Oversoul: Stories and Essays
by Mitchell S. Jackson
The Collections House, June 2012
92 pages / $4.99 Buy from Amazon
To Mitchell S. Jackson, being a voice writer means capturing the sound of a moment. As he ruffles you through Oversoul, his e-book collection of short fiction and essays, there are few street signs, few identifiable marks. Yet somehow, there is no confusion. You hear a growl: “G O T D A M N Y O U M E.” And from the very first page of “Head Down, Palm Up,” the opening story about a young man initiated into the drug game by his charismatic uncle, you know exactly where you are—the other America. The one you drive through with your windows up.
The book is sworn in with a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, whose 1841 essay, The Oversoul, gives title to the collection: “Our faith comes in moments. Our vice is habitual.” Jackson’s own rough past—selling dope, his time in prison, and growing up fatherless in a world of emotional disfigurement—accounts for much of his writing. But there is something else, too. Delving further into “Head Down, Palm Up” and later “Oversoul,” about an ex-con fraught by newfound freedom, it becomes clear that Jackson doesn’t just recount the turmoil of those years. He listens, reaching past memory, to free the living voices of hope and hopelessness:
September 7th, 2012 / 12:00 pm