Sunday, November 14, 2010


More cross-the-bone-cut Colombian ribs at tailgate. Like pornography or museum dinosaurs, every presentation of it is like brand new. It goes good with a powdered donut chaser.

Tom Franklin, Smonk    
The Southern Review, Vols. 46.4 (Autumn 2010) and 45.2 (Spring 2009)
Book of Love, Book of Love
Paul Burch, Last of My Kind

OK, remember Book of Love? I was stretching for something just out of reach in a review needing a writing this afternoon and there among the windchimes was Book of Love. This record doesn't exactly hold up, nor does it completely collapse under all those synth drums but it was one that hit me like a ton of bricks. Maybe it was the half-asleep female vocals, insistent but not so insistent about its insistence; I was squarely tuned to the diva histrionics from DMode's David Gahan and Alison Moyet in her Yaz(oo) yearz, and not yet up for Siouxsie's caterwaul when this came round the mountain of bad old music that seperated my teenage years from all the new bad music. "I Touch Roses" was the big one, but, though it sounds a little Pointer Sisters "I'm So Excited" to me now, part of me is still all up in this song. So Good (good good good...)

Book of Love. "You Make me Feel so Good"

Smonk is dead! Long live the evil bastard in a corner of my brain that will be forever sullied by his beguiling, pestilent nature. What a great book, unending in hostile texture like the desert before homesteaders but with a  delicious flicker of snakebit human horror in everyone involved. Each planetary turn of the plot was a surprise but really, not anywhere are shocking as the surprise in Tony Earley's "Mr. Tall" in Southern Review Vol 45.2. I was never much of a Boy Scout, I never got further than Bobcat, but Earley wrote a true scout's manual in my heart with Jim the Boy years ago. The innocent wonder of boyhood has never been captured so well, except maybe on Paul Burch's Last of My Kind, an album of songs based on the novel. There's none of it on YouTube, but seek out "Polio" or "Harvey Harstell's Farm" or the whole damn thing. Anywho, Tony Early's story about mountain people and the inertia of loneliness takes such a shocking turn there were skid marks left on the page. That's writing!

I read a million other short things yesterday during the meaty lull after tailgating. I read some more of Muriel Spark but I don't know if I'm feeling it. I need to read something less than whiskey-bullet-fart manly after Smonk, but Spark might be too not-so for me. I will admit to being one of those white male readers that reads mostly white male authors, especially the ones that seem a touch uncomfortable being so. Who could? You have to practically be a cartoon character to be a man.

My wife made this amazing taco soup last night and it is better than any tacos or soup combined.

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