A kind review of “Shooting A Mule.”

Linking someone to the Spring 2010 issue of Redivider, I found this review of my story “Shooting A Mule.” Devlin Farmer writes for a site called “The Review Review.” Just like it says on the tin, they review literary reviews. Here’s what Farmer had to say about “Shooting A Mule.”

“Pages 118 and 119 of Redivider illustrate how the magazine runs into problems. On page 119 is an archival photograph from 1881 of a headless mule. (The mule’s head was blown off by explosives strapped to its neck, the detonation of which was photographed.) The preceding pages are J. Bowers’ entertaining re-imagining of the circumstances leading to this actual historic photograph, “Shooting a Mule.” However, setting this disturbing image on the facing page to Cecily Park’s poem “Savage” is so distracting that I actually had to fold the magazine over lest my eyes strayed to the flying blood and mule pieces. (Threaded seemingly randomly throughout the magazine are visual images which, in black and white, are starkly set in the middle of each page. Unfortunately I found them to be a bit too random, in many cases doing a disservice to both artists and writers represented.) Why not set this image opposite the story it belongs to instead of polluting Park’s poem?”

WHY NOT, INDEED.

(And for the record, I’d like to apologize to Cecily Park for inadvertently spraying dead mule detritus all over her poem.)

-J.

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