Fish Out of Water, by Michael Giorgio

I never thought the next time I’d be at the lake with Dad that he would be dead for two weeks at the time. Was my father angry with me for canceling out on him a couple of times after promising to go fishing with him? Is that why the summons from Mr. Dowling, the family attorney, telling me that I would learn the terms of Dad’s will only by showing up at the lake at eight o’clock on a muggy Saturday morning? Or was this Dad’s idea of a joke, gathering together my mother and all of his relatives?
There were five of us there, the entire Philpot clan, plus the attorney and a man I didn’t recognize. At eight o’clock precisely, the lawyer spoke for the first time. He reminded us that this assemblage was a condition of Dad’s will and then introduced the stranger as “Chad Fletcher-Fiske…from the crematorium.” I did a double take. Maybe it was the movies, maybe it was propriety, but I expected crematorium representative to look a little more dignified and somber. Not an air-blown country club type in an open throated lime green golf shirt and khaki pants.
“In case you’re wondering,” Fletcher-Fiske began, “it was Mr…Mr…” He consulted a slip of paper. “Mr. Philpot’s last wish that you all be gathered here today.”
My mother sighed loudly. Though I hadn’t seen her since I turned eighteen, I knew she would. Thirteen years after the divorce and Mom still sighed with disgust at any mention of Dad. “Eight a.m. on a perfectly good Saturday morning and I’m standing next to an algae-infested lake.”
“One stands ashore, dear. Not ‘next to,’” contributed Aunt Myra Mayhew in her superior way. Dad’s oldest sister always placed herself above the rest of the family once she married one of the filthy rich Mayhews and plastered the name onto hers. My mother was the only one willing to remind her that she tricked Barrington Mayhew into marriage by faking pregnancy and that the union lasted until both Barrington and her tummy pillow slipped out during the climax of consummation.
“I don’t care if we’re next to, ashore, or astride. I want to know why we’re out here.”
A rasping cough followed by a loud splat meant that Uncle Phlegmmy, my father’s only brother, was about to speak. “If you two’d shut the hell up, we’d all find out,” he snarled around the fourth cigarette since his arrival at seven-thirty. He hocked another wad of God only knew what onto the gravel, watching with satisfaction as it oozed around the tiny stones. Uncle Phlegmmy, my father always said, was the best example of why one shouldn’t take up smoking two unfiltered packs a day at the age of twelve.
Fletcher-Fiske cleared his throat. “Mr. Philpot’s will is what brings us here today. As you know, the late Mr. Philpot was an avid fisherman. This lake,” he pointed toward the green water, “was his favorite fishing spot in the entire world. But he had one wish unfulfilled out there. Anyone know what it was?”
“To catch Big Bastard,” we all said in unison, our chorus punctuated by an Uncle Phlegmmy hock and spit.
“Uh…yeah, that’s it.” Fletcher-Fiske seemed surprised that we knew the answer, but anyone who ever spent five minutes with my father knew of his obsession with that fish. Big Bastard was the proverbial one that got away.
“What the hell does this have to do with Hickey’s will?” Aunt Willow demanded. Aunt Willow never requested anything; she always demanded. Especially when it came to forcing me, her favorite and only nephew, to ‘come here, Philip, and give old Aunt Willow a big hug.’ Hugging Aunt Willow was an experience, as her breasts were large enough to require special-order torpedo-shaped brassieres. Being ensnared in her arms was like being groped by a four-tentacled octopus.
The lawyer stepped forward. “Mr. Philpot’s last request is that the six of you participate in a fishing tournament, hence the boat waiting to take you onto the lake.” He gestured and Captain Blatzberg, Dad’s favorite charter boat pilot, waved from the deck. “Whoever catches Big Bastard, gets all.”
“Leave it to Hickey,” Mom muttered.
“What if no one catches the stupid fish?” Aunt Willow challenged. “What then? A six-way split?”
“No. The will clearly stipulates that if the fish isn’t caught by one of you no later than six o’clock this evening, all of Mr. Philpot’s assets will be turned over to a trust establishing the Lake Clatterhatch Home for Aged Fishermen. It’s all perfectly legal.”
Fletcher-Fiske made a show of checking his watch. “If we may continue. My firm, Bereaved Relieved, has assisted Mr. Philpot in this request. His cremains have been processed using the latest technology in the eternal remembrance industry.”
