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Black Lamb


Now in its 14th year of publication, this magazine was created to offer the discerning reader a stimulating selection of excellent original writing. Black Lamb Review is a literate rather than a literary publication. Regular columns by writers in a variety of geographic locations and vocations are supplemented by features, reviews, articles on books and authors, and a selection of “departments,” including an acerbic advice column and a lamb recipe.


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Archive for May, 2007

Study in scarlet

May 1st, 2007

fatgirl-copy.jpgBY DEAN SUESS

I have been working for some time on the outline of a novella, a study in scarlet as it were, of the dismal lives of people fascinated by, surrounded by, intrigued by, even bound by the actions of inmates in the prison system and those released, now living as ex-cons. What in God’s name makes “normal” people, whose self-preservation instincts should be shrieking “Run away! Run away!” seek out cons, insinuate themselves into their lives, accept substantial damage at their hands and through their machinations, and further ingratiate themselves in most humiliating and co-dependent ways — what makes these “normal” people tick?

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: Suess | Link to this Entry

Chaper Eighteen: JJ helps with the fire drill

May 1st, 2007


Despite the drama occasioned by our dog JJ’s consumption of our Mercedes’ innards, it wasn’t long before most of my nearest and dearest settled back into their old ways. That is to say, my husband began to spend most of his time away from home again, apparently at work. My sons continued their lives of school, friends, homework, and video games, and, increasingly, inhaled the contents of the fridge, which due to JJ’s unwillingness to remain alone were increasingly difficult to replace. Handy Jack, therefore, continued to provide his regular services of odd-job man, dog sitter and walker, and general family companion. True, after falling into his arms over the car-eating fiasco (an experience that had provoked the odd dormant emotion), I had wondered about sacking him. But he was literally our meal ticket. Though my husband’s salary provided the funds, Handy Jack’s presence enabled me to go out and buy groceries. All in all, he was too useful, too affable, too necessary to us all for me to make the break.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: Garrison, JJ Chronicles | Link to this Entry

My spiritual practice

May 1st, 2007


Now that spring has sprung, men are bursting from their dormant buds and flowering embarrassing riches of enthusiasm through the ether, dropping petals at my virtual feet. I’ve had eight “winks” today alone, and five other guys actually took the time to write me an email: unheard of in the no-woman’s-land of virtual dating.

OK, I admit it. The photo on my match.com profile is… well… old. In it, there’s a photo of me holding my cat Barney who died almost two years ago. When I opened the email tonight from “outdoorsman32” (handle changed to protect the innocent) asking “How’s your kitty?” I came face to face with the affront of my false marketing. What is the appropriate response for a woman in my position? Should I reply to this anonymous man with, “My kitty is dead”? Now there’s an interesting conversation piece for getting acquainted with a stranger. A death and an exposed misrepresentation all in one sentence. Suddenly, I am a twenty-first century version of Mrs. Peacock in the Library with the Candlestick.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: Cohen | Link to this Entry

It’s in their bones

May 1st, 2007


godzilla-copy.jpg“How do you explain these things?” I asked my neighbor, a nine-year-old creationist. Dinosaurs, for instance.

“Easy,” he answered. “God created them with all the rest, three thousand years ago.”

Curiosities for our entertainment, doubtless, judging by the enthusiastic way folks poke through the sands of the Peace River, looking for the teeth of alleged gigantic sharks of yore. Up the way, in Mulberry, tourists can admire quite a variety of old bones at the little Phosphate Museum.

“A joke,” Joe commented with a chuckle. “I could take you to a place where there are mastodon tusks as long as this house.”

Joe had retired from a long career in the phosphate industry and knows “Bone Valley” as well as the proverbial back of his hand. He told me all about it over beer at his daughter’s birthday party, a cook-out.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: Albright | Link to this Entry

Honorary Black Lambs

May 1st, 2007


Again we bring you a couple of short portraits, with recommended bibliographies, of personages soon to take their places in The Ultimate Literary Calendar for 2008: your handy pocket guides to two of literature’s most readable practitioners.

mowat-copy.jpgFarley Mowat, b. May 12, 1921

An amateur naturalist and prolific author, this gifted Canadian has delighted readers for more than half a century with memoirs of his childhood and war service and innumerable books about animals and indigenous peoples of the far North. Start with Never Cry Wolf and then make your way in leisurely and enjoyable fashion through his engaging oeuvre.

Books People of the Deer, 1952. Lost in the Barrens, 1956. The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be, 1957. Coppermine Journey: An Account of a Great Adventure, 1958. Grey Seas Under: The Perilous Rescue Missions of a North Atlantic Salvage Tug, 1959. Never Cry Wolf, 1963. This Rock Within the Sea: A Heritage Lost, 1968. The Boat Who Wouldn’t Float, 1969. Sibir: My Discovery of Siberia, 1970. A Whale for the Killing, 1972. Virunga: The Passion of Dian Fossey, 1987. Woman in the Mists: The Story of Dian Fossey, 1987.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: Honorary Black Lambs | Link to this Entry

Consumerism run amok

May 1st, 2007


Once again we present an unparalelled opportunity for Black Lamb readers and would-be consumers: exclusive access to a superb gift cornucopia, the Whole Whog Catalog, first published in 1980. Take advantage of the original catalog prices by ordering today.

Now that spring is well upon us and we’re all out in the garden, here’s a helpful product to keep those flowers and shrubs pest-free.

slugcall-copy.jpgSluggo™ Slug Call

Do you shrink from the thought of taking a walk around your own property at night? Don’t let mere mollusks make a mockery of your lawn. Put your foot down. Stamp out sickening slugs and their slimy trails of mucus. Crack down on snails, too. Use Sluggo™, the top banana of slug calls, to lure slugs from their hiding places for easy mass extermination. Irresistible to all breeds. Works even in dry weather. Lifelike wet-look vinyl. Blow briskly into either end of Sluggo™ and watch a crowd gather.

Only $8.95

Order today, with check enclosed (shipping is free!), through Black Lamb, P.O. Box 4531, Portland OR 97208-4531, USA. Please allow six to eight weeks for delivery.

All entries are from the Whole Whog Catalog, by Victor Langer, Leslie Anderson, and Bob Ross, with a preface by Chevy Chase (New York, Times Books, 1980). •

Posted by: The Editors
Category: Wretched Excess | Link to this Entry

Radios and pedestrians

May 1st, 2007


Dear Millie,

My husband and I recently relocated to a small town to spend our retirement years in peace and quiet. We made sure before making the move that we could get good radio reception for classical and jazz stations, which, along with National Pubic Radio, are broadcast from a big city not too far distant. The problem, though, is the DJs, who are rank amateurs. What can we do? Their annoying voices and stammering ruin our radio listening for us.


Dear Miffed,

First of all, I guess I’d have to say that you’re lucky to find a place in America with access to both a classical and a jazz station. Plenty of huge cities in this country no longer have either.

As for the quality of what they call “on-air hosts,” we’re living in hard times.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: Ask Millie, Marshall | Link to this Entry

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