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Short Stories 365/144 | N.S. Beranek

“Saint Andy” by Trebor Healey from Best Gay Stories 2009 (Lethe Press). Edited by Steve Berman.

I’ve skipped the actual next story in the collection because, while described as “prose poetry” it is far more the latter than the former. My appreciation for poetry is limited and haphazard. I like Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s work (and heard him read at U of L!), Shakespeare, Charles Bukowski, Normandi Ellis, Aleister Crowley, Malcolm Schloss.

Trebor Healey is a poet, too, though I don’t know his poetry. Yet. Right now I love his prose for the beauty of its language. Go figure.

This story and the next one, actually, originally appeared in the anthology Big Trips: More Good Gay Travel Writing, which has some (other) impressive names in it and some fascinating-looking real-life travel accounts.

This entry, though, is fictional, an excerpt from the author’s novel A Horse Named Sorrow. Main character Seamus is on a cross-country bicycle trip, bearing the ashes of his recently-deceased lover Jimmy, who died of AIDS-related illnesses. He’s keeping a deathbed promise, taking Jimmy back to his home in Buffalo, New York, as well as atoning for having refused to assist him in speeding his demise. This installment is full of interesting characters and observations about what it feels like to exist outside the mainstream. It makes me want to read the larger work, just as the last story of the author’s that I reviewed here (Short Stories 365/58) made me want to read his latest novel, Faun.