“If I die during a crossword puzzle, I am allowed to finish.” So nearly concludes Rumble Seat, a Cretan-cum-Cracker Jack maze of delights presided over by the shade (elms over David Lynchian suburbia, not ghost) of Frank O’Hara. What happens when boy-next-door niceness merges with a rapier wit? You can’t ask David Foster Wallace anymore, but Jeffrey Hecker’s debut volume is a thoroughly selcouth exploration into the question. It’s a world where down-to-the-last-dime travelers can choose between “Basilica donation or acetaminophen, but largesse and simony lose by a Samson pubic strand”; where toothless soothsayers skulk around local churches, warning children that “dying during worship causes souls to suck through aperture.” We may be any number of places with Hecker: at a beef recall (as opposed to a southern-style pig pickin); with a transmogrified Sally Field with her “hair departed in buffalo tufts/intentions and glands in the wrong places/pituitaries topped off by kidneys”, bloodshot eyes leading the children of lost Roanoke colonists astray…but mostly at home, where strangeness, like charity, begins.
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January 9th, 2012 / 12:00 pm