Thursday, 3 October 2013
419 by Will Ferguson
I had originally written: A car falling through darkness, and thought that it was okay, but then I realized I forgot the comma, and once having added it, realized the genius of it, despite how it sounds like bad, pretentious beatnik poetry:
A poem, oozing off the page, like,
Death, bossing around a fledgling businessman at a corporate food fair.
Anyway, fun aside, the opening scene reveals a car accident as seen in paragraph two:
End over end, one shuddering thud following another. Fountains of glass showering outward and then - a vacuum of silence collapsing back in.
For some reason I can't or don't want to get my head around the image of a vacuum of silence collapsing back in. So, then I define this as overwriting. Mr. Writer has a scene of interest but he's trying to smooth talk me with figurative language and a Thesaurus. We have only one adjective but two metaphors - talk about pregnant. Perhaps this is a prerequisite to winning awards: fountains of words showering outward and then...a vacuum of mystification collapsing back in.
With the third paragraph the writer starts to come down from his verbose high and speak an English we all know and love, at least with the first sentence; the second, however, introduces a POV switch and more low-frequency vocabulary words one might only hear at Starbucks:
You could see the path it had taken through the snow, leaving a churned trail of mulch and wet leaves in its wake.
Um, no, I can't see that? How can I - I'm not there. At least I don't think I'm in this story. Who's you? You?
First thing said:
"Sir, can you hear me?"
A favorite sentence style:
Glass, catching the light.
A sky heavy with the promise of rain. (I think he forgot a comma after sky)
And of course: A car, falling through darkness.
Definitely a travel writer he was.
Verdict: Pass (barely)