“Eternal remembrance, my ass,” Uncle Phlegmmy said. He looked like he had more to say, but the words apparently stuck on whatever goop coated his throat.
“What is this technology?” I asked. Somebody had to.
“The newest trend in eternal remembrance is to have the cremains of your loved ones ground into semi-precious jewels. Normally, these jewels are turned into fun, wearable art. ‘Make an heirloom out of an ancestor,’ as our corporate motto says. Mr. Philpot, however, paid to have his cremains embedded into six fishing lures, one for each of you.” He held up a lure. Sure enough, there was a sparkling something strung through the middle of it. “Each of the jewels in these lures is in a different hue from our exclusive Eternity Forever collection.”
“Six o’clock, it goes into the trash, fish or no fish,” Mom said.
Fletcher-Fiske gave the lure to Uncle Phlegmmy. “It was your brother’s desire that you have the amber,” he said, handing him a lure with a muckish brown stone in the middle. He continued passing them out—fire-red ruby to my mother; icy topaz to Aunt Myra Mayhew; something purple called midnight ink amethyst to Aunt Willow. When he got to me, he realized he still had two lures left. “Is someone missing?” he asked as he absently handed me a lure with a sapphire-like stone in it.
“My daughter, Star,” Aunt Myra Mayhew said. “She’ll be along shortly.”
As if on cue, a lavender SUV pulled into the small parking area. Star, resplendent in shorts and halter the color of her vehicle, stepped from the passenger seat. “Who is that driving her car?” Aunt Willow asked in a commanding whisper. No one answered.
We all watched as Star went around to the other side, poked her head thought the open window, and said goodbye to the driver’s mouth with her tongue. When she finished, she flounced up, coiffed blonde hair settling in a perfect bleached haystack. “Hello, all,” she said. “Ever so sorry to be late. Enrique does things so slowly sometimes.” Her emphasis on the words ‘so slowly’ made the humid air sweat.
Fletcher-Fiske, visibly flustered, thrust a lure into her hand. “Pink topaz,” he said. “In honor of your blossoming womanhood.” He disappeared toward the safety of his Volvo.
“What’s this all about?” Star asked, holding the lure at arm’s length.
Aunt Myra Mayhew took her by the elbow. “Come on. I’ll catch you up on the boat.”
“Onboard,” my mother correctly sweetly, earning an over-the-shoulder frozen glare from Aunt Myra Mayhew. Mom, Aunt Willow, the lawyer, and I followed them, with Uncle Phlegmmy bringing up the rear, huffing and puffing and hacking the entire fifty feet to the dock.
“He looks like a bundle of laughs,” Mom whispered as we approached the ever-scowling Captain Blatzberg and his Albino Alligator. Despite his seeming inability to smile, I knew the captain had a dry, ironic sense of humor.
The captain ignored the women as they breezed past. When he saw me, his scow inched up slightly and he pulled me into a well-remembered grizzled bear hug. “Skeeter-Boy! How the hell are ya? How’s the hotshot banker from the big bad city? Still spoilin’ life for the widows and orphans, are ya?”
“Doing my best,” I said, not wanting to think about the bank and the impending merger that would make my position, and career, expendable.
Captain Blatzberg put his burly arm around my shoulders and led me onboard. “Ya know, Skeeter-Boy, your dad and me, we went way back. Back even before he met that mother of yours and started working day and night to keep her happy.” The way he spat out the word ‘mother’ made his feelings perfectly clear. “I knew ol’ Hickey back when he was your age, not too long outta school and lookin’ to make his way. He was a lot like yourself, he was. Took to workin’ his tail off in the city, not takin’ enough time for himself, makin’ a pile of money—”
“I hardly make a pile of money.”
The captain took off his cap and skritched his fingers through his stringy salt and pepper hair. “That ain’t the point, Skeet. Point is, soon as Hickey had it to the gills with the city and the stress, he took his money and hightailed it out here. Slowed his life way the hell down and probably added ten years to it along the way. Your dad, proud as he always was of you, was sorta sorry you didn’t get more of him in you, instead of takin’ a mite after that one.” He stubbed a finger toward Mom. “But he always loved you, boy. Always bragged about you. Last year or so, after you backed out of what, seven straight fishin’ trips?” That dagger hit its mark. “He kept on talkin’ more and more about findin’ a way to get you back out here permanent. Think about it, Skeeter. It’s what you old man wanted more than anything. Even more than catching Big Bastard.” He hobbled toward the bow, where the lawyer stood with my mom and aunts.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” Mr. Dowling began. I wondered if he always sounded like he was about to address the jury. “It is now eight-fifteen. I’d like each of you to select a place from which to fish. Captain Blatzberg will pass among you and bring each of you a pole, help you attach your lure, and pilot the boat to what he assures me is the most likely spot to find the heretofore mentioned Big Bastard.”
