Eye On Life Magazine

Lifestyle * Literary

Donal Mahoney - Poet

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Donal Mahoney, a native of Chicago, lives in St. Louis, MO. He has worked as an editor for The Chicago Sun-Times, Loyola University Press and Washington University in St. Louis. He has had poems published in or accepted by The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Commonweal, Public Republic (Bulgaria), Gloom Cupboard (U.K.), Revival (Ireland), The Istanbul Literary Review (Turkey), Black-Listed Magazine, Opium 2.0, Calliope Nerve, Haggard and Halloo, Rusty Truck, Pirene’s Fountain (Australia) and other publications.

Articles by Donal:  

Short fiction by Donal:

And be sure to stop by Donal’s blog:  

THE GRAVEDIGGER’S SON, DONAL MAHONEY 

 Read Donal Mahoney’s poetry:  

 

 

In the Wake of Technology

Short fiction by Donal Mahoney

Forty years ago, David Germaine had been an editor with a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper in a large city. After that, he had worked at many smaller papers in smaller cities because if one wanted to work for a newspaper, one had to go where the work was. And David loved newspapers.

As computers took over the newspaper business, reporters still wrote but often it was some new software that “edited” their copy, checking for spelling and grammatical mistakes but not always with accuracy. At some papers not yet fully transitioned to computers, human editors were still needed. More and more, however, as the software continued to improve, editors in cities, towns and villages grew fewer in number. And mistakes in newspapers became greater in number.

David is now retired and living on a small farm, "far from the madding crowd," as the title of a novel by Thomas Hardy once put it. He was surprised, then, when he received an email from a publisher whose books he had arranged reviews for over the years at different papers. Once again, the publisher was seeking publicity for a new book. This time, he wanted to know if David could get in touch with some of his old friends at that Pulitzer Prize-winning paper to see if someone would review his book and generate some potentially profitable publicity. As with newspapers, book publishers, those still in the business, exist to make a profit.

David thought about how long ago he had worked at that paper and he wondered about the people he knew there. He hadn’t heard from any of them in years. So he turned to the Internet to see if he could find some of them. What he found made his response to the book publisher easy to write in some respects but not so easy in others.

“Mark, I’m afraid the book editor I worked with at that paper has been dead for years. In fact, an Internet search indicates the movie critic, television critic, features editor and Sunday magazine editor are dead as well.

"The editor-in-chief, however, is still alive. I made a few phone calls and found that he is on a respirator in a nursing home in New York and will move into hospice soon. He always hired the best young people he could find and then worked them to death until they left for a better or lesser position. He was a brilliant editor but a miserable human being. Still, I’m sorry to see him go.

“I thought maybe the paper’s gossip columnist could help but he’s passed away too. He was hit by a truck while crossing an intersection. It’s true he ruined many a reputation and was mourned by few. There was no funeral according to the news item I found. His wife had him cremated. But he’s still thought of by many as the best gossip columnist ever to work that vile beat.

"Everyone else on that paper, I suspect, is dead as well or at best retired. Except for me out here in the country and the editor-in-chief on the respirator, I don’t know of another survivor from that staff. It’s still amazing how many Pulitzers they won.

"For some reason, I’m still in pretty good health, free of stents and joint replacements, perhaps because I quit drinking and smoking in 1959. That was the day I married a woman who bore five children in a little more than six years. She’s dead now too. She had a stroke in the kitchen making waffles two days into her retirement. She never got up. I saw her arm move on the floor but she was dead by the time the paramedics arrived. It’s just me in this big farmhouse now but I’m pretty good with a microwave. How did we live without microwaves in the old days, another miracle of technology?

“Although I’d love to help with the book, you can see I’m not currently in the swim of things at any paper. And as you know, it’s not a good time for newspapers. Many of them have died and others are on a respirator. People get their news on the Internet now or on television although some folks buy a paper just to read the funnies, obits and sports scores.

“If anyone I worked with back then is still in that newsroom, I’m afraid it’s because co-workers haven’t caught the stench yet or found the dust.

"I wish you the best with the book. In the attachment you sent, I can see that it underscores the role euthanasia now plays in end-of-life care. In the newspaper industry, there’s no need for euthanasia. Papers are dying regularly as a result of technology while the lives of people are sometimes saved by it. Even though I subscribe to the one newspaper still published in our area, I go online first thing in the morning to check the obituaries and sports scores. But I never did read the funnies.”

