This is what nods.looks like going into an envelope. This is what a review copy of The Skin Team looks like going into an envelope. If you look closely you can also see that I am using CS4 versions of the Creative Suite and—mysteriously—both Firefox and Chrome.
And we’ll say GO as soon as we let Abraham Smith tell you want he thought of the book:
“Essentially every line of Carrie Lorig’s interstellar nods. is a train made of skin absolutely Anna Karenina-ing all over you. If you are the fieldcrop we all need to keep our breath fresh, and you know you are, then please do rest all polka-dot-pj’s-assured of this: Lorig’s poems are sweet hail; are banjo locusts; are leather boomerangs bopping you where it matters. The poems hurt good. The poems pock; pock and puncture. You’ll end up feeling like a cricket caught in a wiffle ball by the gravy end. You’ll end up wasted on Lorig’s manna-lush-rush. You’ll end up cut then butterflied whole again. Powerful medicinewoman of the verses, Carrie Lorig is her very own planet, where the astronaut cows and them acrobat horses jitterbug, damn it.”
I’m two stories into Richard’s book, You Private Person, and this is the most excited I’ve been about short fiction since I first read Stories in the Worst Way. I like this story (and this quote in particular) because it exhibits Richard’s expert use of over-arching insight. He’s really incredible at writing characters that know more than any of us could possibly know. I love Richard.
with their aspirations. I fight against this huge old park
tree, deciding whether to be lax today, hold off for later
for say, enormously concerned.
from “Preface” by Evelyn Hampton
I wanted to write the white-tiled entrance to a building. Inside, someone would be waiting for me. I would speak urgently. With thin, glancing enhancements, I would become someone else.
Outside, a yellow flower would be showing. The back end of a car would also be visible.
A bit of red sauce would still be clinging to a yell.
Everything would have meaning in relation to itself. Everything would be a god (another yell).
from “Scatterstate” by Carrie Lorig
i do my knees for a long time, and i lush out hard. i launch out hard because it frails good. Like flows, like flower rodeos, i g r e w s o m e, i dark some, and grope myself into full glow. i chase glow into shapes. i chase shapes with barbwire rocks. i cut right into the earth. when i cut grass, i shed objects. the lawn has a moan thread that suits me, that burns me into such a clumsy body, that wobbles blotted me into lop hided blooms that drag a ripping sound behind them. the size of your names, what a strong plush into a living stream of the bizarre soft that is always flying me into buildings. my constant is my hands in the dusk mange. my hands write me with sway tongue, and my stomach gets sway, sway open.
How else can you spend your days when you have nothing to spend them on? This was a question she only asked herself. At the end of September, the end of her personal days with no telecommuting in sight, she’d brewed a full pot of coffee when she’d only wanted a cup. She hadn’t even realized it until she was holding the whole pot in her hand.
And this was all she was good at. Packing the wrong lunches, replying all to the wrong emails, backing into telephone poles and parked cars, and never telling her husband.
This story is great because it starts out funny, and then there’s this volta that makes you think, “shit, that’s not good for anyone.” This story is great not because Christy understands tragedy, but because she understands redemption—and how impossible it is for most of us to find. This story is great because Christy wrote it.
They noticed, you see, that I was a noticing
kind of person, and so they left the dictionary
out in the rain and I noticed it,
I noticed it was open to the rain page,
much harm had come to it, it had aged to the age
of ninety-five paper years and I noticed rainbow
follows rain in the book, just as it does on
earth, and I noticed it was silly of me to
notice so much but I noticed there is no stationary
in heaven, I noticed an infant will grip your hand like
there is no tomorrow, while the very aged
will give you a weightless hand for the same reason,
I noticed in a loving frenzy that some are hemlocked
and others are not (believe me yours unspeakably obliged),
I noticed whoever I met in my search for entrance
into this world went too far (but that was their
destination) and I noticed the road followed roughly
the route of a zipper around a closed case,
I noticed the sea was human but no one believed me,
and that some birds have the wingspan of an inch
and some flowers the petal span of a foot yet the two
are very well suited to each other, I noticed that.
There are eight major emotional states but I forget
seven of them, I can hear the ambulance singing
but I don’t think it will stop for me,
because I noticed the space between the waterfall and
the rock and I am safe there, resting in
the cradle of all there is, the way a sea horse
(when it is tired) will tie its tail to a seaweed
and rest, and there has not been, in my opinion,
enough astonishment over this fact, so now I will
withdraw my interest in the whole external world
while I am in the noticing mode, notice how I
talk to you just as if you were sitting on my lap
and not as if it were raining, not as if there were
a sheet of water between us or anything else.