Kamby Bolongo Mean River named one of 25 Important Books of the 2000s by HTML Giant

KBMR was named one of 25 Important Books of the decade by HTML Giant. And was a Page One selection of New & Noteworthy Books by Poets & Writers Magazine.

Friday, April 1, 2011

No news today - Guest Post - Joseph Riipi

No News Today

His car buckled, broke down.

Choked up its radiator fluid, sputtered brief oil slicks at the sun.

Door metal screeched and the man spilled out, squinting then collapsing. Tired weeds and mud bury his face. This is how I find him, spilled from his car, glanced from the highway. I'd thought he was an animal, maybe a sack of them. I kick and my shoe comes back sticky.

I turn to the road, keep walking, run.

The highway is made of heat and ocean, wavy, delirious splashing against my face; it soaks my shirt and hair. I run until the gas station, where my wife is sucking soda from a straw and sweaty men pump our car full. Did you find the ring? she asks. I shake my wet head, don't tell her about the body. She sips her soda and stares at my finger. I wish you wouldn't play games like that, she says, and turns away.

I drive us back to the motel because it’s my day to drive, and then we fuck because it's been three days. The fucking is her idea, Something a real married couple would do, she says, A real couple would do it just like this, like an engine in neutral, no gear-grinding or danger, do it to keep ourselves running is all, sensible maintenance. After, she goes to the bathroom to pee; I pull on my shorts and switch on the television. She comes back wearing my t-shirt and parks herself on my shoulder. She falls asleep there, face in my arm pit--her nook, she’s given it as name.

I watch the news for our pictures and then a prison movie while she sleeps. I think about my boyhood dog; how he slept the same, oblivious to endings. I think about tomorrow, where we’re headed, how much we have left, what we’ll do if we never get there. In the morning, I know, we will eat continental breakfast and steal extra lunch for the road. My wife will fill her purse with fistfuls of bottled water, fruits and cookies. She’ll say to me, Someday our car will die in the desert and you'll be glad you married a thief. She’ll say to me, I’m driving today, it’s my turn. She’ll say to me, Keep your hands inside the window, and I will wonder about the man whose body was in the ditch, and maybe we will keep playing this game or maybe not.

Joseph Riippi is author of the story collection THE ORANGE SUITCASE, forthcoming March 2011 from Ampersand Books. His first novel DO SOMETHING! DO SOMETHING! DO SOMETHING! (2009) will be reissued in a new edition later this year. He lives in New York. (www.josephriippi.com)

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