Carol Hamilton

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Carol Hamilton has recent and upcoming publications in LOUISIANA REVIEW, BOSTON LITERARY REVIEW, HUBBUB, BLUE UNICORN, BROAD RIVER REVIEW, CAVEAT LECTOR, NEW DELTA REVIEW, NARROW FELLOW, BLUESTEM, SOW'S EAR POETRY, TAR RIVER REVIEW, FLINT HILLS REVIEW, MAIN STREET RAG, I-70 REVIEW, U.S.1 WORKSHEET, REED, POEM, COLD MOUNTAIN REVIEW, ALBATROSS, HASH, and others; she has published 17 books:  children's novels, legends and poetry, most recently, "SUCH DEATHS"; and Carol is a former Poet Laureate of Oklahoma and nominated five times for a Pushcart Prize.

Previously her work has appeared in in ATLANTA REVIEW, LILLIPUT, STORM CELLAR, BLUESTEM, NEW LAUREL REVIEW, POET LORE,  U.S.1 WORKSHEET, CHAFFIN JOURNAL, TAR RIVER REVIEW, THE PENMEN REVIEW,  TURTLE ISLAND QUARTERLY,  BIRMINGHAM ARTS JOURNAL, COLERE,  MAIN STREET RAG,  LYRIC, CONNECTICUT RIVER REVIEW,  TRIBECA POETRY REVIEW, TAR RIVER REVIEW, U.S. NEWSLETTER, POEM, IBBETSON STREET, FLINT HILLS REVIEW, MERIDIAN ANTHOLOGY, MAIN STREET RAG, WILLOW REVIEW, BRYANT LITERARY REVIEW, RE:AL, POETRYBAY, HUMBER PIE, ELLIPSIS, THE AUROREAN, MILLER'S POND, SOUTH CAROLINA REVIEW, COLD MOUNTAIN REVIEW, TULANE REVIEW, SLIPSTREAM, TEXAS POETRY CALENDAR, SOUTHWESTERN AMERICAN LITERATURE, ABBEY, LISTENING EYE, WISCONSIN REVIEW, RIVER OAK REVIEW, SAN PEDRO RIVER REVIEW and others.

Previously published books include "MASTER OF THEATER: PETER THE GREAT", "LEGERDEMAIN", "LEXICOGRAPHY"  and “UMBERTO ECO LOST HIS GUN”.

Read Carol’s poetry:   

Christopher Hivner

Christopher Hivner writes from a small town in Pennsylvania surrounded by books and the echoes of music. He has recently been published in Black Mirror Magazine and Illumen.   A chapbook of poems, “Adrift on the Cosmic Sea”, was published by Kind of a Hurricane Press.

Website: www.chrishivner.com

Read Christopher Hivner's Poetry here at Eye On Life:

Lana Bella

Lana Bella has a diverse work of poetry and flash fiction published and forthcoming with Anak Sastra, Atlas Poetica, Bewildering Stories, Beyond Imagination, Buck-Off Magazine, Calliope Magazine, Eunoia Review, Eye On Life Magazine, Cecil's Writers' Magazine, Deltona Howl, Earl of Plaid Lit, Family Travel Haiku, First Literary Review-East, Five Willows Literary Review, Foliate Oak Literary, Garbanzo Literary Journal, Global Poetry, Ken*Again, Kind Of A Hurricane Press, Marco Polo Arts Literary, Nature Writing, New Plains Review, Poetry Pacific, The Camel Saloon, The Commonline Journal, The Higgs Weldon, The Voices Project,  Thought Notebook, War Anthology: We Go OnUndertow Tanka Review, Wordpool Press, Wilderness House Literary Review; Featured Artist with Quail Bell Magazine.

She resides on some distant isle with her novelist husband and two frolicsome imps.

Read Lana's Poetry: 

Genevieve Barrons

Genevieve Barrons is a fellow in the English department at Philips Andover Academy.  She holds degrees from the University of British Columbia and Cambridge University, where she held a Gates scholarship.  She is interested in the literature of the Holocaust, representations of place and 20th century poetry.

Read Genevieve's poetry: 

 

JD DeHart

JD DeHart is an English teacher who enjoys writing and publishing fiction, poetry, and nonfiction.  When he writes he tries to reflect on small, honest parts of his world.   He also attempts to capture pieces of life that are absurd and ironic. 

I think he succeeds. 

Read JD DeHart's poetry: 

 

See more of JD DeHart's poetry at: jasondehartjustliving.blogspot.com