Author Archives: James Steerforth

About James Steerforth

I am an author of poetry and fiction, translator and painter who loves to have fun with borrowed feathers.

Short memoir of a minor character

My name is Eino Roskinen. Of course, this is not my real name. I was included under that name as a minor character in the novel Cass Timberlane, now considered a rather minor work of Sinclair Lewis but quite a … Continue reading

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Sleep, my love

That’s what I’m telling her to get her to relax, holding her hands in mine, but things are really far from OK, with that psychopath Hendrik bound to knock on the door any minute. What to do? Do I know … Continue reading

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Complaint of Vilemir Putanin, seasoned dictator and cleptocrat

(excepts from His diary) … I have sacrificed myself for my country to restore its former glory, and yet what do I get? Jokers gathering in the capital to protest, no doubt riled up by the criminal thugs I put … Continue reading

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Federico García Lorca, Little Viennese Waltz

In Vienna there are ten girlsa shoulder on which death sobsand a forest of stuffed doves.There is a fragment of morningin the museum of ice flowers.There is a room with a thousand windows.¡Ay, ay, ay, ay!Take this waltz with its … Continue reading

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A few seconds in the mind of Cinzia

Should definitely get rid of the bird shit on the roof. Black really shows it. Probably some pigeon. But I always park here, and usually there’s no bird shit. It’s under a roof after all. But no time now, have … Continue reading

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A Romanian sentence

Electronic dog that barks when someone walks by –in a white Sprinter van with Bucureşti license platesparked along the shore of Lago Maggiore. – James Steerforth (© 2021) Based on true events. Has the form of an American sentence but … Continue reading

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Full circle

“Let’s go to the beach,” Arturo said.“And do what?” came Luis’ quick retort.Arturo gave him a look from down under.“What we always do.”“Why should we do what we always do?”“Any better idea?”“It’s just that nothing ever happens here. Not here, … Continue reading

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The unknown engineer

On the imaginary tracks of his life And no – this working life is not enough. Sets out to the factory in the morning. Work. Not very exciting. But one does what one must do. Wednesday lunch at a restaurant … Continue reading

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After bathing at Baxter’s

Always a great place to relax, recharge and get some heat during the cold season, and just half a block from Jack’s, where Grace treated us to some of her finest albeit eclectic California cooking. Lots of Lone Stars, tequila … Continue reading

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From the memoirs of an addict II

In the late eighties I was addicted to crime novels, basically of any style – police procedure, noir, hard-boilt, single shamus, animal detectives, stuffy British, you name it. Even though I usually had plenty of work as a language traitor, … Continue reading

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A nice ending for a novel

And so they stood there hand in hand watching the waters of the river flow by until they got bored and left. – James Steerforth Author’s note Novelists usually attempt to wrap up the novel with an ending that packs … Continue reading

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Why the Catholic church?

“Why on earth did you drop off a dried-up Christmas tree with some ornaments still in place on the front steps of a Catholic church in April of 1978?” “Well, in an odd way we thought they’d be blessed.” “Blessed?” … Continue reading

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Striptease

I swear to God I didn’t want to go. My mother told me that those things are sinful and play on the desires of the flesh. I really didn’t want to go. But the guys in my department said don’t … Continue reading

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You can be damn sure

it’s going to be a slow movie if the hero takes about ten minutes to enter the place, drag his feet across the floor turtle-like and sit down on the sofa sloth-like, eventually putting his mustachioed head in his hands. … Continue reading

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Trans Europe Express

I boarded the train in X. Smoking was much more common in those days. In France, in particular, some people would smoke even in nonsmoking compartments. Even though I had a seat reservation, I changed compartments after two men, who … Continue reading

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Daisy said

Where would I find glass slippers nowadays? – I’d make such a wonderful cinderella! – James Steerforth (© 2018)

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Oh memory

Trieste, somewhere near Piazza dell’Unità d’Italia, a youngish woman exiting a gelateria with a cone stacked high. Made me think of a sack due to the shapeless brown dress, which seemed to cover a heavy structure. And immediately I thought … Continue reading

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For hire

You see, my immense success is all due to that watch – it all started with that watch, which projects just the right image of wealth and manliness. And now I’m the owner of a nice red car, a monkey … Continue reading

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The WTF poem

“WTF – I wonder how that is pronounced…” “Not that easy to say, it being Proto-Srpko-Pannonian. Not at all what you would guess from the spelling. Probably sounded like hwiss, the final f generally being mute for all we know.” … Continue reading

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Happy ending

That’s what YOU call a happy ending: you plundered our joint bank account, maxed out our credit cards and ran off with the Austrian masseur who looks like Arnold reborn and is twenty-eight years younger than you. While I’m home … Continue reading

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