The Spoon River Metblog




         A group blog adaptation of
“Spoon River Anthology” by Edgar Lee Masters


          W...
The Source: Spoon River Anthology



When they first appeared serially in the magazine Reedy’s Mirror in 1915, the 244 poe...
244 Voices From The Grave



“The Spoon River Metblog” updates this complex narrative while returning to the
original seri...
1. I, Metadata



The                                       might remain to tell your stories
holographic memory stores   ...
2. Lukasz Harding



I’m buried right next to
Jim Waring, the stockbroker.          later they gave me a
I remember he mad...
3. Marion Rankin-Dyer



My husband was a cruel
man. He never laid a
finger on me,
but there was no love in
his eyes no ma...
4. Nathan Rankin-Dyer



She’s always there, watching
me. Before, beautiful
and young, later
drained, accusatory.
Now, fro...
5. Ira Hernandez



I spent years
in the garage, trying to make my
vision real.
Dreaming of the systems, the software,
the...
6. Evan Loy



They called me good.
No one knew.
They called me nice.
No one knew.
They called me a
gentleman,
always with...
7. Fat Tina



Ugly me,
I never had
anyone
who saw what I
could feel on
the inside. They
just pointed
and gave me a
name t...
8. Suze Mueller



I got pregnant                    But he knows, and I know that
my second year of college         he ki...
9. Tammy Wilkes



I lost my sister
to drugs, and took in her
two daughters to raise.
Mya and Janice grew
to hate me, but ...
10. Mike Ely



I was shot dead            that the deal
for the five               was illegal
bucks of crack I’d        ...
11. Judge AbnerGoldhamer



It’s just not fair, is
it? A respected
Judge, pillar of the community,
friend to all the right...
12. Eleanor Stargall



Do you remember when the            kids off to die, but you were
Republicans paid Mike Ely       ...
13. Kyle Kerns



Give this message              dear Mayor Judy
to our esteemed town           Garrity, the
leaders who h...
14. Benjamin Ridley



I was a happy kid who grew
to be a happy man,
a lawyer, a community
voice, I was friends with men
a...
15. Tysha Ridley-Sampson



I fell in love with
him because of how his
smoky breath excited me.
But when I had to
live wit...
16. Micah Ridley



It took me years to            years after I thought
see that all I became          of it as a silly
w...
17. Genevieve Travis



I taught hundreds of students, thousands.
I only ever loved
one, dear Micah. I was so proud when
y...
18. Santiago Rufino, Pharm.D.



You have to know which drugs can be
taken with what other
drugs and which can’t, if you
w...
19. Daisey Kane



For a while there I was          was paid for with
public menace                    money that came fro...
20. Benjamin Ridley Kane



I could always see all
the people behind the
people, the ghosts
trailing mutely behind
them, u...
21. Efa Underwood


I wrote my                                     many injustices that came next.
little stories, and fol...
22. Llewelyn Underwood



There were Underwoods in this part
of the country when it was still a
colony. But instead of the...
23. Dutch Wallis



I was finally               But because I was                     took it. It wasn’t
able to sober up....
24. Doctor Robert Golden



A lifetime of service,           the stroke killed her. I
helping and healing              fol...
25. Mrs. Inez Golden



He spent the
remainder of
my life and his railing
against his
public disgrace.
He thinks the strai...
26. Kevin Winterbaum



It was somewhere near
Basra, I think, where I died. Bleeding
into the sand, all
I could think abou...
27. Sheila Springer



Kevin Winterbaum
was arrested for having drugs,
for vandalism
and mischief, and Judge Bolton let
hi...
28. Eugene Conkin



My family owned the             I kept their organic
orchard. My father taught       crusade at bay u...
29. Jamieson Hazeltone



All I ever did was study
for the tests at school. I always passed,
always got A’s, but it wasn’t...
30. Al Hazeltone



When I
was growing up, Spoon River was much
smaller.
My high school class was less than eighty,
and I
...
31. Doctor Jason Centrone



Long after house calls had        funeral and they
become a relic,                   cried in...
32. Officer Copeland



We rotated with other
squads, but I always loved the night
shift. Sure, during the summer,
when it...
33. Hannah Ward



Jimmy, it’s so clear to
me now. Please don’t
mourn for me anymore.
My husband knew
all about us, and he...
34. Paul Robeson Law



My father was                   Instead, I enjoyed my life.
always going on and on          So may...
35. Shelly Leithouse



As a kid, all that I                   and joy and life to this dreary town.
listened to was class...
36. Christine Siegel



I picked the fight with him that morning
over nothing at all.
He married me, even though I was
pre...
37. Miguel Elliott



I never listened to
public service announcements
that warned against riding
in-between train cars. T...
38. Scott DeMayo



My folks would rarely
let me out of the house.
They were scared I would
get caught up in the gangs
tha...
39. Damien McCoy



I knew all the kids at
school whispered about
me behind my back. I
never caught them, but
I knew for s...
40. Taryn, the Dramatist



In the schools of Spoon
River, I
learned the truth of how people were. Their
petty grievances,...
41. The Sheriff



I had been                           it at people - cops, criminals,
a local football hero and         ...
42. Russell Diedrich



I was driving home from a                 had my case was a close friend
party one night, and the ...
43. Benton Woods



My service was during
the short lull between
Japan and Korea,
so I never saw
a real battle. But I
prea...
44. Beverly Domino



I tried not to lie, and so
They made me an outcast.
I saw greed and did not call
it charity. I saw
u...
45. James MacDonald Waring



It was ironic,
no? That the money I made from my
investments in the Trust
allowed me to fund...
46. Shaun Bolton



The embarrassments,              smile to my face.
the mundane injuries             Now there’s simply...
47. Ruth Middleton-Ross



All throughout school,                      time to follow my own ambitions.
they told me I was...
48. Alexander Flagg



I spent years organizing protests
against the War in
Vietnam. Later I became an
entrepreneur and
ma...
49. Dr. Gregory Vreeland



Doctors                                      keep selling them. Then the deaths
are supposed t...
50. Robb Chess



You won’t believe             was all a game.
what I say, but all
that money that               All game...
51. Claire Battaglia



My mother was always
sick, and I was born blind. All my life
people pitied me. But
what they did n...
52. Judge Welington Bolton



I was renowned for
having the largest personal law
library in three states.
Judges and lawye...
53. Clarence Brusso



When I married her, I thought the   not imagine saying
urges would go away.                the word...
54. Kharyn Green



When I grew my breasts, I           secretly they were
asked my parents what               free to do....
55. Giovanni Moss



I was never the best looking             watching the young
man in the room.                         ...
56. Hans Bluff



I was always                  Broderick Deegan’s
chasing Kharyn Green,         real estate firm.
hoping ...
57. Andrew Cairns



They always told me that
my dream of playing pro
ball was impossible,
so I left this town as
soon as ...
58. Darryl Cordova



My father owned the shop,          shop before reaching sixty.
and I spent most of my youth
working ...
59. Gwendolyn Yates



They told me I didn’t have a work       call me a failure.
ethic, because I                        ...
60. Helene Duluca



We were both thirteen, but
when they caught us they all
blamed Charlie and told me
he forced himself ...
61. Rabbi Stern



Everyone thought me
to be wise, and they
were heartbroken at
my wasting illness.
The temple rallied
aro...
62. Rita Chavez



I knew I was
the second choice, and I
was overjoyed
when my rival left. Then
Pedro belonged
to me. But ...
63. Pedro Teves



Poor Rita, I swear          I was never free
I never wanted              of knowing what I
to hurt you....
64. Wayne Garcia



I had so many
opportunities, and
I let each of them
pass by. For good reasons,
I believed. They were
r...
65. Spencer Chadwick



They said I was crazy, a
man of seventy, marrying
a girl of thirty-five. They
said she was after m...
66. Gary, the Pilot



All my life, all
I wanted
was to break the bonds
of gravity.
To ascend
higher and higher
into the s...
67. Ng the Salesman



All things                            been such a
are business                          cancer on t...
68. Mayor Ellen Garrity



My good friends. I hoped
that my lifetime of
service would be valued. That
you would look kindl...
69. Miles Kagan



I paid for many               town. I never believed
campaigns, and helped to make in anything or
the M...
70. Ron and Leo



While alive,
we were not
allowed to

live truly
openly
together.

Were never
permitted
to show our

lov...
71. Margaret Garzan



After Micah Ridley left town       a brain, but gorgeous to
without me, I swore I’d            look...
72. Mrs. Sofia Garzan



I designed                     legislation than
lingerie for a                 to simply talk wit...
73. Judge Sy Goldberg



When I was alive,                     tilted
I would                               from the start...
74. Busker Barney



I was playing for coins        great musicians that I’m
at the Courthouse Bus Stop.    never at a los...
75. The Salaryman



When I was                                   of the firm, with a family and
ten, my folks gave me a s...
76. Alexandra Austen



That house was the cause of all of our strife.
He inherited it
from his mother, and all his siblin...
77. Glenn Austen



It was a little             and his desire to                  a standoff, and I tried
bit after my si...
78. D.A. Antonio Jackson



My life                         and healthy. And I learned that
was devoted to bringing       ...
79. Jonathan Mellor



I studied all the great word men,
Bruce, Carlin, Hicks. Did you
know that as part of his act,
Mort ...
80. Johan Torres



I was born with a
defective valve in my
heart, so my life was
contained, limited, and
measured in tiny...
81. LoydPahk



When I had the
stroke, I was still
waiting for my
promotion to
Director to
go through. It was
going to mak...
82. Park Shin Min



My tiny town          a one-way plane             from that thought.
outside Wonju         ticket to ...
83. Matthew Twombley



I got Doctor Centrone to
give me Viagra, but didn’t
tell him about the heart meds
I’d gotten from ...
84. Alejandro Mejias



The confusion does not surprise me.
Very few actual
remains were recovered from the pit,
so how we...
85. A Powerful Lawyer



I                                     I kept even the smallest claim
counted myself among the mos...
86. Kathy Folds



You stayed with me through
all the chemo, the
radiation, the
surgeries. Ten years
of hacking pieces
of ...
87. Joanie the Musician



