Search View Archive

M. G. Stephens

M. G. STEPHENS is the author of nineteen books, most recently Occam’s Razor (2015), a collection of short poems. His other works include the novels The Brooklyn Book of the Dead and Season at Coole; the essay collections Green Dreams and The Dramaturgy of Style; and the memoirs Lost in Seoul and Where the Sky Ends. He recently completed a nonfiction work about downtown New York in the 1960s, with particular attention on the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery. Recent writings have appeared in the current issues of Missouri Review, Notre Dame Review, The London Magazine, and The Hollins Critic.

from Kid Coole

Maybe it’s not your fault but ours, Billy Farts said. It is our problem. We are your corner. It is our job to guide you into your own corner and onto the stool as quickly as possible. Your job is to fight for three minutes. Our job is to take care of you for the minute between the rounds. The more of the one-minute that you rest and we can work on you, the better our man fights. Am I right, Mike White?

from Kid Coole

This is the final chapter in the Kid Coole serial that began in May of 2015.

from Kid Coole

This novel is both a boxing novel and a novel about multicultural America in the 21st century. What distinguishes it from other boxing novels is its many women characters, which the author has drawn sympathetically. It is a novel about a world in which different races seem to operate without as much friction as in other social realms.

from Kid Coole

The reporter scribbled frantically, not hearing the differences that Mike White wished to articulate, just getting them onto his notepad. The writer would figure out what his interviewee meant later. Mr. White was a renowned boxing cornerman, and whatever he said was noteworthy to the journalist.

from Kid Coole

They left the arena and went into the locker room where Kid showered and changed into a new white nylon outfit of pants and zip-up jacket and a new pair of white trainers.

from Kid Coole

He sat on the porch of the nursing home next to his auntie. Aunt Ella had gotten old, not before her time, but right on time, though she had become much older than the last visit to the home. Uncle Tony, her brother, the fighter, the prisoner-of-war, he was old prematurely, only he still looked like a dopy teenager.

from Kid Coole

In the Kid’s corner Billy Faherty screams. The cutman Mike White talks. The spit-bucketman Ralph Half-Dog adds his two cents. Everyone yaps all at once so Kid can’t hear any of them.

from Kid Coole

Dear God, Parnell prayed, give me a rematch with Blue Rivers. Make such a fight possible. My body is hard and elemental, Billy Farts says. I have no distracting thoughts.

from Kid Coole

Gladiola and Kerry were fighting again. They fought all the time lately. It started with words and escalated to shouts. Sometimes the daughter threw things at her mother—glasses and plates, knick-knacks and cups and anything that wasn’t nailed down.

from Kid Coole

Kid walked through Times Square. Earlier in the day, he had sparred with this up-and-coming welterweight in Brooklyn. A Spanish guy. Named Carlos. He forgot his last name. Short-term memory. He had dinner in Little Italy.

from Kid Coole

Boxing was a game of inches. That’s what Billy Farts said. He heard it from Whitey Bimstein, the legendary trainer. A fighter only had to move an inch to slip a punch. Step one inch to the right, and you are not where the other guy expects you to be.

from Kid Coole

“They all want to become champion. But reality sets in and then you start to become an opponent. And then after you become an opponent, you become a sparring partner.”

ADVERTISEMENTS
close

The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 19-JAN 20

All Issues