pulled out a small, wooden pencil and little card and wrote down her address and e-number.

She pushed the note with the information into my hands, and the look on her face said I better not, not show up. It was a good thing that she went to all this effort, because if she had been causal about it, I know I would have found a reason not to go.

***

As soon as I got back to my apartment, I hurriedly looked through box after box, and opened and closed drawers, until I found the well-preserved program for Uncle Vanya, with a picture of the cast.

I knew it was here! The moment I remembered who her grandmother was, my mind quickly flashed on that program. As I looked at it, I smiled to myself. I was so glad to have found it.

I remembered witnessing a little fight between Mother and The Gangster over that program. Mother, as always, wanted only the best, which meant glossy paper, coated stock, with a full color photo of the cast members on the back page, to top it off.

The Gangster was beside himself! He was huffing and puffing all around our living room. He just didn’t want to spend that kind of money on a fancy program.

“No, Shasa! No, damnit!” he shouted loudly at her in English. “Better to spend the money on an ad. Why spend that kind of money for just a program?”

For a brief moment, Father, I thought that I heard for the first time, the mean, ruthless, brutal Gangster in his voice. The same Gangster people lowered their voices and eyes, and softly whispered about whenever he past them on the crowded streets of Brighton Beach.

But how wrong I was, Father.

“Just a program?” Mother answered back in a cool, no nonsense voice in her precise Russian. She put her hands on her thin hips and fixed her small, cold blue eyes on him, now even smaller than usual.

“Ok! Ok!” The Gangster said quickly, throwing up his hands in defeat, the hardness all but gone from his voice.

Talk about a weenie, Father!

It obviously didn’t take much for Mother to get her way with this man! I only smiled to myself at what a pushover he was. It was hard to believe that he was a hard-ass Gangster, the way Mother was always pushing him around, grabbing him by his ankles and shaking every dine out of him, whenever she wanted.

It was a good thing that Mother was so persistent (and spoiled rotten, I might add!). As I looked at the program, that photo of them looked as if it was taken yesterday. There was Mother in a big white wig, looking all the world like an Old-World Russian. And there was the pretty young Anna K. Libid.

If my calculations are correct, Lucy’s grandmother must be at least 67 or 68 years old, given that I was only fifteen when we first met so many years ago. When she played the young Helen, she could have been the same age as Lucy is now.

I remembered Mother complaining about now hard it was to fill....Read More



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REVIEWING

SUB ROSA (A Novel)

By Dara Lebrun

Reviewed by M. J. Moore

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Lara Lebrun has given readers a gift with Sub Rosa, which is the second installment in her series of five interrelated novels about love and lovers, blended families, and the intricate fragilities of human relationships in today’s world of yearning adults.

To have such an agenda within the form of novels is remarkable in itself.  Usually, if a writer is creating a cycle of interrelated works, it’s in the form of a cycle of poems or a series of interconnected short stories.

Perhaps most famously, we’ve witnessed playwright August Wilson’s stunning feat of completing a cycle of ten plays (known as The Pittsburgh Cycle), all of which form a thematic tapestry that’s character-driven, familial, and encyclopedic.

In any genre, such a goal is a visionary quest.  For example, in August Wilson’s canon, his comprehensive aim was to encapsulate a century of African-American life by way of ten plays, each one set in a different decade of the 20th century.  Fences and The Piano Lesson are probably the most famous parts of The Pittsburgh Cycle.

Similarly, author Dara Lebrun discovered that to flesh out the multilayered and overlapping stories she had to tell regarding a large array of urban American archetypes, a cycle of five interrelated novels would be required. 

Lebrun has said: “I didn’t write The Bunny Hop, my first novel . . . with the intention of creating a series of novels about the same characters.  But when I finished it, I was left with questions and obsessions that have spilled over into the subsequent three novels I’ve written, and one still in progress.”

Dara Lebrun has dubbed her vast panorama Children Who Aren’t Ours.  The author is on the record here, having remarked that “I portray a group of social outcasts, of one stripe or another, each of whose life is changed by the presence of a child that is not his or her own, biologically.” 

