A Set of Lines ebook edition

A Set of Lines front cover

At long last the ebook edition of my novel A Set of Lines is available. The book can be downloadedfree for a limited timein a reader’s choice of all the usual formats. Many thanks to GPA archivist-technician Nathan Grover for his amiable tenacity in making this happen. For more information on A Set of Lines, including how to order the paperback edition, please visit Ghost Paper Archives. Reviews of the book can be found on Goodreads and at A Wild Slim Alien.

tree of many trunks

the sleek ones

In a new post on the Ghost Paper Archives site, three GPA archivists collaboratively ruminate on the arrival of ‘the sleek ones’.

midnight special [film review]

[Second in a series of ekphrastic responses to the films of Jeff Nichols. First.]

Opens on unlikely trio in motel room. Two well-armed men. A young boy sits on floor wearing swimming goggles and industrial earmuffs.

Wide open Texas sky at dawn. A speeding Chevelle. On the run.

Agents descend upon a cult. They want the boy. They need the boy. The boy is gone.

Cut back to the road. Feels like a doomed trip. Headlights off, night goggles on.

‘Shots fired! Officer down!’

‘You did the right thing. He’s more important.’

The ranch in Texas. Feels like Waco and Koresh, but a little farther west and instead a preacher speaking a young boy’s channeled words.

FBI, NSA, doing what they do, asking questions with answers they’ll never understand.

‘Y’all have no clue what you’re dealing with, do you?’

The Chevelle pulls up. An old friend offers shelter. But the man can’t resist. Wants to feel the light flow into his eyes one more time. He’ll pay the price.

Watching the news. The men see what’s coming. What they can’t escape, the fear and fervor burning so close behind the boy.

‘Things with that trooper didn’t need to go down like that. Don’t interfere with me again.’

The gaps, the space unfilled. Undefined connections. Omissions speak it louder, drive it forward.

‘Do you miss it, living on the ranch?’ ‘Yeah, very much.’

Twenty minutes in comes the first bright glimpse…feels like it’s been longer, feels like a rupture.

‘A visible spectrum of light came from his eyes.’

Friday, March 6th, the day of our judgment.

They need the boy. ‘If Alton is with us, we will be saved.’

On the road again. Alton reading comics.

‘What’s kryptonite?’

‘I should have never let you give him those. He’s never seen a comic book in his life.’

‘That’s why he needs them.’

‘He needs to know what’s real.’

‘He looks weaker.’

That gas station. Leaving a wake no one could ever miss. The feds closing in.

The light escapes his eyes. Side of the road. Alton on his knees.

‘We need to take him to a hospital! He’s dying!’

‘No, he will not die! He’s meant for something else.’

They’re coming. Alton sees it in the sky. Off to hide underground.

NSA analyst Sevier figures it out. Knows where they’re going. A convergence rising.

Alton finally sees the dawn. He sees what’s above us. It heals him. He’s learning who he is.

The cult brings their guns and their conviction. Their zealous craving for salvation.

Alton and Sevier. A meeting of the minds. Can the boy’s powers persevere.

Roy is on the edge. ‘The only thing I ever believed in was Alton. And I failed him.’

The final run. An overturned car. A stretch of open marshland.

What’s left of what we need to believe (in).

 

newly discovered story by bruno schulz

Dull sleep rolled over me like a heavy wagon, laden with the dust of darkness, covering me with its gloom.

Then the winter night began to wall itself in with black bricks of nothingness. Infinite expanses condensed into deaf, blind rock: a heavy, impenetrable mass growing into the space between things. The world congealed into nothingness.

In late 2019, Ukrainian researcher Lesya Khomych discovered what would soon be declared a previously unknown story by the great Polish writer Bruno Schulz, originally published under the pseudonym Marceli Weron. Entitled ‘Undula’, after its initial republication in Polish in the journal Schulz/Forum 14, the story appeared in English this summer on the website Notes From Poland, translated by the site’s editor Stanley Bill.

Prior to the story’s publication on Notes From Poland, however, the publisher Sublunary Editions had announced it would publish an English translation of the story in paperback this fall. So now there will be two English translations of what scholars believe is likely to have been Schulz’s first published story, a decade before the publication of his first collection of short fiction, Cinnamon Shops (Sklepy cynamonowe).

‘zones without people’

The title track from Oneohtrix Point Never’s 2009 album Zones Without People—perhaps the ultimate soundtrack for 2020, with other tracks to include ‘Learning to Control Myself’, ‘Disconnecting Entirely’, and ‘Emil Cioran’.

an interview with fustus

Now introducing…Fustus!

review of a set of lines

A Set of Lines has received its first review outside of Goodreads. This perceptive review comes by way of long-time comrade-in-letters and master lipogramist Daniel Williams, aka awildslimalien.

The Immaculate

Over at the Ghost Paper Archives site, the tenacious archivists have accosted an intriguing individual known only as The Immaculate for the purpose of a brief interview session. Methinks Mac could have strolledcoattails flappingstraight out from the pages of a Angela Carter novel…

dream 2015.03.29

I stand on a bridge with a giant tribesman alongside an enormous freighter beached in shallow water. It’s full of refugee pilgrims, many of whom spill over onto the shore. My companion shows me one of his traditional practices. He holds a long pole with a hollowed-out cup at its end. In his other hand he holds a small silver ball. He jumps down from the bridge, landing on his feet, then springing back up—while repeating these motions with mathematical precision he alternately raises the pole to hurl up and catch the ball in the cup at its tip. At one point the ball veers far off course, landing somewhere on or near the ship.

The remainder of the dream consists of my companion and I searching for the silver ball. We traverse the length of the ship, which is incredibly crowded with children and adults. Some listen to talks or attend prayer sessions. On the sandy shore we look in the shallows and find thousands of tiny white crosses on chains flashing in the water. I keep hoping to find the ball, but feel it is an almost futile search. My companion is much more hopeful; resolute, he plods on. Soon we see a few members of his tribe approaching from the opposite direction. He speaks with them in their native language, which consists of clicks and other short abrupt exclamations. I do not understand. I wake up as if entering a new world.

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