Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review: "Last Week" by Giles Ruffer

Read it here for free

              When I picked up Last Week I expected a pretty standard Lin-school alt-lit deadpan romance with all the attendant stilted dialogues and awkward public moments. I was pleasantly surprised that, while this is a partially accurate reading of Last Week, Giles Ruffer does go above and beyond this overused style and displays at least the beginnings of a unique voice. Last Week winds the story of a relationship between two young characters: U. and I. with scenes from the life of a mysterious man referred to only by his "short black hair". The names alone provide some unusual moments as when I. (I) is talking to U. (you) etc. There are only a few other named characters in the novel, though because of their unusual names I. and U. retain a certain amount of anonymity, even though we get to witness the most intimate moments of their life. We see them go out to eat with friends, walk around a train station and exchange short statements, I. flirts with another girl from his past, but we never get to know them or their thoughts, if they even have any. Giles captures the comfortable/awkward, necessary/superfluous situation of a relationship for relationship's sake well: they make you cringe slightly, you want to grab them and shake them out of their rut.
              Inserted more or less between each vignette involving U. and I. there is a section following a man described only by his short black hair and scruffiness. Giles depicts him in the grainy closed circuit tape of any one of millions of suburban department stores and like U. and I. he is always kept at a mysterious distance. We are never aware of his motive or drive but he seems to have some vitally important mission that requires him to hang out in department stores inspecting dinnerware and harassing young female clerks. He sometimes attaches minuscule machines (recorders, transmitters, hallucinations..?) to people but their purpose is never revealed. The juxtaposition of the fairly transparent and facile relationship drama with the dark obscured wanderings of the man with black hair is a strange but good choice on Giles' part and provides some depth, some bite, a unique touch in the sea of awkward alt-lit romances.
           Giles' prose is unremarkable though this is sort of like faulting ice cream for not being nutritious, which is to say: that's not really it's job, ice cream's job is to be delicious, and Last Week's job is to paint a portrait of two young people in relationship in England. Giles' is English (as in from England) and this shows in his writing and adds something extra in a genre dominated by the New York and Chicago voice. My final criticism, and this is an aesthetically minor though professionally major one, is that there are what appear to be a few typos in the PDF. Giles writes infrequently on his blog so if you enjoy Last Week there is plenty more from him there. Giles has the beginnings of a unique voice and I would like to see it develop beyond the meandering relationship drama in the future. Last Week is a good start and a quick, free, enjoyable read

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

And in the middle of the night...

               there is only yourself
basking in the ever present dark
and you only have your mirror to speak to
as it is now and as it always will be
and there is not pleasure and no pain
no facts or distortion
and memories seem like fiction
and you wander within yourself
and outside yourself
and they slowly begin
to meld into one
and fuse

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Reviews of "I am Going to Clone Myself Then Kill the Clone and Eat it" by Sam Pink and "The Collected Works vol.1" by Scott McClanahan

