i focused on my body: let my spirit pick through whatever trash it wants, i have to drag my heels down this highway. moments later, headlights cast themselves against my back and scattered the darkness ahead to reveal, staggeringly close, a thick life, a musky brown fur, a large, unprecedented reality: a deer, standing before me, looking in the eerie way that prey does both away and at. its alien presence tense, ready, and relaxed all at once, two hooves in the dirt and two on the blacktop. And did I make a move towards it in the very moment that it lunged forward, leaping into the road?
fragments from an in-progress piece of short fiction about memory, deer, and crime.
Since writing this, I’ve made contact with folks in Providence who also are interested in super-ancient animals. Particularly, Eli Nixon is obsessed with horseshoe crabs, which are so old we use their immune systems to test vaccines. Just so I don’t leave you thinking alligators are so special . . .
A snippet from my bio in the mag:
I am a walker, like the people in the story. I walk everywhere, and in Philadelphia every street I turn on spools up a set of associations, memories, relationships: when these buildings were built, which other parts of the city they resemble, what I have done, said, seen, and felt there, what other streets branch off and how I feel about them, which turns I usually take and which I don’t like to take and which I will today. I moved to Providence and in comparison Providence presents a vacuum into which anxiety and fear flow. The fear is artificial, but the rootless emptiness isn’t. [. . .] Writing can alienate and de-familiarize, but it can also be an act of familiarization, of naming and staking out and layering associations.