About the Author

Stuart Ross

Stuart Ross published his first literary pamphlet on the photocopier in his dad’s office one night in 1979. Through the 1980s, he stood on Toronto’s Yonge Street wearing signs like “Writer Going To Hell,” selling over 7,000 poetry and fiction chapbooks. A long-time literary press activist, he is a founding member of the Meet the Presses collective, Editor at Mansfield Press, and for eight years was Fiction & Poetry Editor at This Magazine. He is the author of two collaborative novels, two story collections, seven poetry books, and the novel Snowball, Dragonfly, Jew, which co-won the 2012 Mona Elaine Adilman Award for Fiction on a Jewish Theme. He has also published a collection of essays, Confessions of a Small Press Racketeer, and co-edited the anthology Rogue Stimulus: The Stephen Harper Holiday Anthology for a Prorogued Parliament. Buying Cigarettes for the Dog won the 2010 ReLit Award for Short Fiction. His most recent poetry book is You Exist. Details Follow. He lives in Cobourg, Ontario.

Books by this Author
Confessions of a Small Press Racketeer

Confessions of a Small Press Racketeer

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Further Confessions of a Small Press Racketeer

Further Confessions of a Small Press Racketeer

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Hey, Crumbling Balcony!

Hey, Crumbling Balcony!

Poems New and Selected
edition:Hardcover
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I Cut My Finger

I Cut My Finger

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Pockets

Pockets

A Novel
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Excerpt

I looked out my bedroom window and saw my brother floating over the weeping willows. His feet fluttered, as if he were wearing flippers. His arms trailed at his sides, his fingertips pointing back to where he had just come from. Where he had just come from now looked like a hovering oil slick, glittering with traces of the moon’s pale light.

The houses crouched in their yards, amid the damp grass, and they breathed almost silently. Every so often one twitched or shuddered. Rain streaked down their windows. The tip of an evergreen was tilted by the wind, but it pushed back, straightening itself until it pointed toward the thick clouds.

A comet whipped through the night sky. The next comet waited its turn. And still more after that one, more and more comets. There was some jostling in the line, a bit of shoving, and then calm.

I stood in my bedroom, at the foot of my unmade bed. I turned on a lamp and my shadow was thrown across the floor. With effort, it pulled itself to its feet and lurched toward the window. The phone rang once and then whoever it was hung up.

I reached into the bottom of my pants pockets, grasped the seams, and pulled the pockets out till they looked like dog ears flopping against my thighs. They were empty. I counted to eighteen, and stuffed them back into my pants. Then I scooped up palmfuls of my own shadow from the floor and filled my pockets with them.

Pants are trousers. Trousers are slacks. Shirts are blouses. Socks are stockings. That summer, I dug for clams while wearing clam-diggers. Or maybe I dug for trilobites. Was it trilobites?

Morning arrived. The house was silent. It didn’t move. I looked out the window. My brother stood in the backyard, beside the red-brick barbecue our father had built. He reached forward and his hand grew immense. He wrapped his enormous fingers around the house and crammed it into his pocket. I turned on my lamp, and everything disappeared.

The door to my parents’ bedroom was shut. Gently, I pushed it open and peeked in. The television threw a glow onto their bed. They lay side by side, my mother and father, completely still. I heard the voice of Deborah Kerr in The Innocents. It was, therefore, sometime after 1961. I slipped out of the house, into my car, and drove to the cemetery. I reached into my pockets, took out some small rocks, and placed them on the headstone my parents shared.

The Hebrew alphabet has twenty-two letters. The Hebrew school I attended was located in the basement of the synagogue near our house. The teacher called me by my Hebrew name — Zalman. It takes four Hebrew letters to spell Zalman. There are four stages involved in something or other to do with the Kabbalah. It is marvellous how everything is connected.

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Snowball, Dragonfly, Jew

Snowball, Dragonfly, Jew

A Novel
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also available: Paperback
tagged : literary
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You Exist. Details Follow.

You Exist. Details Follow.

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Certain Details

Certain Details

The Poetry of Nelson Ball
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Rogue Stimulus

The Stephen Harper Holiday Anthology for a Prorogued Parliament
edition:Paperback
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Surreal Estate

Surreal Estate

13 Poets Under the Influence
edition:Paperback
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