Jack Forge


Born John Stephen Rohde in Los Angeles, California, I focused my academic study on the liberal arts and I have striven to create worthy art most of my life.

Smashwords Interview

When did you first start writing?
When I was twelve I wrote my first poem, THE FIRST CHRISTMAS, which St. Cyril's church published in the Christmas bulletin and a priest read to the congregation.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Los Angeles which strongly influenced much of my poetry, some of my stories, and at least two of my novels--AMATEUR AT HEART and HUNTING KETCH.
Read more of this interview.


The Graphic Art of Jack Forge
A slideshow of a lifetime of work in graphics.


We Are the Way!
Price: $1.00 USD. Words: 180. Language: English. Published: June 17, 2019. Categories: Poetry » Contemporary Poetry, Poetry » American poetry » General
I publish this poem as a gift to all people who struggle for justice in our world.
Defying the Call
Price: $1.00 USD. Words: 330. Language: English. Published: September 22, 2015. Categories: Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
A futile though human effort to deny the inevitable final summons of Nature.
The Monster in the Mirror
Price: $1.00 USD. Words: 610. Language: English. Published: July 22, 2014. Categories: Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
A sort of dramatic horror story with a timeless theme told in free verse.
The Box
Price: $1.00 USD. Words: 380. Language: English. Published: August 5, 2013. Categories: Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
(5.00 from 1 review)
A short free verse poem on a long view of expectation for the future.
The Plague
Price: $1.00 USD. Words: 370. Language: English. Published: March 13, 2013. Categories: Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
A new prose poem about a deadly affliction affecting the planet.
Price: $1.00 USD. Words: 430. Language: English. Published: January 3, 2013. Categories: Poetry » Themes & motifs » General
A new poem about the many ways we measure the moments of our lives.
A Doll in the Garden
Price: $2.00 USD. Words: 4,250. Language: English. Published: October 31, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
A short story for Halloween from my collection PRESSED LEAVES.
Out of a Cloud
Price: $1.00 USD. Words: 290. Language: English. Published: July 14, 2012. Categories: Poetry » Themes & motifs » Love
(5.00 from 1 review)
Lyrics to a song composed by my son, Sean Damon, whose music is on Soundclick. This poem is included in my book of poetry, SPIRITS, available on Smashwords.
Purchasing Power
Price: $2.00 USD. Words: 1,140. Language: English. Published: June 9, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
(4.00 from 1 review)
Flash fiction about a future that could come terribly true. A story from my collection of short stories, PRESSED LEAVES.
Ave Maria
Price: $3.00 USD. Words: 23,860. Language: English. Published: May 25, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
A linguistic trip from the madness of sexual obsession to meaningful love.
Love Song for the Dead
Price: $2.50 USD. Words: 15,190. Language: English. Published: May 1, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
A contemporary retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice tragic myth.
Shooting Bear
Price: $2.50 USD. Words: 12,730. Language: English. Published: April 12, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Men’s adventure
A short novel about guilt, redemption, and love set in the Asian wild
Price: $1.00 USD. Words: 400. Language: English. Published: March 9, 2012. Categories: Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
A poem about the thoughts and feelings of a lifetime when becoming seventy years of age
On Stage
Price: $4.00 USD. Words: 72,980. Language: English. Published: November 3, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American
A collection of plays written during a lifetime in the language arts.
On Stage
Price: Free! Words: 72,990. Language: English. Published: November 3, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American
A chronological collection of stage plays from the traditional to the avant-garde
Amusement Park
Price: $3.00 USD. Words: 22,470. Language: English. Published: September 24, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Humor & satire » Form / anecdotes & quotations
Humor and satire from the vain to the irreverently profane and beyond
Price: $3.00 USD. Words: 25,620. Language: English. Published: September 9, 2011. Categories: Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
A lifetime of poetry in a wide variety of styles and subject matter
Amateur at Heart
Price: $5.00 USD. Words: 69,680. Language: English. Published: August 23, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Coming of age
A humorous novel of amorous youth in search of love as well as himself
Pressed Leaves
Price: $5.00 USD. Words: 79,050. Language: English. Published: July 20, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
Varied short stories chronologically from a life of writing
Hunting Ketch
Price: $5.00 USD. Words: 117,360. Language: English. Published: June 15, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Crime
A novel of monstrous crime, vigilantism, and law enforcement in present day Los Angeles
House of Swallows
Price: $3.00 USD. Words: 51,120. Language: English. Published: May 27, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Family, Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction
A heartwarming tale of a young girl's devotion to wild birds despite personal problems that trouble her life
Between the Dark and Dawn
Price: $5.00 USD. Words: 100,670. Language: English. Published: May 2, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Historical » General, Fiction » Romance » General
An historical novel of the great San Francisco earthquake and fire

