Book + Beer: John Jodzio + Magic Hat # 9

Posted by @ 11:36 am on January 27th, 2012

I do enjoy book as artifact. Funky front matter. Sudorific spine. A peplum on the paper edge, etc. This is something small presses do well. Mythical book as bible. As postcards. As a head shaped box (or a box shaped head?). Sometimes I hold these books, re-hold them, turn them, smell them (like beer, the odor of books simultaneously contains similarities and unique variances), bend them, watch them, pause during my reading and judge, question, critique (sometimes a book gets too cute in its design; this is about words), admire. I really do like when a book is a thing. Ok, let me hit this Magic Hat.

Here is a video of me talking about some of the stories and images I really enjoyed from Get in if You Want to Live. (I am pretty inebriated, so you may not be able to fully understand me. I do slur [though I never once feel compelled to fucking punch someone, now do I?])

Whoa, Magic Hat! I didn’t expect fruity. What is this flavor? A little lavender and pumpkin pie, a smidgen of doughnut, or is that musk? A hint of buttered popcorn vanilla peppermint cheese pizza roasting meat cinnamon buns strawberry parsley green apple rose Oriental spice baby powder chocolate pink grapefruit cranberry. Just a hint. Interesting. Let me try another one. That first bottle reminded me of the time I went horse-dancing in Mexico. (The riders are usually drunk, the horses are always beautiful, the music is deafeningly loud. All four legs move in time to the beat.)

Well, Paper Darts not fucking around. They make a book now. John Jodzio is fucking around, but he fucks around the way drunken horses dance—it’s damn mesmerizing. Relationships, yes. Sex. Zombies and talking bears (they text too). And did I mention the artists? I think you should check out the artists. I could write about their art, but I could also dance about architecture or get all meretricious about the price of olive oil or swim laps about drug trafficking, but what exactly would be the point? Visual art needs to be visualized. You should check out the artists. (Me? I glowed Missy Austin and Laura Andrews and Sandra Dieckmann, but you can find all the artist here [scroll down: Paper Darts doesn’t fuck around with web pages either—this one be rad.])

Appearance on the Magic hat a good golden copper color and with a moderate carbonation that leaves some lacing. Slightly darker and obviously not as hoppy as true Pale Ale. The head was foamy and about as tall as a tall man if that tall man was really short, like just over two inches, and lanky, with very fair skin, a mustache, black cowboy boots and hat, Levi’s, a short-sleeved sport shirt, and that sudden, flashing smile.

Jodzio is a very imaginative writer. He’s a scenario writer, a premise man, and you have to relish in the pure inventiveness of his mind. (You want to grab him and say, “How the fuck did you think up that idea?”) He’s a comic, with the comic’s keen wit (humor, in any form, takes a great deal of intelligence: structure, timing, recognition of situation, etc.), yet Jodzio takes his scenarios beyond the thin drug of cleverness, into sharpness, into darkness, into absurdity. Every day is absurd. (This might be his thesis.) Let me drop some titles from the book on you, to make my point: “Recently I passed a Kidney Stone that Looks like a Shark’s Tooth”; “I am Committed to Getting You Your Heroin at the Peak of its Freshness”; “The Hookers in my neighborhood Really Love my Chili”; “My Kidnapper Gives a Really Good Backrub”; “James, I Cannot Even Begin to Imagine Who Threw a Bag of Shit into Your Dishwasher.”

See what I mean?

Damn. I just dropped my third Magic Hat and shattered the bottle. Hold up. I was laughing out loud at that dishwasher title and dropped my fucking beer.

How about this opening line?

I found a baby wolf in the woods and I trained him with honey mustard pretzels to do my bidding.

There’s a lot going on in this sentence: Note the elements of humor here. The situational comedy (Man brings a baby wolf into the bar…), the turn with cultural reference and specificity (honey mustard pretzels), the anachronistic diction for the final laugh ending the sentence (do my bidding).

(This story mentions Frisbee golf and that made me happy and sad. Happy because any mention of the sport of gods makes me ecstatic. Sad because, even for humorous effect, we don’t call it Frisbee golf. It’s disc golf! Frisbee golf is like asking a runner if they jog.)

I just realized “I Only have Sex with Ladies Named Jean” is online. Here, read it. A lot of what I’m saying about humor is contained within.

Or:

Last week, I made out with two men — a butcher and a singer in a Zeppelin cover band.

The butcher smelled like meat, like he should have, but the singer smelled way too good, not smoky or dusty like I wanted.

“Why do you keep sniffing me?” he asked.

On this Magic Hat, I’m a bit surprised how popular this beer. I’m barely tasting any hops here, but I do note the alcohol. I feel the whoosh. For just a moment I thought I saw Angela Lansbury but it was only my treadmill. This beer seems to have characteristics that place it well within the bounds of an American Amber Ale or an English ESB.

I’d like to just throw some syntactical lettuce at you:

One September, Uncle Fergus had trouble knocking the donkey out.

Back in the days before cell phones, it was so much more difficult to have a secret family.

This is a pretty understanding neighborhood unless you wear assless chaps after Labor Day.

Like Andie McDowell after a fistfight and too many whippets.

There are a lot of playwrights in my neighborhood and sometimes codpieces and fog machines are very hard to come by.

Lately, I’ve become quite adept at throwing detached arms and legs…

Another beer down. Another. Fog machine indeed. Read the damn sentences! Well, see? I hope you see by now. This book is a pleasurable pleach, a winding of words and visuals and laughs (sometimes human, sometimes a bear or a bed [yes, one story is told from the perspective of a bed]). I like to hold and re-hold it tightly. You might like to hold it tightly, too.

So do.

Cheers.

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