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Voices from the Underground

By Bowers, James, W.

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Book Id: WPLBN0002829041
Format Type: PDF eBook:
File Size: 0.7 MB
Reproduction Date: 2006

Title: Voices from the Underground  
Author: Bowers, James, W.
Language: English
Subject: Fiction, Psychology, Ecstasy and Depravity in Human Nature
Collections: Authors Community, Short Stories
Publication Date:
Publisher: Many Kites Press
Member Page: James Bowers


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W. Bower, B. J. (n.d.). Voices from the Underground. Retrieved from

In over 30 short stories, Jim Bowers explores with courage and honesty the nature of the human heart. He plunges deep into the psyche, confronts the beast within, and emerges with redemption, hope, and a bittersweet understanding of the meaning of life. His stories touch on human frailties and anguish, the complexities of relationships, the power of faith and the spirit, on good and evil itself. They are disturbing or uplifting--sometimes together--and they challenge us to be as daring in subjecting our own innermost thoughts and fears to the crucible of honest attention. Expressing a profound mastery of language, Jim writes with beauty and elegance, sincerity and passion. These stories "speak to the soul." Gaydell Collier, author and editor

Prologue I am sitting in my chair in the cabin built by my own hands, looking at the stream flowing through my property, with my feet elevated, piles of newspapers and my dog at my side. It is not that I am lazy. I'm retired, and retirement means not doing whatever I do not care to do, not talking with people I do not find interesting, not being anything other than what I want to be. It is the ultimate in freedom, just to be myself: no more games to play, no role to tell me how I ought to act, only silence and intuition. But that also involves getting to know who I really am. Memories from the past float to the surface, long-forgotten, painful, surprising. I am changing in unexpected ways: death and rebirth in my late sixties, as if one can start over again at that age. I am becoming more reclusive, more observant, delighted by the vast panorama of inward experience. Room after room I wander through the mansion of my soul, ascending stairs toward ecstasy, descending into a murky cellar of horror and evil, desperately trying to find some stability within the synergy between polar opposites. There are many faces populating my house of imagination. In the silence of meditation personalities gather in each room, conversing with one another, anxious to be bodied into words so that they can live in the light of the world outside. Most are unknown in the real world, yet resembling colleagues known, conversations overheard, small events that somehow reveal meaning. It is the meaning, the purpose of each unexpected observation that entices me now: how each piece of the puzzle begins to fit, how obvious it all is, how simple. The posts and beams, the tongues and grooves of a lifetime fit together so perfectly. I could never have accomplished such craftsmanship myself, yet here it is. Mine has been a life flowing between granite walls of necessity; now it is opening out into a huge expanse of still water, deep, reflecting the light of the sky, clear and green to the very bottom. The problem is how to embody this inner world, to articulate it in a form that will not become obtuse in the outer world. I must learn how to transform breath into words, not the spoken words I have used as a teacher, but written words with black rigid forms that will never change. The spoken word might live in the hearing of a few others, might somehow reach their souls with transforming power, but the printed word seems, like a rock, not to have a life of its own. Its form must enliven through the eyes of a reader, become a face in the reader's inner world. . . . To live, the words have to sing. They have to resonate with meaning, creating polytonal pictures in the mind of a reader. They have to dance on the page, forming and reforming until the mind is filled with images conversing with one another in spacious rooms of the imagination. They have to startle with unexpected associations, entice with intimate revelations, seduce with clairvoyant intimations until the soul of the reader is immersed in a world of the writer's creating. Writer and reader, together they dance and sing on the waters of a calm sea, their souls reflected in the depths, clear, green to the very bottom.

Table of Contents
Prologue The Loner Becoming Civilized The Springtime of Love Nightfall Insensitive Snow The Power and the Blood Friendship The Funeral Bad Boy Flesh Made Word A Failure of Heart A Beautiful Woman A Chalice of Daffodils An Honest Neighbor Fear Alone in the Woods The Jogger Embracing the Unacceptable The True Believer A Difficult Friend The Eternal Moment The Storm The Christ Child The Child Molester The Rapist Heart Attack Free at Last Love in Christ Betrayal Why Go to College? The Commencement Speech Poverty Wealth Vision Quest Arachnephilia: The Love of Spiders The Pianist Epilogue


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