My novel, The Last Furies, was partly inspired by the life, legend and poetic reckoning of the Symbolist brat-prince, Arthur Rimbaud. As a hybrid work, that is both an endless remix of a novel and a sorcerer’s cryptic handbook, the Furies at its molten core is a call to radical alchemy, to the transformative power of language, myth and story. It is about deep dreaming and even deeper rememberance. And it wears the mantra of John Coltrane on the torn sleeve of its heart: “You’ve got to look back at the old things and see them in a new way.” Here’s a small dose from Furies:
The play opens with a bang, followed by a whimper.
The bang, that of a pot crashing to the floor.
It was his mother, rheumatic, bleary eyes, an aproned trapezoid, who had burned her hand on the pot handle and cursed filthily in peasant-French, as the pot hit the kitchen floor, BANG, and the sauce splatted like fairytale blood.
Then came the whimper, escaping through the boy’s nostrils like a small wound announcing itself musically.
The boy, fair-haired, blade-boned, waifish, attempting to absorb and comprehend the architecture that is his mother, wagging her singed beefy hand ridged with sawtooth knuckles, his mother continuing to run coarse French profanities up a flagpole, his mother.
The boy, turning to the audience: I see her standing there and everything about her seems inappropriate, foreign, undesirable. What am I doing there in the kitchen? How did I fit in? My mother struck me as an ugly ominous preview of a culture that I rejected and despised on intuitive forecast alone. I knew before I knew. I had been born into a culture of organ-harvesters and eunuch-makers. I had sniffed out the war-mongering and indoctrination from the tender side of the womb. The chairs, the rolling pin, the forks and knives, the dropped pot, all of these belonged there, but me . . . It was like waking up in someone else’s dream, not just once, but always, a dream with scene changes so as to give the impression that things were moving, cycling, different, but really…