What drew me to the poems of Jamie Thomas was how the poet’s eye functioned. These poems are selective in what they reveal, and with that, are filmic. We only see what is presented in the shot. In both pieces, we enter into a narrative scene that plays out linearly and each progression or turn leads to its own quiet epiphanic moment. In “Dialogue in the Suburbs”, the camera moves in from an aerial overview of the topography of the suburbs into a close shot of the speaker grilling in his backyard. Thomas uses constant subversive threats illustrated by his clever and careful word choice in a scene that could otherwise be banal both in content and execution. It’s not a chain link fence, but a “cyclone fence.” At any moment, a storm could come and upend everything. This vanilla and planned community of identical houses and gridded streets resembles the “spines” of “prehistoric…fossils.”
When we began The Offending Adam earlier this year, one of our aims was to truly take advantage of the online medium. We didn’t want to produce yet another online journal that for all intents and purposes took its form from print: monthly or seasonal updates of what were static issues. We wanted to create an interactive experience between writer, reader, and editor and to draw a bridge between those often-disparate entities in this bizarre little process in which we take part. Thus far, however, for all our good intentions we have still been largely confined by text. With our continued progression in mind, I am proud to introduce Ashley David’s “An Elegy: Fine Things, Flip-side(s) & Transformation,” a compelling presentation on postmodern elegy that actively plays and pushes on the boundaries of creative and academic work, one which weaves elements of Roland Barthes, Marianne Moore, Robert Frost, David’s own personal history, nursery rhymes, and others. David describes the work as a “performance of theory” and she accomplishes that. It is a piece that embodies all of the qualities we had in mind when beginning our journal.