Posts Tagged ‘Barry Silesky’

“Decomposed decomP”: Guest Post by Caleb J. Ross

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

When researching Stranger Will, I learned that “decomp” is jargon in the human remains removal profession for a decomposing body, as in “bring an extra towel, we’ve got a three-week decomp.” I’m not exactly sure how decomP magazinE got its name (well, I do, but let’s say I don’t), so let’s pretend for a moment that the terms share etymology (because they do). Something rotting, filthy, that’s been sitting around for a while, but damn, it brings a few of us a lot of pleasure to experience. In honor of this comparison, I am going to dive into the decomP archives and pull out three stories that I’m still trying to scrub from my brain.

“Climax or Cry” by xTx

I like the playful nature of this story, placed against the heartbreaking content. The casual asides (“You are missing Lost, btw. I hope I don’t forget and delete it by accident” and “I wouldn’t know, you didn’t call me….”) serve the passionate narrator well. The seemingly nonchalant nature of the running commentary, which is the story, makes the narrator’s obsession almost grotesque.

“LINE” by Barry Silesky

One very interesting authorial choice is what keeps this piece alive for me: the hesitant introduction of the persona. This short piece, probably categorized as a prose poem, doesn’t bring a single he/she/him/her into mix until past the half-way mark. So the reader is subjected to ambient description and intangible philosophical ramblings, almost to the point of exhaustion, but then BAM, we get a “she” and everything falls into context.

“History of Space Whales” by Megan Casella Roth

This piece opens like it could be a Brian Evenson story, which immediately got me. I’m a sucker for grotesque characters built with equally grotesque imagery. The idea of a man built entirely out of broken watches can, conceptually, be driven in so many directions. And perhaps Megan Casella Roth will do so with a larger piece (fingers crossed). But at the same time, the brevity of this piece, and its refusal to implicate the reader into an intended message, gives it charm.

This is a gust post by Caleb J. Ross as part of his Stranger Will Tour for Strange blog tour. His goal is to post at a different blog every few days beginning with the release of his novel Stranger Will in March 2011 to the release of his second novel, I Didn’t Mean to Be Kevin in November 2011. If you have connections to a lit blog of any type, professional journal or personal site, please contact him. He would love to compromise your integrity for a day. To be a groupie and follow this tour, subscribe to the Caleb J. Ross blog RSS feed. Follow him on Twitter: Friend him on Facebook: