Read other essays by Jim Ringley in the following publications
"Another Small Repair"
The Chattahoochee Review
Volume 37.1 | Spring 2017
"Then, in deepest December when frost sparkled over the threadbare ground and our coal-black sky was dazzled with a million spilled stars, we hunkered down in a couple of drafty rooms connected to the living room where the coal stove whispered and mumbled and belched a curling fist of smoke every time the iron door clanked shut. We cut off the rest of the house, letting it chill to the innermost knots in its bones. I could see my breath in the rooms back there where every doorknob burned cold as a stone and a clutch of pennies would ache in the tender palm of my hand...."
"what you don't know for certain"
Issue 471 | March 2015
"Forget the Raymond Chandler novel on the bedside table. For awhile you’ll be studying a Buddhist nun’s book with its clues to your life in Sanskrit terms. Such is the nature of sudden loss to interrupt whatever you had planned for yourself. Anything you thought, anything you intended, anything you vaguely had come to expect; those were the seeds of your suffering. What you mistook for a self-directed life is only a bubble oiled with slippery rainbows. What did you know, believing it could cross these rooms intact?...."
"Up Close at the Westchester In-N-Out"
Catamaran Literary Reader
Vol. 5, Issue 1 | Spring 2017
"Draw a line mapping the elevation of a typical airplane flight and you will see a reasonable description of the human lifespan: the rapid, steep incline of youth, the long, mostly stable segment at cruising altitude followed by the descent, the distinct period which seems to want announcement that we’re almost there. Depending on your relative position or perhaps the mood of your present outlook, life may appear as an arduous and tiresome slog or a fleeting miracle...."
"On the Smell of Certain Houses"
The Threepenny Review (Table Talk Section)
Issue 147 | Fall 2016
"These closets are empty, but from experience I can guess what they kept here. This air still holds evidence of plastic hangers that must have clacked against one another, and the paper-covered wire ones from the drycleaner’s (“Fresh as a flower in just one hour”). Rayon slacks and an Easter dress, old neckties and oily brown shoe polish. The shelf was likely stacked with photo albums, puzzles, road atlases, vinyl purses and shoeboxes. In a corner under the shirt cuffs an umbrella was folded and tucked into the shadows like a shore bird...."
"The Death of Mrs. Danley"
Little Patuxent Review
Issue 18 | Summer 2015
"We tell each other that there is nothing to do and that nothing ever happens in Peedee Creek and it’s almost true, but I do remember a day last year when I was out of school and only Mom and I were home on a weekday morning when the telephone rang on the brown shelf in the kitchen. From the back porch where I was sawing a board for a birdhouse I heard Mom pick up the phone. It was Ruby calling her, and before I could really start to pay attention to Mom’s end of the conversation, she was already hanging up, saying, “I’ll be right there.”