mosquitos and gnats


Always the muzz of mosquitos and gnats about our heads.

Blurs of barbaric pantaloons held in sanguine suasion and selective editing of those who would never fit the guidelines established by the groaning masses of under effect.

Pleased to meet you Mr. Man. How do you do? I do jackknife filigree in fine fashion and fractures. I once had a backyard neighbor who fracked a pool into existence — it was really more of a lagoon, which eventually sinkholed and swallowed up half of the county south of our shared property line.

There were suits and counter suits, but one day my neighbor up and died and then I impaled the remaining family members with beetle pins and framed them — and the entire situation just disappeared.

But now as the owner of property bordering a canyon I get all sorts of perks from tourism and looky-loos so I’ve named the canyon for the family impaled.

That’s how I make my living. If you can call this a life.

What I’m Reading, or: What I Just Finished Reading (a continuing series)


Black History in its Own Words / Ronald Wimberly (2017)

A graphic novel with a twist — it’s not a novel, but a book of portraits. Pithy quotes —combined with strong a strong graphic style — featuring well-known (and some lesser-known) activists, artists, and various sports and cultural personalities. Some of the quotes feel too short and decontextualized, but Wimberly improves on this by providing a short introduction before each portrait. The effect, which might well be what he was going for, is to prompt the reader to do further research on the lesser-known individuals. Ebook, 02/06/21.



Lakewood / Megan Giddings (2020)

Taut literary fiction in a distinct horror-thriller vein. Giddings’s debut novel follows a young woman coming of age while participating in a shadowy medical study. The simultaneous pressures of providing for her family while attending college ratchet up the tension. The scenes of intense body horror, and Dali-esque paranoiac-critical surrealism, are memorable. The formal shift about two-thirds of the way through the book is perplexing, and the narrative flow flounders a bit during the last third of the book. A gripping read. Ebook, 02/07/21.



Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You / Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi (2020)

A remix (and YA-oriented take) on Ibram X. Kendi’s 2016 National Book Award winning Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.

I started reading this concurrently with Kendi’s original sourcebook, but this is shorter by 300 pages (at 294 pages) so I finished this first. A quicker read, but no less righteous and serious.

Reynolds is really effective at demystifying the sometimes ponderous history of racism/anti-racism, and especially the intricacies of the historical antecedents of segregation, assimilation, and anti-racist movements without dampening the importance of the subject. A great book based on an excellent, requisite-reading, history book. Ebook, 02/07/21.

“The god my grandma spoke about, the god I heard about in church, never spoke to me. I don’t mean that literally, like I was waiting to speak in tongues or to have him appear as a burning bush and order me around. There is no pleasure or comfort for me in the idea that an omnipotent being made a world like this one.”

— Megan Giddings / Lakewood

About istsfor manity

i'm a truncated word-person looking for an assemblage of extracted teeth in a tent full of mosquitoes (and currently writing a novel without writing a novel word) and pulling nothing but the difficult out of the top hat while the bunny munches grass in the hallway. you might say: i’m thee asynchronous voice over in search of a film....
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