I had to learn to use
my sorrow,
to turn it into my music.
I wrote songs about the
sadness my
e...
88. Mrs. Schneider



I dreamed of
divorcing him. But I stayed. For the
children. That’s
what Judge Goldhamer advised him....
89. Mrs. Mitzi Schultz



Sometimes, the                   program again and
only thing that helped           again, and t...
90. Rev. Clay Halty



Of all my                   saw their children,
accomplishments             and their calm, quiet
i...
91. Allan Bivans



I spent most of my            was the most valued
life struggling for the       substance in the world...
92. Rev. Jeremy Sheaffer



After I
passed, the Church auctioned off
my effects as a fundraiser.
It was my
idea, to let ea...
93. Roosevelt Feinstein



I fought them all of my days. For rights
for all. For freedom of conscience, for
freedom of cho...
94. Judge Terence Visser



All those liberal
lions, Kerns and Feinstein and
O’Meara, they loved to
laugh at me, and judge...
95. Kelvin Platt



Thom Kerns always complained   failures. I had no
how ashamed he was             identity of my
that h...
96. Thom Kerns



I never quite
got why Kelvin Platt
was always so
miserable when
folks asked about
his amazing kids.
I’d ...
97. Christine Novell



They never knew what to call the thing,
whatever it was I
had. Lupus, Lyme, Epstein-Barr, Fibro,
C...
98. Ikrimahibn Khalid



They were always making fun
of the way
I dressed and the way I prayed.
Always trying to convert
m...
99. Simon Leigh Goldhamer



People say they like                    shun, reject, deny
the truth. But the truth          ...
100. Moreland, the Columnist



I got fired from the paper
for doing
the same thing that got me lauded in
the first place....
101. Harmonie Fisher



Life was a competition. For
me to succeed others
had to fail. So I made damn sure
they would. I un...
102. Christian Deegan



So, everybody hated and feared
me, you say? What of it?

While the so-called moralists and the
ri...
103. MaureeneTringo



After years of work, reams of forms,     defend my new homeland.
and waiting and waiting,
I finally...
104. Thomas Winter



We were one of the first         died in an accident.
families, founders of            Hank overdose...
105. Phillip Thomas Winter



I was in and out of all            not answer no. So I
the best hospitals, and            re...
106. Maria Winter



When you lose your soul-
mate, you lose a piece of
yourself. And when your
soul-mate turns their back...
107. Paul Welch



I’m so sorry                 good enough for you
Maria. I did                 again. I’m so
not meant i...
108. Rachel LeDoux



The funny thing is, I          I lost him, and with him
never even liked sex           my best candi...
109. Anya Kirillov



I came here from                        things to placate her wrath. So we
Poland when I was a girl,...
110. Benson White



All that I achieved – Judge,
Congressman, and a
Candidate for the State
House – was possible
only bec...
111. Gil Tam



I always               believed there
argued that            was no such
religion               thing as a...
112. Steve Biscoe



Gil and I loved to
argue religion. He
was a wonderful
fellow and a hopeless
secularist. When
my cance...
113. Laurent Arno



I knew she cheated on me.
A Minister
cannot divorce his wife and
expect to keep
his position. So I bo...
114. Imogene Arno-Niles



I kept my secrets in life.
I’ll keep them in
death. There is nothing
I can say to you that you
...
115. Eugene Blantz



I entered politics
to make things better. But
after all the years, all
the deals, all the goddamned
...
116. Lonnie Marchetti



A fuck-up like me, a
man who had wasted decades on drugs
and booze, who had cut a
swath of destru...
117. Sheri O’Brien



You may have gone far
away from here, and had
a life rich with sights
and experiences
that far outst...
118. “Big Ed” Thag



I guess there’s                 to live
always                          in a town where
been two kin...
119. MireleBulinski



Tell me – if you could do it
all over again, start over
from the beginning, with a
clean slate, wou...
120. The Anonymous



He was rich.
He was powerful. He took what he
wanted from
me and discarded the emptied husk.
Then hi...
121. Joel Addams Loxley



I know it’s not                    lofty heights, acquired
popular opinion,                   b...
122. DekeStayn



Breeding and an
education are
nice, but I’ll take
a worker that’s made
his own way in
the world. I start...
123. Pierce Leithouse



People think it was the
way the town leaders demonized my
daughter that led me to
defect to the o...
124. Howard, the Station Boss



Everybody clamors                    secure. I knew
for the truth.                       ...
125. Maryann Stillson



I ran my laundry for most
of my days. I cleaned clothes for all
kinds of people. Rich and poor,
l...
126. Doug Linke



All I said was              national pride be
that American               self-evident?
policy had     ...
127. Philip Dent



My lifetime belonged to       and flattering
Christian Deegan.             his vanity. I had
I gave hi...
128. Ernie Coffin



After what Dent did         police, and the next day,
to himself, I was next      every news show and...
129. Lafayette Lincoln Jones



When I first became a lawyer, it          of all the luminaries
was to help defend the poo...
130. Professor Newcomb



Evolution must have selected
in favor of religious
belief, otherwise why would it be
in every si...
131. Broderick Deegan



It’s true, my reckless speculation
led to the collapse of
my father’s bank. But it’s not as if
he...
132. Mo Nickle



Some folks                     thinking that it would be
just have bad luck. I was      The One.
always ...
133. CharlaNoxon



I killed him. He didn’t       insignificant and
like that I wouldn’t          poor simply vanish.
choo...
134. Shawn Rigby



Yes, I was high. I
won’t deny that. But
I just stopped to shut
my eyes for a bit.
I was going to
move ...
135. Marc Lyon



I did love her.                 a witness in
But I could not                 a federal
get away. I      ...
136. Tanya Lyon



He could not even               But I built my
look me in the                  life with him, and I
eye...
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The Spoon River Metblog - a group blog adaptation of "Spoon River Anthology," written by Jay Bushman and originally published at http://spoonriver.metblogs.com

