Last weekend, we drove north on US 127, a former thoroughfare that was eclipsed by I-75 when the interstate highway system half a century ago. 127 runs from Alabama to northern Michigan, and hosts the worlds longest garage sale every summer. We crossed the Michigan border on a cloud-whipped day, turned onto route 12, another asphalt time capsule, and ended up in Ann Arbor, where we spent the weekend buying books and drinking a lot of very good beer. If we had out way, those two activities would define most of our weekends. We dropped in on Arbor Brewing, Jolly Pumpkin, Grizzly Peak, Ashley’s, and HopCat, and you’ll be able to read about the best of Ann Arbor’s beer scene in the May issue of Fuggles. Speaking of which, the February issue (oops) will be printed this weekend, so you’ll be able to order that by Monday if you so desire.
At Wazoo Records, one of several nice record shops in Ann Arbor, I picked up a 45 of Kim Wilde’s song Kids in America. When I was a teenager there was a local Dayton indie band called Morella’s Forest who got some national attention, and they did a glorious cover of Wilde’s 1981 hit. I remember listening to it on my headphones a lot during a class trip to Chicago, and it has felt to me ever sense like something that should be listened to early in the morning somewhere with tall buildings.
This week I read Kathleen McGookey’s wonderful new collection of prose poems Heart in a Jar. I reviewed Kathleen’s 2015 collection Stay for Fourth & Sycamore, and I was impressed anew with this 2017 release with how deftly she utilizes the prose poem form, a style that can sometimes be directionless and lazy. Heart in a Jar is excellent; look for my review soon.
I also read C.S. Giscombe’s unique 2014 book Ohio Railroads, a sort of prose poem itself, which talks about the history of Dayton railroads, but blends in personal history and racial history in the region.
I also finished Patricia Lockwood’s Priestdaddy, and I’m just…not ready to talk about it yet. Soon.
In last week’s two week recap, I forgot to mention some cool news–my review of Yehoshua November’s Two Worlds Exist was published at The Rumpus.
Here on the blog this week, I published reviews of Sarah B.’s zine Every Day Failures Issue #1: A Punk Stuck in Suburbia and C. Russell Price’s 2016 poetry collection Tonight We Fuck the Trailer Park Out of Each Other.
I finally got a chance this week to watch Crash, David Cronenberg’s 1996 adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s novel. The film is a weird, erotic mindfuck about crash victims who develop sexual fetishes for car crashes and injuries. I have long wanted to read the original novel, but have yet to find a copy (and it really feels like the kind of book that needs to be found in a used book store, not ordered online). The movie stars James Spader, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas, Rosanna Arquette, and Deborah Kara Unger, all of whom give game performances, particularly Arquette in her limited screen time. Crash looks at the ways we mix violence and sex, cars as symbols for bodies, and fame and adoration lead us to elevate the worst moment’s of our idols into moments of elation. It’s fucked up, but fascinating. I had a pacing issue, but was still very entertaining. I also saw Family Plot, Alfred Hitchcock’s final film, which was good but felt longer than its run time.
Winter is done. It’s over. We didn’t get one. I’ve enjoyed the awakening of spring none the less, but I’m grieved we got no real snow this year. I really hope this isn’t just our new normal.
The title of this recap is the opening line of Kim Wilde’s 1981 hit Kids in America.