glister and vampires in the lemon grove

Glister

That's all i really have to say.
Colour me disappointed.



'...he once dribbled the ball all the way down to the ruined industrial marina at Pier 12, where the sea rippled like melted aluminum—Nal felt he couldn't get away from himself. He sank hoops and it was always Nal sinking them; he missed, and he was Nal missing. He felt incapable of spontaneous action: before he could do anything, a tiny homunculus had to generate a flowchart in his brain. If p, then q; If z, then back to a. This homunculus could gnaw a pencil down to a nub, deliberating. All day, he could hear the homunculus clacking in his brain like a secretary form a 1940s movie: Nal shouldn't! Nal can't! Nal won't! and then hitting the bell of the carriage return. He pictured the homunculus as a tiny, blankly handsome man in a green sweater, very agreeably going about his task of wringing the life from from Nal's life.
He wanted to get to a place where he wasn't thinking about every movement at every second; where he wasn't even really Nal any longer but just weight sinking into feet, feet leaving the pavement, fingers fanning formlessly through air, the swish! of a made basket and the net birthing the ball. He couldn't remember the last time he had acted without reservation on a single desire.'


Vampires in the Lemon Grove
(The Seagull Army Descends on Strong Beach, 1979)



'Sometimes I dream that dark rains fall and my sisters rise out of the sod, as tall as the ten-foot wheat, shaking the midges and dust from their tangled hair. Like rain, they thunder and moan. Their pale mouths open and they hiss. Their faces aren't like any faces I know. Stay in the ground, I plead. Oh, God, please let only wheat rise up.
Even when my eyes open, I can't stop rubbing at them—I feel like I'm held still in that dream. The scene before me i familiar and terrifying: white crosses, hundreds or maybe thousands of them, rolling outward on the prairie sea. A shovel head glints in a freshly plowed furrow, where a yellowish knob the size of an onion sticks out of the sod. And I see now why Pa was so troubled by their milky hue, because these trees aren't made of wood at all, but bone. My sisters go on hissing in my mind.'


- (Proving Up)



'Rule One: Make friends with our death

Tailgating in the Antarctic is no joke. We are trying to do nothing less ambitious than reverse the course of history. We want Team Krill to defeat Team Whale.
Look, if you want to tailgate in comfort, don't get on a boat. You can buy some quail eggs or snails or whatever you people eat and you can watch the Food Chain Games on your flat TV. Stay in Los Angeles. Hug your wife on your plush banquette. Cheer for the Antarctic minke whales, like every other asshole.
No, wait a second, here comes the real Rule One: if you are a supporter of Team Whale, you can go fuck yourself, my fine sir.
This list is for the fans of Team Krill.'


- (Dougbert Shackleton's Rules for Antarctic Tailgating)



A few excerpts from Karen Russell's collection of short stories, Vampires in the Lemon Grove.

Much like Swamplandia!, it took me a long time to generate any form of feeling towards Russell's brutish, fairytale-like worlds - perplexing, as these are my favourite kind of worlds - but in the end she always gets me.
And it did indeed take the last short in her collection - The Graveless Doll of Eric Mutis - to seal the deal.
I don't have a quote from that, however.
Some literary works just aren't quotable.
When i read, i'm always look for a mingling of words that affect me in some way and i can hold onto once the story is over.
I've had a run of bad luck in this area (see: Glister) and it upsets me more than i'd like.
Maybe it's time to read some poetic and introspective works.
They always feed my pretentious literary appetite.