Floats Horse-floats or Horse-flows

Leslie Scalapino, Author . Starcherone $18 (168p) ISBN 978-0-9788811-9-1

Once the reader ceases to wonder how acquainted Scalapino is with English and gives in to this amorphous text's rabbit hole of wordplay, there is much vitality to be found. Scalapino forgoes plot in these digressive segments about, say, poaching animal skins in Tibet, the work of a detective, orphan Indian girls engaged in near-slave labor, and a Calcutta girl taken from the streets and put in an orphanage. War has apparently ravaged the natural order of things, and language has been similarly blown apart, as evidenced in nearly every sentence (“The peppering has transformed in wounds simultaneously causing thick wound-cords of rain yet also sense of squeezed eyes crying heavily...”). Scalapino's apocalyptic landscape has been “blow-torched by soldiers” and brutalized by floods, deforestation, errant cattle, wading horses, and a deconstructed tennis match between Venus and Serena Williams. The chaos displayed is intentionally opaque, chronologically scrambled, and lends itself more to reading aloud than to an arduous reading on the page. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/22/2010
Release date: 03/01/2010
Genre: Fiction
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