A Girl Goes Into the Forest

Review of Pel Alford Pursell’s A Girl Goes Into the Forest.
In the dream I was sitting with my mother in a restaurant lobby, waiting to be seated for dinner. The hostess came over, asked me my name, which I confirmed, then told me to follow her — I had a phone call. At the hostessing station, I took the black phone with the cord and on the other end of the line was my sister’s voice: tremulous, distraught. She told me she was lost, could I come get her? I asked her where she had gotten lost. She said she couldn’t remember, and when I asked her what was around her right now, what did she see, she told me that she saw trees. Lots and lots of tall trees. She said she was in a forest and she was beginning to panic because someone had told her that if she was there after it got dark it was going to be really hard to find her way out. And it was starting to get dark. She begged me to find her before it was too late, and then the line went dead. When I awoke from the dream, I understood that my sister, who in this reality had been mired in the living hell of drug addiction, had been calling out to me from the forest in which she found herself, her soul-being, lost and desperate, without a single bread crumb to orient her movement and recovery.
Peg Alford Pursell's A Girl Goes Into the Forest is reviewed at Riot Material magazine, LA's premier art magazine for the radically leftThis, the unmappable forest, a vegetative X-ray detailing the hinterlands of one’s interior, belongs to a place outside of time. This is where Dante eternally carves Beatrice’s name into granite bark with a bloodied fingernail; where Red Riding Hood, remixed in a narcoleptic loop, repeatedly falls asleep on a bed of pine needles and dreams of axes. This is also the limnal territory which Peg Alford Pursell stalks in her new book: A Girl Goes Into the Forest.
Read the full review at Riot Material.

About John Biscello

Originally from Brooklyn, NY, writer, poet, performer, and playwright, John Biscello, has lived in the high-desert grunge-wonderland of Taos, New Mexico since 2001. He is the author of four novels, Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale, Raking the Dust, Nocturne Variations, and No Man’s Brooklyn; a collection of stories, Freeze Tag, two poetry collections, Arclight and Moonglow on Mercy Street; and a fable, The Jackdaw and the Doll, illustrated by Izumi Yokoyama. He also adapted classic fables, which were paired with the vintage illustrations of artist, Paul Bransom, for the collection: Once Upon a Time, Classic Fables Reimagined. His produced, full-length plays include: LOBSTERS ON ICE, ADAGIO FOR STRAYS, THE BEST MEDICINE, ZEITGEIST, U.S.A., and WEREWOLVES DON’T WALTZ.
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