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.

Monday, May 9, 2011

No news today - Guest Post - Gabriel Blackwell

Already a disarticulation (for it was stella nova before it was nova): a “discovery” in even its etymology, the new is not new, never new, always only previously unknown. In the framework of a recycled and recycling universe, a closed set stretching to infinity, the nova —not newly created, only newly noticed—was a star only in that instant brought to light. Suddenly we could see what had been there all along. In this, as in all things, the nova has turned on itself. Better to have been lit with an unspectacular illumination. The everyday: not old, but not news.

For we now believe it is not light but explosion, cataclysm of nuclear activity, a chain reaction that ends in void. A birth of state, then, not material; in truth, a death, the eradication of existence, the erasure of creation. What to make, then, of today? The sudden flare of politicians, pop stars, killers, movie stars, freaks growing in brilliance in proportion to the emptiness inside, really only the winking out of so many lights. Having turned themselves inside out, they glow and warm until they disappear completely: “Teens should be banned from tanning booths, doctors say.”

The teen in question tanned until cancerous. Cancer: a freak of the DNA, a sudden discovery, a stella nova of the double helix, a chain reaction. Finally, a void. “UVA rays give customers a glow without sunburn.” Our sun—never once a stella nova—thus bypassed, the teen in search of skin like the stars zooms out into the firmament while reclining in space-age comfort, infused with radiation leaking into the sense that creation makes of her, her particular genetic sequence. It glows, but it also ravels, becoming ragged. Somewhere, a spark. Then, melanoma. Our special ignorance: blindness to the brightest lights, our skeletal visible spectrum. Tomorrow it will have disappeared, another matchhead struck. This was the news.

Gabriel Blackwell is the reviews editor for The Collagist. His short fiction has appeared in Conjunctions, Puerto del Sol, and DIAGRAM among other places, and will appear in Uncanny Valley.

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