And if that’s not dicey enough in relation to domestic arrangements and the tensions induced by blended families, there is this: Lebrun has committed to the fullest kind of serious exploration in fiction of human sexuality.  Her modern-day characters are gay, bisexual, and straight—or sometimes a free-floating mixture of all three.

Sub Rosa manages a nearly impossible feat – to make new the age-old agonies of a single woman’s love affair with a married man; a man whose life is consumed by his adolescent daughter.  The main male protagonist, Saul, is a married father of three children.  His six-year affair with Dahlia is at a tipping point, because on the cusp of her 40th birthday, a reckoning is demanded.

And while the unfolding story revolves mostly around the entwined fates of Saul, Dahlia, and his burgeoning teenage daughter, there’s also conflict and potential disarray in the marriage of Dahlia’s sister.  Nobody’s life is simple in Lebrun’s realm.

Also, her fictional realm is enhanced greatly by the degree to which she has made a contemporary Jewish-American edge an omnipresent element.  Her characters are, in many ways, the children and grandchildren of all those long-ago archetypes we once met in the novels of Henry Roth and Chaim Potok.  Nonetheless, Dara Lebrun’s protagonists are often secular and seemingly far removed from the immigrant days of the past.  And yet, they’re still bound together by Jewish rituals and holidays, and the many echoes of Yiddish expressions and urban Jewish-American ethos.

Here’s a sample of what gives Sub Rosa its energy: “Now she awaited him, gazing out the window.  Right on time his cab pulled up at the curb—he always visited her by cab, did not want to even risk driving his own car to Lincoln Park.  There were branches of Hadassah near Dahlia’s street, and his wife chaired some committee at the ....Read More



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SHORT STORY

T Batty to the Rescu in Your Season of Greef

A Short Story by Sarah Freligh

Sarah Freligh

When Corrie had asked Matt in July what he wanted for Christmas, he answered you, and she’d laughed until she coughed. He didn’t see what was so funny and said so, but she just shook her head and coughed some more. She coughed so hard he finally had to haul her up and prop her against the pillows until her throat settled down. The bones of her back felt like toothpicks spilling from a box, light and sharp and shifting through his fingers. He could barely remember what a feast of a woman she’d been before the chemo, a smorgasbord of thighs and belly and breasts he used to gobble up in handfuls.

His mother calls as he’s starting on the Christmas cards. In the week since the funeral, she’s called daily—sometimes twice—to check up on him. Today she reads to him from an article she found on the Internet about the importance of eating certain foods while coping with grief. An occasional “uh-huh” is enough to keep the conversation going, but really, he’s thinking about the proper way to sign the cards. There is no more “Corrie and Matt Polk,” no such unit as “The Polks,” but “Matt Polk” looks too forlorn, a spindly Christmas tree of a name adorned with a few strings of stale popcorn.

“Are you listening?” his mother says. “The white of an egg, a half teaspoon of salsa and just enough whipping cream—it has to be fresh whipping cream—to form a paste.”

“Uh-huh,” he says. He finally decides on “Matt,” finishing off the two t’s with an upward slash of his pen. A jaunty look to it, the signature of a man who is coping.

“Are you writing this down?” his mother says.

“Salsa and whipping cream,” he says.

Fresh whipping cream.”

Corrie had bought the cards the day after Christmas last year. Half-price, she said when he asked her if she weren’t jumping the gun just a little bit. And, It pays to think ahead. They’re UNICEF cards, a Nigerian child’s crayon drawing of a Christmas tree and the message: Wishing you the peace of the season. Matt remembers the Halloween he trick or treated for UNICEF, the flicker of annoyance on people’s faces when they were greeted, not with an open sack, but a canister bearing the photo of a skinny, big-eyed child. The door answerer would grumble about having to locate a purse or a wallet, avoid his eyes when they dropped a few coins through the slot of his can: well, it’s really all I have.  Matt gave up after eight houses and would have come in last in his class if not for the ten-dollar bill he pinched from his mother’s wallet. The rest of the class showed up with cans fat and clanking with change, chattering about how great it had been, how worthy they felt. Matt felt like apologizing: to the people he’d bothered, to his mother for boosting the ten (not that she noticed: her wallet was always brimming with crumpled bills) but mostly to the kid on the can for being poor and exploited.

