Tag Archives: outsider

Those Dark New Hampshire Woods

hampsire.jpgPropitiously, auspiciously, precipitously ran into Desmond Reed‘s work by chance on Tumblr, which for all the fat and noise is really one of the few places left one can sign on and see a ton of awesome art with relatively little digging.

A celebration of life’s will to grow, Those Dark New Hampshire Woods concerns a few weeks in the life of its denizens, rendered from all of whose perspective, looking inward and showing us how it is from over their shoulders, not unlike As I Lay Dying.
The book, like all great stories, like in Faulkner or Bolaño, distinguishes itself both through its place in a universe all its own as well as its exposition of the stories within that world in an elegant and silly spiral of nested and/or tangentially-related vignettes.
Amongst other instantly-relatable characters we meet the drifter, who drifts, the scumbag, the wild hairy uncles, the world’s smallest pervert, who seeks happiness despite being on the other side of existence.

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The obscene god of rebirth from Those Dark New Hampshire Woods

It is in the story of the Scumbag and the Troubled Teen that we encounter the persistent theme of nature’s regeneration, presented by means of the cloning by pore of the characters, reducing the proud, complex human down to the physiognomy of the plant kingdom. The joy with which their bodies relentlessly reproduce cycles through the setting and creates a second whirling narrative wheel.
My only gripe is what the hell is going on in the New Hampshire woods, and how does one end up there?
Those Dark New Hampshire Woods is a work of modest comic art blessed with satisfying textual depth, a work of literature not to be missed in the 2016 crop.

I also got the second one but honestly I haven’t even read it yet. I’m too blown away.
The books are published by Birdcage Bottom Books, and when you buy stuff from them you get a bunch of extra stuff!
https://www.birdcagebottombooks.com

Far Cry 7 is out!

Far Cry, the furthest-out literature zine from western Massachusetts, is now available! This digest-size (half-sheet) zine is the perfect home for not-normy writers and those who read them.

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Volume 7, published by Anika Balaconis when she’s not running her restaurant and playing punk rock in Greenfield, has five stories. Two of them feel like sketches, or pieces of something a lot bigger. Balaconis’ story The Book of Heroes, for example, took two reads to understand, not because it was really dense, but because the narrator was building up some compelling stuff. It belongs to a much bigger story.

Probably the best story in terms of characters, plot, technique that makes for resonance and enjoyment, is the final story Ages of the Dome by J.D. Hairston. He’s the cook and Anika’s partner at the Brass Buckle. Their band together is called Rebel Base. They both seem like rad people. I’ll have to sneak into the landing gear of an airplane going to Massachusetts and take my chances burrowing to Greenfield.

Ages of the Dome is about a kid who lives in a bubble on a planet Earth convalescing from (probably) ecological catastrophe, and he visits his dad to watch him die with a final high-five, taking all the knowledge of the world before catastrophe, all the lifespan that the new kids won’t live, with him. It hit a lot of stuff I’ve been thinking about, and the characters were executed clean for a tiny 1,000-word story. I hope to read more of his stuff soon.

Anika was kind enough to put one of mine in, too, which also had an ecological theme. This made me happy because I wrote it to order (yuck) for another zine who ended up not using it. Hit the website to order yours today!