Whether corporeal or euphemism or just name for a Tuesday evening out with some new friends, Tongue Party is something you would want to attend. It is also a book by Sarah Rose Etter. It is the winner of the 2010 Caketrain Chapbook Competition. To glow this award is a good thing, and when Deb Olin Underth is the judge, I’d go ahead and say great thing. Also has anyone else noticed Caketrain’s chapbooks look and feel better than a lot of people’s book books? Just saying.
Pabst Blue Ribbon is a beer from Los Angeles. Los Angeles is a town where people will stab you in the back as you are climbing a ladder. PBR has a taste sort of like rain, rain gutter, corn and a hint of pale malted irony. Develops a bit of a yeast flavor as it warms. What is irony? I’m not totally sure but Kenneth Rexroth’s third wife left him for their marriage counselor. Bon Jovi plays the radio. A bird hunter pal of mine asked a bird watching pal of mine for advice on binoculars. In the last 5 years PBR has ironically doubled in price. Etc.
I was wondering if Sarah Rose Etter was being ironic in her opening of the first story, Koala Tide, as she seemed to mimic certain Hemingway devices, especially the use of the word “very.”
“The sun was very big and very hot that day.”
“The sky was very blue.”
“Fred wore blue swim trunks and had a very hairy chest.”
But then Etter took us away from this tone, spun us into something detached, this Koala Tide, tide of actual Koalas or again a euphemism or local jargon or objective correlative or perceptive lens of a child during that age, that Bildungsromanian blur, where childhood bleeds [emphasis on bleeds] into adulthood, where pain is introduced as possibility, where we learn not only are adults not Gods, they are slow, aging, stupid, stumbling sub-gods, mumbling who-knows-what into their lipsticked cans of warming beer? This story is evocative and disturbing and badass. You can read it here, and should.