“Children, I said to her. For the first little while, they not exactly human, you don't find?”
Nalo Hopkinson

Saturday, March 24, 2012

52 Stories and Poems: Jackson Bliss

Jackson Bliss is a writer of short stories who has been published in numerous journals.

I think I found his story "The Molestation of Skinny Boys" while searching for something else.  What does it matter?  He is a new writer to read and enjoy.

Actually Jackson Bliss is not new.  He looks as if he is in his early thirties.  At this time Bliss is working on his Ph.D. in literature and creative writing at the University of Southern California.  To read more about Jackson Bliss's educational pursuits click here.

I think people learn many important lessons through life experience.  "The Molestation of Skinny Boys" is a late better than never coming of age story.

Twenty eight year old Jean-Boy (that is what I said) takes a trip from New York to Dakar, Senegal to visit his father's family.  His French mother suggested he go even though interaction with family can be difficult.

When Jean-Boy arrives in Dakar he is harassed and troubled by the heat, dust, and his welcoming family. His back is tied up in painful knots.  He is really bothered by their bathroom habits:
"It was a latrine not a bathroom...Squatting over the empty circle, his kneecaps popping in place,...The most basic animal procedure-shitting in a hole-had suddenly became a biathlon, a test of Jean-Boy's flexibility, balance, and of all things marksmanship. Having to poop into a target was too much; the mountains of aggregate shit from his in-laws, the gagging ammonia rising up from the bowels of hell,...the sound of his aunt Angelique laughing on the other side of that shoddy cement wall..."  From Page 169 of African American Review.
I will just say that Jean-Boy had been bothered enough at that point.

If you want to read about Jean-Boy's irritating journey the story is in African American Review, V. 43, #1 Spring 2009.  The Journal can be accessed through databases from your local or college library. It is on Literature Sources from Gale, Gale General One File, Project Muse, and Ebsco Host.  There are probably more but those are the ones I know about.  Put the name Jackson Bliss in the search box and select author for the field.  The story is available in text or pdf.


  1. Just wanted to say hi. Thanks for checking out my piece in the African American Review. I really appreciate it.

    Peace, Blessings,


  2. I appreciate the time, effort and creativity that went into the story. I started reading it and couldn't stop. Thanks.

  3. Thank you, Judaye. I appreciate that. In case you're curious, that piece was partially inspired from 7 months I spent in Burkina Faso. Have a great day. Peace, Blessings,


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