Uncle Phlegmmy, plopped in a deck chair at the Alligator’s stern, cleared his throat and spat over the side. “I ain’t moving from this spot,” he announced over a voluminous splash. Aunt Myra Mayhew immediately claimed the bow, as far away from “Phlegmmy and his pollution blasts” as she could get. Mom and Aunt Willow took up a starboard position, settling in for afternoon of complaining disguised as “catching up.”
I took the port side of the boat. Star sidled up to me. “Mind if I fish with you, Philip? I don’t know the first thing about this fishing stuff and might need help from someone who knows how to handle a big pole.”
Without waiting for answer, she slid into the chair next to mine and stretched her legs, too bronze to be naturally tan, out in front of her, lavender painted toes resting on the rail. “What are we supposed to do until Captain Pabstville—”
“Whatever. What are we supposed to do until he gives us our fishing stuff?”
“Wait, I guess.”
Star flashed the pout I remembered so well from childhood, then reached under her chair for her lilac-tinted faux fur purse. From it, she extracted a very slender volume the size of a subversive manifesto. “Enrique’s latest poetry chapbook. Wanna hear some?”
She held it up so I could see it. On the neon pink cover, an intricately detailed pencil drawing of seven sweat-soaked, somewhat towel-clad Adonises gazed longingly at a jar of tartar sauce. Above them, in sketchy block lettering, were the words Ruminations While Eating Fish and Chips in the Steamroom at the Y. Before I could think of a way to stop her, Star opened the book and began to read aloud. “Sweat of salty, wicked brine/nestled in naked, hairy thigh o’mine…”
I tuned her dramatic recitation out, afraid to learn more about Enrique than the too much I already heard. Idly, I wondered what scandal Enrique would eventually represent for Star. From childhood, Star was notorious for her scandals. The SUV was a gift from a very married city official and would-be producer at the third-rate avant-garde theater in a fourth-rate part of the city where Star toiled as fifth-rate ingénue. The resultant publicity from their city hall council chamber tryst resulted in Star’s pictures plastered in the papers again, gave the third floor walk-up theatrical troupe six consecutive near sell-outs in its forty-seat performance venue, and meant a new alderman for District Fourteen.
Captain Blatzberg’s appearance with fishing tackle ended Star’s recitation. “I’m gonna take the ol’ Alligator around to Hidden Cove,” he said. “That’s where Big Bastard usually is this time of year. Hell, there’s probably a couple hundred of your dad’s best lures at the bottom. Should oughta rename it Hickey Cove in his memory.” Captain Blatzberg let loose a few solemn grunts I knew were his version of laughs. “You two are the last, so as soon as you’re ready, we’re off.”
The trip to Hidden Cove was short, but annoying. Star insisted on reading aloud from Enrique’s chapbook with the justification that “Enrique’s verse lives when it’s set free to the wind.” I thought it would be better if she chucked the whole chapbook into the wind, but I kept my mouth shut and moved to the other side of the boat. My mother and Aunt Willow were in deep conversation and I kept my distance. Listening without obviously paying attention was a skill I perfected as a child, knowing that to show any interest would drag me into the discussion, probably to my detriment.
“She’s had another breast implant,” Mom said, indicating Star.
“How many times has she had those things puffed up now?” Aunt Willow insisted on knowing.
My mother shook her head. “I don’t know, but she’s got more silicone in her chest than there is in all of California.” The two of them laughed in their smug, aren’t-we-superior way.
