Catchin' the Drift o' the Draft
Paperback: 96 pp.
When you enter L.D. Brodsky’s Catchin’ the Drift o’ the Draft, you find yourself in the surreal world of a master satirist. Imagine staring into a mirror and recognizing your reflection as that of a chimpanzee, before you swing to work on a vine, or consider the possibility that you and your spouse are the newest additions to the ape house at the zoo, where your every move is being scrutinized.
Prepare yourself for Brodsky’s auto-factory-assembly-line worker from south St. Louis, who takes the stage in six pieces that set up a chronological continuity around which the other fictions swirl. His humor is boisterous, whimsical, condemnatory, at times even self-deprecating, his language a study in fractured English that nonetheless debunks conventional wisdom and political correctness, exposing the cant and hypocrisy of 1990s America.
These fast-paced fictions, about persons bedeviled by phobias and physical afflictions arising from the realities of old age, racism, and too-rapid change, are pieces of life that examine the world and revel in its absurdities. If Jonathan Swift, Franz Kafka, and Richard Brautigan could collaborate, the result might be Catchin’ the Drift o’ the Draft, a highly original, satirical, and altogether entertaining collection of forty-one short short fictions. Delight in them.
My Life as an Egg Beater
The human organism is a very complex scheme. I take this truism on faith, take it to mean that the sky's the limit when eating's at stake: binging, starving, and everything in between, thirsting, drinking to satiety, getting inebriated when all else fails. Otherwise, how could I, when I'm not even hungry, possibly order Egg Beaters with mushrooms — no potatoes or even garnish on the plate — dry toast with "lite" margarine on the side, and decaf coffee, knowing that each is loaded, teeming with tasteless or artificially flavored, colorless or dyed toxins, hidden, insidious chemicals, contaminants, death particles disguised as natural ingredients, low-/no-fat, low-/no-cholesterol agents tamed, like isotopes, to yield societal benefits, make life easier to manage, promote waistlines svelte or at least not oozing over the belt?
The human organism is a miracle, synecdoche for ecosystem, global village, galaxy, a victory garden, unassailed in its diversity. How incredible that certain of the species Homo sapiens can smoke cigarettes — crave nicotine, tars, inhale carcinogens as they would pure oxygen — and not asphyxiate themselves, destroy their lips, gums, lungs, and nails. Oh, and other substance abuse — tranquilizers, opiates, vitamins, pain relievers that alter our minds and bodies — our national pastime: addiction.
Naturally, I have good days and bad, moments when I think I see through all this, penetrate to the truth's absolute — that each human being is living proof that existence isn't an aberration but a Rube Goldberg gizmo, a DNA locomotive out of control, a spaceship to Uranus two quarts low — and Prozac moments when I don't give a shit.