KIRKUS REVIEW OF DO YOU KNOW HOW TO FLY?


KIRKUS REVIEW

Kuhn’s debut true-crime story shows how a violent man’s life led him to death row.

The author uses interviews and other sources to piece together the life of Delmer Smith, a seasoned career criminal awaiting execution in Florida. Smith was born in Detroit in 1971, on the cusp of the city’s economic decline. By age 14, he was convicted of raping a woman at a carwash where he worked. The 18 months that he spent in a juvenile reformatory dashed any possibility of rehabilitation; instead, he learned “how to be more proficient as a criminal” as he became “a creature without a conscience.” As a young adult, Kuhn writes, Smith carried out burglaries, carjackings, and bank robberies, which eventually led to a 15-year incarceration. After his second prison stint, he moved to Florida; there, Kuhn writes, Smith assaulted and beat multiple women—all the while leading a double life as a “wise and loving uncle” to his two nieces. Eventually, the violence led to a murder conviction. The author interviewed many of Smith’s victims and found that the women were now “desperately seeking someone or something to fully trust again.” Thanks to these firsthand accounts, readers receive a nuanced portrait of a predatory man. Kuhn’s decision to jump between accounts of Smith’s early life and present-day interviews is an effective one; by regularly pulling readers back to the present, he reminds them of the painful, enduring impact of his subject’s actions. Moreover, Kuhn shows a great deal of sensitivity when recounting the crimes, evoking deep pathos instead of graphic sensationalism. That said, the book does include some unnecessary background information, including three pages on Smith’s birth alone; it also bafflingly overuses section breaks, which disrupt the otherwise strong narrative flow.

A thoughtful, engaging account of a brutal life and the carnage that it left behind.

Eric the Field Mouse conti.


Eric sat up in the smother of hay and looked at the two other mice whose faces had emerged from behind a pile of damp fiber. “I told you he would wake  this day,” said the one to the right. “I cast stones and they said it would be today.”

“Oh shut up,” said the one to the left. “What do you know about stone casting.”

“Ha, more than you.”

Slowly  the both emerged from the shadows.  “You’ve been asleep a long time,” they both said almost in unison. “Mind if I touch you,” the one of the right said and extended a paw.

“Who are you and where I am I,” Eric said pulling back as he realized that both of these field mice were much larger than he, almost like rats.

“Ah, you don’t need to worry yourself about who we are but as far as where you are well, that is another matter.”

“And the time. The time and day of the year is important.”

“Fine,” Eric said angrily. “Where am I. Isn’t this Farmer Gragers’  farm?”

“Yes, but another time and day and you’ve travelled here. You would think you have come forward a hundred years but in reality you slid sideways. We tell every arrival that they have gained a hundred years. It is just easier that way.”

“Yes,  Easier.”

“How so? Well, when are able to you will see and find you are different.”

“Yes,” the one on the right said excitedly.

“Can I tell him where he is?”  The two looked at each other  and then said, “Outside, just down the road is the town of Llandia. Do you know it?”                                                                                                                                                   1/13/17 Copyright Gordon Kuhn Unedited Text.

 

ALEEN Continued


And so as evening fell fully away from the day and
Those watching went their separate way
Speaking not of evil left there cloaked in dark wings
And left behind small Aleen to sit high upon the hill
The rocky hill that overlooked the city of LLandia
Where the mission keeper sat and looked past them as they left
Brooding about the mission sent him on
And snarled at those who turned to look back at him
For what was their want? Could they have found a better one.
His dark fangs revealed his mood and waited for the taste of blood.
That would run from throats slit by fingernail and dragon tail of wingspan spread
He would wait till fully dark and then mount his quest and deliver the blows
While the silly younger ones left behind who groveled at their teachers feet
Waited for a tasty treat and yet
And yet he recalled Anlock the Strong who spoke to him so long before
Long before the mission clear was in his mind and vision spell
There he had lain away so many days and nights until it became so very clear
That death, dear death would somehow come once again near
And as told when Anloch’s face was close, so close he could hear
The breathing from the lungs deep behind the lacquered armored hide
“Kill them swifty, little one. Surprise those of your kind larger than you.
Surprise them at your strength and keep in mind,
There will come a day when you will have to kill them too.” 1/12/2017

HAUNTED MEMORIES


Angels or demons cast their nets

Wide caught those with memories

Memories of rights and wrongs, I think

Those with recall so sharp and clear

Memories of thoughts themselves cursed

Cursed as were the moments in time brought forth

Forth brought the issues as played out in life complex

Angels or demons, I know not which crawl through my mind

And pull me from the present to the past intense

Visions not wished to replay

But seen there on the big screen

Unable to stop them from their haunting.            1/10/17

Dismantled by Love


She came softly

Easily to his bed was led

And he found himself—suddenly dismantled

Unexpected the world spinning about his head

As if enjoying a first time cup of rich Turkish Coffee

Followed by a sip of mint liqueur that was fed

From the tip of his lover’s tongue warm red

That sought his mouth out amid a smile of rapture deep

To share as did they while the world disappeared forgotten

While within tousled sheets the pair gamboled

And he surrendered to her charms thus, so gently wed.              1/9/2017


Lost

 

She had blue eyes,

Vulnerable, blue eyes

And they held him in their grasp

Gentleness  lived there so much he had to gasp

And she never spoke; she never once spoke

Yet her eyes could easily jokingly poke

And raise the issue of man and woman

As the world floated past the two who were human

As they lay in a grassy field, in a soft and wavy grassy field

Their hands from the sun wide-open eyes did shield

And his protected hers so deep they were and so blue

As they lay in peace and in love so true.

