EVER by blake butler


like johannes görannson’s DEAR RA, blake butler’s eerie EVER’s a howl — a generational cri de coeur, but instead of the anthemic us-ness there’s left now only solitary i’s peeping sometimes wildly sometimes mutely about. and replacing the ruined reputed best minds of the last boom are self-alienated observers of the intractable and indomitable structures, which serve only to reinforce their own alienation.

[At first our local leaders tried to zone around the madness, to block off damaged sects with panes of glass, but the error swung so often, the glass just magnified the problem — the shatter echoed in the ground (p 8).

i thought of renee gladman’s JUICE a lot while reading EVER. if the content and concerns are quite different nonetheless the prose in both can be seen as lines of poetry laid end to end, where the all important function of the line break has now been transferred to the puckering pocket between sentences. EVER even has a fairly palpable scansion — more often than not bricks of anapests and iambs are mortared together with commas or prepositions. but it is never predictable, and its stunningly-sculpted sentences shimmer and gloat like the surfaces of donald judd shapes in geometric progression.

its gore and nightmare may be reminiscent of creepier lynchian jump cuts but the deadened sadness of its voice suggests something perhaps more dedicated to hopelessness. definingly unredeemed, EVER’s punked emily dickinson updates are fun for the hole family.

consume from the publisher or buy from SPD

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