Two collections of short stories I got the other day:
           Sam Pink is quickly becoming one of my favorite contemporary writers: his easy flowing, ultrapersonal sometimes surreal writing style is everything I like in writing: simultaneously funny and sad, apparently mundane yet touching on what makes us human. Plus he makes the art for his covers which I highly recommend checking out (and potentially buying, he's quite friendly). I am Going to Clone Myself Then Kill the Clone and Eat it is a collection of some short and very short stories from 2007 to 2009. They are rawer than the stories in Hurt Others or the second person narrative of No Hellos Diet. This is a very good thing for Pink. His manic highs are more grandiosely intense, the sporadic visions of violence more grotesque and absurd. Not as sad or introspective as the other works most of the chapters seem written off in a few moments, spare thoughts that came to Pink out of the blue. A few provide the instant gratification and cleverness which is so often attempted now (and usually failed at) in twitter posts. My favorite story was "Thing That Details a Trip to the Supermarket" where Pink describes an agonizing trip to buy food, his neuroses and obsessions constantly rising to the surface of his thoughts while he maintains a calm and ordered demeanor. There is also a little play between two family men discussing their lives while holding knives to eachother's throats. It reminded me of something that would come from some Franch Avant writer in the 20's or 60's and I would love to see it staged somewhere.
                                                In other news:
          Scott McClanahan busts out these really touching stories from his life in West Virginia with all the painful, funny, jarring events that come along with living in postcoal Appalachian. The stories look at events that occur to McClanahan or the burnouts that live in his town, where decades of poverty and crushed dreams seem to warp logic and reason: when a friend accidentally hits a deer (and it survives) it comes completely naturally to run it over again, then mash its head in with a thermos, and when McClanahan witnesses two car crashes he assumes he has the power to cause these crashes. There is a considerable amount of violence in these stories and McClanaham can switch from absurd hilarity to gore in the blink of an eye. He navigates the changes masterfully. McClanahan has this tendency to end a lot of his stories with one sentence that has "impact". This has a hit or miss quality that can make good stories great but after three or four instances of these I was left scratching my head and wondering if it was really necessary every time. McClanahan often addresses the reader directly and does it well. He makes you think, asks you questions, gives you his phone number...He writes like he's having a conversation and this brings you in, makes you care about the characters and his life. The first few stories have a particularly moral bent, not preachy but McClanahan seems genuinely concerned with and explores what makes an action "good": one's intent? the eventual outcome? He never suggests a right or wrong path but does ask that we look at our actions more carefully, and seems to be suggesting a jaded pessimism. At least toward the inhabitants of his town. He also touches on the modern taboo of religion, though ambiguously. It is hard to tell whether he is religious or not (it hardly matters) but it works in his writing and simply to have the balls to write what he does for a predominantly atheist audience is respectable in itself.  
         One story stood out particularity in which he explores those around him that have committed suicide, and posits that the drive to kill one's self is contagious like a fever and that by writing about it he has transferred the "fever" to the reader. I honestly found myself a little freaked out after reading this story but after a few minutes realized that this was simply due to the power of his writing. Anyone that convince you that you might kill yourself in the course of a short story is  powerful writer indeed. He's got at least three books out now and has two more coming out next year. Rejoice.
       Finally I just got on the boat of Keep this Bag Away from Children which is sort of the Journal of Alt Lit and has a print issue out which (among many fascinating things) has a great piece from Noah Cicero which I couldn't praise enough. Get it while it exists: this may be the holy grail of Alt-litana one day. Or perhaps just toilet paper, who can ever tell?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

City on a hill (Keith and Lana)

