Of Being Underground and Moving Backwards

Of Being Underground and Moving Backwards In This Collection, Babcock Writes Of Gropes In Dive Bars, Hookers, Kidnappers, And Suicide Characters Work As Waitresses At The Rib Rack, Clean Toilets For A Living, Rent Motel Rooms For A Week, Live On Lentils, Masturbate To Cartoon Anime Girls, Store Urine In Pop Bottles, Expose Themselves To Strangers On The Subway The Roses May Be Brown Edged, But They Bloom AnywayDevilHouse Will Be A Playground For The Transgressive We Will Explore The Concept Of Transgession In Literature, Film, Theatre, Visual Art, Graphic Novels Any Other Creative Media That You Help Us DiscoverDevilHouse Will Publish Limited Edition Transgressive Pamphlets Or Chapbooks In The Disciplines Of Short Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Theatre, The Latter In The Form Of Short PlaysDevilHouse Is For Subversion Of Themes, Genres, Styles, Language, ConventionThe Patron Saints Of DevilHouse, If You Will Allow A Perversion, AreBarney Rosset, The Editor Of Grove Press, Who Fought Against American Obscenity Laws To Get Lady Chatterly S Lover Into The USA, Published Henry Miller S Tropic Of Cancer Despite The Lawsuits Over Its Sexually Explicit Language, Was The First Publisher Of William Burrough S Naked Lunch Alan Moore, For Many Reasons, But Mainly Because Of His Essay, BOG VENUS VERSUS NAZI COCK RING Some Thoughts Concerning Pornography Originally Published In Arthur Vol , No Nov DevilHouse Is Stories, Your Own Those Gleaned From Your Imagination DevilHouse Is For The Kinds Of Characters Who Don T Make It Into Print, People Who Live Outside The MainstreamDevilHouse Is For The Unspoken, The Underdog, The Underpublished, The Unnamed, The Unfulfilled, The Unapologetic, The Uncompromising DevilHouse Considers Work In English From Any Part Of The World By Writers Of All Genders, Sexual Orientations, Geographies, Ethnicities

Dandelions are just friendly little weeds who only want to be loved like flowers Heather BabcockHeather Babcock has had short fiction published in Descant magazine, The Toronto Quarterly, FrontCentre magazine, Truck, The Annex Echo newspaper and in GULCH An Assemblage of Poetry and Prose Tightrope Books, 2009 , among many others Her short story collection, Of Being Underground and Mov

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  • chapbook
  • 48 pages
  • Of Being Underground and Moving Backwards
  • Heather Babcock
  • English
  • 06 August 2018

10 thoughts on “Of Being Underground and Moving Backwards

  1. says:

    Of Being Underground and Moving Backwards, a collection of short stories by Heather Babcock, is a searingly beautiful read She writes with dark, piercing poetry of the undersides of the life of those who precariously live on the edges of the working class Many of the women are hookers, from a mermaid whose first trick finds her sleeping with a drowning man who has tested positive, to an office cleaner in a high tower who travels the subway naked under her coat looking for men to tantalize Wilbur was underwater now a graceful Sea lion the noise surrounding him having gone white.A Plasticine blue woman smiled at Wilbur from across the bar except that she wasn t really a woman at all, but rather a mermaid A shiny and beautiful mermaid smiling only for him Half Off, 6 The erotic body figures in each story, but its beauty, its soft fluids and skin, is stained with ironies, with an unwanted pregnancy that we learn of as a male character dreams of a pregnant cat under his bed who is starving, or a mother whose thin dress reveals her pubic triangle and who garners cat calls from the boys in the mall Perhaps at the deepest centre of these stories is a grandfather who loved his granddaughter too much and her suicide is an unfathomable loss that echoes as the narrator lays sunflowers on both of their graves while she pisses on his I placed one of the sunflowers beside my grandfather s grave Maybe Pumpkin had killed herself because she couldn t bring herself to hate him and she couldn t live loving him My mother was still standing in front of Pumpkin s grave, her back to me Quietly, I removed my jeans and hiked up my nightgown Holding on to his headstone for balance, I urinated over my grandfather s grave Of Being Underground and Moving Backwards, 26 The stories in Underground and Moving Backwards express the unfairnesses of the hard working working class, at all points it is a social commentary on our unequal society In the various characters there is loneliness that is somewhat assuaged in the strangeness of slick sexual moments, a carnality without depth And we find in other stories the pain of the loss of loved ones This whole world, its delicate and strangely limned or hovering quality, is expressed with a gentle sympathy in astute, crafted prose that is a poetry A large table falls from the ceiling and our host calls us to dinner Wind Pudding and Wagon Tracks, 38 the strangers she opened her body to, the men whose love was too nervous to dive past the surface of Betty s ocean The Trees Turned to Glass, 27 Her mouth looks like a wet strawberry but when I kiss her it tastes metallic than sweet The Dancing Bear, 15 He died because he thought our glass window was the world Break, 1 These stories are beautifully written, their jarring images vivid The paradoxical and hard core of each story is implied, never told I can see why many of them were published Babcock is are a master of this form of short story, blunt, poetic, use of inference if I may slip into metaphor, roots drugged and dredged with carnal, fertile, polluted earth and yet full of the light of dandelions about to blow away The emotional textures that emerge from reading the tales are complex, nuanced, not easily defined Babcock s stories are piercing and yet always tender, gentle, honouring the subjects, full of sympathy for the plight of their strange lives Christina always ate half a jar of peanut butter for breakfast Weeks ago, in the same newspaper, she had read an article about the unhealthy eating habits of the city s poor Half Off, 3 Betty sighed, filling the bowl with harsh smelling disinfectant before plunging her latex gloved hands in to clean up the mess The Trees Turned to Glass, 27 People watched me sometimes from the outside their mouths pressed up against the windows like gaping fish Of Being Underground and Moving Backwards, 23 Like the ribbons in corsets, Babcock s stories are tied together with dark narratives, are told through emergences of sharp, strange moments, connections that carry a reflective hallucinated quality, a touching without touching, the whole implied and shown without ever being told They are written with poetic precision in tightly honed images There is no excess in this book I ve read it twice and can vouch that Heather Babcock is a brilliant writer and keep her on your list She s going to be a well known author one day.

  2. says:

    An excellent first collection of short fiction Heather s characters do not lead easy lives some struggle with crappy jobs, disease, addiction but they also experience little epiphanies, moments of grace, as they battle their way through the subway, the minimum wage job, the judgments made by others Some stories are grittily realistic, others have touches of fantasy and mysticism As well as the assured prose she knows when and how to end a story, one of the real tests of short fictiion there s an emotional honesty to the writing that is striking This collection is reminiscent of Hubert Selby Jr., whom Heather lists as one of her influences None of the stories is quite as heavy as the ending to Selby s Last Exit to Brooklyn But there are moments that shock, surprise, and make one laugh Holding onto his headstone for balance, I urinated over my grandfather s grave from the title story , or the girl sexually teasing an anonymous stranger on a subway car The Trees Turned to Glass There are only 50 copies of this book, so I suggest you order one now.

  3. says:

    Amazing Truly beautiful The words paint the walls of your imagination and take you on a trip I recommend this book to everyone

  4. says:

    Vivid, original and memorable I would love to read of this author s work.

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