November 1979

Readers Write

First Sexual Experiences

For three weeks straight, both nights of the weekend we struggled and tossed around, cramped under the steering wheel of his Impala, windows steamy. No luck. What is it some song says, “We just couldn’t make it fit”? Literally.

By Our Readers


“People think love is an emotion. Love is good sense.”

Ken Kesey

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Facing Cancer

Do Doctors Do More Harm Than Good?

I live in my body. I have a right to the facts. Unhappily, I still expect that a healer would let me know the facts to make my own choice.

By Peg Staley
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

The Jes Plain Folks Poems

In the past 15 years, Remark and What If poetry has proliferated to the extent that one might say there is an actual school. A partial reason for this has been the growing popularity of creative writing courses. This is not to damn such courses. They have, however, turned out a large number of writers who have reached a certain technical competence, and can turn out strings of words that look like and may occasionally be good poems. Mostly they are good the way a chocolate sundae is good, and one is left with a final feeling of “So what?”

By Stephen Dobyns
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories


Book Review

Without questioning Goodman’s political convictions (they remained rock solid throughout his courageous political life) or his sources of literary inspiration, it seems fair to say that the articles and novel spring in a way from the same source. As Goodman stated in a poem, he grew up fatherless and spent his life making trouble, and throughout his career he seemed to be made uneasy by success. As much as he yearned for acceptance, he seemed to realize that a large measure of his inspiration lay in his alienated stance. Thus it was in the sixties, when he could be successful exactly because he was alienated, that his career really blossomed.

By David M. Guy
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

A Lady’s Journal: Reclining Morals

Trying to have “fun” with “fun people” is the worst hell there is, when you’re really down.

By Cheryl Schilling