Michael C. Keith
Perspective Drifts Like a Log on a River
Partly inspired by the acclaimed work of American short story writers Lydia Davis and Joy Williams, Perspective Drifts Like a Log on a River explores the full range of human emotions and behavior in a laconic style imbued with rich humor and profound irony. Often autobiographical, as well as powerfully imagined, the pensees in this collection will take the reader on a sojourn across landscapes both familiar and exotic. Of the many story collections by the author, Perspective Drifts Like a Log on a River comes closest to demonstrating the full reach of his imagination and creative powers. Illustrations by his wife Susanne Riette enhance the book.
This book consists of what the French call pensees–thoughts or reflections put into literary form. They are what Ray Bradbury referred to as “A particular form of writing. It’s prose poetry. It’s evocative. It tries to be metaphorical.” I like that, because I think it comes closest to describing what exists between these covers–prose poetry that aspires to be both evocative and metaphorical.
My friend really doesn’t read books. He just wants people to think that. What he actually does is buy tomes with pithy titles to dazzle people with his sophistication. He then asks if they’d like to read them when he’s done. If they say yes–and they usually do, because they want to look smart, too–he goes through the books and dog-ears them at 100 page intervals to give the impression he’s read them with sustained interest.
I told my friends that for years I haven’t been able to stop writing. Morning, noon, and night words pour out of me. That’s wonderful, they said. You must have many books to your credit by now. I said no. That, in fact, I didn’t have anything that constituted a full text. They were surprised and asked why. I answered that while the words keep flowing from my brain unabated they just don’t seem to be able to assemble themselves into a coherent whole.