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Editor's Note


SNR's Writers


I own one of the country’s oldest bookstores.  History sits on my head like a leopard-skin pillbox hat. Sometimes in the middle of the night I wake up and drive to the store, only to walk around amid the Bassos and Haliburtons and Henry Greens.  Pity me, you who do not read, who think that books were used up in schoolrooms years ago.  I find myself in middle age with a burdensome responsibility.  Sometimes, and I whisper this only to you my loyal priests, I wish I’d never learned to read.  They just keep coming, the men and women with word processors, processing words, pinning them to the page like butterflies, dead and yet beautiful.  So beautiful I have to turn away.  I turn away.  I am bereft. I am all that’s left of the bright dream, the one where we all turn to each other with cupped hands held to seashell ears, saying, what? tell me more.

Corey Mesler is the owner of Burke’s Book Store, in Memphis, Tennessee, one of the country’s oldest (1875) and best independent bookstores. He has Canadian blood, which, 
unlike Canadian Bacon, doesn’t stay fresh if left out. He has published poetry and fiction in numerous journals including Rattle, Pindeldyboz, Quick Fiction, Cranky, Thema, 
Mars Hill Review, Poet Lore and others. He has also reviewed books for The Memphis Commercial Appeal. 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. Nice blurbs from Lee Smith, John Grisham, Robert Olen Butler, 
Frederick Barthelme, and others. He has a new novel, We Are Billion-Year-Old Carbon, due out in 2005 from Livingston. His latest three poetry chapbooks are Chin-Chin in 
Eden (2003) and Dark on Purpose (2004) and The Heart is Open (2005). He also claims to have written “I’m Not You’re Stepping Stone.” Most importantly, he is Toby and 
Chloe’s dad and Cheryl’s husband.

Copyright 2005, Corey Mesler. This work is protected under the U.S. copyright laws. It may not be reproduced, reprinted, reused, or altered without the expressed written permission of the author.