Two Books for only $10!

Joe Taylor

A novel in verse. News of the political turmoil and division in the living world above has reached even Hades. The shades there want to help as they can, and Lord Hades agrees to send a representative up to Birmingham, Alabama, accompanied by Diogenes, he who is ever searching with his lantern for an honest (wo)man. Victoria Woodhull, who once ran for President of the United States on a free love platform, gets chosen as the representative. But Lord Hades cannot be trusted, for he also sends up J. Edgar Hoover, the infamous director of the FBI who could never get communists out of his bonnet. These three meet up with Alonzo Rankin, an undercover detective, Dr. Eddie Truelove, a neurologist from UABís school of Medicine, and Judge Roy Bean Too, a politician who famously chases fourteen-year-old girls. Hoover and Bean concoct a plan to install a granite monument of God holding the Ten Commandments in every incorporated Alabama town. God is also waving a .45 automatic in his other hand. Woodhull and Rankin counter as they can, Victoria trying to spread the gospel of free love.



Everyone is constantly admonishing our narrator to keep quiet: "You're full of bull hockey, college boy... Shut up and drink your beer." Or, " 'Shut up,' Michelle replied. 'Shut Up', Michelle repeated." Or, "Don't look up. At least don't shout anything when you do. She's here, on the balcony." Or, " 'Shit.' Sarah spit this out like a too-hot cinnimon ball, pulled me off the dental chair, and led me to the closet with the skeleton, shushing me with her fingers." Or, "Hush, be still. Tacete, tacete." Everyone admonishes him, when all he wants to do is shout the wonders, the horrors, the terrors that he and his older adopted brother Galen face as one spiritual incursion after another manifests in their lives, moving from trickster poltergeists to forlornly wandering ghosts to intent fetches to avenging revenants. Perhaps, instead of admonishing him, everyone would do better to heed his early, youthful, deliberation.: " I never heard his voice after that night. If we humans could always recognize the last words we were ever to hear from each person we knew or even met, our lives would perch as fragile indeed, gathering tragedy every listening moment to lean over a dark cellar, of dark farewells."