She had blue eyes, deep, soft blue eyes

Vulnerable blue eyes.

Copyright 2/3/2015 Gordon Kuhn

Eric the Tiny Field Mouse contin.


Eric suddenly realized something was wrong. The hay smelled stale, rotted actually. How long had he slept, he wondered? Hours? Days? No, impossible, he had never slept for more than a few hours and if he had someone would have woken him.

He heard shuffling and mumbling coming from off to his left and then to his right. Suddenly, little brown noses poked into the cavity. Field Mice noses. Then he saw an eye blinking at him. “He’s awake!” a mouse voice said to his left.

“No.” A mouse voice said to his right.

Then the noses and the eyes suddenly broke out of the hay and there he sat being studied intently by two field mice, one from the left and one from the right.

“It’s impossible,” said the mouse to the right.

“Well, it is what it is,” said the one on the left. “I told you he was waking up.”

“Yes, you did but….”

Eric suddenly sat up. “Who are you? I don’t recognize either of you.”

“Good God, he can talk,” the mice said together. “I think we should tell the Queen,” said the one on the left. “No, I don’t think that is wise,” from the right. “She’s been bashing people on the head with her club. I don’t even want to go near her,” said the one on the left. “Besides we need more information,” they said together.

 

 

 

Eric the Tiny Field Mouse Chapter Two


So it happened that Eric fell asleep for what appeared to be only a few minutes, but the reality was it was hours and days and months that had passed in a twinkling when Eric finally yawned and sat up in what was now a pollution of rotted hay for he had been left there as the others were unable to wake him. But then there was a shuffling noise in the far in of his den and out popped the faces of two who were his own age, except you had to consider he was actually over a hundred at the time, but not physically. Physically he was only 3 or was it 4. I’m not sure, maybe 5. Yes, let’s say he was 5 and be done with it except…..well….plus a hundred.

Book Two of Predator Coming Soon


They were husband and wife. Best friends. Two who loved each other without question. Her name was Kathleen, Kathy for short. His was Doctor James Briles. He went by Jim.

Kathy spent the last day of her life excited with the prospects of preparing a special dinner for the man she loved. One they would never share. She had gotten her hair done just as it had been on their first date. She had stopped to visit with friends telling them of her plans for the evening.

It was to be a special night. One filled for them with the sense and wonder of simply being in love. But the actions of one man, one monster, turned it into a scene of horror.

Book One is published: Do You Know How to Fly?

You can order it from Barnes and Noble, Amazon has it and also has it in e-book fashion, and I have it on http://www.authorgordonkuhn.com . Order from me and it will arrive with my personal note to you.

PREDATOR: The Man Who Didn’t Exist, The Woman in a Pink Top


So here I sit with the majority of Book Two done and I am procrastinating. Call it what you will, but I just can’t seem to get myself going. I am within reach of being done with Book Two and I just can’t seem to push myself over the edge. Maybe it is a case of fear. Yes, fear.

I have been working on this for 6 1/2 years and to let go of my baby, so to speak, is frightening. Not only that but is it a good book or is it shit?  I don’t know. I feel it is a good book but at the same time I am concerned that the author, me, is just delusional. That happens to everyone I think that has created something and who has this ache in their hearts to be looked upon as an artist, relevant for the current times and yet building a legacy for others to look up at and marvel at the work done so far.

So, anyway, I met with retired Sheriff’s Detective Ned Foy who solved the Briles’ murder case and had coffee with him. I gave him a copy of Book One and he said he is excited to read it. He is also looking forward to Book Two.

Now the pressure is on. Actually it had already started this morning at breakfast when Sherry Call Roberts walked up to me and poked me in the stomach asking how close I was to finishing  Book Two .  Of course she was being playful but the point was simply this: get going and get finished and stop  procrastinating. It is easy to fall into that trap. So I am grateful to Sherry and to Ned and to everyone who is bugging the hell out of me to finish the book.  It needs to get done.

The other nice thing, and I mean that really, is that Ned told me that he would join the readers I have now and review Book Two. After all, he is the main man on that. It was his case to solve and he did. He can provide me with even more insight than I have now. He’s excited. I’m excited. And, I know that everyone else will be excited too as we all move forward with this. I know I am not alone.

GORDON KUHN

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