Author Archives: Michael Pocalyko

Owls Made of Shells

I am getting ready to prune my library. This hygienic effort is necessary every few years unless you are the kind of person—we all know a few—who is a first-rank bibliohoarder. I am not one of those. Somewhere I read a bon mot to the effect that actually reading books should not get in the way of collecting them. I am also not a particularly conscientious book collector, although I used to be one. In my library now, aggregation seems to occur spontaneously with no Continue reading →

Master Class

So there I was, just like Rodney Dangerfield. Remember that movie?  “Listen, Sherlock! While you were tucked away up here working on your ethics, I was out there busting my hump in the REAL world.” Only my students were born a decade after Back to School came out. Maybe I should explain. At Muhlenberg College last week I played the role of old grad coming home, novelist in the classroom. I was a student there a whole lifetime ago. It’s the place where I actually Continue reading →

Method Writing

A first for me on Algonquin Redux. Maybe on the web at large for anyone, although that’s a bold and difficult thing to claim and prove. I am composing this post on my typewriter. Old school. To understand why, let’s first meet my machine. It’s a 1958 Hermes Model 2000 portable that I got in March of 1983 for a hundred bucks, reconditioned. I bought it at Wescott Co. in Norfolk (“Your source for Business Machines for over 73 Years!”) to take to sea with Continue reading →

The Grabovo Conspiracy

I truly love conspiracy theories. I don’t believe a single one of them. Instead I am fascinated by the way some people passionately embrace them, in the same manner that an ethnographer might systematically discern a primitive belief system, at once fascinated and repelled by the same observation. One of my never-going-to-be-published starter novels had a plot that was all about conspiracy theories. Variously called The Counselor or Limits to Privilege in a couple of training-wheels drafts, its protagonist was an ex-White House staffer, once Continue reading →