forthcoming publication

A critical essay of mine appears in the inaugural issue of a new triannual festschrift celebrating the work of lesser-known European writers, published by Verbivoracious Press. This first issue fêtes Christine Brooke-Rose, an innovative British writer, critic, and theorist who played with language and form in her fiction, often employing constraints to assist in thematic exploration. My essay discusses her treatment of language ambiguity in the novel Xorandor, a story in which two precocious preteen twins narrate their discovery of and subsequent interactions with a rock-like being that is feeding on the nuclear waste stored at a facility managed by their father. The 320-page issue includes a wide range of responses to Brooke-Rose’s work, including homage, parody, imitation, and analysis. Copies of the festschrift in hardcover, paperback, special hand-made edition, and via eBook subscription are available for order here. The issue will be published on March 21st, 2014, the two-year anniversary of Christine’s death.

a knoblike process

Creeping crepuscule, descrescent light, harbinger of dreaded return to EST, where darkness dampens day’s early end. Decumbent drone diminishes daily, drowsy in the drawing room. Sip long from murky melodies, muddy froth spilling forth in rivulets, dirgeful delights diverging in drone’s ear canals. Mellifluous miasma of musical melancholia!

Dismantling of outdoor seating commences! Desperate attempts to affect staring at nothing continues. Doctor Chumply the Mouth Breather appears, Mickey D’s in hand, heart-attack-in-waiting, following with tiny aggrieved steps the trail of nitroglycerin tablets strewn across the decking. Take the elevator, not the stairs, for they are locked, despite the sign in the kitchen encouraging good health through stairs-taking. O, Dr. Chumply, what will become of you, will you follow those tablets to the Haunted Wood™ where the witch stokes her stove as she awaits your fleshly delights.

[But Christine, what of loneliness, standing there behind the invisibility cloak, always working, always writing, what did engagement mean for you, O Invisible Author, did you drape yourself in a duvet woven with words…]

Glossary

lumpfish: Any of various fishes of the family Cyclopteridae, especially Cyclopterus lumpus of North Atlantic waters, having pelvic fins united to form a suction disk and a body bearing prominent tubercles.

tubercle: A small, rounded prominence or process, such as a wartlike excrescence on the roots of some leguminous plants or a knoblike process in the skin or on a bone.

Quick now! Homophone challenge question: would you rather your words resonate or resinate. Think about it while staring into the clouds.

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