The People of Spoon River

1. I, Metadata 83. Matthew Twombley 165. Davy Rice
2. Lukasz Harding 84. Alejandro Mejias 166. Landon Ambrose
3. Marion Rankin-Dyer 85. A Powerful Lawyer 167. Harvey Canyon
4. Nathan Rankin-Dyer 86. Kathy Folds 168. Graham Carrol
5. Ira Hernandez 87. Joanie the Musician 169. Rey Cristobal
6. Evan Loy 88. Mrs. Schneider 170. Clem Dax
7. Fat Tina 89. Mrs. Mitzi Schultz 171. Columbus Lesley
8. Suze Mueller 90. Rev. Clay Halty 172. Will Calhoun
9. Tammy Wilkes 91. Allan Bivans 173. Billy Calhoun Junior
10. Mike Ely 92. Rev. Jeremy Sheaffer 174. Marcellus Wayde
11. Judge Abner Goldhamer 93. Roosevelt Feinstein 175. Andre Mark
12. Eleanor Stargall 94. Judge Terence Visser 176. Hector Dillon
13. Kyle Kerns 95. Kelvin Platt 177. Sam Bourgoyne
14. Benjamin Ridley 96. Thom Kerns 178. Mrs. Alyssa Bourgoyne
15. Tysha Ridley-Sampson 97. Christine Novell 179. Edd Nash
16. Micah Ridley 98. Ikrimah ibn Khalid 180. Stewartt the Coder
17. Genevieve Travis 99. Simon Leigh Goldhamer 181. Gavin Anders
18. Santiago Rufino, Pharm.D. 100. Moreland, the Columnist 182. Herman Saint
19. Daisey Kane 101. Harmonie Fisher 183. Maud Drake
20. Benjamin Ridley Kane 102. Christian Deegan 184. Filomena Liston
21. Efa Underwood 103. Maureene Tringo 185. Octavio Bradford
22. Llewelyn Underwood 104. Thomas Winter 186. Reverend Mappleton
23. Dutch Felden 105. Phillip Thomas Winter 187. Caitlin Cale
24. Doctor Robert Golden 106. Maria Winter 188. Mohamed Williams
25. Mrs. Inez Golden 107. Paul Welch 189. Mackenzie Tobias
26. Kevin Winterbaum 108. Rachel LeDoux 190. Armand Stone
27. Sheila Springer 109. Anya Kirillov 191. Oudry Tumelo
28. Eugene Conkin 110. Benson White 192. Josh Almeida
29. Jamieson Hazeltone 111. Gil Tam 193. Arvin Knoble
30. Al Hazeltone 112. Steve Biscoe 194. Lionel Lindburgh
31. Doctor Jason Centrone 113. Laurent Arno 195. Second Platoon
32. Officer Copeland 114. Imogene Arno-Niles 196. Allistair Finch
33. Hannah Ward 115. Eugene Blantz 197. Emilio Gaines
34. Paul Robeson Law 116. Lonnie Marchetti 198. Becca Finch
35. Shelly Leithouse 117. Sheri O’Brien 199. Mena Weisse
36. Christine Siegel 118. “Big Ed” Thag 200. Gyorg Kiel
37. Miguel Elliott 119. Mirelle Bulinski 201. Donna Sageth
38. Scott DeMayo 120. The Anonymous 202. Dinah Elden
39. Damien McCoy 121. Joel Addams Loxley 203. Sweborg, the Coroner
40. Taryn, the Dramatist 122. Deke Stayn 204. Salvatore Valentin
41. The Sheriff 123. Pierce Leithouse 205. Mordechai Torrey
42. Russell Diedrich 124. Howard, the Station Boss 206. Remington Paisley
43. Benton Woods 125. Maryann Stillson 207. Lyla Banks
44. Beverly Domino 126. Doug Linke 208. Dominick Banks
45. James MacDonald Waring 127. Philip Dent 209. Jamil Cleave
46. Shaun Bolton 128. Ernie Coffin 210. Elizabeth Nickle
47. Ruth Middleton-Ross 129. Lafayette Lincoln Jones 211. Jacob Bryson
48. Alexander Flagg 130. Professor Newcomb 212. Linus Ballard
49. Dr. Gregory Vreeland 131. Broderick Deegan 213. Rosalinda Wyatt
50. Robb Chess 132. Mo Nickle 214. Kylie Templeton Udzinger
51. Claire Battaglia 133. Charla Noxon 215. Paulie “Perch” Rucker
52. Judge Warington Bolton 134. Shawn Rigby 216. Dwayne Hunt
53. Clarence Brusso 135. Marc Lyon 217. Jared Carson
54. Kharyn Green 136. Tanya Lyon 218. Eli Blanchard
55. Giovanni Moss 137. Samuel McGreuder 219. Vita Diego
56. Hans Bluff 138. Matthias O’Meara 220. Dirk True
57. Andrew Cairns 139. Martha Stennis 221. Donavon Bode
58. Darryl Cordova 140. Christophe Stennis 222. Beryl Clovis
59. Gwendolyn Yates 141. Eric Ward 223. Sylvester Rowan
60. Helene Deluca 142. Marci Ward 224. Kenan Connor
61. Rabbi Stern 143. Dawn McCain 225. Soren Kiteway
62. Rita Chavez 144. Commodore Jenkins 226. The Skeptic-Believer
63. Pedro Teves 145. Jake Papac 227. Hugo Bryton
64. Wayne Garcia 146. Wally Cleveland 228. Arnold Edson
65. Spencer Chadwick 147. Felix Amaris 229. Idris Earle
66. Gary, the Pilot 148. Archibald Carlin 230. Noreene Andersen
67. Ng the Salesman 149. Lawrence Viola 231. Joseph Dawn
68. Mayor Ellen Garrity 150. Denzel Butler 232. Denice Fulton
69. Miles Kagan 151. Ryan Bernhard 233. Mac Littleton
70. Ron and Leo 152. Cameron Dick 234. Vidal Adolphus
71. Margaret Garzan 153. Frederick Waldo 235. Yancy Melbourne
72. Mrs. Sofia Garzan 154. Von Tice 236. Mitchell Maddox
73. Judge Sy Goldberg 155. Julio Verne 237. Captain Achilles Pavalides
74. Busker Barney 156. Titus Mansfield 238. Kenji Shaito
75. The Salaryman 157. Muhammad Yusuf 239. Layne Cornell
76. Alexandra Austen 158. Robin Parker 240. Tobin Burgess
77. Glenn Austen 159. Arlan Macy 241. Levar Conway
78. D.A. Antonio Jackson 160. Michael Malankov 242. Geoff Cage
79. Jonathan Mellor 161. Mya Alabama 243. Sebastian Parrish
80. Johan Torres 162. Wilfredo Monserrat 244. George Dillon Davidson
81. Loyd Pahk 163. Elias Camden 245. Spoon River Confidential
82. Park Shin Min 164. Leonettis the Zoologist

