One of the books I snagged at AWP is Jamie (James) Iridell's "When I Moved to Nevada." (Chapbook from Greying Ghost)
I thought it would be a while before I'd get to it (I have a tall stack of books behind my bed, some for interviews, some to help me sleep, narcotics, etc...) but today I pulled it out and I am glad I did.
I read some of it in bed, some of it in my recliner, and some of it in the bath,---and it's really wonderful. Like really good Denis Johnson. Like Jesus'-Son Dennis Johnson.
Here's an excerpt (one of many passages that really struck me):
"..we stepped over a thin dark trickle in the gutter. The stream ran up a short driveway and into the alley. It ran into the side of the man who'd been stabbed. He lay on his side, his breathing like a puppy's. People stood around passing cigarettes, but no one seemed to notice the guy. Jess and me agreed: get the hell out of there. But instead we knelt, our palms against the man's shoulder. 'Don't worry,' we said. 'You're going to be just fine.' "
(the section quoted above has kind of a Gabriel Garcia Marquez feel to it...at least the first three sentences do...)
"When I Moved to Nevada" is filled with snow, drugs, stars, bars and music.
It made me think (though it's very different) of Jon Leon's "Hit Wave" but, really, this book is very and wonderfully Denis Johnson. Good Denis Johnson. If you're a fan of Jesus' Son then Jamie's chapbook is definitely for you.