by Tim Lucas
with music by Dorothy Moskowitz

PS Publishing
86 pages, £15

ISBN 978-1-786367-02-0

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Author-songwriter Tim Lucas writes about a narrator who addresses and often confronts his muse — or perhaps, in this case, lack of any muse — until, while swimming, he meets what he calls The Westside Girl. And the girl is someone, despite his own failing marriage, who inspires him.

At times, it feels like unrequited love; but the narrator, giving the story presence in his own college lecture (as the Lecturer), does not push the swimming relationship into a full-fledged affair. He doesn’t abandon his wife. He writes songs, lots of love songs, that bring his own self-respect and love of his partner back to life.

The songs here are on a CD supplied by the publisher and “Oh, You Kid Music, BMI,” and sung by Lucas and Dorothy Moskowitz.

The novella features a wonderful philosophy about the perils of unrequited love. I enjoyed this from Page 66:

“My dream’s conclusive message, I understood, was that I needed to relinquish my presumption of control, especially in matters of love; it wanted me to know that, if anything as transcendent as my encounter with Sophie was ever going to happen in my waking life, it could only happen spontaneously, by happy and mutual surprise and consent, and could not be coerced into being with the emotional blackmail of promises and covenants and intellectual worry.”