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Spoon River Confidential

Editor’s Note:  Spoon River native Simon Leigh Goldhamer spent many years trying to produce a television series based on the events in his hometown. He wrote many treatments and scripts but the show, which he called “Spoon River Confidential,” was never produced. Just these fragments were found among his effects.


George Dillon Davidson

George Dillon DavidsonOne day, when I was ten,
I was playing baseball
with Miguel Elliott, and we
saw a strange movement and
light high up in the air.
Miguel swore it was the Angel
Gabriel, giving a
trumpet concert. I told
him it was a UFO, and
spun him a story of
aliens coming to
earth, escaping cruel masters, and
befriending a pair of
Earth boys who they would take
on an adventure. Just then, Rod
Deegan went past, and heard
what we were saying. He
chastised us that it was just a
weather balloon, and we
were wasting our time, and
we should grow up now and get jobs.

Miguel met his Angel
after he slipped, and he
never got to grow up. I spent
a lifetime running, and
hiding from Rod Deegan
and his fellows. But every road
I took led back to their
clutches, and my life was
held in thrall to their patronage.
All three of us have passed
now. All three might be called
wastes, failures, or disappointments.
Did any of us leave
behind a mark on the
world, on our shared Spoon River home?
A life cut short, squandered.
A callow legacy
of corruption. Unfinished tales,
read by few, remembered
by fewer. All of us
falling short. All of us failing.