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The Spoon River Metblog

  1. 1. The Spoon River Metblog A group blog adaptation of “Spoon River Anthology” by Edgar Lee Masters Written by Jay Bushman Produced by The Loose-Fish Project: Adapting classic texts to the web Originally published in 2008 http://spoonriver.metblogs.com
  2. 2. The Source: Spoon River Anthology When they first appeared serially in the magazine Reedy’s Mirror in 1915, the 244 poems that make up Spoon River Anthology were a scandal and a sensation. A poet named Webster Ford, visiting the cemetery in his fictional hometown of Spoon River, Illinois, hears the testimony of the local dead. Each individual poem is one person’s epitaph. Some of them have attained wisdom in their passing. Some cling to the grudges of their living days. Some cry for justice. Some ask for forgiveness. Many relate their part in the culture war between liberals and conservatives that split their town in two. Most, but not all, are unquiet. Each individual testimony reveals more detail about the larger stories occurring in the town, with people augmenting or contradicting their neighbors. Masters used plain and blunt language to describe their inner, secret lives, touching on topics such as abortion, murder, infidelity and atheism, and ripping the veneer off the image of idyllic small town life. When the poems were assembled, augmented and reordered in book form in 1916, it became the second best-selling volume of American poetry of all-time. Today it is a standard text in many high school English classes and acting schools, and stage adaptations are regularly performed.
  3. 3. 244 Voices From The Grave “The Spoon River Metblog” updates this complex narrative while returning to the original serial form of distribution. In this version, the town is a different Spoon River, a microcosm of a shrinking America. Here too, a culture war raged, secrets were kept, people loved and betrayed and murdered. We hear 244 of the departed bear witness to the meaning, or lack of meaning, of their lives. Our guide here is not a poet; instead, a writer named George Dillon Davidson records the epitaphs of the dead in a kind of syllabic prose. The story is told in the form of a Metblog. Metrobloggingis a worldwide network of city- specific blogs, where groups of authors write stories about life in their city from a personal, hyper-local perspective. Bode Media, the publishers of Metroblogging, built a fictional Metblog site for Spoon River at http://spoonriver.metblogs.com. The epitaphs as relayed by Davidson are published as individual blog posts. And there is a hidden code which leads the reader to uncover even more of the town’s secrets… Meet the people of Spoon River
  4. 4. 1. I, Metadata The might remain to tell your stories holographic memory stores or en- damn your enemies. To confess un- ciphered throughout our brains; our We, love of your family or warn our of Us, our I; the thing we whisper night- those fatal mistakes. To pronounce time pleas and stories to. The hub wise edicts and foolish rules. And some of nights, feeling and of knowing and of there’d be me there, listening for you. self. You could have (sort of) eternal Spoon River’s legacy is here, life, in let it be imaged in software xerox-constructed epitaphs and built into your grave site. You’d be by George Dillon Davidson long expired, but your encoded Soul http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/05/29/i-metadata
  5. 5. 2. Lukasz Harding I’m buried right next to Jim Waring, the stockbroker. later they gave me a I remember he made lethal injection. Now I a mint in the dot com boom, lie next to Jim. Seems our went bankrupt, and somehow two roads led to the same place. ended up even richer than before, while I lost everything I had and more. Seeing how the wealthy just took what they felt they could get away with, I went and robbed a mini-mart store and accidentally shot the clerk at the counter. He was an immigrant, a father of four and I killed him. I plead guilty and got death row, where five years http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/05/29/lukasz-harding
  6. 6. 3. Marion Rankin-Dyer My husband was a cruel man. He never laid a finger on me, but there was no love in his eyes no matter what he said. I knew. Years went by quietly. He wore me down, and my spirit smothered until the face in my mirror looked at me with the same contempt. I withered and died. But I am content, because now it haunts him, that awful face. He knows what he did to me. That is my revenge. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/05/29/marion-rankin-dyer
  7. 7. 4. Nathan Rankin-Dyer She’s always there, watching me. Before, beautiful and young, later drained, accusatory. Now, from behind my own eyes. What did I do to deserve this end? Who am I fooling? I know what I did. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/05/29/nathan-rankin-dyer
  8. 8. 5. Ira Hernandez I spent years in the garage, trying to make my vision real. Dreaming of the systems, the software, the networks, code I could recite like poetry. Then one day, it all came together as I planned and I saw myself standing in the company of all the famous garage geniuses, and in excitement I tripped over a power cord and dashed my brains all over the floor of the garage. I thought work was supposed to be its own reward. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/05/29/ira-hernandez
  9. 9. 6. Evan Loy They called me good. No one knew. They called me nice. No one knew. They called me a gentleman, always with a kind word or gesture. So they never knew, the fools. And they never will. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/02/evan-loy
  10. 10. 7. Fat Tina Ugly me, I never had anyone who saw what I could feel on the inside. They just pointed and gave me a name that I would never lose. They say that all people are beautiful in some way but nobody ever found mine. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/02/fat-tina
  11. 11. 8. Suze Mueller I got pregnant But he knows, and I know that my second year of college he killed me as and Michael said sure as if he’d cut my throat. we should have the baby. And when I told him about the sad history of the women in my family, that I was terrified, he would not listen to me. I relented, carried to term and died while giving birth to a baby girl. And now he raises her and they all say how he’s selfless, honorable, and that the whole story is a tragedy http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/02/suze-mueller
  12. 12. 9. Tammy Wilkes I lost my sister to drugs, and took in her two daughters to raise. Mya and Janice grew to hate me, but I don’t blame them and neither should you. I was too hard on them, thinking that discipline would save them from their mother’s fate. But all I did was drive them back to the street. I was supposed to keep them safe but I failed. May God forgive me. I swear I tried my best. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/02/tammy-wilkes
  13. 13. 10. Mike Ely I was shot dead that the deal for the five was illegal bucks of crack I’d somehow. It just bought. They was a giant buried me, an scandal and indigent, they were forced to in Potter’s Field. pay to move That was fine. all the corpses It was just what to new graves I had earned. Which is how I But then they sold ended up the graveyard here, in the same to a bigshot ground where they real estate put that banker developer and his wife, to build a you know, the ones big shopping mall. that always It came out were on TV. in the papers http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/02/mike-ely
  14. 14. 11. Judge AbnerGoldhamer It’s just not fair, is it? A respected Judge, pillar of the community, friend to all the right people, a man who spent his lifetime upholding the law, seeing wrong punished, virtue rewarded. So why am I buried here with no marker of all my great accomplishments while that drug addict Michael Ely gets a headstone of Italian marble? There is no justice in Spoon River. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/06/judge-abner-goldhamer
  15. 15. 12. Eleanor Stargall Do you remember when the kids off to die, but you were Republicans paid Mike Ely too busy waving flags to hear. to gather up street people My gift to you Spoon River. and go around town disrupting Democratic polling sites Have your fucking war. Choke on as a part of their dirty tricks it. campaign to buy another term for our Mayor Garrity? What you won’t remember is when I packed it in after years fighting them on behalf of a “public interest” most of the public had no interest in protecting. So I took the bribe they offered me and shut up while they elected that moron Robin Parker to Congress. I could have warned you he’d send our http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/06/eleanor-stargall
  16. 16. 13. Kyle Kerns Give this message dear Mayor Judy to our esteemed town Garrity, the leaders who have avatar of our survived me. Titans morality. of Spoon River: The righteous ones whom Christian Deegan, and I spent my life his gross fortune, opposing in and corrupting all that out of court and it touched. The right who have all outlived Reverend Sheaffer me. Tell them not preaching decades to worry. I got worth of bile with here first, and I’m impunity. building a brand new Don Howard, with his Circle of Hell television just for them. Tell them station pumping lies I’m waiting and and circuses I will see them soon. around the clock. And don’t forget our http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/06/kyle-kerns
  17. 17. 14. Benjamin Ridley I was a happy kid who grew to be a happy man, a lawyer, a community voice, I was friends with men and women of all persuasions. And then I met her. We were married, and things changed. My friends said she made me ashamed, timid, and my standing became diminished. We argued for years, decades. She always won. By the time I left, I had nowhere to go, nobody who would give me refuge. So I lived out my days sleeping on the short couch in my tiny office. At least I could Smoke there without hearing Her tell me what I was doing Wrong. At least I had that. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/06/benjamin-ridley
  18. 18. 15. Tysha Ridley-Sampson I fell in love with him because of how his smoky breath excited me. But when I had to live with it every day, a constant reminder of how his values were opposed to mine, I could not forget it. I could not let it go. That scent never lost its power, even after I drove him away. How can love and disgust be able to live together in peace? http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/06/tysha-ridley-sampson
  19. 19. 16. Micah Ridley It took me years to years after I thought see that all I became of it as a silly was made possible juvenile crush. It because of Miss Travis. was twenty years before I was headed to I saw that I was jail or worse. I was bent measuring all of my on destroying my lovers against the self, since destruction was template of you. I wish all I had learned to I could have told you, do. But Miss Travis was consequences be damned. the only one in all of godforsaken Spoon River who gave me reason to believe I had a future. Miss Travis, I never told you how much I was in love with you. For http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/11/micah-ridley
  20. 20. 17. Genevieve Travis I taught hundreds of students, thousands. I only ever loved one, dear Micah. I was so proud when you escaped this town and made a life for yourself in the world. Even if I dreamed you might come back someday and pined for it, I’m glad you never did. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/11/genevieve-travis
  21. 21. 18. Santiago Rufino, Pharm.D. You have to know which drugs can be taken with what other drugs and which can’t, if you want to own a pharmacy like I did. Too bad there’s no equivalent science for mixing personalities. Two people who are whole on their own can form less than the sum of their parts when mixed. The Ridley-Sampsons there are a good example. Fine as individuals but disastrous when blended and resulting in a toxic reaction like their son. Even an expert can be surprised sometimes, like when my wife poisoned me to death with chemicals that she pilfered from my own store. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/11/santiago-rufino-pharmd
  22. 22. 19. Daisey Kane For a while there I was was paid for with public menace money that came from “fees” number one. The symbol and “taxes” and of all that was “punitive judgments” on wrong in Spoon River. Just what they called vice. get rid of me How much money from my and all would be perfect pocket paid for and pure. Except the schools, the streets, the cops, how much of Don Howard’s the services kickbacks found their that made Spoon River run? way to the town coffers? Do you wonder Or the windfall why they never shut me in stock Judge Fairlawn cashed down completely? in after he If they had tried, the town ruled in the favor of would have fallen Deegan Partners? apart, along with their And didn’t Reverend moral veneer. Sheaffer live in a mansion while most of his flock was poor? http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/11/daisey-kane And how much of the town
  23. 23. 20. Benjamin Ridley Kane I could always see all the people behind the people, the ghosts trailing mutely behind them, unable to give warnings or laugh at mistakes. Nobody else could, but me. And I would try speaking to them, to decipher http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/11/benjamin-ridley-kane
