by Corey Mertes
My next-door neighbor, Farley, and I don’t speak to each other. Two years ago he installed a wood-burning fireplace in his living room, and the fumes from it circulate through my house when the wind blows from the northwest. When standing on his porch I informed him of that fact, he responded from the darkness behind his barely ajar front door that the chimney was up to code, so fuck off….
Corey Mertes is a lawyer with an MFA in film and television from the University of Southern California. His short stories have been published in many journals, including Valparaiso Fiction Review, 2 Bridges Review, Green Briar Review, Bull: Men’s Fiction, The Prague Revue, Poydras Review and Hawai’i Review.
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The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review is a print and digital literary journal. We offer original fiction — short stories, short short stories, hybrid—poetry and nonfiction. We also curate The Eckleburg Gallery — visual artwork and intermedia — as well The Groove including first released, original music by The Size Queens. Our archives include emerging and established writers, poets, artists, musicians and performers such as Rick Moody, Cris Mazza, Eurydice, Steve Almond, Stephen Dixon, Moira Egan, David Wagoner, Zach Galifianakis and many more. We run annual print issues, The Eckleburg Reading Series (DC, Baltimore, Chicago, New York….), as well as, the annual Gertrude Stein Award in Fiction with a first prize of $1000 and print publication.