Thursday, June 20, 2019

Chicanonautica: The Haunted Girl Attacks

I didn’t know what to expect from Lisa M. Bradley’s collection,The Haunted Girl. It had poems as well as stories. I don’t mind poetry, but it’s never been my thing. Like I keep saying, I’m more of a slapstick comedian than a poet

And there were a lot of them. What the hell, I dug in . . . and these were a bunch of solid gut-punchers: images of the desert . . . Aztlán . . . the sun-blasted landscape, with people and things that lurk in those shadows that can be darker than the night.
There’s this one called “Teratoma Lullaby” that scars my memory.  According to the National Cancer Institute, a teratoma is “A type of germ cell tumor that may contain several different types of tissue, such as hair, muscle, and bone.” They “usually occur in the ovaries in women, the testicles in men, and the tailbone in children.” The story (poem? Pose poem?) switches from poetry to prose and back.

This genre/format blurring goes further in “we come together we fall apart”--a serious mind-ripper about a super dysfunctional family that demonstrates the diabolical extremes of human behavior. I was shocked, and I’m an old guy who’s been wallowing in weird shit forever. It impressed the hell out of me. It really should have won an award of some kind.

The rest of the stories (or should I call them prose pieces?) were an impressive array of tough, gritty, postpunk horror tales from millennial points of view, full of amazing, weird characters,including various kinds of Latiniods.

Hmm. My term actually seems to fit this time.

So this old vato is impressed. I’m also going to be looking out for more stuff by Lisa M. Bradley. She can really mess up your mind, in a good way.

Ernest Hogan’s story “PeaceCon,” a savage, full-frontal attack on popular sensibilities is in Unfit Magazine Vol.3.

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