  24. 24. 21. Efa Underwood I wrote my many injustices that came next. little stories, and folks rolled their eyes. I had no “Who’s ever family to support me, mother gonna read these?” “Nothing happens.” “I long vanished, don’t get it.” father too mired in old ways to I was keener on divining things even speak unspoken about it, and no money for an between people who are all alone, abortion than simple I begged Doctor Golden for help. He turning of a story’s mechanics. delivered me into the world, and I pleaded The best place with him to to observe the animals at play deliver me again. He agreed was always to help me. the bar at the Butcher’s Block. But there But something went wrong and I didn’t are cruel beasts recover. out there, who only hear what they say It took eight horrible weeks for me to themselves. to fade and That’s how I was pinned by the claws of die, while Doctor Golden was dragged through Dutch Wallis, the mud and who trapped me in the alley behind held responsible. Him, not Wallis. Butcher’s, and savaged me. He broke my bones, knocked out Seems it was my teeth, raked true. No one understood my stories. my skin, spilled my blood and left me a pregnancy. That he got away with it was just the first of http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/11/efa-underwood
  25. 25. 22. Llewelyn Underwood There were Underwoods in this part of the country when it was still a colony. But instead of the legacy of the founders of this town, all you saw was a sad, poor laborer carting a case home from the Cut-Rate. And then my bitch wife ran off. And then what you all did to my poor Efa. I was the last of the Underwoods. There are no more. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/16/llewelyn-underwood
  26. 26. 23. Dutch Wallis I was finally But because I was took it. It wasn’t able to sober up. smoking where I shouldn’t nearly enough to pay have been, workers comp for my expenses, And I got a job denied my claim, and I and ran out quickly but working as a third-shift was forced to sue the I solved that with a janitor at the owner of the mall. Which return to my drinking. big new Galleria. turned out to be a One Monday morning, company owned by Rod I was working in the Deegan. Which meant that basement and stopped for the expired permits a smoke break. When I lit and failed inspections the match, there was a were covered up. The Judge giant explosion. I in the case, like all got second and third of them, a friend of the degree burns all over. Deegans, allowed the case to be delayed so It turned out there were long that there was no methane leaks all over way I could afford all the building, and it the medical bills was a miracle that and legal fees. So when it hadn’t burned while they offered me a full of people shopping. tiny settlement, I http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/16/dutch-wallis
  27. 27. 24. Doctor Robert Golden A lifetime of service, the stroke killed her. I helping and healing followed her soon after, families, meant nothing never convicted of when I could not save poor any crime, never Efa Underwood. found innocent either. My name and picture on every newspaper cover, every television screen. Charged with manslaughter. And the protestors! I went to medical school with a good friend of that Doctor Sleppian, so how could I take the threats idly? I could see vengeful killers in every crowd. The strain weighed on my wife, until http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/16/doctor-robert-golden
  28. 28. 25. Mrs. Inez Golden He spent the remainder of my life and his railing against his public disgrace. He thinks the strain killed me. I couldn’t tell him the truth. I thought he was guilty. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/16/doctor-robert-golden
  29. 29. 26. Kevin Winterbaum It was somewhere near Basra, I think, where I died. Bleeding into the sand, all I could think about was how none of my troublemaking was worth it, and when they gave me the choice of jail or the Marines, I chose wrong. They gave me a hero’s burial and everyone was so proud of me. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/16/kevin-winterbaum
  30. 30. 27. Sheila Springer Kevin Winterbaum was arrested for having drugs, for vandalism and mischief, and Judge Bolton let him join the army to pay off his debt. But he died. And nobody knew that the only reason Kevin was getting high and smashing mailboxes that night, was because he caught me with Gio Moss, and I screamed at him that I never wanted to see his face again. After he died I saw it every night of my life. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/20/sheila-springer
  31. 31. 28. Eugene Conkin My family owned the I kept their organic orchard. My father taught crusade at bay until me how to run it, and I passed on. Then they made do whatever it took their changes anyway. to maximize yield, to preserve freshness, and to But maybe they were right. amplify color. I I’ve been buried here for gave my children stakes in years; the worms won’t touch the business, and we fought me. over the additives and fertilizers, the chemical sprays and the preservatives. They had this strange idea about how people wanted less colorful and shorter- lasting apples, and that they would pay more for them. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/20/eugene-conkin
  32. 32. 29. Jamieson Hazeltone All I ever did was study for the tests at school. I always passed, always got A’s, but it wasn’t enough. The tests were weighted and it was possible to get a grade that was over one-hundred percent. So a perfect score was still not good enough, and they drilled it into us that our performance on the exams would determine the rest of our lives. In one way they were right. I was so frightened of not being good enough, all I did was work. And when the panic attacks started, I didn’t tell anybody because it would mean I’d have less time to study. The day that I was supposed to take the PSATs, I had an attack while walking to school, and fell in front of the bus. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/20/jamieson-hazeltone
  33. 33. 30. Al Hazeltone When I was growing up, Spoon River was much smaller. My high school class was less than eighty, and I think most of us stayed here in the town. Unlike the later generations, who left as soon as they could. How many of my old school chums are here with me now? Life can be long. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/20/al-hazeltone
  34. 34. 31. Doctor Jason Centrone Long after house calls had funeral and they become a relic, cried in memory I was known throughout the town of my infinite kindness as the one who could be and patience. But when I called on at any saw my Cassandra hour of the night. And the hiding at the edge of the people loved me for it. crowd of mourners, afraid But the truth was my to show in public wife was a harpy, my kids what we hid for so many were strangers, and my work years, all I could do then was the only thing was hate myself for that kept me from jumping from being a lying coward. the Deegan Bridge. Any excuse to get out of the house, I would take it. So, when I finally passed, the entire community came to my http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/20/doctor-jason-centrone
  35. 35. 32. Officer Copeland We rotated with other squads, but I always loved the night shift. Sure, during the summer, when it was too hot to stay calm, it meant that there was a lot more crap to deal with. Shootings and stabbings almost every night. And of course drugs, always the drugs. But in the wintertime, most people would stay inside trying to keep warm. It was just too damn cold to make any trouble And it would be so quiet. Sometimes I would get out of my patrol car and walk the streets, like a beat cop of the old days. Every night is that quiet now. I could not be happier. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/20/officer-copeland
  36. 36. 33. Hannah Ward Jimmy, it’s so clear to me now. Please don’t mourn for me anymore. My husband knew all about us, and he suffered as much agony as we did in trying to keep it secret from him. But give him this message from me. Tell him my love for you did not diminish my love for him. Love is not finite. The more it is shared, the more it creates. Go and love him for me. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/20/hannah-ward
  37. 37. 34. Paul Robeson Law My father was Instead, I enjoyed my life. always going on and on So maybe about how I was too drunk I needed to to drive and killed myself by be responsible to the smashing head- family, on into that to our people, tree. But hey, at least I did to make something of myself. it myself. My life, it never belonged to me, it was always the property of someone else. I couldn’t go along with that. So I didn’t become a lawyer, a judge or a respected entrepreneur. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/20/paul-robeson-law
  38. 38. 35. Shelly Leithouse As a kid, all that I and joy and life to this dreary town. listened to was classic rock. But when But the powers that be I went to the U.K. finally forced me to close down my for a study abroad year, I was Cathedral. Soon after exposed to so many I got sick, and to their glee I did different new sounds. And then my not recover. I don’t friends dragged know why I could never escape them. me to the festival And now I will lie here at Glastonbury, and I spent twelve forever where there is no music. blissful hours in the Experimental Sound Field. I walked away a changed person. I came back to Spoon River with my DJ boyfriend and tried to open a club. He took off soon thereafter, but I did not give up. I spent the next decade trying to bring music http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/20/shelly-leithouse
  39. 39. 36. Christine Siegel I picked the fight with him that morning over nothing at all. He married me, even though I was pregnant with another man’s baby. I was scared that he was regretting it. He left for work, slamming doors behind him. I raided the medicine cabinet. I lay down in bed to read, but never got up. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/28/christine-siegel
  40. 40. 37. Miguel Elliott I never listened to public service announcements that warned against riding in-between train cars. Then I lost my grip, and became the warning. I’m sorry, Mom. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/28/miguel-elliott
  41. 41. 38. Scott DeMayo My folks would rarely let me out of the house. They were scared I would get caught up in the gangs that ran around our neighborhood. So I stayed in and was lonely. And none of it mattered when that stray bullet shattered through my bedroom window. I wish they would have let me out more. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/28/scott-demayo
  42. 42. 39. Damien McCoy I knew all the kids at school whispered about me behind my back. I never caught them, but I knew for sure. If I tried to tell someone, they would look at me like I had gone crazy. So I did some reading and do you know what I found? I was crazy. Nobody would help me, they just told me to get over it. So I did, by swallowing a whole bottle of pills. And it worked. Now, no one talks about me. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/28/damien-mccoy
  43. 43. 40. Taryn, the Dramatist In the schools of Spoon River, I learned the truth of how people were. Their petty grievances, their wolfpack mentality, their tiny codes that formed the basis of what they called “real life.” When I went out into the wider world, I saw everywhere else was basically the same. It was all a comedy of manners. Like my plays, my life, mere comedy. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/06/28/taryn-the-dramatist
  44. 44. 41. The Sheriff I had been it at people - cops, criminals, a local football hero and citizens - then I joined and make them do my bidding. Then the Army. I came home to a one night I parade, and used that brass club to strike Russell rumors that I had a dozen Diedrich, and kills. I was he shot me dead. The powers that recruited into the police, were did all force and they they could to have Diedrich sent to put me on the fast track, until death row. But I became they failed, because I haunted the the youngest Sheriff in the town’s dreams of the history. jury foreman and told him that They wanted an energetic, what I got they said a was just punishment for my crimes. charismatic, force for law and order. It apparently was a plus that I was the meanest son of a bitch in town. I had a nightstick made of solid brass and I would wave http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/07/06/the-sheriff
  45. 45. 42. Russell Diedrich I was driving home from a had my case was a close friend party one night, and the sheriff of Christian Deegan, who had made pulled me over. I hadn’t Logan the Sheriff in the been doing anything wrong, but first place, so I knew it would be he put me face down on the the chair. But Kerns cut a deal pavement anyway. He searched my to stop his investigation car without probable cause, into Deegan’s stock fraud and and found the remains of a joint. manipulation, in exchange for giving me a shortened He screamed at me, then pulled out prison sentence. They gave me a his awful nightstick and beat me thirty-year stretch, but I was with it. I scrabbled back to let out after fourteen of them. my car. He’d stopped his search when he found the pot, so hadn’t found While I was on the inside, the gun. He swung the stick at my I taught myself how to play chess. head, and I shot him in the There was a program where you neck. He fell to the pavement and could play correspondence matches I ran away while he bled against professionals and to death. When I turned myself in, ranked experts. One time, I fought an the guards beat on me without International Master mercy, until my attorney until he offered me a draw. Kyle Kerns was able to have me transferred. But the Judge who http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/07/06/russell-diedrich
