Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jessica Breheny's SOME MYTHOLOGY

I've been following Jessica Breheny since I read her story "Bug Funeral" in Avery #4. She's got a new chapbook out, SOME MYTHOLOGY, from Naissance, and can I say: it's pretty damn good....

If you're a writer--and you probably are--you'll appreciate JB immediately as a stylist. As a stylist, she's first rate. Like, for this last little while of my life, I haven't read anyone better.

Here's a bit from the first par of the opening story, "MirrorMirror," which was first pubbed in 580 Split:

"I live in a secret room with mushrooms and bats, skeletons and roots, pitchers and pipes. When I fly I have no legs. I hold out apples for my guests. Every night I set out to study fear."

And, because I can't help myself, a whole par from the title story:

"It wasn't until later that I met you in a class on Greek Mythology, and we drank the city into a sweet swirling puddle neighborhood by neighborhood, and you showed me how history is toppled together in a heap of velvet and cocktails, waltzed me into an oblivion of drunken ghosts. We Shanghaied each other from bars to corners to bars, and when you kissed me, at a bus stop haunted by garbage that flew around us like birds, it was poison and whiskey, a death that happened to someone else a long time before we were born."

W/ paragraphs like that, I'm a happy reader, but SOME MYTHOLOGY offers more: it's really cohesive, really carefully conceived as a whole--in ways I'll probably be better able to articulate when I read it again. But I sense that right away. Maybe I could say this for now: in these stories, if there's mythology, it's blurred, pulled into the anxieties of lived experience.... And if there's experience--regular fucked-up subjectivity--you can see how its subjects try to negotiate it as story/mythology, and later how they negotiate the stories themselves.....

Final analysis: great stuff: go forth and read.

Monday, July 12, 2010

3 Gymnos, translated

Some of my forebears are from Poland. I'm doing a seance tonight to call one back and get him/her to read one of the Gymnos that Piotr Siweki has translated for the Minimal Books blog.

He did Oklahoma City, Houston and Baltimore.

He's also translated work by Kim Chinquee, Molly Gaudry, Matt Bell, and lots of other friends and familiars.


Have been on the road, and am leaving again soon. Happy July everybody.....