I only have an hour to write this. My Mac has stopped taking a charge, and soon I will be without a computer until I make the drive out to the Mac store in the 'burbs. I'm told that when you take your computer into the Mac store, they run a UV light over the machine, looking for bodily fluids (semen, blood, the like). If your computer is corrupted by these fluids, the quarantined machine is immediately wrapped in a plastic bag and handed back with tongs. I imagine this is quite an embarrassing event. I also imagine most of us have something on or at least in our machines that we want no one to see, no one to know about—including the teenager who works as a Mac Genius in Metairie, Louisiana. My situation seems an apt metaphor for a discussion of Kendra Grant Malone's work. First, there is the pressure of time. Each poem with its curt little lines, each line unit standing alone, is over as soon as it is uttered. The lack of punctuation and traditional capitalization creates an ephemeral quality that explores the lack of permanence in the speaker's relationship with others that's echoed in this selection's content. As soon as her first poem ends with the solitary word "moment," it is over, and we are left alone, disquieted. As a reader, I have momentarily achieved connection, but now that connection is gone.
While we normally feature poetry here at The Offending Adam, we are delighted today to present Chuck Rosenthal's piece of magic journalism, "My Chicken, Obsidian," set in Topanga Canyon, a funky residential enclave located outside of Los Angeles. Historian Carey McWilliams' seminal work on California is entitled Southern California: An Island on the Land and while reading Rosenthal's funny, ironic, and poetic portrait, one cannot help but appreciate that sentiment of one who inhabits such a baffling and beautiful island on the land that is Los Angeles and its surrounding locale.