  46. 46. 43. Benton Woods My service was during the short lull between Japan and Korea, so I never saw a real battle. But I preached my example to my sons, and they both went to Vietnam, but never came home. Now there are no more Woods. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/07/06/benton-woods
  47. 47. 44. Beverly Domino I tried not to lie, and so They made me an outcast. I saw greed and did not call it charity. I saw ugliness and did not call it beautiful. I saw ambition and did not call it service. And I saw brainwashing and did not call it an education. For my candor, I was shunned, hated. But it did not matter to me. My inside and outside were conformed. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/07/06/beverly-domino
  48. 48. 45. James MacDonald Waring It was ironic, no? That the money I made from my investments in the Trust allowed me to fund the town’s arts and humanities, and provide a platform for Deegan’s enemies. Like the theater, symphony, my wife’s foundation. And that the collapse of that same Trust ruined me and silenced all those voices. While Deegan went all but untouched. If I did not know better, I’d think that he planned it all this way. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/07/15/james-macdonald-waring
  49. 49. 46. Shaun Bolton The embarrassments, smile to my face. the mundane injuries Now there’s simply nothing. and the insults of daily life were always too much for me. My skin, always thin, never hardened. And one day, my wife complaining how I burned the chicken again was all I could take, so I opened the window and jumped out. But even here, there is no rest. No rest, and no freedom to change. When I was alive, at least there were a few things that brought a fleeting http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/07/15/shaun-bolton
  50. 50. 47. Ruth Middleton-Ross All throughout school, time to follow my own ambitions. they told me I was special. Brilliant, But the drugs they gifted, destined gave me to keep for some greatness. my moods under control prevented A leader of tomorrow. But I me from thinking got out into clearly, and when the big world and I tried to stop taking them, my dear nobody cared. The only jobs I husband had me could get were as committed. When secretary, I followed their rules, they called me a waitress, model or prostitute. Then success. Somehow, a rich man took I was never a fancy to successful enough to be allowed me and proposed marriage. It was just my liberty. another kind of job, blending all the others. But I hoped that the trade off would give me money and http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/07/15/ruth-middleton-ross
  51. 51. 48. Alexander Flagg I spent years organizing protests against the War in Vietnam. Later I became an entrepreneur and made a killing. When they started up another war, I tried to make my voice heard in the great debate. But I had too many friends in the differing camps, so neither side would trust me. Pick your side and stay with it no matter what. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/07/15/alexander-flagg
  52. 52. 49. Dr. Gregory Vreeland Doctors keep selling them. Then the deaths are supposed to be public started, and I went to prison servants, priests and saviors. But we for the also rest of my life. At least my have to make money. And woe creditors couldn’t reach me there. to anyone who tries to do one at the expense of the other. I was just trying to help my patients. At first, I was as convinced as my clients that my weight-loss products really worked. By the time I was able to admit that they didn’t, I was so far into debt that I didn’t have any choice but to http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/07/15/dr-gregory-vreeland
  53. 53. 50. Robb Chess You won’t believe was all a game. what I say, but all that money that All games can be gamed. you worry your lives over, it’s all imaginary. And your morals are just handicaps beaten in to you by all of your competitors. Nobody has your interests in mind except for you. I built and lost fortunes a dozen times over, and was unconcerned. It http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/07/24/robb-chess
  54. 54. 51. Claire Battaglia My mother was always sick, and I was born blind. All my life people pitied me. But what they did not see that in taking away my sight, the Lord gave me the gift of patience. As the pace of world made all those around me sick and unhappy, I built a life and a home and a family that was an oasis of calm. My husband Dom fought crippling fears all his life, until I helped him find peace. In a world devoted to breaking people, my children grew up strong, whole and unbent. I lived a life full of light and color. I have no complaints. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/07/24/claire-battaglia
  55. 55. 52. Judge Welington Bolton I was renowned for having the largest personal law library in three states. Judges and lawyers from all over the country would ask to borrow my volumes. I even loaned one to Justice Stewart once. I guess it was fitting then, that when there was that giant explosion at the shopping mall they were building down the street from the courthouse, that my bookshelves would crush me to death. The law giveth and taketh. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/07/24/judge-welington-bolton
  56. 56. 53. Clarence Brusso When I married her, I thought the not imagine saying urges would go away. the words to my blind little girl. But they never did, and I was Then one day, I didn’t forced to sneak out, to make just hear Jesus. I saw him in excuses, to pretend I was front of me. Then I was working and not at the out of time to tell anything baths. Then she became ill and I to any one at all. stayed close to home taking care of her. Which is how we made our poor little girl. And years later, when the men in my secret fellowship all began dying horrible deaths, I began to hear the voice of Jesus, urging me to confess what I had done. I was going to. I wanted to. I just kept putting it off and delaying. I could http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/07/24/clarence-brusso
  57. 57. 54. Kharyn Green When I grew my breasts, I secretly they were asked my parents what free to do. Their scorn set they meant. But they wouldn’t me on my path. Had explain. I asked my they answered my questions teachers, and they told me truthfully in the to keep quiet. I first place, maybe things would asked my friends and they laughed have been different. at me. So I went to find out myself. And I learned. I learned a lot. From boys and girls my own age and from men like Giovanni Moss, who people thought was taking advantage of me. But the truth was that they sneered at me and called me a slut for doing what they all wished http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/07/24/kharyn-green
  58. 58. 55. Giovanni Moss I was never the best looking watching the young man in the room. nurses laugh at me. I wonder But I knew how to dress, and how if things would have to stand in the been different had I taken right light, how to speak to women less, given more. with just the right tone. How to walk into a room and make every head turn. How to smile at the married men while taking their wives and daughters. Most importantly, how to take what I wanted and get out with a minimum of fuss. The mistake I made was that I grew old. And I ended up living alone in a shabby nursing home, and http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/07/24/giovanni-moss
  59. 59. 56. Hans Bluff I was always Broderick Deegan’s chasing Kharyn Green, real estate firm. hoping she would The week after I let me in. But for made VP, the some reason, she Galleria burned, always told me no. the company When I saw her collapsed, and I lost with Giovanni everything. I Moss, I was so realized that I embarrassed, that I had traded the decided in chase of one hussy that instant that I for another, would stop spending and neither wanted time on frivolous anything to pursuits and I do with me. Some guys threw myself into were just born to my schoolwork. I be losers, I guess. went to business school, and later used my inheritance http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/07/25/hans-bluff to buy in to
  60. 60. 57. Andrew Cairns They always told me that my dream of playing pro ball was impossible, so I left this town as soon as I was able. I never made it to the majors, but I was good enough to pitch in Mexico and Taiwan for many years. But then the gamblers threatened me, and when I told them to shove it, they shot me down. When I came here, I was consoled by an ancient roman ghost named Martius. He said I had earned much more than I had received. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/07/25/andrew-cairns
  61. 61. 58. Darryl Cordova My father owned the shop, shop before reaching sixty. and I spent most of my youth working in it. Then he passed it on to me and I spent all of my days and nights there. I somehow found time to get a wife and have some children, and they also became entwined in the life of the shop. I never took a day off, never had a vacation, and I never closed except on Christmas day. Someone once asked me what I would do when I got to retirement age. I didn’t have an answer. Turned out I didn’t need one. I died at the http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/04/darryl-cordova
  62. 62. 59. Gwendolyn Yates They told me I didn’t have a work call me a failure. ethic, because I But I had more joy than all of them, didn’t want to spend my life in an combined, ever had. office or a school. I always asked them who invented work in the first place? What a funny custom, to waste your precious time doing something for another’s benefit, while you get scraps of paper in return. I preferred to sing. You don’t need good credit to sing, don’t need a mortgage. Don’t need anyone’s good opinion, neither. Don’t even need much in the way of food, clothing or shelter, since you can get all of them through singing. So many of them would http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/04/gwendolyn-yates
  63. 63. 60. Helene Duluca We were both thirteen, but when they caught us they all blamed Charlie and told me he forced himself on me. And so I wouldn’t get in trouble, I agreed. That was how I learned that sex was bad and I could never let it be found out that I liked it. So I spent years taking it secretly, with strangers in bars and offices and shops. Until one night, I picked the wrong man, and he sent me to this place. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/04/helene-deluca
  64. 64. 61. Rabbi Stern Everyone thought me to be wise, and they were heartbroken at my wasting illness. The temple rallied around me and kept me warm, loved during my slow descent. None of them ever found out that my disease was a secret taste for heroin, a habit that took two decades to kill me. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/04/rabbi-stern
  65. 65. 62. Rita Chavez I knew I was the second choice, and I was overjoyed when my rival left. Then Pedro belonged to me. But many years later, Carmen came back, and I lost him. It took two years for him to get up the courage to leave me, but my soul died that very first day. And my love for him turned to hatred, as I vowed to never let him out of my grasp. I wonder what would have happened if I had just set him free. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/04/rita-chavez
  66. 66. 63. Pedro Teves Poor Rita, I swear I was never free I never wanted of knowing what I to hurt you. But we had done to you. I both knew I always could never forget loved Carmen, and as much as I tried to put it out of my mind, we were meant to be. I wish it had not been so. I wish it was us who were supposed to have been together. That way, I would not have had to cause you so much pain. And even though my life with Carmen was everything I had ever wanted, http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/04/pedro-teves
  67. 67. 64. Wayne Garcia I had so many opportunities, and I let each of them pass by. For good reasons, I believed. They were risky, they were too hard, they would cost too much of myself. So I stayed home, and stayed safe. Now look at me. I ended up here anyway, with nothing to show for it. The riskiest thing is to do nothing. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/04/wayne-garcia
  68. 68. 65. Spencer Chadwick They said I was crazy, a man of seventy, marrying a girl of thirty-five. They said she was after my money. Well, it was money I had, and companionship I lacked. I did not care that she was bought. My long years in finance taught me that everybody is bought and sold, and everybody buys and sells themselves. So I had a few years with her and she got all of my money after I was gone. So what? It’s not as if I can use any of it here. And I’d rather she had it than my lying children. Whores are the only honest ones. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/05/spencer-chadwick
  69. 69. 66. Gary, the Pilot All my life, all I wanted was to break the bonds of gravity. To ascend higher and higher into the sky. But we are all tethered, Earth-bound. One day, we will escape and take our place on high. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/12/gary-the-pilot
