account_circle by Richard Weems
Richard K. Weems ( is the author of Anything He Wants, winner of the Spire Fiction Award and finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Award, and The Need for Character. His short story publications include North American Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Mississippi Review, Other Voices, Crescent Review, The Florida Review and The Beloit Fiction Journal. He will be teaching once again this MLK weekend at the Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway in Cape May, New Jersey.


The Way of It

Issue No. 164 ~ January, 2011

For fifteen years, I have trained to kill the old man. I am good with a knife and can ooze my way through a dark room, but there is a ritual to uphold, the ritual the old man learned from his teacher.


Issue No. 24 ~ May, 1999

I alight. My baseball cap placed on the seat cushion, though not before a brisk shake to avoid as much as humanly possible a rim-wide ring of wet where I am to eventually deposit myself into sitting position and face her once again. Here she …

Democritus’ Atom

Issue No. 18 ~ November, 1998

We made bets. Innocent ones at first, silly things a man and woman in the early throes of dating try on each other. The wagers were fought in riddles. The befuddled one had to cook the befuddler dinner. The confounded ironed the confounder’s weekend wash. …

Book Lovers

Nothing Personal

Issue No. 47 ~ April, 2001

There is promise for Jason Starr, but this book doesn’t quite get in touch with it yet. In what is supposedly a noir-thriller setting, one encounters David Sussman, a successful advertising agent with (of course) a less-than-successful personal life. He never sees his daughter, his …


Issue No. 44 ~ January, 2001

Stephen is a dreary character who mainly stares at the wall and thinks, a pastime that even Andy Warhol would quickly find tedious.

At the Gates of the Animal Kingdom

Issue No. 41 ~ October, 2000

It’s almost too easy to start out this review with a metaphor based on a line from a story in this book. Never mind that it’s a line from the best story in here (“The Harvest”) and that it seems ample: “I leave a lot …


Creative Nonfiction


Issue No. 23 ~ April, 1999

Get ready to rumble, as Richard Weems tackles professional wrestling and the allure of violence as a spectator sport.



Sitting Danny Rolling

Issue No. 56 ~ January, 2002

I hung in the folds, too new to the area to chance grazing the fields alone. This was home of the Grand Poobah of the nation’s largest chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. This was gator country.

Dangerous Theater

Issue No. 26 ~ July, 1999

Richard Weems explores the unconventional art that challenges our very assumptions of performance and our part in it - even as spectator.


Rules of Torture

Issue No. 42 ~ November, 2000

Writing is serious play, but it is most certainly play. Dare yourself to do something in your work that you've never done before.


Writing the Blue Book

Issue No. 28 ~ September, 1999

This book I’m writing. The cover I have down. The cover will be something to behold. That much is certain. The cover was my neighbor’s idea. My neighbor is helping me with this book. I lie on his floor, talking talking talking about the book, …

The Need for Character

Issue No. 16 ~ September, 1998

The virtue of hope, in Enoch, was made of two parts suspicion and one part lust…He wanted, some day, to see a line of people waiting to shake his hand. – Flannery O’Connor, “Enoch and the Gorilla” Until this morning, my story was the same …

The Author Outlines A Letter of Apology to His Twin, Eaten in the Womb

Issue No. 16 ~ September, 1998

Header salutation: “Hi”? “Dear Sir”? “To Whom It May Concern”? note: consider sympathy cards suggestion: blank or simple addendum: no Bible quote!! Opening beg for sympathy? suggestion for opening: avoid certainty – a sure approach might suggest previous drafts or other experience at subject, thus …


Issue No. 16 ~ September, 1998

In this white space, a dot (a red dot, yes [red not like blood {still a horror, to be sure!}, but red like cherry candy, really {dare I invoke Lifesavers and irony (quell, quell–easy, easy–there is time to be taken, a start to be made, …