david-ohle

Motorman, David Ohle’s 1972 debut, which we’re not even going to attempt to sum up here because you should just trust us and read it, is one of very few novels that can honestly be described as wholly original. None other than Gordon Lish deemed the book one of his favorites. But after its release, David completely vanished from the literary landscape, not publishing another novel for 32 years. Motorman promptly went out of print and until recently could only be obtained via photocopied bootlegs that were clandestinely distributed among a cult of devout followers. The below story is a hitherto unpublished investigation of the mutant anatomy of turtle boys, appropriately accompanied by photos of the dissection of a turtle.

Reading certain books and pamphlets brought to the Professor’s mind memories of Angel Ozalo, the first turtle boy, Iceland born, who had a remarkable career exhibiting himself in medical fora and symposia (for a fee, of course). His home base was St. Thomas, and he was well known in Royal Society circles for his three-leggedness. Many wanted to amputate the extra leg for their museum collections, but he knew its show value and refused. The additional leg was an evagination of the sacrum, and it was insensate. The knee was fused and unbendable, but he could still flap it under his left thigh and strap it there like a flamingo does during sleep. Half of the flamingos known to the Professor were left-footed anyway. So Angel went on with seeming agility, unencumbered.

The Professor wrote a little commemorative poem dedicated to Angel:

Turtle Boy, oh, Turtle Boy,
Sprung from hot springs,
Only 18 inches high.
Wondrous legs, no kneecaps
To scrape or joints within them.

Play your drums, boy,
Play your drums,
Your flute and panpipes too.
King Dodo, after all.

One evening the Professor presented a learned lecture on a bird-headed turtle boy who he’d captured in Sumatra. It had to be smuggled off the island because he had no waiver and refused to pay duty. He spared no expense on the boy’s toilet and had imported two-headed-turtle-oil cream for lubricating his testicle bag.

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Check out this lovely batch of small press gems from Small Press Distribution!

Joanna Penn Cooper will be here - at the Brooklyn store - tonight!

Jenn lurves Chelsea Hodson and the bite-sized series from Future Tense Books. 

Emily loves Gary Lutz’s sentences, David Ohle’s strangeness, and Jenny Boully’s creepiness.

And TRIBUTE by Anne Germanacos intrigues us: it blurs the lines between fiction and nonfiction and prose and poetry while exploring eros and grief. Blurbed by Maggie Nelson and reminiscent of Anne Carson, what more reason do you need to check it out?

A friend and I had a discussion about my way of composing, and his. He was a journalist who wrote non-fiction exclusively. He found it strange that my way was to see the people, places, and events as I wrote about them. He said he always saw only the words on paper—screen now—with no visual equivalent. This is perhaps why the reader feels there—because of this approach, the reader is not so much looking at words but moving pictures.
—  David Ohle
What draws me to this landscape/dreamscape again and again is probably very much like what attracts a gamer to his game world. It’s a gnarly place where anything can happen, but you’re in control of what does. Getting there for me as a writer and reporting about it is accomplished with a simple formula: take current trends and add time. The more time I add, the more ruin I see… My narrative style is camera-eye, almost entirely visual. I ‘see’ what goes on in these bleak places and times, and I like being there just long enough to write it down.
—  David Ohle
Il presidente ha oggi dichiarato: «Stamane, nei pressi di una scuola, mi sono imbattuto in un bambino colono che faceva girare una trottola ricavata da una vescica di paca. Memore di quando anch'io ero un bambino e facevo girare le trottole, mi sono offerto di mostrare al piccolo alcuni utili trucchetti. Il bambino mi ha consegnato la trottola e il cordino sudicio, per poi osservarmi con occhi sgranati mentre facevo roteare la trottola veloce, veloce, sempre più veloce, sferzandola con il cordino fino a farla levitare. Nel frattempo si è radunata una piccola folla, e qualcuno ha detto: “Signor presidente, non ci aveva mai parlato di questo suo talento.” Ho risposto:“E’ tempo di abbndonare le cose dell'infanzia. A partire dalla mezzanotte di oggi entrerà in vigore una nuova legge. D'ora in poi, le trottole saranno bandite. No alle trottole, per un mondo senza trottole. I violatori saranno violati in modo ancora da stabilirsi. Buonanotte, popolo. Possa Arvey riposare in pace, e ogni cosa rimanere in equilibrio."»
— 

Presidente Ratt (David Ohle, L'era di Sinatra)

…sarà l'atmosfera delirante, ma il libro si adatta particolarmente alla giornata.