     She shoots through the door with a flourish, a tall girl in a striped dress and heels, her short brown hair curly and dissheveled. Slams it behind her and presses up against it in mock fear and excitement.
       -Oh my god Keith you are not going to guess what just happened...
On the floor a shaggy haired male hunches around an oversized graphic novel. He rocks back and forth imperceptibly. He has on an oversized sweater, paint stained, and a pair of thin grey sweatpants. It is obvious that he has been wearing these for at least a few days and has nothing on underneath. He is sitting on the floor at one end of the long attic room, its musty air lays thick around the floor and is sloshed to and fro by a small oscillating fan. He looks at her with indifference and mumbles out a,
       -What? This a mere formality, really, he knowing full well that if he outright ignored her (what he would have preferred to do, really) her drawn out, indignant response would have simply ruined his night.  She scuttles over, her heels pulling up the carpet as she drags her feet. There is a half drank bottle of cheap white wine beside him, at least one fiesta-ware cup filled to the brim with cigarette detritus is perched on every flat surface in view. Track nine of "Day Dream" plays on a stereo in the corner. She stops midway to the floor as she begins to sit, considers for a long moment, and pulls over a relatively unsoiled old copy of playboy, slides it under her adjusting her skirt so that as little as possible touches the floor. She has chosen a spot mere inches away from his body and he has begun to noticeably lean away from her, the unsolicited human contact causing extreme discomfort even through the cushion of the Reisling. Her eyes are wide.
       .she open her mouth too much.
     -Okay you know Trent, that guy from Orion house that always wears those cheesy suits?
     -Uh, sure.
     -Okay well he was fucking this girl Tanya, you know she has like that half shaved head and looks like a horse. So you remember the "Marriage Party"?
    -No I wasn't there but I...
    -Ohmygod it was amazing everyone got fake married so we like totally tore down the institution of marriage plus we got super wasted afterwards and lit a couch on fire.
    -Yeah I heard it...
    -Anyways he was there in this fucking grotesque blue suit and with Tanya and they were just fucking...making out all over the place and he was wasted of course, and then, can you believe this I walked into the kitchen and saw them in the corner and he has the fucking nerve to like, LOOK at me while he's sucking her face. Can you believe it?
    The fan finishes a circuit and returns, the gust of air it pushes spins an empty chip bag whose exterior of silver and orange whirls together and briefly form a metallic neon blossom on the carpet.
The air passes.
      The bag slows and
returns again to its natural state.
     -And then tonight he comes and tries to talk to me and be like "Hey how are you feeling?", When imitating him she lowers her voice, pulls her chin back and bobbles her head back and forth, -And "Why aren't you talking to me?" Which it should be completely obvious you fucking idiot why I'm not talking to you. God. Fucking chauvinist.
   Her fury is so great that she has failed to notice that his attention has been pulled back and sucked into the book. The page he gazes upon is without frames, a chiaroscuro mess where action bleeds from the top left right, then down to the bottom. There is no dialogue, the characters have no faces. A distorted dog picks up a knife and runs to the bottom of a page where he threatens a large breasted woman. Behind him a  bottle labeled triple X lies on its side, a small puddle forming at its mouth. The dog lunges at the woman and stabs her, a pool of blood erupts which runs and mingles with the alcohol from the bottle. The liquids swirl, congeals and a lump forms. This solidifies into a small body, the form of a man which steps put of the muck and bolts away. He enters a small brush nearby which, as he enters, becomes to him a forest. Thorns surround him as he travels deeper, they cut him, sabers relative to his size. He finds a small pool formed in the hollow of an earthbound branch. He stoops to it and drinks, catching his reflection for a moment. He pauses struck by something we cannot see. The page turns. He looks around, apparently wary of a a threat. What is it that lurks in the thicket? Has it caught the scent of his blood? He pulls a thorn off of vine, grasps it like a knife. Behind a stalk he notices a shape. Malevolent, surely. He rushes towards it, leaps off a branch his foot splashing the puddle. He comes down on the shadow driving the thorn through its body. The shape however is none other that a miniature of the murdered woman, lovely and untouched, her face bare but beautiful. Her blood leaks out, combines with water spilled from the puddle. He sits on the trunk of a bramble, stunned, holding his head in his hands. His head fills the page, black streaks, ersatz eyes. These few marks are enough to convey the sense of this strange creature. The liquids mingle and congeal, form a small lump...
The Page turns. All is white.
   -..And so I came over here because I can't even...stand her. She looks over at him, at the last second he had brought his gaze away from the book and met hers. -Well anyways, I got some coke so you wanna do that tonight? The shift is wrenching. He drops the book. While his eyes, his mouth, betray nothing, a subtle shift in the tension of his forehead relays his excitement.
   -Sure yeah. Here. he hands her the wine bottle. -Have some of this.
   -There's a party at Hayley's, we should go.
      She picks up the case of an Enya album.-Can I use this? He hesitates.
   -Yeah, I guess.. She taps out a molehill of powder from a baggy printed with red inverted crucifixes, cuts out two lines (one noticeably larger than the other) with a library card. Keith places the graphic novel and a sweater into a stained green Jansport, frayed at the seams, slings it around his shoulder and looks over at Lana presenting him with the plastic platter and a rolled up bill.

       No one has done the dishes in days, a plastic sheet that would protect the ceiling's recessed fluorescent lights is hanging down halfway to the floor and a bag of flour is snowdriftspilledout along the length of a countertop. As in Keith's room most of the horizontal surfaces hold a cup or plate filled to the brim with ash.
   -Haha! CHILLLL. Jeff is sitting in a ripped mustard yellow recliner lodged in the corner of the kitchen, Keely is atop a pile of newspapers with a tallboy in her hand. Keely is giggling to herself, Jeff's laugh bounces through the kitchen, fractures and rushes into the rest of the small house, seeming to reverberate back: the tines of sounds converging back in the kitchen so that he seems to laugh for two at once. Keely looks to the side, hides her face in her hand and continues to laugh. Keith and Lana descend the stairs, avoiding a full grown Siberian husky curled up on a small landing who tracks them with a dreadfully bored look, .
   -...Then I'm like, well fuck you, AND fuck your plastic abortion. Lana snorts out a manic laugh, too loud.
   -What up chillerrrrrs? Jeff pulls out the final syllable, gives Keith a cockeyed look, his eyes glazed over slightly. Keely looks up. squinting and unfocused, lets out a soft
  -We're going to Hayley's. I donno, there are a bunch of people over there...
  -Haha. Sounds chill. I guess. Jeff stops, -Wait a minute! Looks around as if coming to a profound realization.-...Hayley's not chill. Why...She isn't chill at all. Keely becomes very serious.
  -Most definitely not chill. They both laugh.
Keith and Lana turn to leave, Jeff has shifted to picking a string off the arm of the recliner, Keely turns as they go.

