Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Jane Sprague's Apache Roadkill

This little book packs a wallop. So much has been said by our parents/parent generation about Vietnam. Now the child tells the tale through the filter of adulthood. The effect is affecting--evoking the stuttering wail of Susan Howe's poetics or the telepathic syntactical jumble of one of Hannah Weiner's ms pages. Removed generationally from the event, do we as the (American) children of the event have a need to mourn and process? Yes! This book is a pitch perfect negotiation of the right (read "rite") of autobiography to work-through while resisting the deadening symbolization of collective memory (local, national, tribal, or otherwise). Read it and weep (literally).

"In 1969 all the children were killers and we weren't one of them eating paper, Kimmy and where were you I did not then and do not now know how to talk my father BULTACO and I remember the dirty flying that dirt track the way the pebbles felt flying up and hit you the smell slightly metal diesel some strong fuel mix which makes motorcycles go and I know or think we must've crawled skinny wrists and chubby while our fathers watched us I don't know where the women went but we would have been small enough to listen under trees and crawl just shy of the image"
--from Apache Roadkill

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