Gene McCormick has had eighteen books published, a mix of non-fiction, prose and poetry, and claims to have read them all, a dubious distinction. His writing is also published regularly in literary journals in the United States and Europe. When words fail, he also paints and his work is in commercial and private collections nationwide. He is the illustrator for Misfitmagazine.net, and has illustrated a number of other books and publications.
MIDDLE ISLAND PRESS TITLES BY GENE MCCORMICK:
111 pages; $16 plus $2.50 shipping
Obsessions of daily life including passion, mystery, and even a minute or two of off-center romance provide emotional heft to a highly nuanced, uniquely evocative exploitation of minutes and hours ticking by in a multi-layered, thought-provoking, genteel insanity. Obsessions is, on the surface, accessible to the brink of literal transparency but a walk in a forest preserve, being parked in a shopping mall in a thunderstorm, going fishing, rubbing on lotion prove not so routine. As Neil Gaiman has said “Things can mean more than they literally mean.”
Obsessions is a novel, a short story, a book-length narrative poem.
(A browse upon page 15…)
How’s the coffee here, asks a stranger,
and the regular customer answers
Okay, but it’s not Starbucks,
which is a ten-minute further drive
which is why he chooses hazel nut,
salted caramel or Colombian
every morning at 7-Eleven.
(Obsessions is also available via Amazon.com.)
Big City Nighttime Stories (2016)
106 pages; $16 plus $2.50 shipping
“Big City Nighttime Stories is my world, the world as I know it, spelled out with nuanced, evocative writing that is at once accessible while encouraging interpretations.” –Gene McCormick
“Ugliness always and everywhere has its enchanting side; it is exciting to hit upon it where no one has ever noticed it before.” –Henri de Toulouse Lautrec
(A browse upon page 22…)
Ties are not required of human drones
slogging through nine-to-five
casual working environments
but such by-the-hour support systems
don’t live in preening residences
on lots of an acre or larger,
overbuilt houses forcing themselves
to the edges of landscaped tracts:
more house, less grass for the
weekly lawn service to mow.
Heading east to west, vice versa,
it wouldn’t take five minutes
to drive end-to-village-end
of the hard-to-arrive-at destination.
North to south, a bit less.
Doctors, lawyers, and stockbrokers
make up the enclave’s earning power
and by day they all wear ties.
Home from their places of work
the first order of non-business
is unknotting, draping imported
multi-colored tie silk on special racks
sequestered in walk-in closets.
Ties are a pricey ornamentation
without practical function;
the men in these houses have many.
They like them.
(Big City Nighttime Stories is also available through Amazon.com.)