Reading the new issue of dislocate is not unlike diving into the sea. You stand at the edge, momentarily put off, unwilling to dive…and then you jump in, and it’s wonderful.
What was making me unwilling to read was that when I was flipping through the issue, much of the writing seemed to be of that technical/academic/nonsense style that always seems to just go right over my head. I find it off-putting, pretentious and, frankly, boring. The book lay on my coffee table for a few days, emanating malevolent vibes.
When I sat down for a proper reading, it was with a depressed distaste. This was quickly overturned by reading the editor’s note, wherein there is a description of what ‘contaminated’ means to them: “it is a blending that produces something new.” In this multicultural, increasingly connected world, this is something that is both important and needed.
Technical etc., entries aside, there are astonishing stories, poetry and artwork collected in this issue. The photographic work, taken by Justine Beth Gartner, is displayed in glossy coloured plates and reveals a tight, claustrophobic world of edges and corners, of abandoned places.
The collection speaks up for the contemporary story, breaking boundaries in Modernist fashion, redefining the benchmark for what is ‘acceptable’ or ‘good’ fiction–if any aesthetic viewpoint can be held as relevant nowadays–in ways that made me panic. I doubt that anything I could have written would have been included in this. It is a wake-up call for writers everywhere.
dislocate No. 6 features writers such as Jenny Boully, Greg Bachar, and Curtis Dawkins. The surreal and often complicatedly pictorial metaphors are double-edged and unforgiving; the reader finds that they stay with them long after the volume has been set away.
I have to say that I liked Lindsey Drager’s “Photographs I Did Not Take” the most. Her style is minimalist, pared back and rife with striking images: “If zero is empty, a gaping defined by frame, then so is your mouth,” and “You syndrome of affection, breaking my smiles clean open, smiles cracking over my face,” are but two examples.
More quotes abound, from Jenny Boully: “I have seen the imprint of your little teeth all about the dawn,” from Greg Bachar: “…wasp is a difficult dish to enjoy,” and from Lucas Church:
The weight of something gives a sort of authority, a rifle feels heavy and that’s part of the power, a wrench, a crowbar, a shovel, they’re like badges.
dislocate No. 6 is not easy reading. I was left feeling a little overwhelmed by it, and slightly humbled. Don’t be put off by the pretention of some of the pieces–here there is much that is good.