Sunday, December 17, 2006

Johnson?

The sun here is a crystal skull. It only ever raises a hand-breadth from the horizon, blowing out long shadows behind the blinkers. The surf breaks and mends, then rakes and rends, turning pebbles over in its mouths like words of seaweed wadded sibilance. My dog likes to fight as I walk him, so we berth wide to get to the beach. My mum's story of how her old neighbour used to stare out his yard window with nightvision goggles, to watch his dog foul our grass and watch Louis bark his territorial anxiety, keeps me away from those who'd delight in Louis' spasms. Louis convinces me that its the rest of the planet that's a bad dog; not him. But still I must cuss him and push his belly to the ground. How can I find space between his snarls to tell other walkers just how mean he isn't? We both come home with saltscurfed feet.

This book I'm reading is monumental. It's all bleached bone and gray. Pared, barren prose leaves such space for the reader to complete the picture, to put their own eddies in the dust, images often repeated with a slight change in their ordering. The word 'blood' is on every page, somehow making it lean and honest. And it makes me think of the book review below, and how a stern, unforgiving frontier novel like this really is much like the hyperbole drenched sci-fi genre. Both stipulate the most incredible of conditions, inducing the most remarkable of responses, exposing all extremities of character. Men fight gods here. The narrator, the tekhnos, the nature, the atavistic logos, and always always the reader. In this one, the prose allows little compassion, I can feel these people pushing against me, my observation, my presence, as if I am the only reason they reckon under such misfortune. The problem now is that I should have to read this quick if it's to become the Christmas gift I bought it for.

Victoria always makes me think of castration somehow. I'll cut this short for now, but I'll try and come back with a fairer idea of why it strikes me so.

4 comments:

H said...

As always, really, really nice writing.

Mood Indigo said...

ditto. I love your words even when I don't know what they reference - that's pretty rare.

Eve said...

amen.

Castration, eh? Is it the place or your experience of it?

Where've you been?

Mood Indigo said...

you appear to be on an extended vacation...when are you coming back???