Look Around

Our Winter 2022 issue invites you to look at the not so see-able and perhaps even to learn to seek out what cannot — normally — be perceived. Appropriately, this issue contains invisible babies, lunar seashells, unnoticed birds, unspoken tensions between families, paternal scars, and wondrous insects. What marvels lurk in laundromats and along the byways of the everyday? How do we — in this age of very real limits — quest for and discover the magical and the miraculous?

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Groundhog Day — A Little in Advance

One of my favorite American movies is GROUNDHOG DAY, which was directed by the late Harold Ramis, and features an egoistical and annoying newscaster (Bill Murray) who gets trapped into living the same day over and over again in a small town he despises. The town in question is Punxatawney PA, where the famous groundhog of said Groundhog Day lives. What starts out as a comedy becomes in short order a meditation on the lives we feel we are trapped in, a set of routines we are

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Better

I don’t know about you but I’m in a bad mood a lot these days. I can’t go to Macy’s. I can’t go to a concert, I can’t take a bus, I can’t go to a protest. I can’t go out for dinner, breakfast, or lunch, and I can’t go to the movies or even to a friend’s house. I can’t get on an airplane and go visit my family in Los Angeles. I can’t go visit my friends in New York. I can’t even go to the

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It’s a Man’s Life… or is it?

We are hearing and reading lot about of powerful men in the news these days. Our president for one, and the many men who support him. These men admire and are drawn to other men. Men with guns and men with money. Or with both. And of course, men with oil.

Then there are interruptions of that power. Angela Merkel visiting the Auschwitz death camp and reminding Germans that there is no way around that history. Our own Nancy Pelosi

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Literary Language, Interpretation and Practice

As our editors prepare to launch the latest issue of SHARK REEF, perhaps you are doing what I am doing. I’m reading the Mueller Report. Perhaps like me, you are trying to imagine what Robert Mueller and his team were thinking as they pored through thousands of documents, emails and text messages and as they engaged in countless interviews with individuals who ranged from clueless to highly incompetent. And like me, maybe you too are guessing what names and addresses, what actions and deliberations, lurk behind the black blocks marked HARM TO INVESTIGATION and GRAND JURY.

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This Issue Dedicated to Alie Smaalders
October 21, 1923 – March 12, 2018
SHARK REEF Cofounder, Writer, Literary Citizen, Mentor Extraordinaire

This is the story of how SHARK REEF came to be and of the remarkable woman, writer and friend, who modeled what it is to be a writer.
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“Writers grow on the trees on Lopez,” Alie Smaalders announced to me in our early days together in the late 1990s. It did seem true. Memory is hazy at best but in my mind’s eye, I still see fellow writer Laurie Parker and me stopping on the wooden library steps

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October 21, 1923 – March 12, 2018
SHARK REEF Cofounder, Writer, Literary Citizen, Mentor Extraordinaire "

The Winter of our (Dis)content

What better moment in our profoundly messed up time to quote Richard III? Shakespeare can really write about dysfunctional regimes. I find myself thinking about the plays that focus on the rot at the top: Richard the III of course, but also Hamlet, King Lear, and even Measure for Measure, where a predatory puritanical ruler tries to blackmail a beautiful novice into having sex with him. A lot of Shakespeare sounds familiar to me right now.

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