Thursday, November 19, 2009

Drug Series #11: Cocaine

While not his most recent, this story has wedged in me.

Sean Lovelace is a magician; his work (like all my favorite work) is unconventional and difficult to categorize. His medium is typically prose poetry, and he often works inside the conceit of a serial construction (his stories often arrive in the form of lists, brutally beautiful free associations, or dreamlike shards of narrative strung together with a common theme). It's a form I have taken some interest in lately, and Lovelace absolutely wrecks it, every time. His work is what I picture when someone says Flash Fiction-- it's economical and vivid and professionally spare. When he describes Elvis Presley's rings in Drug Series #11: Cocaine as "blazing like accordions," I stopped reading. Blazing like accordions. Blazing. Like accordions. It is the very definition of a perfect simile; the accordion is such a bulky, odd contraption-- a gaudy spectacle of an instrument that is largely incapable of subtlety. And the very use of Elvis Presley alone does a lot of heavy lifting in the context of the story; the King summons a host of associations and imagery and implied tragedy. He's his own metaphor, in a way. Safe to say, if this story doesn't do something to you, you're probably barking up the wrong tree here.

Read Drug Series #11: Cocaine by Sean Lovelace @ Barrelhouse.

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