Jack Forge's tag cloud

acting    adventure    aging    art    avant garde    barbed    bawdy    biographical    bird    blank    blank verse    character    childhood    chorus    cinema    city    civilization    clock    collabration    comedy    confession    confessional    consumption    cop    corruption    crazy    crime    criminal investigation    dark    dawn    days    death    decay    demonic    desperation    disease    drugs    end of life    evil    experimental    fame    family    fanaticism    fantasy    fear    fire    fireman    flight    force    foregiveness    free    free verse    friends    friendship    fun    future    health    hero    home    hope    hopeful    hopelessness    humanity    humor    hunting    imagination    inspiration    joy    leach    lessons    life    lifestyle    longevity    loss    love    lust    lyrical    lyrics    magic    magic and mystery    march    marketplace    marriage    monster    morality    murder    music    mystery    narrative    nature    night    nurse    october    opera    orchestra    pedophiles    people    personal    pest    philosophical    poem    poetry    police    political    prediction    purpose    reconciliation    reflecting    relationships    religion    renewal    rescue    resistance    revolutionary    rhyme    rivalry    romance    romantic    sacrifice    satire    scarecrow    sea    sex    social    society    song    species    stardom    superstition    suspense    tale    teenage    theater    threat    time    time is short    tragedy    tv    urban    urbane    verse    veteran    vigilante thriller action    will to live    witty    wordplay    words    work    youth   

Jack Forge's favorite authors on Smashwords

Smashwords book reviews by Jack Forge

  • Why a Train? on May 17, 2011

    Much like a dream. Bits of humor too. For its brevity, the story works. It is difficult to write a short-short and make it succeed. Good use of details for vision and taste. I really can't see anyone even thinking of approaching a bear to inquire about a pair of pants, but then this is a dream where anything goes. Your use of the language is rough in spots but maybe you intended that. The end suggests an existential point of view. Interesting touch. The story closes with an unpredictable darkness that left me wondering about this character's life--and death. Maybe the story should have told me more.
  • IN ORCHARD LOST on May 19, 2011

    An interesting take on the loss of Eden. I found myself captured by the opening scene of a young couple finding a pear orchard. And I was further intrigued by the threatening darkness of chemical-poisoned apples. But I wanted more. When the writer left the story to conclude with a homily about maturity, I was lost, not in an orchard but at a dead end to a promising story. Maybe revise it with more development of the characters and theme.
  • Smashwords Style Guide on May 31, 2011

    Essential to preparing manuscripts for ebook publishing, especially on Smashwords. Thorough and organic. But it could benefit from editorial/organizational skills from someone, such as, well--me.
  • Smashwords Book Marketing Guide on May 31, 2011

    Well written guide, covering more clear information and direction in one cybertome than available in numerous sites on the internet. Remains to be seen if the apparently good advice will help me sell my books.
  • 100 Easy Household Tips on Nov. 17, 2011

    Lori J. Mitchell’s little book, 100 EASY HOUSHOLD TIPS, is packed with many ingenious remedies for those common household problems we all encounter. This simple volume will surely help anyone who reads it achieve more efficiency in the home. I recommend 100 EASY HOUSHOLD TIPS!
  • A Cure for All Known Diseases on June 05, 2012

