Issue #147: Filament

I’ve been wanting to publish a story by K.L. Cook ever since I heard him read from his first collection, Last Call. This was a number of years ago, up in the Adirondacks at Blue Mountain Center. Kenny had everyone in the place on the edge of their seats. A few days later, he found out Last Call had won the Prairie Schooner Prize for fiction. A group of us were down at the dock, and we heard Kenny screaming as he ran across the lawn, shouting his news, and then he hugged everyone, and tore off his clothes and whooped and jumped into the lake. It was a moment of pure joy, one I’ll never forget.  “Filament,” Cook’s latest story and our new issue, captures a very different kind of moment–one that, in the end, contains the entire lifeline of a marriage.  When I asked Kenny in our Q&A what the best piece of writing advice he’d ever received was, he said, “Every story is a love song.”  That’s exactly what “Filament” is–the best kind of love song–the kind that breaks your heart but also makes you remember all the rush and beauty of the moment when you fell head over heels. Be sure to look out for Cook’s new collection, Love Songs for the Quarantined, which contains “Filament,” and also won the Spokane Prize for Short Fiction, and will be published this fall by Willow Springs Books!

3 thoughts on “Issue #147: Filament

  1. Generic genre story + wacky Texas names = something we’re supposed to think is good.

  2. “We want stories that knock our socks off! I’m going to read this one again; I apparently missed something. It ‘knocked your socks off?’ Really?

  3. I appreciated this story, perhaps because I’ve always been fascinated with the myriad ways the ordinary fosters the extraordinary. I live in a rural small town (pop. 25,000 or so, far less when the college is not in session). Loveless marriages, dreams deferred, regret and recrimination, getting by, etc., are as much the norm here as anything else (or anywhere else, I suspect). Yet, inevitably, it is from this norm that encompassing tragedy and triumph are born. Ripples reach the shore in a small pond. Mr. Cook does a fine job of capturing this relationship, the link between ho-hum and holy shit, in his story.

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