Yellow Bricks

Paperback: 97 pp.
Published: 1999

Price: $16.95




In this, Brodsky's first book of short fictions, you're likely to find yourself in absurdity's line of fire, the ammo consisting of an insurance agent, adept at selling policies covering impregnation by aliens; a milquetoast husband, whose nagging wife communicates with him via Post-it Note commands; a quarter-ton Jujyfruits addict, who receives direct-from-the-factory shipments of his sole source of sustenance; a family man, who abruptly leaves his wife and kids, then returns, just as abruptly, two decades later, ready for dinner; and a ravenous traveler, overcome by the Tex-Mex mystique of a Missouri hotel restaurant, whose mascot is a three-foot-long iguana. In addition, you'll be shot through by the armor-piercing language and ballistic behavior of a South St. Louis auto-factory-assembly-line worker, a man's man, who appreciates the finer things in life: brewskies and pigskin action.

Beware! Yellow Bricks is a shooting-gallery full of fictional hot lead.





Early Death by Future Shock

Lately, his awakenings have been delayed revelations, causes not for celebration but concern over the state of his union: he's felt dissociated, scattered, like a bead of mercury splattered by a child wielding a hammer.

He suspects future shock is the culprit, the insidious superimposition of change on stasis, his profound wish to remain complacent, content with his industrial-revolution pace. He's terrified of cyberspace, the rate at which technology replicates itself day to day to day.

How to keep up? How to stay sane, alive? These are the quintessential issues that assail him. He knows impermanence has become his nemesis, that he's a rootless tree, a forest, really, exposed to a tornado showing no sign of dying. All his old beliefs in institutions (nation, religion, family, occupation) are as ephemeral as generations that succeed each other every three days, not at three-decade intervals.

What can he do now? He's afraid even to switch on that one concession he's made with his meager disposable income: a PC, which might begin the awesome project of getting him back on the road toward progress, readmit him to the human race, whose present exposure to future shock is so exponentially pervasive no one knows from hour to minute to nanosecond whether he, she, it will still exist come sunset, if viral spores, cyborgs, microchips, or other evolving forms will have taken control of earth's swarming petri dish.

Lately, this curious morning no exception, he's been awakening like a revitalized mummy, cosmetically plugging the hole trepanned in his skull. His empty thoughts, empty memory, empty senses remind him death is dependable, user-friendly.



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