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2015 Story 49

From the January 18, 2015 issue of One Teen Story magazine, edited by Patrick Ryan

49. NIGHT OF THE LIVING POET by Michael Landau   Landau's first person narrator is an unhappy, but not miserable, high school senior who is not happy with his lot in life, not happy with the way he's drifted from his best female friend Crystal, not happy with how  Crystal has changed (the term "friendzoned" is never used, and the narrator's predicament is a bit more than just an issue of unrequited love). The plot revolves around their attendance at a poetry reading as a school assignment, but most of the story takes place before and after the reading and in fact the titular poet barely makes an appearance. The narrator gives us a few examples of what has become his trademark snark as he deals with his dissatisfaction with life and with his relationship with Crystal, but more importantly (I think) we also see evidence of when and how he allows that snark to fail him. There's a solid sense that things have changed by the end of the story, but the question is who is changed and who is the catalyst for change? And can one change and be the catalyst at the same time?

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