Star’s breasts represented her first scandal and were what I associated most with my parents’ divorce. We were at a gathering of the Philpots at Aunt Myra Mayhew’s trailer the night everything came to a head. Aunt Willow’s two-bean salad, so christened because she forgot to buy garbanzo beans, was gone, as was my mom’s pot roast and Aunt Myra Mayhew’s Jell-O and whipped cream cups. The only thing left on the table was Uncle Phlegmmy’s contribution, something made from stringy meat wads, chunks of green that may have been vegetable, chunks of cheese in a darker green hue, and the brown gelatinous glop that congealed over and around all of Uncle Phlegmmy’s culinary creations. The grownups retired to the living room to talk about Aunt Myra Mayhew’s grand plan to buy a winter trailer somewhere down south just as soon as she had the money. Twelve-year old Star, already well on her way to voluptuous femininity, and eleven-year old me, nowhere near manhood, went to her room to play Scrabble.
After about a half-hour, the competitive nature of the game was forgotten and we settled in to just taking turns adding words. Studying the board, Star started to giggle. “I’ve got a good one.” She pulled three tiles from her rack. “T,” she said, arranging the first next to the “I” in my last contribution, “big.” “Another T, and an S. Big tits!” She sat back, laughing.
I was eleven. I laughed too. Any mention of body parts, especially sexual parts, was surefire material to use on me. “That’s a good one, Star,” I choked out.
“Actually,” she said, thrusting out her already ample chest, “I’ve got two good ones.”
That sent us both into another spasm of giggles. I was still laughing when, without warning, Star reached out, grabbed my right hand, and plastered it over her left breast. “Like it?” she said softly, all mirth gone from her voice.
Before I could answer—or move my hand—the door opened and Aunt Myra Mayhew was directly over us. “Philip Edward Philpot!” she bellowed. “Just what do you think you’re doing?”
The room was suddenly full of adults. I didn’t know what to say, so I said nothing. Star’s expression told me that she would never own up to the truth, and if I tried to, no one would believe me anyway. “I knew that boy wasn’t right,” Aunt Myra Mayhew hissed. “Perverted at his age. That’s not a Philpot gene causing that.” She glared at Mom.
“Well there don’t seem to be any protestations from your daughter,” Mom countered.
It was all out war after that. Aunt Myra Mayhew said something about such behavior being expected when quality people like the Philpots mixed their genes with more common folk. Mom answered with a comment about Star’s father, whoever he was. Then Uncle Phlegmmy got into the mix, defending the Philpot honor between coughing seizures. Aunt Willow threw in her two cents, overvalued as usual. Soon, both my uncle and both aunts ganged up on my mother, the subject changing from my perversion to everything they disliked about her.
Dad never said a word. He simply took in the scene, like he was recording it for some special mental library. I didn’t quite know what to make of that, but I knew that life as I knew it would never been the same.
After about ten minutes, everyone was all insulted out and a post-nuclear silence descended. “You can remove your hand from my daughter now, Philip,” Aunt Myra Mayhew said, her tone metallic.
My right hand sprang to my side. With all of the excitement, I completely forgot it was still cupping Star’s breast. Well, not completely forgot. After all, I was eleven. I mumbled an apology and my mother announced that we would be leaving. She left the room, not waiting for my father or me.
The ride home was silent. Dad stared straight ahead while Mom brooded, arms crossed over her chest. I was in the backseat, my hand curved into the shape of Star’s left breast. I didn’t want to forget the details of my first foray into manhood.
The door barely clicked into place when Mom turned on Dad. “You didn’t defend me.”
“No. I didn’t.” His voice was a notch too calm.
“May I ask why not?”
He walked to the den without a word, returning a moment later with a pile of envelopes. “Bills,” he said. “Not the utilities. Not the mortgage. Your bills. Your extravagances. Your pleasures. I just can’t do it anymore, Janet. Not anymore.”
“Do what?” Mom managed to maintain the anger in her voice, but there was a tinge of fear.
“Pretend. Pretend that your spending and your trips to the city don’t affect me.”
I slipped out of the room at that point, but I never forgot how my mother shuddered when Dad said that. I overheard too much that night to pretend I was still just a child. I learned about the phone call from Dad’s former secretary, telling him of suspicions about my mother’s biweekly overnight shopping trips to the city. The private detective’s pictures of Dad’s old boss and Mom in a position nicely described as delicate. The amount of money that paid for hotels and meals and gifts for the man who caused my father’s heart troubles. And Mom’s defense of wanting a man with power more than she desired a weak-hearted nature lover and her admission that her love withered the day he left his lucrative career in the dust.
