Fiction Collective Two is an author-run, not-for-profit publisher of artistically adventurous, non-traditional fiction.

Mark Mirsky


The Secret Table
by Mark Mirsky

Hardcover
1975
Price: $17.95 s

Paperback
1975
Price: $9.95

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About the author:


Mark Mirsky was born in Boston and grew up on Blue Hill Avenue which runs through the former towns of Dorchester, Roxbury and old Mattapan. He attended the Boston Public Latin School, Harvard College and Stanford University. He is the editor of Fiction and an Assistant Professor of English at The City College of New York.


His stories and articles have appeared in The New Directions Annual, The Progressive, The Boston Sunday Globe, The New Your Sunday Times Book Review, The Washington and Partisan Review.


About The Secret Table:


Now in The Secret Table, Mark Mirsky sets side by side two novellas of young men embracing a mystical past. In "Dorchester, Home and Garden," a thirty-year old adolescent, Maishe, returns to a burnt-out Jewish district on Blue Hill Avenue. He is swept up by angels and dropped among the bums of the Boston Common, in a city through which Isaiah and the Greek philosophers wander. "Onan's Child" recasts this narrator as the biblical Onan, who refused to sleep with his wife, Tamar. It is a tale of a Kabbalistic world where angels go astray and the clay of the earth, still warm, cries out for human seed.


Excerpt


The voices do not come to me. They have never come to me. Once I lay in bed and a trembling started. It was like the joy of the images only without me. It started through me and I began to rise. There I hovered above the floor, the spring beginning to bubble in me but I was afraid. I would not let go.

The rope swayed in my hand. I would go up. Never return to that prison of bone, tissue, below. I could look down on the strange body of a boy, his legs akimbo on the bed. Yet where …

The moment passed and I settled down upon my form again.

So they are dumb but now the spring under my tent is dry too. She lays here, a heavy clod of flesh, obstructing through entrance, egress of all that stirring. Am I to search inside her for gates, doors? I tried, I swear, I tried. There was nothing there, a blind tunnel, blocked up.

Yes, she can draw from me something palpable, an embryo, a secret that grows, swells in her, but me?

I hold the seed within myself. At night, I generate.