James Chapman’s The Rat Veda. Mud Luscious Press featured an excerpt in our chapbook series last year, and we will have a new excerpt from it in our eleventh online issue (April 2010), but the book, all together, is beyond tremendous. The power and subtlety that Chapman is able to wrench from words, the combination of emotions and images is truly visionary. He takes simple notions and twists them, burns them, buries them, smothers them until they can’t breathe, until they come out blue-faced and panting and panicked and insatiable. I cannot say enough about Chapman’s skills, and The Rate Veda is a most brilliant example. Here is a little bit, direct from the book:
There’s no subway, no tunnel, no cellar.
The falsehood collapses.
There isn’t any house, the house is a fiction.
There aren’t walls, so there’s not outside and inside.
Those are a misunderstanding.
Rat, walk, you’re free.
You’re not here.
The tension is broken.
The fantasy collapses.
There’s no Rat.
Touch the inside of the moon with your head.
Fly slowly, lying on your back on an atom.
No one thinks about you, no one sees you, you don’t want them to love you, you’re gone.
If you dance, you don’t even know it.