The Gods of the Vikings
all knew they were doomed, that
there was nothing they could do to
avert their fate. What they
taught their Norsemen was to
fight for as long and as fiercely
as they could before they
succumbed to death. And death
spared no one, even deities.

I did what I did. I
struggled hard as I could.
Now we’re all gone. Now we’re all here

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Sebastian Parrish

Sebastian ParrishI lay on my deathbed, waiting for
God or his angels to come.
I’m still waiting. I’ll wait forever.
I know they will come for me.

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Geoff Cage

Geoff CageTobin Burgess is
muttering his
wish to be a plant.
But he’s looking
in the wrong place. We
are all water,
droplets in a huge
river. Each one
a speck in the great
torrent. And in
the end, the river
returns us all
to the fathomless
ocean from where
we began. Or we
evaporate
and ascend to the
cloudy heavens.


Levar Conway

Levar ConwayThe old don’t speak to
the young. They blame the young
for being different,
strange, frightening. Or they
speak at the young, with
regard for listening
only to their own
words, mistaking their worn
proverbs for wisdom.
But I spoke to them. And
I listened to them.
Their fears, Their hopes. Their schemes
and cosmologies.
And I told them that their
elders were just as
lost, just as confused as
they were. And to trust
themselves. I told them the
things I wished had been
told to the young me, what I
learned through all my long
revolutions. They might
not have listened to
me. They may not have heard.
But some of them did.
Even if only one.

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Tobin Burgess

Tobin BurgessWhile I was wasting
away, I spent days sitting
in the garden. It
was the early spring. The trees
were just beginning
to bud, waking from their long
winter’s sleep. Starting
over. I didn’t think it
was possible to
envy plants. I did. I do.

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Layne Cornell

Layne CornellOn Sundays, when my
family went to church, I
went instead to the
library. That was where the
angels sang to me.
And my worship was most
devout. I miss my
books so much. I try to tell
myself the stories.
What I can recall of them.


Kenji Shaito

Kenji ShaitoMy life was music.
And though I will never
make more, what I did
create is still in the
world. Not a lot of
it, not heard by many.
But it is there, while
I am gone. And as long
as that is the case,
there is the chance someone
will hear it fresh. So
I can still live, until
the last recordings
degrade, and the final
person who heard them
passes into nothing.

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Captain Achilles Pavalides

Captain Achilles PavalidesDon’t venerate me, or my
service. I joined for a payoff of
money and strength, but none of us got
much of either. Except for
the permission to take lives. I killed
who they told me to, when they told me
to. I died the same way. A
tool, broken and discarded. Glory
and honor can’t embrace you, but the
cold dirt can. We go to war,
each of us for our own reason. And
we all died for somebody else’s.

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Mitchell Maddox

Mitchell MaddoxAt the end of my days, I found
that I loved my dearest
enemies. At least I knew them,
even if it was to
despise them. But the new world is
so different, so strange. So
my old adversaries became
my last compatriots.


Yancy Melbourne

Yancy MelbourneI stumbled through the
world of light, shrouded in darkness. But
now that I’m buried
in the dark, I see nothing but light.
Surrounding, filling,
connecting us all. I wish I’d had
an inkling. Perhaps
I wouldn’t have been so terrified.

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Vidal Adolphus

Vidal AdolphusAfter long days in
the lab, making cultures, splitting
cells, cross-breeding strains,
we’d often decamp to Mendel’s,
to drink and argue
and flirt and fight. Sometime, after
a few too many
rye whiskies, I’d imagine a
Great Geneticist
looking down on us, pairing us
up to see what our
DNA would yield, culling dead-
ends, optimizing,
improving, diversifying,
strengthening. It’s the
chief goal of life to make more life.

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Mac Littleton

Mac LittletonDo not fear,
enemies of the Lord, when your time
comes. He is
not a God of vengeance. And He knows,
as I do,
that when you come to join us, your way
will be made
open by those you loved, those who came
before you.
They are here now, whispering in His
ear. Like I
whisper in yours. Do not fear. You are
loved. You are
saved. This is the Kingdom of Heaven


Denice Fulton

Denice FultonI went to church every
week. Sometimes twice a week.
And I marveled at why
others didn’t. It was
so beautiful and so
serene. Majestic. It
didn’t matter which church,
synagogue, temple, mosque.
I loved them all. Such joy
was there for all, for free!

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