JIM COURTER: The Test

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Hands folded, he approaches the Master and bows respectfully.

“Are you ready?” the Master says.

“I am.”

“Well then, what is the sound of one hand clapping?”

He blinks slowly, smiles, then says, “I have no idea.”

The Master arches one eyebrow, strokes his long goatee, and says, “Very good.”


Jim Courter’s short stories have appeared in the United States, Canada, and England. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee and has won an Illinois Arts Council award for short fiction. His essays have appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Smithsonian, and on the op-ed pages of the Chicago Tribune and The Wall Street Journal. His mystery novel, Rhymes with Fool, was published in 2018 by Peasantry Press. First Things First: Ephemera and Offscourings of a Distracted Writer, a collection of essays, humor, and short stories, was published in 2019.

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