Once upon a time, Seattle was a shadow of Chicago. In the latest excerpt from his book-in-progress, Jeff Stevens tells the story of how the Chicago Seven begat the Seattle Seven.
Chance reminds Pasteur favors the prepared mind
But a species-threatening event: fruit bats pinging in the fig trees
An island of plague in Queen Victoria’s inland sea
Prefers backache a peculiar skin rash
& eight days to melt the host into a colander of poison
Torrents of bleeding & the black spit —
When we got there said the specialists we saw rabbits & goats a few ducks swam in the pond
But no monkey feast no voodoo stumbling over the bundles of the dead —
The bodies were prepared in the traditional fashion: black corpses white cotton
& songs to memorialize the path from birth
To annihilation by the fever: a reedy filovirus
A tubular glycoprotein
Assaulting everything but muscle & bone: blood cells
Clot into a masonry of jelly & crystalline brick
& slowly the liver dissolves the kidneys dissolve the surface of the tongue sloughs off
Is eventually spat out or swallowed
& comes a sound like bedsheets tearing terrible opening of the bowels —
One host was a whorehound from a sugar factory
Another photographed olive pigeons in acacia trees
Both found themselves limp & sensationless along with the doctors nuns & prostitutes
Turned mummy-like beside the banks of the Mongala River
Dissolving into the pink lozenges of their beds —
Not in the caves the specialists discovered having collected hundreds
Of biting insects cages of monkey & guinea pig
But somewhere amid the ten-cot tents the blinding stench of bleach smoldering wells
Of everything from the village that burns
Is ruin memory-maker a shepherd’s crook strand of RNA
& the specialists
Hooded masked goggled an inscrutable plastic army
Of jailers and saints
R.V. Murphy looks into the bad juju of Seattle's current housing problems.
Sunday comics for 23 November 2014.
Fiction by Romie Singh.
A short detective story featuring Oliver Knörzer & Powree's soft-boiled gumshoe Sandra and her ace in hole raccoon Woo.
Volume 2 of Francis Frith's rare photographic book features today in the Star.
Thoughts on UMO Ensemble's attempts to Fail Better.
A guide to online toads, courtesy of Dani Bissonnette.
Thoughts on Ghost Light Theatricals' offerings of Beckett's Endgame and Blood Ensemble's Beckett-inspired NDGM.