10/9/11

An Interpretive History of Addition

The first issue of Uncanny Valley is out, featuring work from Brian Oliu, Tim Dicks, Roxane Gay, Laura LeHew, Roxanne Carter, Samuel Smith, Robert Alan Wendeborn, Candra Kolodziej, Rachel Adams, and Blake Butler, as well as my short fiction, "An Interpretive History of Addition." The print edition is really, really nice, with a format similar to Re/Search (or the sadly defunct Your Flesh Quarterly), and comes with a special message from the editors, but you can also get the e-version for just $3, if you're into that.

Here's one of the Alferd Packer sections of "An Interpretive History of Addition,"
On April 16, 1874, a Thursday, Alferd Packer came down out of the San Juan Mountains at Saguache, Colorado, his pockets lined with the blood- and snow-wet dollars of his traveling companions one hundred miles behind him in Slumgullion Pass. His right hand was severely frostbitten, all but a single fingertip black with gangrene. Packer wandered the town, asking for news of the lost prospectors and spending their money freely.

The tavern keeper in Saguache claimed that, except for his hand, Packer looked quite fit: “Mighty well saddled, and snow-burnt like a joint that ain’t had enough time at the fire.” He did not look like someone who had spent sixty days without food.

Freed from the tiny municipal jail in Sagauche at the sheriff’s deputy’s hand, Packer lived for nine years under the name John Schwartze, revealing perhaps a streak of the poet until he was again apprehended in Cheyenne, Wyoming, by a man who had seen a wanted poster of him in the local post office. His escape from prosecution in Colorado was only realized when Harper’s John A. Randolph came to Lake City with a sketch showing the results of his excursion into Slumgullion Pass: five bodies arranged in an arc, one with defense wounds, as though downed in a struggle, all reduced to bone and hair.