Pski’s Porch Publishing
In an age of literature where irony is dying out faster than you can say Tao Lin, author Fin Sorrel is teaming up with Pski’s Porch Publishing to prove that, for some, it’s as alive as ever.
Sorrel saw the release of his new short story collection Caramel Floods this year and to call the work surreal doesn’t really begin to cover it.
Take the following for example:
“Been tendrils, snake wired effects, snore from lungs, the leafless tree at seventy miles an hour, and falling / The skin is the leather, the hands are the stories to little rock — An orange mist in the eye — A giant and a puppy —
It took the length of mazes to thin purple crushed velvet almost a century even trade avocado to the tongue and feed the mind its alphabet, Conway sign is pointed out pebbles and the semi’s are like wandering cows and make the mud flaps into curled lips.”
Sorrel is clearly tossing narrative out the window and plot devices, for the most part. What he’s replaced those with are acrobatics the likes of which I’ve rarely seen before. While reading his collection for review I often stopped to read parts to friends. More often than not, those listening would be equally as confused as they were impressed. This is a kind of success difficult to attain.
To be as linguistically inventive as Sorrel manages to be so consistently in Caramel Floods takes a lot of hard work. And I can’t stress the trait of inventiveness enough. The language pouring through the collection is an endless parade of fireworks, fireworks in which every explosion is entirely unique from the one immediately before it.
Take as another example the beginning section of the story “Year In a Seahorse”:
“My mind is still a balloon full of helium. I am wandering the shale cliff, I store a few balloons, and a dream, like a good idea, in your home. I found a glass of water in the forest vines, and filled my wandering legs without a doctor.”
In perfect honesty, it took me a few stories into the book to warm up to Sorrel’s pacing and loop-de-loops. My writer mind, no matter how experimental and fun-loving, still seeks out a semblance of formed plot and character development, et cetera. And that’s not to say there isn’t some of that in Caramel Floods. But it is at all times secondary to language.
With a creative abandon unmatched by most writers working today, Fin Sorrel jumps boundaries and builds new ones and then hides them in this story collection. He creates new phrases and immediately puts them up for adoption to the reader’s mind. The risks at play in Caramel Floods is, I can safely say, charting a new course in literature for its author. And I have a notion that’s exactly what he was hoping for.