     Over many years of trampling feet this hallway has taken on that characteristic attic smell which is surely as revolting to other species as the scent of a barn, or mouse nest is to a well bred city girl. Reminiscent of old photographs and furniture, though this hall is mostly bare. Lana and Keith burst through the entryway laughing to themselves. Outside the roiling foam of drunken society burbles about, eternally attention starved and seeking validation, the alcohol uncovering oral stage insecurities which, when processed through the factory of a man in heat comes out (inevitably) as obscenity. Keith and Lana were apparently both asking for attention as, on the way over, they were stopped and yelled at numerous times. Keith ignoring the attention or laughing it off, Lana (militantly conscious of her status as a woman) provided impromptu
S.C.U.M Manifesto thumping sermons right there on the street before the unwashed and unsaved. This resulted in stunned silence or a flurry of nervous backtracking so embarrassingly common in a man confronted. Lana once (though not tonight) almost came to blows with a quite adamant (and quite drunk) gentleman hailing from out in the county before being dragged away bodily. She was livid for the rest of the week, telling the story with exponential embellishment to anyone within earshot. All this to say that downtown Westham is a cyclone of pent up id, frustrated drives, amplified egos and superabundant alcohol to which an undying crowd flocks, out of some unfathomable urge, on a weekly basis.
    They are looking for room 201 which one would assume would be a simple task though the drugs would say otherwise. After much frantic scrambling and running up and down the same staircase repeatedly Lana finally opens an unmarked door which reveals a mezzanine staircase which leads to an ancient part of the building. 201 is a rusty nail in the hall, the door has been painted black and a steady measured pulse leaks out into the rest of the building. Lana knocks, looks at Keith, vigorously rubs her nose. They laugh at her. The air pulses.
   -bitch. Lana pounds on the door
  -Open up bitch!, she sings. Giant smile plastered on her face. Keith sags, looks nervous. He hikes up his bag and cinches down the straps. The door cracks open a small girl wearing bright paint over her pointed nose and pleasing eyes pokes her head out, Justice dumps out of the room.
  -Yesss. What?
  -Hey! Ohmygod how how are you? Lana open her arms and steps forward but the door remains steady.
  -Can I help you? Lana lets her arms fall, the smile remains but is tarnished.
  -Uh we heard you were having a party. Hayley stares for a moment as if asked to compute an enormous sum. She glances at Keith briefly, no sign of recognition upon her face.
  -No. A man totally nude emerges from the darkness, painted in swirls from lascivious ankle to shaggy dome, and puts his arms around Hayley's neck.
  -FUUUUUUUUCK, Hayley shoves him off with surprising strength, he stumbles backwards and disappears into the constant movement behind her, movement which is cocooned fully in the threads of the darkness and is assures no human source.
 -Sorry! She slams the door, damming the music and leaving Keith and Lana in the humm of the hall lights.
 -fucking whore, Lana looks over at Keith who is tight lipped and clenched fists . -Well... She looks around, stunned, as if bereft of an intimate article -I mean, where else are we gonna finish off this coke?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

In case you were interested in why people read Proust

From the ending (pg.582-594) of Guermantes Way, vol.3 of A la Recherche du Temps Perdu (In Search of Lost Time) by Marcel Proust translated by Mark Treharne

Background: As they are leaving a dinner party hosted at her house (for another dinner party) the Duchess Oriane Guermantes offers to take Monseiur Swann on a trip to Italy but he repeatedly rejects her offer...

