Life Has a Loose Music to It
There is a lot of sound bounding around this issue, which need not be mistaken for an absence of sense. Lucky for us it is that words can approach music while still conveying those special kinds of meaning that really good writers can make. Lucky too that we readers help them make their meanings.
We pick a page. We read. There goes the crack of Annie Oakley’s gun, as she shoots a cigarette from the lips of a still breathing prop. On another page we hear disco strains. There and elsewhere the bittersweet flicker of old flames laps broken hearts in fiery waves. The streets of Cairo scatter their sounds throughout the volume like so many resonating grains of sand. Turning a corner and backtracking a bit we enter one of Kienholz’s stanzas, installations, or rooms – whatever you want to call them. There, you can hear beans being eaten; somewhere spinach too can be had. Around back is a brothel; its august sounds have been around.
Even the titles of the stories this time – “Wood Grains and Waivers,” “Lara and Steven,” “Dodging Trains,” and “Chains” – while determined to be prosaic, when taken together, talk to each other in song. This accident of rhyme is not the only conversation either. Herein are two real, not figurative conversations with writers, the first with Camilla Gibb and the other with Robert Bringhurst. It is impressive to hear the seriousness in their soulful and articulate spoken sentences, just as it is impressive to hear the sounds and the attendant sense emanating from their dense thicket of gifts, their books, their writing.
Like said thicket, the present book comes together all right, more or less, as it should. We are proud of this issue. Why lie? We want to ring out. We want to be read. So we thank you all for reading and we hope that you like what you hear.