Saturday, August 2, 2008

Loitering In the Threshold Between Words And Images

Threat of impoverishment be damned I hoarded the stacks of bargain books being ignored by passersby along the connecting bridge deck of SM Makati and the MRT-Ayala station. At ninety nine bucks buy one take one, books by contemporary fiction authors I am familiar with (and some neat new discoveries) were remaindered. The thought of multiple mental orgasms had my nipples assuming the tautness of rubber erasers. So I grabbed stuff left and right in a frantic spree of a bingo player who got too many cards to blot. That or an amphetamined Hagar The Horrible looting a Balkan village. An amused clerk, seeing me clumsily juggling the titles in my arms helpfully offered a plastic basket. How very helpful. Then again, maybe he looked at me and the favorable word flashed in his head: Quota.

Of the twenty plus books I seized I am now starting reading eight—welcome additions to the two books I am simultaneously trying to finish: Robert Olen Butler's They Whisper , and Eric Kraft's Inflating A Dog.

Here's the list of the first eight I am devouring like a rabid glutton:

01. Drop by Mat Johnson – Elegant and beguiling with pretty succinct language reminding me of the previously mentioned Butler, Kraft and (at times very) Milan Kundera only more hip and current. It's possessed of rhythm that makes you want to read it out loud. Plus it's a novel about making a cut in a cutthroat professional whoring known as advertising, so it definitely got me hooked.

02. Critical Care by Richard Dooling – I remember laughing out loud on his antics in White Man's Grave. In that novel he rhapsodized about making a dump with graphic descriptions that will make Misterhubs perk up.

03. Chump Change by David Eddie

04. Swagbelly by DJ Levien

05. Martin Sloane by Michael Redhill

06. The Tapestries by Kien Nguyen

07. The Astrological Diary Of God by Bo Fowler and

08. Frost On My Moustache by Tim Moore

Enthralling fictions are escapists' convenient vehicle to mill about at the threshold of words and mental universes. You swim in brilliant imaginings, you drown in dialogues, your heart ignited, aflutter.

~ ~ ~

Because my friend Kandinsky is based in Prague and there is no way he can dash to Powerbooks to get Gelo Suarez' Dissonant Umbrellas, I am hereby pilfering bits from the book as literary hors de ouvres for my exiled friend. (If the author is reading this, please don't sue me of copyright infringement! I swear Kandinsky is buying the book through me which I am going to Fedex next week.)

Here's a sampling from Part One: Faux Dada Locomotive


In its paradigm of fins
who knows what lurks
behind the darkness? What trap
awaits the unsuspecting shadow?
A mug filled with toenails
more ghastly than spitoons
emits
the scent of jasmine
& the radiance of severed shoulders:

there are deaths more penetrating

than a bullet thru
the heart, risks more dangerous
than a fork in the lung:
it's the hung air
of venturing into the void,
of language becoming
the jaws of a shark whose
teeth
are shards of a broken
lightbulb. A hieroglyph etches itself
on the scalp of a cat whose paw is a bone
lodged in my throat,
& the sun
is a woman
growing heavy
w/ salt
in the skylit belly of the earth: levitating
leaves in the bushfire
of your brow, pillow-soft rocks in the sack
of your chin—
MEMORY IS A CROCODILE TRICKIER THAN DESIRE:
ITS TAIL COVERED W/ LEMONGRASS, ITS LENGTH

LIKE THAT OF A
LOCOMOTIVE, IT URGES
YOU TO CHANT W/ ME
THE BEGINNING
SYLLABLES OF A SONG: DADA—DADA—
DADA—DADA—



Reading through that my pulse's rapid, my head reeling with pictorial explosions. Angelo Suarez, hope you won't be lazy and come up with another collaboration to ignite the waning interest in wordplay!

5 comments:

Misterhubs said...

Damn! And I thought I got a good bargain at Fully Booked's sale (20% on all books; 70% on some items.)

(By the way, I bought Woody Allen's Complete Prose since I so love the book you gave me.)

loudcloud said...

misterhubs! - they still got extra copies of my loot. might you as well dash there and grab some :-)

loudcloud said...

p.s. isn't woody allen's 'mere anarchy' just a riot? haha.

mister said...

It is! One of the funniest reads I've had for a long time.

By the way, have you read "Then We Came To The End" by Joshua Ferris? If not, you should.

Misterhubs

loudcloud said...

*making mental note to look up then we came to the end*

powerbooks here i come.