Mom was out of the house the next day, moved bag and baggage to an apartment in the city. The divorce was quick if not amicable. Dad, always a shrewd investor, held on to enough in the divorce to spend the last thirteen years of his life indulging his passion for fishing. And passing that appreciation on to me, though it took his death and this trip for me to realize it. Still, there was always a sadness that hung about my father in those years, a sense that the knowledge that Mom loved him for what he provided and not for himself hollowed out his spirit. He only seemed happy on the Albino Alligator, with Captain Blatzberg and me. A pain the size of Lake Clatterhatch thudded in my stomach. I knew now what our seven straight missed fishing trips meant to my dad. A little of my spirit hollowed with the knowledge.
A thunderclap literally shook me back to the present. I looked up into a quickly darkening sky. “We can’t be expected to continue under these conditions,” Aunt Myra Mayhew protested to Mr. Dowling. “We’ll have to postpone this until another day.”
The lawyer was nonplussed. He opened his briefcase and extracted an umbrella. “Mr. Philpot’s will explicitly states that this fishing tournament is to take place on the second Saturday after his funeral. Regardless of weather.”
Uncle Phlegmmy spat a wad of something over the Alligator’s side. “But we ain’t—”
“Regardless of weather,” the lawyer repeated. He opened his umbrella a split second before a light sprinkle started to fall. “Unless all six of you agree to call it off and allow the estate to establish the Lake Clatterhatch Home for Aged Fishermen.”
A chorus of no’s filled the air. I was the only abstention. I didn’t want my father’s money anymore. I wanted my father, and all he represented. Still, I dutifully cast into the murky water again. My justification was simple. If I caught Big Bastard, the others wouldn’t.
The rain fell harder as the afternoon wore on. Eventually, high wind gusts forced all six of us into a tight knot on the starboard side of the boat, sheltered from the worst of it by the captain’s cabin. While Captain Blatzberg and Mr. Dowling sat high and dry inside, we fished morosely. Between the wind, the rain, and the clouds of hostility, I’m sure we didn’t look like a Norman Rockwell American portrait family.
The hour crept toward six with nary a nibble. Beside me, Mom mumbled occasionally about her wastrel ex-husband. Except for the fact that she would be sour bait for Big Bastard, I would have gladly pushed her overboard. Star, forced by Aunt Myra Mayhew to keep on fishing despite what the wind and rain was doing to her hair and makeup, lapsed into dramatic bursts of tears punctuated by glaring silences. “Remember the money,” Aunt Myra Mayhew kept telling her. “Remember the winter home.” Uncle Phlegmmy, the only one prepared for rain with his ragged umbrella hat, managed to smoke another couple of packs despite the high winds, off-brand cigarette smoke blowing continually into our faces. The only one showing any camaraderie, he regaled us all with how he would use the money to buy the good stuff, like Camels and Marlboros, completely redo his room in neon tobacco advertising signs and buy the “biggest damn ashtray they got down to the Tobacco Outlet.” Aunt Willow held her pole low, beneath her torpedoes, in order to keep the handle dry for when she would “haul in the big one and gut on it Hickey’s damn grave while wearing the most expensive fur coat I can find.” As I fished, I realized that keeping the money out of their grasping hands was all that mattered to me.
At five-fifty, the rain stopped. Less than a minute later, all six lines bobbed simultaneously. Animosity was forgotten as we all started reeling in, certain Big Bastard was on our line. The cramped conditions caused quite a bit of jostling, but no one dared move now. A substantial inheritance was potentially on the line.
As one, we yanked our poles back like an Olympic synchronized fishing team. I must have tugged too hard, because my line snapped and I fell unceremoniously onto the hard wooden deck, the pain of degradation shooting up my spine. The others shouted all at once. “There he is!” my mother’s voice broke through the din.
I looked at where she pointed. A coppery green fish, the biggest I ever saw, flew through the air, sun streaks painting the drops of water around him a vivid orange. It landed directly on the shelf of Aunt Willow’s enormous bosom. She screeched and swiveled about, aiming her torpedo breasts toward us, firing the fish away from her with one enormous heave. The fish spurted into Aunt Myra Mayhew’s face and ping-ponged back and forth between my aunt’s body and my mother’s, finally landing at their feet. The momentum caused the poor thing to skid across the deck, upending Star in its path. Enrique’s chapbook flew from Star’s purse, spiraling upward in the direction of Uncle Phlegmmy, who was in mid loogie-hock when both fish and book came his way. The wad of muck shot from his mouth to the deck in a coagulated heap. The fish slid into the sludge and stopped cold. The chapbook fluttered over him like a blanket, settling just under his grimacing mouth.