  70. 70. 67. Ng the Salesman All things been such a are business cancer on the town if Shelly propositions. Would we expend Leithouse so much paid into money and that same racket? Would the never- material and lives in the ending Middle drug war have East, if they any point other than a tool didn’t have oil we needed? for our And if leaders to Daisey Kane’s restrict the same rights and freedoms damned trade was so injurious that brought to the me to this welfare of country? It’s not conspiracy the public, wouldn’t the powers- if it’s that-be policy shut her down, and happens out in the open. regardless of how much money she paid them for their http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/12/ng-the-salesman protection? Would the Sanctuary
  71. 71. 68. Mayor Ellen Garrity My good friends. I hoped that my lifetime of service would be valued. That you would look kindly on my attempts to save you from the crime and drugs and obscenities that are a constant threat to our way of life if we do not remain vigilant. If you valued my sacrifice, then you would stop that slut Maggie Garzan and that idiot Ridley boy from defiling my grave with their lustful coupling almost every night! http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/12/mayor-ellen-garrity
  72. 72. 69. Miles Kagan I paid for many town. I never believed campaigns, and helped to make in anything or the Mayor’s Office in anyone again. like your own home. But more than that, you were the fixed point on my compass, the mother from whom I needed approval for each endeavor. But when I finally got close up and saw how the sausage was made, that the face you showed to the world was a mask that hid your spite and venality and your arrogance, my heart was broken. I quit the party and quit the http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/12/miles-kagan
  73. 73. 70. Ron and Leo While alive, we were not allowed to live truly openly together. Were never permitted to show our love to the town or the world. But now we are here together, forever. And what you think matters not one bit. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/12/ron-and-leo
  74. 74. 71. Margaret Garzan After Micah Ridley left town a brain, but gorgeous to without me, I swore I’d look at. He flattered me with his never put my fate in the hands attention until I of a man again. So foolishly agreed to marry when I finally moved to the him. I should have seen that city, I turned myself he’d do to me what I’d done to into a woman who needed my husband. And now I’m nobody and took what back in Spoon River. Our fates are she wanted. I socialized my never fully our own. way up the ranks of the elite and married a wealthy lawyer. He was fun when he was drunk. After about a year, he died suddenly, and I inherited it all. I moved to Rome and spent the money for a living. I took a lover, a man ten years my junior. Not much of http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/12/margaret-garzan
  75. 75. 72. Mrs. Sofia Garzan I designed legislation than lingerie for a to simply talk with them? living. So when my girl Maggie got Didn’t all her reputation, of their desperate of course the town whispered attempts to “rescue the that it was family” my fault. And when the end up destroying kids followed a fad where the family instead? underthings were worn openly, of course the answer was to picket my shop and brand me as anti-family. Were they so scared of their children that it was easier to enact http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/12/mrs-sofia-garzan
  76. 76. 73. Judge Sy Goldberg When I was alive, tilted I would from the start. The fairness that I sit on the bench, listen to the prided myself on petitioners in was just front of the self-reinforcing bias me, and I prided myself on of a system built being fair, treating to crush. the poor I should have been their advocate. the same as the wealthy. But now, Instead I handed buried here, I can the axe listen to the headsman. I sent Lukasz to the curses from the many Harding to Death Row. whom I sent here, I But I can hear was a hundred times more guilty. what the prosecutors could keep from the record, I can see the truth. The poor were not equal at my bar. The field http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/12/judge-sy-goldberg
  77. 77. 74. Busker Barney I was playing for coins great musicians that I’m at the Courthouse Bus Stop. never at a loss for It had been a long day; somebody to jam with. I’d made very little. When Russell Diedrich and Dutch Wallis came along, high on something, they gave me twenty dollars to play “Gloria” while they bellowed along. When a policeman started towards us to stop their racket, they ran away, pushing me towards the cop to slow him down. I tripped and fell into the street, right in the path of the number 7 bus. Now I’m here, where there are so many http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/12/busker-barney
  78. 78. 75. The Salaryman When I was of the firm, with a family and ten, my folks gave me a super-8 a mortgage, camera, and no more time left. So I gave up and I fell in love with making films. my dreams. But In college, by the time I passed on and was sent I won a prize at a festival here, I had and I moved made enough money and knew enough to the city to break in to the people so industry. that my kids could work those entry jobs But all the entry-level jobs were for free. Each held by the generation gets a bit further. children of the rich and connected who could work for no money. I took an office job and tried to work around it. Before I knew it, twenty years had passed, and I’d become the vice- president http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/12/the-salaryman
  79. 79. 76. Alexandra Austen That house was the cause of all of our strife. He inherited it from his mother, and all his siblings were jealous and never forgave him. Then all the property tax increase forced us to sacrifice everything to keep paying for it. And no matter how much I tried to convince him that we needed to just leave it behind and start over somewhere new, he never could see how to extricate himself. So one night, after we fought about money and our future, I torched the awful place. Burned the fucking thing to the ground. He divorced me, and sued me But he never understood that I did it to set him free. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/22/alexandra-austen
  80. 80. 77. Glenn Austen It was a little and his desire to a standoff, and I tried bit after my sister cover it up. Saw to provoke the cops Alexandra was the gruesome photos of into doing the job arrested for arson how he tried. And as for me, but they were that I got chosen I listened, I despaired, remarkably restrained. for jury duty. I because I saw that I don’t know why. It tried to get excused no matter how much you took four years of trials by telling them about love at the start, it and appeals before her, but the judge was always turns to hatred. they killed me anyway. unmoved. They selected I would have saved them me to serve on the We found him guilty, the time and the trouble. murder trial of that and that night I went home dentist, Doctor Stahl to my pregnant wife for killing his patient and shot her in the head. Zadie-Mae Lemmons. If the boys had been Each day we sat there and home I would have killed them heard evidence of too. As it was, when their tawdry affair, of I tried to shoot myself, how she got pregnant, the gun jammed. There was http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/22/glenn-austen
  81. 81. 78. D.A. Antonio Jackson My life and healthy. And I learned that was devoted to bringing morality cannot be justice, to punishing the divorced wicked, from chemistry. I think of and upholding the standards all those I damned to prison of the community. My or worse, finest and I recall the triumph hour was when I sent the I felt when Austen went to murderer Glenn Austen to the chair. death row. I wonder if anything But my son was diagnosed with schizophrenia, so I did helped anyone. I I quit doubt it. my office as the District My son was just another Attorney and devoted big case that I had to win. myself to his care. I studied the working of the human brain, damaged http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/22/da-antonio-jackson
  82. 82. 79. Jonathan Mellor I studied all the great word men, Bruce, Carlin, Hicks. Did you know that as part of his act, Mort Sahl used to just read the Warren Commission report? These were my heroes, the comics who made people laugh while forcing their eyes open even if it meant insulting and enraging them. I was good at that part of the gig. Leaving some no-name club in some flyspeck town, somebody – I never saw who – hit me in the head with a cement brick. I never woke up. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/22/jonathan-mellor
  83. 83. 80. Johan Torres I was born with a defective valve in my heart, so my life was contained, limited, and measured in tiny doses. But that once with Isabel under the infinite stars, I gave her everything I had. It cost me, but I have no regrets. Brevity is not lack. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/22/johan-torres
  84. 84. 81. LoydPahk When I had the stroke, I was still waiting for my promotion to Director to go through. It was going to make it all better. Didn’t even want that damn job. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/22/loyd-pahk
  85. 85. 82. Park Shin Min My tiny town a one-way plane from that thought. outside Wonju ticket to When the cancer so stifled America. came, I forbade me, I left as And who should be Patty from soon as I could. in the seat sending me back I worked in next to mine, but to Korea. the clubs near the old Sergeant Pat, This is home. American who I knew bases. I quite well from the waltzed with Majors old days. We struck and traded shots a deal and with Privates. I lived with him But I always in Spoon River. knew it was a For more than short-term gig, twenty years, they and I saved my all believed we money. At age were married. thirty-six, We did nothing I bought myself to dissuade them http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/25/park-shin-min
  86. 86. 83. Matthew Twombley I got Doctor Centrone to give me Viagra, but didn’t tell him about the heart meds I’d gotten from Doctor Golden. I wanted to be able to give Saskia everything, especially after the pain of her first two marriages. She deserved it all, and I deserved to finally live, no matter how my complaining children tried to persuade me that I didn’t belong with a woman thirty years my junior. What they never understood was that she asked me for nothing. So I gave her everything I had without reservation. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/25/matthew-twombley
  87. 87. 84. Alejandro Mejias The confusion does not surprise me. Very few actual remains were recovered from the pit, so how were they supposed to know that the investment banker Nathaniel Terrel is not entombed here, just parts of me, a minimum-wage busboy. I wonder if they sent his ashes to my family in Guatemala. Or if we are both scattered across the world. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/25/nathaniel-terrel
  88. 88. 85. A Powerful Lawyer I I kept even the smallest claim counted myself among the most from reaching my clients. prosperous attorneys When in I died, there were memorials the state. I spoke for the mighty: and tributes, and a front the Second Spoon River page Bank, obituary. Now, I lie Development Authority here, and I can feel all Partners, and Limited the Re, insects scuttling across my who insured the Galleria. I knew all the pressure dead skin, every maggot points, that where to apply the leverage, squirms to life from gnawing on my how to make things happen. desiccated remains. I never lost a case. They rarely even made it into court. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/25/a-powerful-lawyer
  89. 89. 86. Kathy Folds You stayed with me through all the chemo, the radiation, the surgeries. Ten years of hacking pieces of your wife away. And you tried to stay strong for me. But I saw you shriveling. When the cancer came back to eat at me, and I saw I would never again be the woman that you married, I let you go. I let me go. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/25/kathy-folds
  90. 90. 87. Joanie the Musician I had to learn to use my sorrow, to turn it into my music. I wrote songs about the sadness my entire life. And now I can’t believe all the things that I didn’t see, all the joy I turned away from. What I was feeling, it wasn’t despair. This, this here, is despair. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/28/joanie-the-musician
  91. 91. 88. Mrs. Schneider I dreamed of divorcing him. But I stayed. For the children. That’s what Judge Goldhamer advised him. And I got the same sermon from Reverend Halty. Marriage is sacred. So I stayed. For the children. But feelings can never be totally repressed. So we raised them in a home full of poison and misery. They grew to hate us both equally and fled as soon as they could. I don’t really blame them. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/28/mrs-schneider
  92. 92. 89. Mrs. Mitzi Schultz Sometimes, the program again and only thing that helped again, and the idea that me get through it was my set there is an of tapes of ultimate justice. the old Twilight Zone. I prayed for that justice to My husband had nothing to fall on those do with how who stole him and the Deegan’s investment life we had planned. I still pray. bank collapsed. But he had a big title and no true friends, so he took the fall. He went to prison and left me alone to raise our children. I did my part, and they grew up the best they could. What kept me going was watching that http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/29/mrs-mitzi-schultz
