The Art of Tetman Callis

Some of the stories and poems may be inappropriate for persons under 16

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Entries from November 2013

The heart can get pretty tired, too

November 30th, 2013 · No Comments

“The soul is the weariest part of the body.” – Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Paul Bowles

There’s the door, go through it

November 29th, 2013 · 2 Comments

“It’s just an accident that we happen to be on earth, enjoying our silly little moments, distracting ourselves as often as possible so we don’t have to really face up to the fact that, you know, we’re just temporary people with a very short time in a universe that will eventually be completely gone. And […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit

Know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em

November 28th, 2013 · No Comments

“It’s been said about marriage ‘You have to know how to fight.’ And I think there’s some wisdom to that. People who live together get into arguments. When you’re younger, those arguments tend to escalate, or there’s not any wisdom that overrides the argument to keep it in perspective. It tends to get out of […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

What the Dead Can Do

November 27th, 2013 · No Comments

Fourteen degrees Fahrenheit at daybreak. The stairwell smells of dirty diapers and stale cigarette smoke. A man dressed several levels below stylish picks through the garbage bin behind a business. Three blocks away at three o’clock this morning, a man was shot to death on the street. The subjective impression of his last moments are […]

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Tags: Economics · Oniontown · Poems · Words

Rehabilitative fancies, anyone?

November 27th, 2013 · No Comments

“We are not blackboards that can be erased.  Our actions do mark us, and for life.  There has been reflected in psychiatry, and especially in the criminal justice system, a kind of stupid optimism about the ability of people to change.” – Terence Sellers, Psychopathia Sexualis

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

No compass, no map

November 26th, 2013 · No Comments

“How might we return to where we never were?” – Terence Sellers, Psychopathia Sexualis

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

Two-Four Time

November 25th, 2013 · No Comments

The clouds relax, the snow shakes loose. Icy dandruff coats the shoulders of the roads. The sky is gray, the lake is green and still. Gulls threaten each other for scraps. A man stands on the breakwater, shouts at the lake, “Jah! Allah! Motherfucker Santa!” A commercial truck backs up on the street, its beeper […]

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Tags: Oniontown · Poems · Words

I’m melting…

November 25th, 2013 · 2 Comments

“The reality is that not everyone can be a doctor, not everyone can be a professional athlete, and not everyone can be a writer. You may be a precious snowflake, but if you can’t express your individuality in sterling prose, I don’t want to read about it.” – Ted Genoways, “The Death of Fiction?”

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Tags: Lit & Crit

They could stand to be reminded

November 24th, 2013 · No Comments

“The duty of a public prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict.” – Illinois Supreme Court Rules, Article VIII,  Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct of 2010, Rule 3.8

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Verandah

Dropping Back to Punt

November 23rd, 2013 · No Comments

Whenever a litmag/journal/site/publication/entity publishes one of my stories, I wait at least three months then post the published story to this site. In July, Knee-Jerk Magazine published “Dropping Back to Punt.” Now it is included in the Previously Published Stories sidebar.  

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Tags: Previously Published Stories · Words

What gods are good for

November 23rd, 2013 · No Comments

“A progressive renunciation of constitutional instincts, whose activation might afford the ego primary pleasure, appears to be one of the foundations of the development of human civilization.  Some part of this instinctual repression is effected by its religions, in that they require the individual to sacrifice his instinctual pleasure to the Deity.  ‘Vengeance is mine, […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · Sigmund Freud

A paraphrase

November 22nd, 2013 · No Comments

The sins of the fathers are visited upon the children, even unto the third and fourth generations. (Exodus 34:7)

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · The Ancients

How words and times change

November 21st, 2013 · 2 Comments

“Sexual love is undoubtedly one of the chief things in life, and the union of mental and bodily satisfaction in the enjoyment of love is one of its culminating peaks.  Apart from a few queer fanatics, all the world knows this and conducts its life accordingly; science alone is too delicate to admit it.” – […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · Sigmund Freud

We are what we eat

November 20th, 2013 · 2 Comments

“Nothing in life is so expensive as illness—and stupidity.” – Sigmund Freud, “On Beginning the Treatment” (ed. Gay)

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Sigmund Freud

Gettysburg

November 19th, 2013 · No Comments

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We […]

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Tags: Abraham Lincoln · Lit & Crit

Learn your lessons, precious snowflake

November 18th, 2013 · No Comments

“Education can be described without more ado as an incitement to the conquest of the pleasure principle, and to its replacement by the reality principle; it seeks, that is, to lend its help to the developmental process which affects the ego.  To this end it makes use of an offer of love as a reward […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · Sigmund Freud

One thing it’s good for

November 17th, 2013 · No Comments

“The march of Providence is so slow and our desires so impatient; the work of progress is so immense and our means of abiding it so feeble; the life of humanity is so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged.  […]

