Selections from my novel, Bombyonder, were recently published in Redux (an earlier version of this piece appeared in the print publication Eleven Eleven) and the Prose Poem issue (guest edited by Abigail Beckel) of Beltway Poetry Quarterly. In this Beltway issue there's also work by Paulette Beete, Nancy Naomi Carlson, Grace Cavalieri, Gail Braune Comorat, J.K. Daniels, Christina Daub, Barbara Westwood Diehl, Danielle Evennou, David Gewanter, Barbara Goldberg, Michael Gushue, Daniel Gutstein, Donald Illich, Danuta Kosk-Kosicka, Caryn Lazzuri,Flavian Mark Lupinetti, Tony Mancus, David McAleavey, Chloe Yelena Miller, E. Ethelbert Miller, Lalita Noronha, A.K. Padovich, Elizabeth Poliner, Elisavietta Ritchie, Jane Satterfield, Diamond J. Sharp, Eleanor Bevil Tipton, Jessie van Eerden, Stacia Cyrene Yearwood.
I'm nearing the point where I need to decide how I'm going to release Bombyonder as a whole into the world. There are a handful of presses I have in mind to approach. Still researching others that I think would be open to this strange book. I'm also considering putting it out myself. Pros and cons to both options. I'm calling Bombyonder a "novel" and it mostly is, although I've been publishing pieces from it as "poetry," "prose," "fiction," "hybrid" or whatever the editor wants to call it. I used to care a lot more about how my work was labelled than I do now. If you have any suggestions for presses or you are an publisher interested in seeing the manuscript, let me know.
Here's a brief synopsis:
After agreeing to her father’s request to slit his throat so his much anticipated legacy can begin, the unnamed protagonist swallows his invention, a “kind” bomb in pill form. This triggers a psychic shattering of sorts which begins with her barfing up a dead bird that she is compelled to rebirth/replace/bury (she’s not sure) by embarking on a fragmented psychic excavation where she commits an additional murder of her husband Um, meets a parrot-faced cat girl and a boy on a donkey and then creates a new lover by decoupaging her husband’s corpse with denim and other household craft items.
Throughout the novel the protagonist struggles to recognize both the roots of her malaise and why she repeatedly searches for solutions/escape through her bizarre partnerships with men. She muddles through with help from her friend, Lily, a straight-texter who lives in a box inside a box and by mysterious, anonymous notes written to her by the Carries, her long gone female ancestors and the example of Medusa, her role model. When the protagonist finally acknowledges that romantic partnerships are not the way to improve on her situation, she connects with her unconceived brother, Rauan, who never existed (due to a genetic condition affecting all the women on her mother’s side that doesn’t allow male zygotes to develop in their wombs). Rauan desperately wants to connected with their abusive mother, the Worm Queen, while the protagonist makes plans to smother her to death with a pillow. Friction develops between the siblings who clearly desire different outcomes and as Rauan tries to overcome his non-conception to become a tangible, corporeal being.
Eventually the protagonist alone must face her worm-filled mother, avenge Rauan’s non-conception, figure out how to birth her vomit bird and through personal historical revisionism create a new life for herself and those she brings with her.
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You know, your typical realist fare.