  93. 93. 90. Rev. Clay Halty Of all my saw their children, accomplishments and their calm, quiet in the decades I preached in Spoon River, of all the sermons and the conversions and retreats, the one thing I’m most proud of is how I was able to keep the Schneiders, with God’s help, from succumbing to the secular temptation to rip their whole family apart. Each time I http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/29/rev-clay-halty
  94. 94. 91. Allan Bivans I spent most of my was the most valued life struggling for the substance in the world. And control over my I imagined two family’s chain of gas Silk Road-trading brothers stations. My brother locked in a never- resented me because ending feud over their our father sent me salt, and how silly to college, while he had that would look to modern to stay home and work folks. At that moment, the business. When Dad died I decided to sell and left it all to him my half of the us, he did everything business. I was on my he could to force me way to tell him, and out and make my life Hell. imagining how I Every day was filled would use the proceeds with arguments about to start a whole new life oil and gasoline. for myself far from One day, I was in a here, when I had the stroke. restaurant, looking at the salt shakers on all the tables, and http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/08/29/allan-bivans recalling that once, salt
  95. 95. 92. Rev. Jeremy Sheaffer After I passed, the Church auctioned off my effects as a fundraiser. It was my idea, to let each of them have a tiny piece of their shepherd for a memorial, as he departed for a distant, better land. But that didn’t mean I wanted my filing cabinets bought by Bob Clemmond, who everyone knew was the town’s worst drug dealer. He dumped all of my papers at the recycling plant. The Almighty only knows what disgusting poisons he displaced all my sermons with. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/09/11/rev-jeremy-sheaffer
  96. 96. 93. Roosevelt Feinstein I fought them all of my days. For rights for all. For freedom of conscience, for freedom of choice, for freedom from fear. But long years in the State House tend to blur the factions in the eyes of the people. And you can’t win every fight. So when I won, I was “just doing what I was supposed to do." When I compromised, I was “complicit with evil.” And when I was beaten, I was “pathetic.” By the end, my once- loud voice had been diminished to a whisper. Oh, they gave me an ornate funeral with grand remembrances. But during the eulogy, I know my unwrinkled successors cut deals and traded horses in the cloak room. I hope they fare better than I did. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/09/11/roosevelt-feinstein
  97. 97. 94. Judge Terence Visser All those liberal lions, Kerns and Feinstein and O’Meara, they loved to laugh at me, and judge me for my aspirations. For some reason, they felt I was not worthy to stand in their company. How much did they regret their snobbery, when my years as Deegan’s counsel led to a seat on the Bench? How much did they have to swallow their jokes and plaster fake smiles on their faces when making a petition to My Court? Oh, how I made them pay. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/09/11/judge-terence-visser
  98. 98. 95. Kelvin Platt Thom Kerns always complained failures. I had no how ashamed he was identity of my that his children never own. That’s why I ran amounted to much. for the seat on the School He never understood Board. I spent all my that I had it so money, but I still lost. much worse. My children were My kids wanted to successful beyond support me after that. anyone’s reckoning. I would not let them. They all left me, to I pushed them away. My go to New York, Paris, end came soon after. Kuala Lumpur, Berlin, and God knows where else. They rarely came home. And all anyone asked me was about them. Every success they had made me that much more ashamed of my own http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/09/11/kelvin-platt
  99. 99. 96. Thom Kerns I never quite got why Kelvin Platt was always so miserable when folks asked about his amazing kids. I’d have given almost anything to have just one of mine become so luminous. In and out of jail. On and off of drugs. They were disgraceful and disgusting. Shame, or the drinking that covered it – not sure which killed me. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/09/11/thom-kerns
  100. 100. 97. Christine Novell They never knew what to call the thing, whatever it was I had. Lupus, Lyme, Epstein-Barr, Fibro, CFS, Depression, allergies, and on and on. Or worse, it was all in my head, and no insurance code applied. Every year, a new drug that was supposed to work, which only made it worse. Never a moment without pain that didn’t feel wrong, artificial, not me. But now there is no more pain and I’m finally at peace. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/09/11/christine-novell
  101. 101. 98. Ikrimahibn Khalid They were always making fun of the way I dressed and the way I prayed. Always trying to convert me. After, they looked at me full of suspicion and hatred. Or with fear, as if I would detonate myself at any minute. I tried to show them the truth of my people and our history. Then, Willy Halty, the Minister’s son, beat me to death with a baseball bat. Peace be unto you all. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/09/11/ikrimah-ibn-khalid
  102. 102. 99. Simon Leigh Goldhamer People say they like shun, reject, deny the truth. But the truth that it even could be possible. is they really prefer a story. Story is the world And if the story The world is story. isn’t the truth, they’ll We can’t see differently, and believe transform that story into the truth. fairy tales. Like the Holy Trinity But it goes further of the Beginning, Middle and End. than that. Truth only becomes capable of being seen, recognized as the truth, if it can be seen in the outline of a story. And we’ve become so that if it does not fit into the story, we cannot even see it. We http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/09/11/simon-leigh-goldhamer
  103. 103. 100. Moreland, the Columnist I got fired from the paper for doing the same thing that got me lauded in the first place. I would talk to the powerful and write about them. But I did not take dictation. I tried to show them as they truly were. They usually didn’t like it. But it was more than a fair trade for their dominion over us, I thought. But I crossed the line when I wrote my profile of Judge Goldhamer. He was not pleased. Somebody called someone, and soon I was out of a job. But nobody said I didn’t get the story right. I take that to my grave and you bet it keeps me warm. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/09/23/moreland-the-columnist
  104. 104. 101. Harmonie Fisher Life was a competition. For me to succeed others had to fail. So I made damn sure they would. I undermined confidence, ruined plans, spoiled hopes, and bent those around me to do what I wanted. When they broke, I discard them and simply found others I could manipulate. But eventually, I ran out of people and I ran out of time. In the end I was alone. If you prevail in a competition and the losers are not there to see it, then the victory is empty and meaningless. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/09/23/harmonie-fisher
  105. 105. 102. Christian Deegan So, everybody hated and feared me, you say? What of it? While the so-called moralists and the righteous and the preening intellectuals bleated about meaning and justice and truth, I laughed at them. The only truth, the only meaning, is influence. It’s the first law of the universe. How do you move a thing that will not move? I spent a life collecting and using influence to make the world in my image. Lesser people complained and judged, but they were merely too cowardly to take that power for themselves. They can’t touch me. Never could. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/09/23/christian-deegan
  106. 106. 103. MaureeneTringo After years of work, reams of forms, defend my new homeland. and waiting and waiting, I finally qualified to I wonder if anybody be an American made Deegan swear that oath. citizen. I went in to the city that day to take part in a special swearing-in ceremony, led by the Attorney General of the whole country! And I almost missed it. I couldn’t get to the courthouse, because the road was blocked for some bigwigs. (Later, I found out it was Christian Deegan, being freed from some tax burden.) But in spite of that huge motorcade, I got there in time to take my oath to serve, protect and http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/01/maureene-tringo
  107. 107. 104. Thomas Winter We were one of the first died in an accident. families, founders of Hank overdosed on pills Spoon River. My great-great- after his great disgrace. grandfather built our house. Sally’s husband beat her Generations of the until she became a Winters came from that home, ghost of herself. Philip to write our name across contracted a syndrome, the world. Until I failed undiagnosable them all. I did every and incurable. And thing I was supposed to – Maria just gave up sent my children to the for some reason no one best schools, secured for them ever learned. All of them prestigious jobs and well- broken by life. While I bred partners. I followed succeeded at every the plan. I grew richer goal, but preserving the and more influential. family legacy. But James embezzled and fled overseas. Janie http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/01/thomas-winter
  108. 108. 105. Phillip Thomas Winter I was in and out of all not answer no. So I the best hospitals, and redoubled my efforts. all the advanced clinics, I demanded my father while father spent his money treat her like a daughter. trying to make me well. But then I died, and I I had a theory that don’t know if he did or if the nurses at these places she just moved on. I wish, were all selected for Sienna. Oh, I wish. their allure, so as to seduce a patient into getting well. It never worked. Until I came home, and they hired Sienna. She was not pretty. But she was beautiful. How I wanted to get well for her. The harder I tried the worse it got. I asked her to marry me. She did http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/01/phillip-thomas-winter
  109. 109. 106. Maria Winter When you lose your soul- mate, you lose a piece of yourself. And when your soul-mate turns their back on you, the little bit of you that remains is poisoned. They thought I gave up and hid from the world. But really I was trying to drive the poison out, purge and rebuild myself. I was almost able to. If I’d had five more years, maybe I would have. But I ran out of time. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/01/maria-winter
  110. 110. 107. Paul Welch I’m so sorry good enough for you Maria. I did again. I’m so not meant it to ashamed, Maria. happen like it did. You deserved so But life in the much better than me. city was strange and complicated. And I feared that Spoon River would make me feel trapped and bored. I was far from bored in the city, even before Rachel LeDoux found me. But once I was with her, I was trapped anyway, and I knew that I could never be http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/01/paul-welch
  111. 111. 108. Rachel LeDoux The funny thing is, I I lost him, and with him never even liked sex my best candidate for all that much. But every security. After body else did, so it there was just a string of gave me power over diminishing prospects. them. I tormented my stepfather, until I was thrown out of the house. I was still learning and refining. I moved to the city, where I plowed through a list of lovers, men and women, each one dancing to my tune. Paul Welch was my best score; I thought I might even make him marry me. But then one of my exes warned him about my past, so http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/01/rachel-ledoux
  112. 112. 109. Anya Kirillov I came here from things to placate her wrath. So we Poland when I was a girl, and both stayed out of got work as a sight until the baby came. Then domestic in the White home. One they quietly day, when Mrs. sent me to work somewhere else. Years White was out, Mr. White trapped me later, I found in the kitchen. DolphKirilov, and we built our I kept quiet, afraid they would own family. send me back to And it was sweet. But whenever Poland. But soon I began to people saw me show. And Mrs. crying at the eloquence of White came to me. I thought she would one of Benson kill me. But she White’s speeches, they had no idea had a plan. They had no children that inside I of their own, so was screaming that he was my son. she would take the baby and claim that it was hers. I’m sure that Mr. White gave her many other http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/01/anya-kirillov
  113. 113. 110. Benson White All that I achieved – Judge, Congressman, and a Candidate for the State House – was possible only because of the inheritance I received from my parents, Thomas and Gail White. From my father, I got my morals, ethics, and sense of duty. From my mother, I learned how to take all of life in stride, and rejoice even in the parts that seemed to be setbacks. Everything that I was, was because of them. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/01/benson-white