    An effective short-short that presents real people in a convincing setting. One can feel the wetness while reading this series of verbal pictures that assemble a brief but complete story of marriage, need, and commitment. Applause for accomplishing a challenging task--creating a good story in fewer than a thousand words.
  • Wishful Thinking on June 05, 2012

    Good work on a difficult job of a story with few words.
  • The Rot on June 05, 2012

    Good premise that is all too likely to happen.
  • Let The World Die on June 16, 2012
    (no rating)
    What a fascinating twist on the mythical self-sacrificing hero! An enjoyable little gem. One suggestion: Develop it. This deserves to be a novel or at least a full-blown short story. It is the germ of a major work.
  • The Medusa on June 18, 2012

    An interesting retelling of the myth. The horror comes out on the page. Even though I had known about the Medusa, the writing involved me in the story to the end. Good work.
  • Alius Dies on June 25, 2012

    Overall, an affecting poem on the horrors of war. Although I don’t know if you want comment, constructive criticism, or both, I offer you some comments. First, I’ve read some Sassoon, so I know for what you’re striving. I can see and hear and almost feel the plight of the soldiers in the trenches. I commend you on your enterprise in using an aabb rhyme scheme in English, a language not as rich in rhymes as the Romance languages, such as French and Italian. I also don’t know the reason you used the word Alius. Perhaps to cast an aura of antiquity, as in the repetition of wars throughout human history. But I could be reaching. Anyway, glad to see you presenting your work to the world. I hope you have continued to do so.
  • Oranges on June 25, 2012

    One of my favorite fruits! Thanks for reminding me of the transcendent pleasure of eating one. In your effective use of blank verse you present some sensuous images, such as “…juices as cold as the new morning...” Makes me want one right now! Keep writing!
  • Kaboom! on July 07, 2012

    Effective little piece of black comedy. I like the way you look at ecology from different points of view. To me, this seems like a germ for a longer story or novel. Nicely executed flash fiction since that form is more difficult than it looks. Good work!
  • A Perfect Mouse on July 07, 2012

    A sweet little fable. I'm not sure how happy I'd be with "my mouse" but I get your point. Nice work.
  • At The Bank on July 07, 2012

    Good concept. Nice little study of human nature. However, the dearth of paragraphs and some irregular punctuation make reading the tale a bit of a challenge. You may want to develop this promising sketch into a longer short story.
  • Warm Summer Night on July 09, 2012

    Interesting take on a police state. While I found your little story engrossing and amusing, I must take mild issue with its premise. Having written a similar story (Purchasing Power), I do not exactly share your point of view. Your tale presents a sort of dictatorship of disease prevention. But I see it as one of treatment with more money for that going to insurance and pharmaceutical companies. Nevertheless, I enjoyed your story and applaud you for writing socially conscious science fiction.
  • Dragon Lance on July 10, 2012

    A fable for contemporary adults, this obviously works on more than one level. While a dash of cynicism spices the story, it does not overwhelm the satirical humor. Well told.
  • The Peppermint Major on July 10, 2012

    Many very good lines. You handle a demanding rhyme scheme fairly well. Most of all I like the sensuous depiction of your interaction with a friend. You paint the experience with words.
  • Your Call on July 17, 2012

    Of course Autumn means some different and added things to me but in this fine little poem you captured the sensuous images of one of my favorite seasons. Now in the midst of summer I look forward.
  • Hell and the Devil on July 17, 2012

    Some startling images here. I sure hope people don't have to go to the hell and face the devil you describe since so many of us have suffered hell on Earth.
  • Let The World Die on May 04, 2013

    Good work! Such short stories can be difficult to write, yet you made it suspensefully interesting while making a strong statement about humanity.
  • We Who Embrace The Night on May 04, 2013

    Although this is not one of my favorite genres, I enjoyed the story, which opens doors to intriguing interpretations.
  • The Last Fight of the Dwarves on Aug. 12, 2013

    Good opening sentence that hooks the reader. This short-short seems like it would work well as a chapter in a novel. Maybe you had this in mind. Lots of color and action here. I enjoyed the read and wanted more.