Mr. McPherson is a quietly appealing young writer who, like one of his characters, knows ""life on many levels."" These short stories deal with some novel aspects of the Black experience: the absolving, dissolving, fluctuating of young, restless relationships as in the title story; self-mutilating fears about homosexuality and the meshed-up gears of society. He is best when working from a removed vantage in stories about the very young or the very old. ""A Matter of Vocabulary"" is a careful, charming portrait of a young Negro boy adjusting to a world that has made him lie in church, a world that has produced both the mystifying Mrs. Quick, the voodoo woman, and ""the Barefoot Lady"" who howls her way through the night. Similarly ""A Solo Song: for Doc"" is the touching rendition of a railroad waiter for whom ""the words and moves and slickness"" were an art and the trains a compartmentalized haven. . . a good life with waiters the Kings of the road. . . now vanished. The title is misleading for the author is a thoughtful craftsman. . . one to watch.