by Mark Wisniewski. 2001 154 pp. Leaping Dog Press, PO Box 222605 Chantilly, VA 20153-2605
Book Review by Michael Basinski
Ear for the spoken language got Mark Wisniewski and the ability to record it and not sound to this ear fake makes these stories even better and he is not recording his dream of the sophisticated language of a Brit lord or, God helps us, a Professor of writing! Mark, I imagine, is the kinda guy you find in your mind from when you used to hang out at the gas station or the roller rink or the bar tender at Terry and Dan’s or Pete’s Hilltop, or Howie’s or Stankowski’s and he is not a guy you remember from bars that might be called The Lilly Pad or Way Cool Sport Bar. But you might remember him out of the corner of your eye and you told him stories and you could not pick him our of a crowd but you are in HIS imagination, an imagination that has stationed itself in the midst of lives of the regular, mostly boring, trauma filled lives of people you see in supermarkets. Yeah - these stories are the stories of people you see in supermarkets, somewhat disformed (not the art of his short stories) - the people, who are a bit fat, a bit dirty, not unattractive but not very beautiful. The type of people who once drove their cars into viaducts or trains, whose mother’s jump out of sky-scrapers, who husbands leave them with three children, etc. So these stories then ring true, true in the sense that somehow in some magnificent way he, Wisneiwski, has molded these under interesting people in to a prose that accurately identifies all the things in their shopping carts, like taco sauce (hot), and Little Debbie’s Hot Cross Buns, and Colgate and the such like slicing off a finger. It is a frightening thing what this writer can see, as if he were peering through a bee-bee hole in the plate glass window of your heart, soul and mind and found that in there all the blood or broken hearts and souls and brains were not much more that a pile of laundry or stale rolls of reality, Popsicle sticks. Yes, in there, in the soul and heart and guts we are all very strange individuals. Once Wiz let’s YOU peak at his peep-show the juices wont stop.