The Pompitous of Love

 by Joseph Rukeyser


The short stories in this collection are set in the heart of human relationships. Stories of the nature of love, mortality, doubt, humor, honesty, morality, sorrow, and happiness. Of ourselves when we are most real. They are stories about people you don’t yet know but who you will likely remember.

* * *

A master storyteller…able to transform the ordinary into the profound. The stories sneak up and surprise you, like listening to voices you used to know…with humor and tender­ness. The authenticity in his dialogue is almost audible. A humanitarian appreciation of life and a gift to his readers.

—Carol St. John, author of Taproots: Where Ideas Are Born and Such a Nice Girl

Stories of love, its presence and its absence…in language so moving, it seems to be flowing from his pen in real time.

—Warren Salinger, author of Counterclockwise: A Novel

The stories are arresting; reading him, you feel you are encountering your fellow human beings for the first time, or—perhaps more accurately—reencountering them with fresh eyes. In one, a woman changes her mind about her boyfriend on a hike while rocks pelt them from above—and until the end you don’t know whether she will take him back or not. How like the ambivalence of a real relationship this is! Rukeyser is like a spy, a detective, on us all; we are looking through a window on ourselves and seeing the truth. And in addition to all this, the man can write with the best of them: His prose is smooth as silk, and his ear as good as his wit. You will have a wonderful time with these stories. They are a revelation.

—Susan Hand, short story and novel writer, Bedford, Massachusetts


Joseph Rukeyser is a short story writer whose work appears regularly in the Catfish Review, an online website. A former university professor and health and medical writer, he is the author of numerous patient and clinical education articles and texts. He has five children and has lived in Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan in New York City and now lives and writes in Rockport, Massachusetts, with his wife and two cats.