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BED BUG STEW, Tales and Poems on Roots, Revenge, Redemption, and Baseball is now on Pre-sale. All royalties, 100%, during the presale period go to veteran support groups. The books will be delivered starting November 18, 2023.

Go to Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Xulon Bookstore websites to get your pre-order in, now! Don’t forget to read the TWO excerpts below!

From the short story Randall Fink

The older man wanted to engage. “I’m Randall Fink.” He extended his hand.

“Ted Butler.” Ted gripped his hand, and Fink took it squeezing slowly but firmly, a practiced gesture suggesting intimacy. Ted tried to let go once, squeezed again in acquiescence, then let go, again. Randall Fink withdrew.

“I see you taking notes,” said Fink, and Ted thought the older man’s eyes were black.

“Yes, I, uh, I’m a stringer for the Times and I’m doing a story, trying to do a story, on nannies raising kids, the whole race and social strata angle, rich versus poor, that sort of thing. This park is the perfect illustration, wouldn’t you say?” Ted had not meant to open up so quickly, but he was bored with his own initiative and this gentleman looked interesting.

Randall Fink was non-committal. “That’s nice.”

Ted snorted cynically. “Oh, I know. Been done before, what the heck do I know.” He slumped a little, then looked up at the azure sky just as a pale cloud moved through it, blocking the sun. He considered that he had tried and failed to extract some pleasure from the day.

“Oh, the heavens won’t help you, Teddy, but perhaps I can.” Fink smiled showing tobacco-stained teeth, one chipped.

From the poem I AM NOT VIRGIL

Fatherhood beckons the unprepared man.

You try and you fail, do the best that you can.

Integrity in faithfulness is His high purpose.

I am not Virgil. I could do much worse.

The wreckage of life, selfish, messy and rough

We crawl through existence; we try to be tough.

Pretend to be stable, just act like the snobs.

I can’t hope to be like Merton, or Hobbes.

The world we see punishing all in distress,

Never wholly alone in times of duress

Try to stand tall, manly worldly and brave.

I am not Virgil. I shall never cave.

Lies that we tell ourselves, caressing the thought,

Deeds that we never do, nor what we ought.

It’s tempting to tell others what they must do,

I see the injustice. These rules are for you.

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