The Immediacy of Emotional Kerfuffles

Book Cover

The Immediacy of Emotional Kerfuffles.
Bards & Sages Publishing. USA.
2013. 1st ed.
February 2015. 2nd ed.
Buy it here.

Small fictions, like the eighty stories constituting The Immediacy of Emotional Kerfuffles, make for great means to explore our pathos, to unabashedly strip away old-fashioned prejudices, and even to dally at the bizarre edges of living. Ordinarily, we have to be goaded into examining such “minutia” since we remain comfortable minimalizing, rationalizing, and otherwise discounting the little features of our existence. While there are important ramifications, for instance, of nursing a baby, of quaffing Quaaludes, of battling lice, or of being a victim of a drive-by shooting, most often we miss those significances because we elect not to think about them.

By engaging in rough hewn fiction, we let literature beg the question for us. Sure, such poking around might initially hurt, but, ultimately, this type of deconstruction, the type supplied by unpretentious narrative, can relieve much internal pressure. By using brief tales to vivisect marriage, family units, friendship, and passing fancies, we can: reify our ideas, celebrate the meaning we assign to our mentations, and explicate some of the responses we have to our notions’ actualizations.

It is instructive to explore rape, murder, and the cost of not protecting children from fiduciary exploitation. Likewise, there’s utility in grasping the essence of: our relative readiness to jump into our dreams, fluid social strata, and the morphing of “what ifs” into functional realities. In parlaying near-future dialogues between seer and mental health professionals, in getting the gist of select bachelors’ solutions to pressing parenting dilemmas, and in deeply understanding the sort of greed that is too often shared among executives and their unskilled workers, we gift ourselves with knowledge useful to our daily lives.

The Immediacy of Emotional Kerfuffles bites, nibbles, and even, sometimes, mauls aspects of our condition from which we might, left to our own cognizance, shy. In piercing topical taboos, in evoking groans, moans, exhalations and tears, this collection returns us to the truth of our humanity.

Acknowledgements
Foreword
1. The Morass of Marriage
1.1 Deferring to Family Custom
1.2 Precipice
1.3 Twice as Long as Wide: Obelisk
1.4 Poses
1.5 Compote and Compromise
1.6 Avoiding Squirrel Pellets
1.7 Rituals
1.8 Popcorn
1.9 Vigilance and Library Days
1.10 In the Thick of Home Birth
1.11 Rue/Roux
1.12 Chess and Clarabelle
1.13 Early En Route to the Campus Revival
1.14 The Undisclosed Visitor
1.15 Earlop's Secrets
1.16 Barefoot Nuptials
1.17 Aujour'hui
1.18 Tropical Birds
1.19 Trousseau
1.20 The Husband Remaking Machine

2. Other Relational Quagmires
2.1 On Not Weighing the Moral Turpitudes of Common Man
2.2 A Little More Ecchanacia, Dearie
2.3 Believing in Champions in the 1970s
2.4 Wine Cellar Confederates
2.5 Calling Shaka: Repudiation in Multiple Flavors
2.6 It’s a Surprise
2.7 To Disinter
2.8 The Yellow Girl: An Unfortunate Finish to a Youthful Lack of Ambitions
2.9 Raucous Celebrations
2.10 Deveining
2.11 Sassafras Tea for Two: Divergent Sexual Perspectives
2.12 A Fool, Albeit
2.13 Holy Day
2.14 Reflexing Upward
2.15 The Sexual Politics of Mental Illness
2.16 Stones: All Trumps Lots
2.17 King for a Day
2.18 Upon Possessing a Wiggly Fish
2.19 Elluvium, not Alluvium
2.20 The Milkmaid’s Prayer

3. Workplace Conundrums
3.1 An Investigation's Gestation
3.2 A Grande Faux Pas
3.3 Deli Slices
3.4 One of Many Acts
3.5 The Guard: A Middle Eastern Fantasy
3.6 A Little Ditzy in the Front Office
3.7 Cultivation
3.8 The Telemarketer Extraordinaire and the Would-be Strumpet
3.9 The Prostitute's Diet: the Onus of Relapse
3.10 From the Bronx, or, at Least from Amherst
3.11 But Not a Bird Chaser
3.12 Services Rendered
3.13 Another Store
3.14 Proceeding to Higher Character: Exoneration among the Tea Bags
3.15 Opening Remarks in the Sociology Department
3.16 Baking Cookies Counting Cheshire Cats, Espousing Classical Rhetoric, Raising Rabbits and Signing off from Cancer
3.17 Recumbent Riches
3.18 Lead Poisoning
3.19 The Prophet and the Social Worker
3.20 Flyer

4. Aches Also from Acquaintances
4.1 Retribution and “Righteous” Anger
4.2 An Excessive Number of Cases in the Children’s Institute
4.3 A Numinous Respite for a Simple Ballet Student
4.4 Little Life Alterations
4.5 The Lost Legacies of Seymour the Mapmaker and Miriam, His Sister
4.6 A Few Indiscretions at Hampshire House
4.7 An Awkward Letter
4.8 Steamed Fish with Eyes
4.9 Have Another (Double Bind)
4.10 The Clever Neighbor
4.11 No Cause to Remain
4.12 Middle Eastern Transport
4.13 A Few Constructive Observations
4.14 The Almost Olympian
4.15 Synecdoche with References to a Previous Life in Iowa City
4.16 The Wisdom of Oranges
4.17 Erudition after Casualty
4.18 A Slow-Working Relaxative
4.19 Spelling New Neighbors
4.20 Witches, Wizards and Watches
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