Writings of the general word's body

Sunday, October 15, 2006

New Reads

In the current issue of the Barcelona Review is a quirky and funny story, Someone to Tell by A-dZiko Simba - a poet and writer of mixed Jamaican/Nigerian parentage. A boy has seen something of such amazing 'incredibleness' that he's dying to find Someone to Tell.

Mary Janga says she will only listen if you tell her dollies too. You are too excited to care. You tell her, "Yes," and you wait for her to line them all up so they can all look in your face and hear what it is you are saying. Now they are ready. Mary Janga and her dollies are all lined up, all ready to listen, except for Floppy Florenzo the Rabbit, who keeps drop­ping over on his face. Mary Janga listens with eyes open big and wide. When you get to the end she makes a face like she is trying to squash it up into a ball and stuff it through a little hole. And then she says, "Yuck!"
Mary Janga is not from planet Earth. An alien spaceship left Mary Janga in your yard one day. She has come from a place where they talk to plastic dollies and they say "Yuck" to incredible stories. One day her people will come back for her and you won't have to put up with this nonsense anymore. You suck your teeth to let her know that you know the spaceship is coming any day now, and then you run inside to tell your mother.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The culture of the London Underground is pretty fascinating in many ways, and it's nice to read fiction about it. Rosie Fletcher's Freedom and the Black Line, published in an Underground Special of Litro, offers interesting insights on stations along the Northern Line. A man on the way to work, misses his stop for now discernible reason. He'll get up at the next stop, he tells himself but it doesn't happen quite like that. For the first time in his life, the man breaks with his hum-drum routine.

Excerpt - The train pulled into Oval. “Non-station, with no connections,” he thought. “Next, Kennington, the gateway to central London. And now we have to sit here for 5 minutes as usual.” The train stayed at Kennington for several minutes, and several people got off and several people got on...

“At Kennington the world was so exciting and so full of possibilities. Whichever choice you made there, you were young enough to know you’d be ok. You weren’t far from the Tube’s birth at Morden. The ends of the line, High Barnet and Edgware, seemed like a world away. You could choose the Bank branch and opt for career, money, fast cars and fast women, or you could follow the Arts, Theatre, Enlightenment, and choose the Charing Cross branch. Whichever choice you made, things were new, and full of bright lights and opportunity.

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