May 6, 2005

I have been sick with food poisioning for a few days. A word of advice: if you ever find yourself asking yourself if an item in your freezer has been there too long to eat--don't eat it! The gamble isn't worth it. It really felt as if an alien was going to burst out of my stomach.

While I was sick I read Eleni Sikelianos's The Book of Jon, while our backgrounds are somewhat different, I could relate pretty explicitly to the world from whence this book comes--a kind of poisonous vernacular. And also the subject matter: the father as an unreachable, doomed anti-hero. Sikelianos engages with the subject matter in a vital fashion, interacting with it on its own terms, but never becoming poisoned by its refulgent mediocrities. A kind of postmodern rethinking of "On the Road," peering unflinchingly at the realities behind the myth of "rugged American individualism." Though it atones all involved with its reaching, a kind of absolution by way of narrative blurring, an alchemy that turns plastic fake wood panelling into gold...

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