“The white of an egg,” his mother says. “Did - you hear me?”

He can’t resist. “No yolk.”

She sighs. “Matthew.”

He taps his pen against the table, hangs up only after promising to call her tomorrow unless she calls him first. Which she will.

At school, Matt stops to read the graffition the school’s Wall of Fame that’s sprouted there in the week he’s been away. A lot of gibberish, as usual, puffy letters in scarlet and black that don’t add up to any words he can dictionary—OBLOTA POKS—so he makes up his own definitions. A village in Czechoslovakia, maybe. Or better yet, an enzyme that promises to obliterate the pockets of women store in their butts and thighs. The makeover shows seem to be full of such women sheepishly cringing in those cruel head-on “before” pictures, rims of fat peeping out from above and below their underpants. Women Matt would have dismissed as “not his type” until the afternoon Corrie took off her clothes in the middle of the living room and grinned at him as she were a Christmas present she was sure he’d like, love handles and all.

The door to the mailroom opens and Curtis emerges, hands full of doughnuts and colored paper.  “Oh, man,” he says. He grabs Matt in a half hug, leaving streaks of powdered sugar on the sleeve of his navy blue sweater. “How are you?”

He’s ready for this. He is. “Okay,” he says, nodding. “Yeah. I’m okay.”

And he is okay because Corrie is still with him. He’ll look up from his solitary cup of coffee and there she is, pen in hand, bent over the New York Times crossword. Or he’ll wake in the blue-black morning to a clicking sound that he knows is Corrie on the couch, knitting, a mug of coffee on the end table next to her.

“You sure?” Curtis says, giving him a long, level look. He has eyes like a Siberian husky, so blue they’re nearly white. Curtis teaches English or “Language Arts,” as it’s called at Roberto Clemente School. Under his direction the sixth graders had performed a hip-hop Hamlet the previous year and even Matt was impressed. He’d felt a twinge of envy when a group of laughing students dragged Curtis onto the stage for a curtain call, and Matt had vowed to try harder, to find ways to reach and inspire his students. His resolve had lasted one week before it was back to scissor fights and naps and paint by numbers sunsets.

“Sure,” Matt says. “How about a beer after work?” Says it jauntily, trying for a certain nonchalance. As if everything in his life were....Read More



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POEM

Customer Service

A Poem by Lawrence Stovey


Customer Service


Service implies serving a customer’s need
The valiant representatives do this indeed
The systems come up short in one way
Losing large chunks of time in our day

Looking to correct billing errors
Causing you telephone terrors
Remaining on telephone hold
While your life grows ....Read More



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Neworld Review
Vol. 10 No 68 - 2016


Editor-in-Chief
/Publisher

Fred Beauford

Online Managing Editor

Richard D. O'Brien

Associate Editor

Jane M. McCabe

Fiction Editor

Jan Alexander

Poetry Editor

Sally Cobau

Senior Editors

Molly Moynahan
Herb Boyd
M.J. Moore
Janet Garber

Director of Photography

Kara Fox

President

Alexis Beauford

Contributing Writers

Michael Carey
Robert Fleming
Kara Fox: Portfolio
Emily Rosen
Jane Smiley
Michael Moreau
Robert Fleming
Michael J. Moore

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The Neworld Review is a publication of Fred Beauford, 3183 Wilshire Blvd,
Suite 196,
Los Angeles, CA. 90010.

Material in this publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without permission. Opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the publishers.

Manuscripts should be accompanied by a self-stamped envelope. Online submissions are accepted at literarylife1@hotmail.com.

Neworld Review cannot be held responsible for unsolicited photographs or manuscripts.

All correspondence to:

Fred Beauford
Editor-in Chief/Publisher

Neworld Review
3183 Wilshire Blvd,
Suite 196,
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