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Tags: American Civil War · Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · Verandah

The Bell

November 16th, 2013 · No Comments

The joggers and joggettes of Evanston gather in packs on grizzly November days and run south into Oniontown. At their head is the crier who clangs his bell and calls, “Stand aside! Stand aside!” The joggers and joggettes are young and slender and beautiful, their faces unlined, brows unfurrowed, their clothing new and unfrayed, well-styled […]

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Tags: Economics · Oniontown · Poems · Words

What words mean

November 16th, 2013 · No Comments

“What defines literary fiction is an attention to language on a word by word and sentence by sentence level that is equal to or greater than attention to plot.” – Eric Simonoff (interview with Michael Szczerban)

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Tags: Lit & Crit

What’s your pleasure, sailor?

November 15th, 2013 · No Comments

“The extraordinarily wide dissemination of the perversions forces us to suppose that the disposition to perversion is itself of no great rarity but must form a part of what passes as the normal constitution.” — Sigmund Freud, “Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality” (ed. Gay)

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · Sigmund Freud

What’s that noise?

November 14th, 2013 · 4 Comments

“We don’t live in the information age.  That would be an insult to information, which, on some level, is supposed to inform.  We live in the communication age.  Ten billion fingers fumbling away, unautocorrecting e-mails, texts, and tweets; each one an opportunity to offend, alienate, aggrieve, all in public, and at light speed.  The misinterpretation […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit

Four aces

November 13th, 2013 · No Comments

“Foreign policy is not a game of Risk.  Great nations achieve lasting influence and security not by bloody gambits but through economic growth, scientific innovation, military deterrence, and the power of ideas.” – Steve Coll, “Remote Control”

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law

They know what’s important

November 12th, 2013 · No Comments

“The expectation that cats can be made to change their nature, like wayward teens in a Scared Straight course, is a new development in feline-human relations.  Humans bred dogs to be loyal and companionate; cats domesticated themselves.  Biologists call them ‘commensal domesticates,’ meaning that they can live with humans, and yet, unlike most other domesticated […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

Light reading

November 11th, 2013 · No Comments

“In the search for words, thesauruses are useful things, but they don’t talk about the words they list.  They are also dangerous.  They can lead you to choose a polysyllabic and fuzzy word when a simple and clear one is better.  The value of a thesaurus is not to make a writer seem to have […]

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Tags: John McPhee · Lit & Crit

Afraid of life and afraid of death

November 10th, 2013 · 2 Comments

“A fundamental coward is not afraid of the putative cowardice-betraying things, like physical danger.  Those things are cosmetic cowardice.  In deep cowardice you are afraid of life itself, and you learn to wear a coat of bluster and cheer that hides the fear.” – Padgett Powell (interview with Jacob White in “Having It Together”)

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Tags: Lit & Crit

E.E. Cummings

November 9th, 2013 · No Comments

now does our world descend the path to nothingness (cruel now cancels kind; friends turn to enemies) therefore lament,my dream and don a doer’s doom create is now contrive; imagined,merely know (freedom:what makes a slave) therefore,my life,lie down and more by most endure all that you never were hide,poor dishonoured mind who thought yourself so […]

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Tags: E.E. Cummings · Lit & Crit

E.E. Cummings

November 8th, 2013 · No Comments

annie died the other day never was there such a lay— whom,among her dollies,dad first(“don’t tell your mother”)had; making annie slightly mad but very wonderful in bed —saints and satyrs,go your way youths and maidens:let us pray” – E.E. Cummings, “22” from 73 Poems (punctuation and spacing as in original)

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Tags: E.E. Cummings · Lit & Crit

Nice work if you can get it

November 7th, 2013 · 2 Comments

“I like writing sad songs, it’s a good bag to get into because you can actually acknowledge some deeper feelings of your own and put them in it. It’s a good vehicle, it saves having to go to a psychiatrist.” — Paul McCartney

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Verandah

E.E. Cummings

November 6th, 2013 · No Comments

dive for dreams or a slogan may topple you (trees are their roots and wind is wind) trust your heart if the seas catch fire (and live by love though the stars walk backward) honour the past but welcome the future (and dance your death away at this wedding) never mind a world with its […]

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Tags: E.E. Cummings · Lit & Crit

E.E. Cummings

November 5th, 2013 · No Comments

what Got him was Noth ing & nothing’s exAct ly what any one Living(or some body Dead like even a Poet)could hardly express what i Mean is what knocked him over Wasn’t (for instance)the Knowing your whole(yes god damned)life is a Flop or even to Feel how Everything(dreamed & hoped & prayed for months & […]

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Tags: E.E. Cummings · Lit & Crit