When we were kids playing fatal disease, you always had cancer; I always died for love.

22 Mar

So, for Broken Plate class, I had to write this review.

It’s about the Physics of Imaginary Objects by Tina May Hall. Ya see, the InPrint Festival  (More info here) of 2011, is this week! (Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 in AJ 175) Basically, InPrint is one of the most radtastic things we do here at Ball State. It’s a reading followed by a panel. All the authors have just put out their first book and wha-bam, we get to hear all about it and pose our own baby writer questions to some toddler writers who might have even finished pre-school.

And our Laynie Baby gets to introduce Mr. Paul Killebrew while I get to introduce Miss Tina May Hall. We also get to have lunch with them. I am so stoked. Tina May Hall just became one of my idols.

I’m not just saying that. Anways,

here’s the review:

There is a Factory in Sierra Vista Where Jesus is Resurrected Every Hour in Hot Plastic and the Stench of Chicken: This piece was perhaps my favorite in the entire collection. It caught me by the throat, coughing mad splendor and I stuttered thoughts of my best friend. Several lines stood out saluting but the most profound was this: “When we were kids playing fatal disease, you always had cancer; I always died for love.” I kept repeating this in my head, the words marching in my sleep. I woke thinking, this is beautiful.

When I began reading Hall’s work, I was a bit skeptical of her talent, not entirely sure if I would enjoy her take on prose. But, after the first piece: Visitations, in which an expectant mother is living with animals dying in her walls, I decided Hall was genius. Her prose stands out as the least superfluous yet still flowered with imagery and diction like mermaids singing arias. I kept stopping to read aloud. “Hey stranger, hey lover, hey sister, listen to this,” I said more than once.

After reading past Skinny Girls’ Constitutions and Bylaws, an apparent favorite in previous reviews, I agreed that the piece stood alone. It seems to say everything about being a woman, a girl, and an intellectual. Yet, the message leaves you abruptly, almost indecipherable, until later. You put your ear to a conch shell and you hear it, maybe through the sound of your own breathing, nervousness.

Many of the pieces in the collection fared my review and were deemed otherworldly without seeming too cryptic. Though, not all the pieces came across as clear. One, For Dear Pearl, Who Drowned, is almost too short to glean the entire truth of the work. However, the words sometimes cast a line, catching me, pulling me asunder. For example: “Everything is hidden from the sun. She is hiding enough hair for a meal. There is a storekeeper to hide from. But he is watching television. He does not see her. He can see paper-thin people.”

In the novella: All the Day’s Sad Stories, I found a more telling narrative, about a woman and her husband, aching for a child despite unfortunate circumstances. Mercy and Jake’s story comes clear yet, still maintains an ethereal beauty connected with the rest of the text. Lines like this, “… between the seats for a napkin, afraid to look at Jake, her fingertips silky with plane crashes and robberies, drug busts and congressional panels, all the day’s sad stories.” are the reason I fell in love with this book.

I am in love with this book.

{p.s. come to InPrint and recieve a free copy of this year’s Broken Plate. It’s a good issue, you should want it a lot.}


4 Responses to “When we were kids playing fatal disease, you always had cancer; I always died for love.”

  1. leeraloo March 22, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    A.) I’m so pissed because I don’t get to go to the first night of In Print. I have my screenwriting class and we’re workshopping my screenplay, so I can’t skip. Urgh.

    B.) Did you make up the title yourself, or is it from the book? I’m in love with it.

  2. Natalie March 22, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    Good job sweet pea, you made me want to read this book.

  3. elysiasmith March 22, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

    It’s from the book.
    I am in love with it too.

    Thanks Natalie.

  4. ce. May 31, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

    I was actually gifted this book for the HTMLGiant Secret Santa last year and have been trying, trying, trying to get to it, but it always seems to get bumped back by something else. I’ll have to bump it to the front of my to-read shelf. Great review, Elysia.

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