We all stared in silence at the tucked-in, mucked-up fish. Its stared back at us. I thought I saw a pleading there, a desire to end this humiliation. It wasn’t supposed to come to this, its eyes said. I knew just how it felt.
Mr. Dowling and Captain Blatzberg stepped out of the cabin. “Six o’clock,” the lawyer announced. “Contest’s over.”
“Who gets credit for catching the fish?” Aunt Willow demanded. “It touched me first.”
“It ruined Enrique’s chapbook.”
“It hit me in the face.”
“It’s in my spit.”
My mother leveled her glance at her former in-laws. “All of us in were involved in some way,” she said. “Except Philip. So a five-way split is the only fair thing to do.” There were definite dollar signs in her voice. I should have pushed her overboard when I had the chance.
Captain Blatzberg knelt beside the putrid pile of fish, phlegm, and poetry. With a huge scaling knife, he scraped the corpse from the hardened slop. “Don’t matter none,” he said. “This here ain’t Big Bastard. This here’s just a dead fish.”
“And the time’s up,” Mr. Dowling said. “Time to head back.”
Thunderous silence enveloped the Alligator on the return trip to the dock. My relatives retreated to five different spots on the boat. The lawyer, Captain Blatzberg, and I were the only ones who seemed happy with the outcome. Better the aged fishermen should get Dad’s money, I thought, than the family who treated him with such disregard. I offered up a silent apology to my father for missing those fishing trips. It was the best I could do.
I watched through the window as a light snow fell on the frozen lake. A knock at my office door forced my eyes from the scenery to a financial spreadsheet. “Come on in,” I called.
Captain Blatzberg slipped in, his deck shoes squeaking on the sea-blue plush carpet. “Got a minute, Skeeter-Boy?”
“Always for you, Captain. Problem with your room?”
“Naw, everything’s fine. You give me the best room in the joint. Got a good view of Lake Clatterhatch. Can’t ask for more than that. It’s something else I’m wantin’ to talk to you about.” He stroked his scraggle of white chin whiskers, then hooked a thumb toward the door. “It’s just that, well, I got something for you. Don’t go nowhere.”
Where was I going to go? My office was on the second floor. If I jumped out the window, I’d be on ice-covered Lake Clatterhatch.
He was back in the office with a big box. “Got a present for you, Skeet. Something to christen this here fancy office of yours.”
He reached into the box and pulled out a wood plank. When he turned it around, I saw a fish, coppery green and grimacing, mounted on the highly varnished surface. “Is that—”
“It’s the fish your people caught out there that day.”
“They aren’t my people,” I said dryly. My eye traveled from the fish to the object mounted next to it. A lure. Blue sapphire. The lure given to me by the Bereaved Relieved representative six months ago.
“When I was preppin’ that fish, I found the lure inside it. Knowed it was yours straight off. Weren’t nobody else in that crew gonna catch no fish.” He looked around my office. “Spot right there on the wall above your head would be perfect for it. Make Hickey awful proud, knowin’ that this last piece of him was in his son’s office.”
“This place,” I said with a wave of my hand, “is the last piece of my dad. The Lake Clatterhatch Home for Aged Fishermen was his dream.”
“Tell you a secret, Skeet,” the captain said in a conspiratorial voice. “Your dad had you named in his will as director of the home knowin’ full well none of them others was goin’ to catch Big Bastard.”
I looked at the lure and then looked harder at the mounted fish. “Did I?” I asked.
Captain Blatzberg ran a gnarled finger along the fish’s side. “Maybe you did and maybe you didn’t,” he said with the first smile I ever saw him crack. “Maybe you did and maybe you didn’t. Does it matter?”
My dad looked at me from a frame on my desk. “No,” I said. “I’m where I was always meant to be.”’


Michael Giorgio’s fiction has appeared in many magazines and anthologies. His novels, Justice Comes Home and The Memory Swindlers were published by Black Rose Writing. He has also published poetry and nonfiction and leads workshops at AllWriters’ Workplace and Workshop in Waukesha, WI.

Michael can be found on Facebook at Author Michael Giorgio. His website is

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