Concise Prose. Enough Said.
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The Writer's Lover

By Corey Mesler

This story is too short to reach a full conclusion. The main character is a writer but this is not autobiography; the author is too old for that. This story concerns a woman who loves the writer and her dilemma is should she follow her own calling or spend a large amount of energy bolstering the struggling writer as he receives rejection after rejection. It’s a story about trust and faith and real-life decisions. There are no winners or losers, no bad guys or good guys. It’ll never make a miniseries. Well, for one thing it’s too short. Toward the end of the story the woman sleeps with the writer’s best friend and the message is that it wasn’t really her fault. She needed an out. And though she chose an inelegant, perhaps even destructive out, she is not to be faulted for this. In this story everybody is innocent. Everybody is just trying to have the best life possible. Everybody, especially our two protagonists, is searching for his or her best self. It’s all all right. That’s the message if the story has a message but it may be too short to include a message. I mean, this is a short short story.


Corey Mesleris the owner of Burke’s Book Store, in Memphis, Tennessee, one of the country’s oldest (1875) and best independent bookstores. He has published poetry and fiction in numerous journals including Rattle, Pindeldyboz, Quick Fiction, American Poetry Journal, Thema, Mars Hill Review, Adirondack Review, Poet Lore and others. He has also been a book reviewer for The Memphis Commercial Appeal and Memphis Flyer. A short story of his was chosen for the 2002 edition of New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best, published by Algonquin Books. Talk, his first novel, appeared in 2002, with nice blurbs from Lee Smith, John Grisham, Robert Olen Butler, Frederick Barthelme, and others. His new novel, We AreBillion-Year-Old Carbon, came out in January 2006. It garnered praise from George Singleton, Marshall Chapman, Steve Stern and others. His latest poetry chapbooks are Short Story and Other Short Stories (2006), The Hole in Sleep (2006), TheLita Conversation (2006) and The Agoraphobe’s Pandiculations (2006). His poem, “Sweet Annie Divine,” was chosen for Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac. He also claims to have written “Gitarzan.” Most importantly, he is Toby and Chloe’s dad and Cheryl’s husband. He can be found at

Photo "Broken Heart" [cropped] courtesy of Kiomi.

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