Sunday, January 30, 2011

Death and Politics at the end of the world

I was hoping to get a bit of feedback on my WIP from my blogging friends. On Sunday evenings I will post a page or two of Death and Politics at the End of the World and I'd like to hear what you all have to say! (I will make one disclaimer: the formatting that I use does not translate on blogger. In Word I use Fonts and WordArt in order to achieve a certain effect which you will not have the benefits of. Hopefully you will enjoy it anyway...)

The air envelops, vacuum-sealing the skin with moisture, ill-fitting and alien. Clothes react to the alteration in the physique, ironed pleats melting. Tendrils of mouse brown bangs cling- cooked spaghetti in a pan. It isn’t until the Ft. Lauderdale airport fades from view and the Florida toll road that the air conditioning in the rental beats back the sullen mid-afternoon July heat.
            Palm trees and sprouting developments dapple the landscape, the tropical foliage out of place among the hastily built habitations, dubitable monuments to William Levitt. The loosely coiled expressway through Miami is pleasant: Toll booths unfortunate dams in the Gulf Stream’s trafficked flow. I cynically wonder if the state doesn’t encourage rental agencies to recommend the “road less traveled” to ensure the population of their taxable byways. With Christmas morning anticipation, I strain to get my first glimpse of the exit to Homestead and Highway One, the expectancy of arrival heightens as I contemplate the solitary dime jingling in my pocketbook. They can pave the everglades on someone else’s penny. They’ll have to.
            I tuck my wallet away, relax into the leather of the import and set the cruise control, realizing even as I take my foot off the accelerator that the stop-and-go flow of the mostly one-lane highway will make cruising superfluous. I gaze off to the side, anxiously awaiting my first blush of the ocean… new time, new place. Key West is a different world—anything is possible; the real world, paradoxically, is the unwanted dream. The carbon dioxide in the back and deepest section of my airway passage loosens, releases…
At last…
Blue, turquoise, green, indigo, cyan, white surf spraying, rolling, pulling, dragging out… nothingness.
Sailing away to Key Largo
Here’s looking at you, kid…
 Buccaneer Drive… hey there Buccaneer!
               Stomach’s rumbling…
won’t starve, lardo…
Key Lardo…
   hate McDonald’s.

Key West,
97 miles

            two hours    tops . . . 
Captain Jim’s Diving and Shoveling
… shoveling? …

Pay to shovel fish?
Snorkeling! More like it. 
Ann’s Beach… sand, warm water, sinking, drifting, kelp anklets, slimy, green things… used to hate it-
grew on me.

Wonder if he’s heard anything. . .

                       Surely has-          

                                                                        happens all the time. . .

misunderstanding, miscommunication, misplaced, missing, mistake… 
Poisonwood Road. 
One mile to Islamorada—Ila,
or Eeesla?
What poison… poison for Cusco? Yes, that poison… wood.  Bible. King --  who???                     . . . solvent?                             solver! 
Hey! C’mon, move it! Want to be there before the sunset… or sunrise at this rate! Need to get around this beat up bug, long-haired potsmoking lib--- “Oh look honey, another pro-lifer for war”... hilarious! 
Glare is horrible…
Just like Bogey and Bacall…
starring in my own late, late show…
I told it all.
Deer Key
deer crossing-
drive slow- or… speed up
deer burger.
L              o              n              g                                      Key.
Houses with legs -- 
elevators for handicapped? Water would swirl…
 a personal Jacuzzi…
worry it would crash—
swirling waters,
can’t sw-
Theater of the Sea      Catchy!
Servile sea-life:
And Now Ladies and Gentlemen… for your viewing pleasure.

And next door: Sea-food Buffet. That makes it easy: A retirement center- Flipper in a whole new show!
Ladies and gentlemen… now for your dining pleasure.
                                        Dolphin Preserve...

  ...Dolphin Exploitation! 


  1. The writing is very visual. It has a speculative fiction feel. Kind of ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE. Is it an apocalypse story?

  2. It's not an apocalypse story. A semi-sort-of mystery although as much a journey through the subconscious in places. It is a visual art. I don't use the effects on every page but they come up in different places throughout. I haven't read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance so I can't compare them- but I read a lot of Jeanette Winterson. She's had a lot of influence on me and her work may be characterized as... meta fiction? This part is stream of thought-- it's not the way the whole work reads but it works for driving down the highway. Thanks for taking the time to read it and commenting, Liz!

  3. I like this stream of consciousness style. Interesting! I'd like to see where this goes.

    did i ever tell you i spent some time in the Keys? i was with my americorps NCCC team, mostly doing invasive species removal. we camped in big pine key for a couple days and then lived in a 2br house on stilts in key largo (12 people, one bathroom!) it was an interesting time. a beautiful place.

  4. Sarah, You didn't tell you spent some time in the Keys! That sounds fun and kinda crazy! The houses on stilts always look bizarre to me but my friend who lives down there loves his and I can imagine that when a hurricane moves in that the water swirling below rather than threatening at your door is a big bonus.

    Stream of consciousness the whole way through would be too much (too rich maybe??) but I use it in places where I think it's effective in evoking emotions. Thanks for the feedback!

  5. Very evocative... lovely description with searing social comment! Well done.

  6. Lady Fi: Thank you so much! You risk a bit when you include social comment. But it is part of the psyche of my character so there it is!


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