         "Very well. Will you tell me in one word why you can't come to Italy?" the Duchesse challenged Swann as she rose to take leave of us.
        "But, my dear friend, it's because I shall have been dead for several months by then. According to the doctors I've consulted, by the end of the year my present illness-and as far as that goes it could carry me off at any time- will leave me three or four months to live at the most, and even that is an optimistic estimate," replied Swann with a smile, as the footman opened the glass door of the hall for the Duchesse to leave.
        "What on earth are you telling me?" the Duchesse burst out, stopping short for a second[...] Poised for the first time in her life between two duties as far removed from each other as getting into her carriage to go to a dinner party and showing compassion for a man who was about to die, she could find no appropriate precedent to follow in the code of conventions, and, not knowing which duty to honor, she felt she had no choice but to pretend to believe that the second alternative needed to be raised, thus enabling her to comply with the first, which at the moment required less effort, and thought that the best way of settling the conflict would by to deny that there was one. "You must be joking," she said to Swann[...]
      "I've never mentioned my illness to you before. But since you asked me, and since now I may die at any moment...But, please, the last thing I want to do is to hold you up, you've got a dinner party to go to," he added, because he knew that for other people their own social obligations mattered more that the death of a friend, as a man of considerate politeness he put himself in their place[...] And so, while still moving toward her carriage, she said with a droop of her shoulders, "Don't worry about the dinner party it's of no importance!" But her words put the Duc [her husband] in a bad mood "Come along, Oriane, don't just stand their with your chatter, whining away to Swann, when you know very well that Mme de Saint-Euverte [the hostess of the dinner party they are going to] makes a point of having her guests sit down at the table at eight o'clock sharp. We need you to make up your mind. The horses have been waiting for a good five minutes now. Forgive me, Charles," he said, turning to Swann, "but it's ten minutes to eight. Oriane is always late, and it will take up more than five minutes to get to old Mother Saint-Euverte."
       Mme de Guermantes made a decisive move toward the carriage and said a last farewell to Swann[...]And, lifting her skirt, she set her foot on the carriage step. She was about to get into in when the Duc caught sight of her foot and thundered out: "Oriane, you wretched woman, what are you thinking of? You're still wearing your black shoes! With a red dress! Go up quickly and change into your red ones. No, wait," he said, turning to the footman, "go and tell Madame's maid to bring down a pair of red shoes at once."
     "But my dear" said the Duchesse softly, embarrassed to see that Swann, who was leaving the house with me but had stepped back to let the carriage pass out in front of us, had heard this, "given that we're late..."
   "No, no, we have plenty of time. It's only ten too. It won't take us ten minutes to get to Parc Monceau. And anyway what does it matter? Even if we arrive at half past eight, they'll still wait for us, but you simply can't go there in a red dress and black shoes. Besides, we won't be the last to arrive, believe me. The Sassensages are coming. You know that they never turn up before twenty to nine."
   The Duchesse went up to her room.
   "Huh!" said M. de Guermantes to Swann and me. People laugh at us poor husbands, but we're not completely useless. If it weren't for me, Oriane would have gone out to dinner in black shoes."

Review: "Satantango" by Laszlo Krasnahorkai

      Though not long enough to be depressing Satantango is ultimately a brooding danse macabre through the dark side of the human spirit with appropriately placed humor. Realistic enough to strike fear into your heart while, at the edge of vision and hearing something stirs: possibly supernatural, perhaps just the wind... Shows hints of Peake, Tarkovsky, and was appropriately made into a SEVEN HOUR FILM by Bela Tarr. Satantango presents a view of Hungarian country life that is anything but pastoral. Krasnahorkai is skilled at creating and maintaining a sense of impending catastrophe while relegating activity, for the most part, to bar conversations, drunken walks and sullen contemplation. The End appears to always be at arms length, ever approaching. Yet it never arrives.
      The Hungarian fruit brandy palinka is the central character of the novel and easily gets the most pagetime in the book. The rest of the plot follows a sad sack group of practically interchangeable peasant couples eking out a horrid existence on a defunct farm estate who spend their time drinking, fighting, fucking each other's wives and ignoring their own. On the periphery are an observer: a doctor with easily the strongest alcohol addiction, his days a jumble of passing out in the street, recording meticulous details of the estate and mentally disparaging the other villagers, and an innocent: an apparently retarded little girl from a broken and abusive house who lives in her own perfect world. Each are separate from the village in their own way yet are caught in the grasp of despair which penetrates, the only human casualties of the malaise which lays over the town. Depending on the situation certain characters are portrayed in very different ways. The "savior" Irimias at first appears dimwitted in a police station yet becomes godlike when among his followers, a boy is callous and controlling to his younger sister yet is later controlled by Irimias. This can be a little off putting (we want consistency in our characters after all) yet is accurately portrays the subjectivity of identity.
       The central event of the work is the return of a sort of savior who makes grandiose promises and leads the villagers, divided for and against him, "out" of the estate and into perhaps greener pastures. Immediately after leaving the estate they return to their old ways. It's very clear that their destructive behavior is entirely self determined, the savior only stands as a symbol really, the villagers are capable the whole time of making their lives better but choosing to remain in despair while blaming it on outside forces. Krasnahorkai's view of human nature is dark but optimistic: we are often condemned to pain and stagnation but it is ultimately our choice whether to attribute outside of ourselves and remain or find the source inside ourselves and become liberated.
      For a novel of this type the narrative is relatively straight forward: this isn't a difficult novel, nor long. Some parts are a little disjointed, and the story follows the back and forth, recursive steps of the tango: there is no beginning or end, we see the same events and characters from different angles and they are altered appropriately. Unusual, supernatural events occur: bar patrons drunkenly fall asleep and are almost instantly covered in spider webs, a little girl is whisked away into the sky by a chorus of ghostly humms. None of these are uplifting or "magical" in the way of Marquez or H. Murakami and very well may be hallucination. Perhaps Satantango could be accurately listed as "cursed realism".