  114. 114. 111. Gil Tam I always believed there argued that was no such religion thing as an and God were afterlife. just fictions. So I’m not Stories used sure what this to explain is right here, things beyond where I am. our ken. It But I am did not make willing to me the most entertain popular theories on man in Spoon it without River, a bowing down town that was and giving quite pious. praise to the But I stuck Christian god. to my guns. I also http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/03/gil-tam
  115. 115. 112. Steve Biscoe Gil and I loved to argue religion. He was a wonderful fellow and a hopeless secularist. When my cancer was in its final stages, he would visit me often, and I looked forward to those more than any perfunctory drop- in by the folks who just felt obligated. The last thing I said to him before I died was that I looked forward to settling the question once and for all. But wouldn’t you know it, he’s still not convinced. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/03/steve-biscoe
  116. 116. 113. Laurent Arno I knew she cheated on me. A Minister cannot divorce his wife and expect to keep his position. So I bore it. Even as I took on more outside work. I wrote books on how to live a Godly life. None of them did too well, as if people could intuit that I was lying. I prayed for one of them to succeed, so I could afford to abandon the Ministry and divorce her. I never did. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/06/laurent-arno
  117. 117. 114. Imogene Arno-Niles I kept my secrets in life. I’ll keep them in death. There is nothing I can say to you that you could possibly understand. Move on. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/06/imogene-arno-niles
  118. 118. 115. Eugene Blantz I entered politics to make things better. But after all the years, all the deals, all the goddamned compromises it took before I finally won election to the State Legislature, I don’t think that I had the faintest notion what was right anymore. So I sold my vote on the big eminent domain bill that favored the Deegan Trust, and naturally I got caught and went to jail. I wish I had stuck to being a shoe salesman. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/06/eugene-blantz
  119. 119. 116. Lonnie Marchetti A fuck-up like me, a man who had wasted decades on drugs and booze, who had cut a swath of destruction through lives in three states; it’s ironic that such a wretch could come out the other side of his Trial and be able to lead a ministry for the fallen. I had replaced the ecstasy of meth with the bliss of Jesus. He saved me in every sense of the word. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/06/lonnie-marchetti
  120. 120. 117. Sheri O’Brien You may have gone far away from here, and had a life rich with sights and experiences that far outstripped what I had in my short time. But you know at your core, that it will never be enough, it will never make amends, it will never make you forget that you have it all because of what you stole from me. But still, even though I’m gone too early, my time was more truly alive than your glamorous lie. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/06/sheri-o'brien
  121. 121. 118. “Big Ed” Thag I guess there’s to live always in a town where been two kinds of those folks were folks, the ones the ones who see in charge. But, I things how they are, have a hunch and the ones that if who see the other team them as they think had been in they ought to control, be. I they woulda not had struggles a lot. treated me I gotta all that say that much different. most of them were caused by the second type. Guess I had the bad luck http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/18/big-ed-thag
  122. 122. 119. MireleBulinski Tell me – if you could do it all over again, start over from the beginning, with a clean slate, would you? Neither would I. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/18/mirelle-bulinski
  123. 123. 120. The Anonymous He was rich. He was powerful. He took what he wanted from me and discarded the emptied husk. Then his men tidied up and dumped me in the woods. The moment he saw me, I didn’t stand a chance. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/18/the-anonymous
  124. 124. 121. Joel Addams Loxley I know it’s not lofty heights, acquired popular opinion, baggage and beholders, and it flies in the face creditors and of the myth of compromises. And yet America. But you most would say he was the must admit that, being better choice to born wealthy and hold the power. But be with needs fulfilled, I was careful what leaders you able to study the wish for. At least intricacies the independently of public policy wealthy can be stolid, and government and turn dispassionate myself into in their government. Their an exemplary, true, bread's already buttered. servant of the people. Whereas my chief rival DekeStayn, on his long climb through the ranks to ascend to his http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/18/joel-addams-loxley
  125. 125. 122. DekeStayn Breeding and an education are nice, but I’ll take a worker that’s made his own way in the world. I started sweeping up a factory floor, and by the end, there was nobody in America who would not listen to what I said. Power earned, twice as strong as power inherited. The one avenue to true liberty. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/20/deke-stayn
  126. 126. 123. Pierce Leithouse People think it was the way the town leaders demonized my daughter that led me to defect to the other party and lead them to drive out my former friends. And it’s true that the switch happened then. But more than pride or fatherly protectiveness was behind it. It struck me, suddenly, that people who crave power over others in the name of security and order, are truly just interested in power for its own sake. And that power, once ceded, can never be reclaimed. And I saw my part in constructing an architecture of coercion. I felt called upon to repent and make amends. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/20/pierce-leithouse
  127. 127. 124. Howard, the Station Boss Everybody clamors secure. I knew for the truth. enough to bring them all I could give it to you in down. But why any way you in the world would I? Besides, pleased. We liked to deride none of you want those who claimed to know where the bodies truth was purely subjective are buried. as being French And democracy is just Communists. But really, for schoolchildren. they were our best friends. My job was to manufacture truth, to serve whoever was pulling the strings. If the Mayor stayed in office, if Deegan’s profits stayed fat, and if my ratings remained high, I was http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/20/howard,-the-station-boss
  128. 128. 125. Maryann Stillson I ran my laundry for most of my days. I cleaned clothes for all kinds of people. Rich and poor, liberal and conservative, the influential and the invisible. They all had sweat stains, brown streaks, stink. Don’t care who you were. Only the dead are clean. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/20/maryann-stillson
  129. 129. 126. Doug Linke All I said was national pride be that American self-evident? policy had And if you have to something to do with bellow it and it, some measure enforce it through fear of blame. A fairly and coercion, innocuous isn’t it worthless? statement, and one that many learned people would agree with behind closed doors. But I said it out loud, on the air, so they destroyed my career and slandered my name. All in the name of patriotism. But shouldn’t that http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/20/doug-linke
  130. 130. 127. Philip Dent My lifetime belonged to and flattering Christian Deegan. his vanity. I had I gave his bank my time, no time left to eleven, twelve, build my own life. Which is thirteen hours every why I chose the day, six days a front of his office to week. And on Sundays, I shoot myself in went to his church the head. Hopefully, I and heard to his minister, got a few drops the Reverend of blood on his handmade Sheaffer, tell me how my Italian shoes. toil would get me into heaven. But all I saw from that work was a dingy apartment and a dingy life. I spent all of my days enriching his accounts http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/20/philip-dent
  131. 131. 128. Ernie Coffin After what Dent did police, and the next day, to himself, I was next every news show and in line to fill the paper screamed the story vacancy. But they gave about my fraud and it to someone else. embezzlement, and how Old Deegan knew, somehow, the noble bankers that I had taken were dedicated to a few work computers fighting corruption. home and sold them to He needed a scapegoat. pay off my girl’s doctor I gave him what he bills that insurance needed and lost it all. wouldn’t cover. He called me on the carpet, and assured me that he would have mercy on me and my family, if I just confessed. So I did. But he turned me over to the http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/20/ernie-coffin
  132. 132. 129. Lafayette Lincoln Jones When I first became a lawyer, it of all the luminaries was to help defend the poor of the city. The and vulnerable rest of my career was a plummet, from injustice and exploitation. away from the centers of But the more successful you power, until at get, the further you last I was back with the poor, where I get from the people who are needy. started. And how I despised So I found I'd become a them and their weakness. highly-paid legal gunslinger, who changed sides on every issue he used to hold fast to. Which may explain how I stumbled so badly when I defended the arsonists who torched the City Council building. Kyle Kerns ripped my case apart. He shredded my reputation, and all but destroyed my manhood, in front http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/20/lafayette-lincoln-jones
  133. 133. 130. Professor Newcomb Evolution must have selected in favor of religious belief, otherwise why would it be in every single human society? I tried to unlock the secrets of why that was, but I only alienated both sides of the argument. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/20/professor-newcomb
  134. 134. 131. Broderick Deegan It’s true, my reckless speculation led to the collapse of my father’s bank. But it’s not as if he did not know I was doing it or that he didn’t give me some of his money to secretly invest so he did not pay taxes on it. And it’s also true that I lived in a penthouse in Buenos Aires while that Schultz fellow served time for my crimes. And yet, guilt has a way of compounding interest more ruthlessly than my father ever dreamed of. Which is how I found myself leaping in front of an express train, to end a misery that I'd not even noticed had eroded my desire to live. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/20/broderick-deegan
  135. 135. 132. Mo Nickle Some folks thinking that it would be just have bad luck. I was The One. always The One where they valued the best worker at what- me and ever repaid my loyalty. job I had. So I was I thought always the Galleria job the first one laid off. They would be said I a new beginning too. was indispensable, Instead until it was a final end. they dispensed with me. And always just when I was due for a raise or a promotion. And stupid me, I went into each new job http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/22/mo-nickle
  136. 136. 133. CharlaNoxon I killed him. He didn’t insignificant and like that I wouldn’t poor simply vanish. choose him, preferring a boy who didn’t have And then I got sick. So his money. So he hit I went back to the me, and I shot him city, and turned myself dead. But his daddy paid, in. My short time left so his friends in the was worth spending to watch media lied and said them wriggle in the light. it was an tragic accident. The money that must’ve changed hands. I escaped home to Spoon River and hid. But they never came for me. And Spoon River was just the same. The rich and powerful made the http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/22/charla-noxon
  137. 137. 134. Shawn Rigby Yes, I was high. I won’t deny that. But I just stopped to shut my eyes for a bit. I was going to move again in a minute, after I caught my breath. I had no idea the yard I was on belonged to the Mayor. I wasn’t bothering no one. She didn’t need to scream like that. And her bodyguard didn’t need to shoot. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/22/shawn-rigby
  138. 138. 135. Marc Lyon I did love her. a witness in But I could not a federal get away. I case that would keep thought if I was me sequestered cruel, she would leave for a whole year. me first. But her She cried and cried, capacity but told me that to absorb hurt she would pray for seemed limitless. the day I would I lied, I found come back to her. reasons to stay She knew I would, away as much long before I as I could. I knew. She owned me. manufactured So I gave in, emergencies, stopped trying to catastrophes, run. She was by and crises that my side, grasping kept me from home. my wrists, when I Once, I told her finally died. I needed to testify as http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/25/marc-lyon
  139. 139. 136. Tanya Lyon He could not even But I built my look me in the life with him, and I eye while he told that was not about ridiculous to throw it away story about his just because he “Federal case.” was too weak and scared But I pretended to keep going. to believe it. I knew the truth, all of his lies. The business travel. The overnight trips into the city that just happened to put him there the same time as that harlot Sophia Garzan. I was fooled by none of it. http://spoonriver.metblogs.com/2008/10/25/tanya-lyon

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