I can remember the store where I bought this book but not the time of year; the price I paid ($10) but not the meal I passed up. The book was on sale and the cover was intriguing. I dip into the short fictions (just like I shock myself with Christian Bok) to remind me what is possible, what is new — Wire and String is now 12 years old! — what possibility will always await words. Each section of the book (divided into Sleep, God, Food, The House, …) is tailed by a list of terms. Some are quite hokey in their humour, such as Western Worship Boxes, which after the briefest moment of contemplation you realise are coffins, and Nitzel’s Gamble  “The act or technique of filling the lungs with water. The chance was first taken by the Nitzel in Green River”. Or titles like Dog, Mode of Heat Transfer in Barking or Intercourse with Resuscitated Wife. Wire and String possesses (marvel at all those esses it possesses) a sense of humour that has no punch-line-in-waiting. It is a very serious humour, seriously, that kindles a smile only felt by the front teeth.


Our Mother, a Catholic stone-writer, carver of the form, published a book at Albany in the year of 1989 concerning the weather used underground. In it, we can find (taken from Ruth Connor, her mother) the true cure of many weathers, including the hail bed-ripplings, backward wind, yellowness, and nonvertical rain.

p. 41 -For if you shall enclose the warm wind of a storm in the shell and white of an egg, which is heated on the boneless coating of the belly, and this wind, being mixed with the hair of a storm witness, you give to a hungry boy, the weather departs from the sky into the boy.

– The Method She Employs Against That Which Cannot Be Seen from The Age of Wire and String, Ben Marcus