Monday, August 6, 2012

Review: "Anatomy Courses" by Blake Butler and Sean Kikpatrick

       Well for starters this book is fucking horrifying. The subject matter, style and presentation are all completely antithetical to all the tenets of good taste and aesthetic value. It is pure, undiluted Transgressive fiction in both form and content. It reminds me in more than one way of the literary equivalent of Grindcore: the book comes off as raw, uncompromising, and obscene. I'm not sure what the level and nature of Butler and Kilpatrick's collaboration on the work was but Anatomy Courses seems to be lean further toward Kilpatrick's style than Butler's. The writing is heavily fragmented in places (not so much in others) and I found myself wondering time and again whether the cut-up technique was used, though in retrospect I suspect not.
       The general lay out of the book is a series of short chapters that are mostly told in the first person from an unknown narrator. It seems to follow a family made up of a (or "the") Father, the Mother and at various points a baby or a daughter. Common topics include implied pedophilia, broom rape, fisting, colostomy bags pyramids, etc. In the beginning I attempted to glean  a narrative from the work but over time this became so frustrating and difficult that I just started reading it out loud, not caring about potential connections between events or finding a coherent voice, the disconnected words simply flowing together. It was only after I did this that, believe it or not, Anatomy Courses became very beautiful. Whether through design or accident Butler and Kilpatrick have introduced a subtle but very lovely poetry in the chapters and, if you can get over that these sounds, when interpreted have meanings which are pretty nasty, Anatomy Courses is a poetic work of high caliber. The odd juxtapositions of highly charged images provide the sort of ubermeanings similar to that found in Thomas's iconic poems. There is a certain dissonance in the sounds and often the authors seem to set up a pattern or series of sounds then cut it off midway simply for the jarring effect as in
               "The infant kissed the ground. Its heart pooled up between its shoulders, cussing maiden love of mine I'd made to mimes and sent to goose the streets for softcore"(65). He gets those "M"'s going and going and going then they just stop, and you are left there hanging with those weird "S"'s. Like a symphony which never returns to its first key there is a structural transgression to Anatomy Courses.
        Anatomy Courses and the recently reviewed One Hour of Television share a number of traits and it was interesting to read them concurrently. Both are experimental and at least give the illusion of a narrative while allowing apparently unrelated material to take up a large part of their respective works. Both Butler and Kilpatrick are widely published and have great blogs, Kilpatrick's being slightly more terrifying that Butler's but has a bunch of really well done interviews with a range of alt-lit writers which are definitely worth a read. His videos have a Throbbing Gristle vibe which I like a lot but probably appeals to a slim audience. Reader beware.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

One poem

                   holy promises written in the sand
                               laissez-faire information has backfired
                   with blue screens in ubiquity
                               a taste for theft and memes acquired

everyone's got their drug of choice
        that's not a secret they are keeping from you
        it's how you use it
            and what you lose in the process
        that's got shit tied up

and i'm stepping on gravestones
        a good solid footing after the
sucking mud. It's the stereotypes
        that pull me down, the mire
and blindness of generalization. In
        this hazelnut orchard: where
the meat falls an epitaph rises