StartleResponse.com

preface to going out in daylight*

Author: hthr

  • Mole Fizz & GHOSTS

    Boris Dralyuk’s translation of Yevtushenko’s “People” expounds that in mortality, “it isn’t people but whole worlds that perish.” With the entry of Mole Fizz into circulation among word lovers, we move slightly closer to the worlds we lost in Michael Ball. I suspect they were vast and many, and perhaps sometimes terrifying but also euphoric….

  • Callimachus & the Open Sea

    Around the time COVID lockdown lifted and we extenuated souls began venturing out to rediscover our masked community, I heard Old Songs perform from Callimachus at Normals Books & Records in Baltimore. I have since practically worn that CD out in my Toyota Tacoma sound system. That music is pure solace as I drive home…

  • Hitchhiker Revenant

    from The Rest of Your Unnatural Life, by Heather Fuller Sherilee lingered in the ocean until the man holding binoculars on the pier retreated to the dockside bar. Each time a wave broke against her torso, her bikini with the side string ties slipped to expose the cleft of her ass or a crescent of…

  • “Common Phantoms” & Revenant Tales

    Ghost stories have enthralled me since I was a kid. My home state North Carolina is rife with them. It is, after all, the locus of the notorious Devil’s Tramping Ground near Siler City and the Uhwarrie Forest “lights.” Even where I live in Carolina Beach, locals report a rotating cadre of apparitions haunting the…

  • Stairwell Revenant

    from The Rest of Your Unnatural Life, by Heather Fuller The ear on the sidewalk outside the emergency room was unequivocally human. Its helix curved elegantly into a pert lobe bearing the dimple of a retracted piercing. The triangular fossa still framed the shadows of the ear’s superior contours. Even the tragus remained intact, implying…

  • The Baudelaire Fractal & Carolyn Friedlander’s Fabric Design #19928

    TODAY at StartleResponse.com we pair an inventive novel by one of the avant-garde’s clarion voices and a sumptuous textile crafted in Japan. Lisa Robertson’s The Baudelaire Fractal appeared inconspicuously in the mail-order listings of Bridge Street Books in 2020, in the early days of the COVID pandemic. Bridge Street was one of my lifelines while…

  • Napoleon & the Classic Negroni

    Today at StartleResponse.com we pay homage to process. StartleResponse.com possesses great reverence for process, the act of methodically and thoughtfully working through an undertaking. That undertaking could be as simple as brewing an espresso or writing a thank-you note. There is something highly satisfying about applying process to these tasks. Do we buy our coffee…

  • Poor Gal & The Southerly

    TODAY WE PAIR POOR GAL WITH SOUTHERN DELICACIES While many citizens retreated, and anti-vaxxers anti-vaxxed, and the healthcare worker universe became an insular and obsessed organism, Dan Gutstein maintained a singular focus. Yes, the context of which I speak is the COVID pandemic. You know it well. You might have been tele-working, living in a…

  • Buck Downs & Dan Post

    StartleResponse.com shouts out to Buck Downs‘ Unintended Empire, a project showcasing both a writer and bookmaker (Furniture Press) at the top of their craft. As I noted in the preface to the book, the selection of poems typifies the muscular lyrical emotiveness of the writer’s work: The powder keg of aching loss meets a persistently altered physical…