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.