Ragged Claws Review

Lee Hall gives a new review of Faulkner-Wisdom Prize finalist novella, Love’s Ragged Claws.

“For a short read, Gary Gautier packs in so much …  I’m definitely urged to go back a few times and read it just to capture everything.”

See the full review at Lee Hall’s Book Reviews.

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Alice in pieces

Here’s a clip from Alice, a post-apocalyptic adult hippie fairy tale, now available online and in bookstores in New York, Chicago, New Orleans, Austin, and Guanajuato. (Cp. the opening scene here.)

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John Wilson lifted one of his bushy eyebrows, and the black hairs came to attention. Alice thought of a black cat’s tail with the hairs standing in response to a threat.

“Your eyebrow looks like a black cat’s tail,” she said.

John Wilson reached up with a massive paw and touched his eyebrow, and then touched his equally bushy mustache, as if to compare the two. He looked for a moment like a distraught walrus sloshed in a button-down shirt. Then he went on.

“The fairies,” said John Wilson. “The hum went away by the pond last night. No hum for an hour and a half.” The fairies kept the whole of New Arcadia going. They were rarely visible but often audible, a humming that recalled the humming of bees restless to massacre the males and slaughter the other princesses to please their sister, the newly chosen queen. The fairies did not work in the fields or in the factory. They did not cook or clean. But it was they who wove a sense of destiny into New Arcadia. Without a sense of destiny there would be no going on, for there would be nowhere to go.

The fairies had no enemies – for how could destiny have an enemy? – save one. Ladybugs. Tiny orange specks with wings. Wings with tinier black dots. The ladybugs made no humming noise. No hint of massacres for the newly crowned queen. They just flittered in quiet beauty, careful to disturb no one, seen but not heard. Thus, no one, not Alice or Evelyn, not the kleptomaniac, not the mapmaker, not the white witch, not the rain king, not John Wilson, not even the sweeper as far as anyone could tell, could divine their purpose or what it was about them that touched the spleen of the fairies.

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Ex machina

fullness of heart
at first sight
sweet
.     calm
.          jagged
.               flowing
velvety as wine cream
.     sweet
.          calm
.               restless
the simplest of pleasures
a knit of human connection
a banquet of fruit and chocolate
deep and dark and bittersweet
and floating in the room
the candle now still
a time to depart
ex machina

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A message from Walt Whitman

I have heard what the talkers were talking, the talk of the beginning and the end
But I do not talk of the beginning or the end.
There was never any more inception than there is now,
Nor any more youth or age than there is now,
And will never be any more perfection than there is now,
Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.
Urge and urge and urge,
Always the procreant urge of the world.
. . .
Always a knit of identity, always distinction, always a breed of life.To elaborate is no avail, learn’d and unlearn’d feel that it is so.
. . .
Stout as a horse, affectionate, haughty, electrical,
I and this mystery here we stand.
(Song of Myself)

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The rains and the temple

Shiva’s giant trident
at Pasupatinath still wet,
a monkey, with child clinging
fast and dry to the belly,
eyes the pilgrim’s steps,
starts, reconsiders, decides
quickly for which tree
she is to run.

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Shortlisted for the Faulkner-Wisdom Poetry Prize

 

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BookLife and the HAL 9000

On Sept. 8, 2022, BookLife reviewed Alice, the post-apocalyptic adult hippie fairy tale you’ve all been reading (or are eager to download and read today). Here’s a clip from the review:

“A whimsical, fairytale-like quality … magnetic … a storybook world [with] a flavor not often seen.”

And Northwestern University’s Jeffrey Burgdorf ran it through his nefarious artificial intelligence (AI) machine and asked it to create a cover image. Below is the actual cover (left) and the AI cover image (right). Take your pick.


Burgdorf’s AI, by the way, gave Alice “the first ever 5-star Amazon review done entirely by artificial intelligence,” though I have no idea what mysterious feelings beating in that mechanical heart motivated the encomium.

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Hero and Leander (voice)

I tried to do a voice recording of my latest poem. It was tricky getting it up on WordPress, as it seems I had to make it a video, upload it to YouTube, then post the YouTube link. Let’s see how it came out. Text below.

Hero and Leander (the lamp and the water)

I still walk to that lake, the surface now still,
absence of geometry, ache of tranquility,

a voice but a whisper
soothing, sad, a silver
thorn in the side of love.

What love creates, need destroys.

We put flowers on the table
at the changing of the season.

Then the rains came. We watched
through the kitchen window.
You turned out the lamp.

“I love you more than I need you,” I said.
“Now I know what that means.”
But need, the ache, the silver thorn,
will have its bloody day.

Time passes. Seasons change.

When I walk to the lake I stir the surface,
the glitter of sun, a dangerous swell,
my hand beginning to move
into place a geometry
of memories.

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Good books spreading south

Still in stores in New York, Chicago, and online.
Now in Austin, New Orleans, and central Mexico.

AUSTIN

NEW ORLEANS                      

 

 

 

 

 

 

GUANAJUATO, MEXICO

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Gary’s Shelf in NYC

Finally got my own shelf at Quimby’s Brooklyn, NYC!

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