Truth, War and the Dream Game

Lawrence Fixel, Author Coffee House Press $10.95 (144p) ISBN 978-0-918273-88-8
Fixel ( Through Deserts of Snow ) is both a riddler and scholar of ``the question of how things get from here to there.'' In quizzical, contemplative prose poems and parables, he presents characters in transit, and deftly illuminates the complex of enigmas and paradoxes inherent in their often simple journeys. In ``Give Up, Give Up,'' travel is transgression. When approached by a uniformed man, the tale's narrator--an ``unarmed `wanderer' '' in a strange city--responds with automatic wariness, remembering ``stories of vagrants being jailed, sentenced to hard labor.'' Even non-physical ventures engage this visitor/violator duality. For the narrator of ``The Invaders,'' simple mental distraction/drifting off leads not only ``somewhere else'' but to someone else, proving that self is full of others who are potential enemies. Fixel is most intriguing when he transports these conundrums to a political realm. ``The Situation Room'' makes thinly veiled reference to the U.S.'s botched hostage rescue mission in 1980. Written in 1980, the piece seems disturbingly prescient of American military evolution toward the Gulf war and, like much of Fixel's writing, contains implications that far exceed the boundaries of the parable's scaled-down proportions. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1991
Release date: 07/01/1991
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