>Howl for Bob Arter

>Yesterday, I learned that the world lost one of its most beautiful people over the weekend. Bob Arter was, for me, a bit of a mentor, probably without his even realizing it. He was the guest editor of the 17th issue of SmokeLong. As a quadriplegic (due to a surfing accident in 1973), he had to write or type using an instrument held in his mouth. Despite that, he offered line by line edits on hundreds of the submissions that came in for that issue, making us see beauty in pieces we might have more easily passed over. I don’t think the writers who submitted for that issue realize how much love Bob put into reading their submissions.

He also NEVER talked about his condition. He wasn’t embarrassed by it, but he just wasn’t interested in calling attention to it. He was gregarious and met several folks from the Zoetrope community in person. It was only through those meetings that others of us ever learned of how he lived his life day to day.

Tonight, around the world, dozens of writers who loved Bob will be reading pieces of his outdoors, howling at the moon, drinking toasts to him. Maryanne Stahl came up with the idea, and folks immediately jumped on board. Won’t you all join us in reading, howling, and drinking to Bob tonight? I’d like to think he’ll hear us.

If you have your own favorite piece of Bob’s, have at it. If not, here are links to several of his stories:

And the Sun Soared from the Sea, Oh Me! (Painted Moon Review)
Back Home (SmokeLong)
The Big Texan (FRiGG)
Chitlins (SmokeLong)
Dancing with Anthony (Pindeldyboz)
Grace (LitPot)
The Gown (Opium)
Holiday (Mississippi Review)
How I Came to Love the Godless Eskimo (Opium)
I Went to Barnes, I Went to Noble (LitPot)
Jenny Craig Confronts Lady Higgs-Boson (The God Particle)
L’Amour (Juked)
Mating (FRiGG)
My Mom’s Prom (Pindeldyboz)
Nice Easy (Mad Hatters Review)
The Old Folks (Juked)
Paper Mouse (SmokeLong)
Pictures of You (FRiGG)
Psyche Asea (Gator Springs Gazette)
Remembering Elizabeth (SmokeLong)
Riley’s Shoes (Gator Springs Gazette)
Sinker in the Hole (Hobart)
The Spaceman (Night Train)
The Star (Hobart)
Survivor’s Assistance (Zoetrope All-Story Extra)
That Gladrag Razzmatazz (Absinthe Literary Review)
The Trouble with Fishing (Quintessence… you can’t see the text unless you highlight it all, as this is an archived page that has lost its original dark background)
The Wind (Juked)

We love you, Bob. May you rest in peace, finally free of pain.


About smokelong

Our Mission: SmokeLong Quarterly is dedicated to bringing the best flash fiction to the web on a quarterly basis, whether writtenwidely published authors, or those new to the craft. The term "smoke-long" comes from the Chinese, who noted that reading a piece of flash takes about the same length of time as smoking a cigarette. All the work we publish is precisely that—about a smoke long.
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6 Responses to >Howl for Bob Arter

  1. Liesl says:

    >The moon is full and high above Table Mountain tonight and I’ve howled for Bob. I read aloud his “Psyche Asea” and blessed his life that touched mine so deeply.Thank you, Bob.LKJ

  2. RAC says:

    >I am sorry to hear about Bob, he was always willing and happy to help other writers. Bob Arter was a true gentleman to all, and I am howling for Bob with you all.

  3. Nancy says:

    >I’ve been howling too. Bobby is my brother. I’ve been blessed in my life to have such a wonderful brother and in 1996, after yet another long struggle to survive, he wrote me a poem (how lucky am I??). I thought I’d share it with you all:”Anthem to My Sister (for Nancy):Young woman running, she is pounding down the sand . . .got her music in her pocket, got her car keys in her ear, got her hopes inside her warmup suit, her future in the land . . .and she’s flying south and trying to make the winter disappear.And she’s Our Lady of the Corporation, flowers on her desk, ashtray in her heart full of broken old commotions, planes to some Jerusalem among the places of her nearly next reincarnation as the mother of the earthen creche of holy rains.And Nancy’s seen serenity, you’ve walked among the songs that rainbows sing unto the roots of ancient mountains; seen the greatness of the forest, felt the land endure the wrongs of people in high places, of a dying century’s last machine.And I’ve never claimed to know you, but I’ve tried to understand all the ways you cheat your demons, how you’ve learned to set aside the weeds and find the flowers, find the soul and lose the man, take your lessons from the fireplace and find a place to hide,to hide when all the hounds of hell are hard upon your heels, to run along the oceanfront when rain is bound to come, to take a jolt between the eyes and tell the way it feels without braking down and sobbing at the wheres it’s coming from.I’ve tried to learn your lessons and I’ll keep on trying still; still waters course in currents separating me from one who wears her wisdom like a day wears sun, like green becomes the hill — and I’ll keep on learning till I feel the learning’s all but done.”Yes, I am such a lucky girl . . . who will grieve the passing of one of her very favorite people. And I’ll love him forever.

  4. Nancy says:

    >Oops . . . two edits on Bobby’s poem. No “s” on commotion and breaking should be spelled like this. Bob the editor would have caught that. : )

  5. Dave Clapper says:

    >Nancy, thank you so very, very much for sharing that with us, and please accept our condolences.

  6. Gaell says:

    >I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.Annhttp://externallaptop.net

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