Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Aimless Reading: The H's, Part 24 (Benjamin Hollander)


Vigilance
Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
Hollander, Benjamin
Vigilance


I can't remember if this was sent to me by Fred Dewey of Beyond Baroque–who published the book–or if it was given to me by Ammiel Alcalay. I am sure one one of these is the case.

I love the cover and book design. It's one of the more beautifully designed books on my shelves. The orange of the title text doesn't quite show up in the photo. It's somewhere between orange sherbet and neon-day-glo, the effect of which is to make the letters seem to float just above the nebulous black and white image. It's of a silhouetted figure standing in a flood of light beside what might be a ship headed out to sea.

from Vigilance

From The Prison Floor (Another One)

Once on a time, and for each of the inmate, there was the kind of command, which honored the hopes and requests of others. "You are free to take the bread," the armed guard said, "so take it." They did–so many, who passed the gene–take it. There were droves, who loved this, who loved to be given anything more.

"Do not," he said, "take the butter from the floor. You may have it now but don't take it with you, who pass there gene, or you will be ticketed for what is already given–by men."

One day, after the calling of breakfast, after they were primed with what was already given by the kind of man commanded to look out for them, the armed guard searched them, but only the ones who loved this and who had taken the bread–which was given. There were droves. They were living. They were feeling ego-alien. Other palms could come down to prod them. It could hurt.

One of them (who but hurt)–who but hurt for the ego-aliens because they were, in their hunger, not even livid and too calm beyond the senses of their skin to tell if anyone had come down on them to prod them–refused it–the bread–but in a kind way, in order to not kneel down on the floor to search for the butter, which was given. To the living.

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