Goodbye Toothless House, by Kelly Fordon
When I heard the river rushing toward me, I didn’t run.
I saw a long line of cars. I saw a big white house. The ground was mottled and abraded like the back of a buffalo. I saw a chicken coop, a muddy ditch, the padded cell of the sky.
In deceptively familiar language, Kelly Fordon turns the reader’s gaze just a few degrees left, to an elegiaic, apocalyptic, nearly unbearable vision of ordinary life, where everyday transgressions pare down the self to an elemental, alien form.
“With words as effective and as cunningly crafted as newly sharpened knives, a relentless insistence, and stunning wordplay, Fordon gives voice to those trapped behind the idyllic façade.” — Gloria Whelan, author Homeless Bird, National Book Award winner
It was the morning after, the tough rows to hoe, the scrub brush of babies and midnight feedings, Kansas before the witch’s stockings and the wizard’s charade. No tree of life, just my chalky fingers on the window pane, just my face pressed against the glass. --excerpts from "On the Train I Thought of Chagall"