A Literary Feast

Posts by John North Radway

Immovable Feasts

Posted on May 6th, 2020

Next Year in Person I’m typing this hastily and I may not edit it much. Several things have changed lately—you’ve probably noticed—and somehow the idea of aspiring toward any sort of polish feels not only disingenuous but also unkind.             Throw together what you can, hastily if you must. Keep your people near and don’t turn away the stranger. Staying put will feel a lot like running. ***             “It’s getting to my head,” I tell a friend on the phone. “I swear I’m getting more Jewish the longer this goes on.” I mean it. There’s a pot of kasha varnishkes on the stove. Noodles, buckwheat, and enough schmaltz to hold it all together. It’s the ultimate Ashkenazi-American comfort food, and I’ve never had…

Winston Dodge, Monster Hunter

Posted on March 21st, 2017

Winston Dodge spends his winters days up to Millinocket because Millinocket needs him. He paces Congress Street at noon, proud of the sound his boots make on the wet snow. He turns his head from side, looking at things. Looking into shadows. Winston Dodge likes looking into shadows. When the shadows look back, he knows he’s found something worth finding. Winston Dodge is a finder and a fighter. Winston Dodge hunts monsters and he doesn’t like losing. So he makes it a point to win. It doesn’t come naturally.   *******   If you follow the Interstate up past Bangor, you’ll come to a low place where the trees are all dead, standing apart as though they want nothing to do with each other…

Pour Lost Ones

Posted on August 22nd, 2016

You couldn’t really call the sound of the saxophone anything but blurry, he thought as he licked the grey foam from the edge of his glass. The beer made his mouth feel grainy and thick. He wiped his nose with the knuckles of his right hand; he leaned forward and licked the foam again, this time trying to taste it. Steel and spit, like the music, a strange empty sensation like the constant blab of the saxophone that blared beneath every phrase like some dark and fundamental presence, something older and grittier than the granite bedrock that kept the town from sliding into the river and out to sea. He ran a jagged fingernail along the wood of the bar and wished he were…