Tears in your eyes spoke to the disappointment; how union gains ultimately fell back upon the common laborers exploited on American farms. you tell me nothing’s changed. i’m not sure how to feel. i wash some carrots down with water. somebody picked these vegetables and cut and peeled them, or ran a big machine out there, over the earth. someone with a family and maybe all alone. i remember Dolores shouting si se puede! si se puede! si se puede! she brought a smile to the workers and some hope. maybe that’s all that matters. tired from the day, i lay me down to sleep. tomorrow i will revisit the law at it pertains to my chosen profession, and watch the first of the leaves fall.
i dreamt a flag whose meaning shifted
brought down before the law
then it happened
spraypaint me colorful
i can taste the rainbow
This is ONLY my favorite tale from my favorite author. I have literally made a pilgrimage to Faulkner’s home in Oxford, MS on more than one occasion. It helped of course that my good friend Oso Negro was living there and working on his PhD at Ole Miss. But I swear I would have gone anyway! Faulkner was my mentor, as I developed my own writing style over the years.
Faulkner’s stream-of-consciousness writing style does not disappoint here. My experience reading this narrative can only be described as the feeling you get when arriving to your favorite body of water for laps in the undisturbed fog at dawn… diving into the lukewarm greenblue with cap and goggles and bathing suit all melted into you… and swimming slowly with a flutter of toes, cutting a clean line from page to page, beginning to end, melting into the body of water. Immaculate read from begin to end. More like a long poem, pages and pages without the constraint of constant unbearable punctuation.
Yes, with Faulkner, you the reader must be willing to work hard at times to figure out what’s going on. But Intruder in the Dust was an unstoppable regular strong heartbeat pumping a cry of justice through my veins. The cry of justice is a subtle sound that grows louder to the point where it is almost deafening by the end. I wish I could spoil, because there is a late night movement into the heart of darkness, which casts a wonderful spell over the whole work.
In this masterpiece (and lesser-praised, lesser-known of his works), the narrative focuses through the eyes of a young boy, son of a benevolent lawyer who is self-appointed to defend a black man accused of murder in the deep south at a time when being a black man in the deep south is, well — painful…impossible. You get a To Kill a Mockingbird feel from this book.
What I love about Intruder In the Dust is that I had already made my way with a great stubborn desire through most of Faulkner’s long catalogue of works, from the ones that brought him fame and fortune to the relative sleepers ‘the Mansion and ‘the Town’ (I really did use those tales to help me fall asleep, I confess!). I expected this one to be as dry and unbecoming as the aforementioned works.
Instead you get a delightful taste of the master at his level best. I believe his use of the boy through whose eyes we see all the insensate cruelties of the adult world around him, makes for a clear and sensitive treatment of the tale. You also have to wonder if this tale got less mass appeal for the same reason. More cryptic works like the Sound and the Fury have patterned coded truths embedded in them for academia to pick apart and decipher. This work is very straightforward.
As a writer, I simply had to absorb every word of the masterful Faulkner. This work is captivating and unusually heartfelt. Read it. Feel it. A good primer for anyone new to William Faulkner. If I was teaching ninth grade English, I would put it on the reading list for American literature,for sure. I keep it on my shelf. Physical.
She had to stop, finally. Stop and let it all catch up. For christs sake! she was third person self-referential… couple hundred miles north of LA. (that is confidential). She clear broke some memory divide back in November, cause November was gone. She knew she would hold out on herself until November. Now here she had overplayed herself, overworked her sedentary nerve, shit. This was no joke. ER material. Like microwaving your bagel a minute beyond life. The day in the life of some bread. From soft sweet breakfast treat to hard candy red. To go screaming across the sea of head and neck buoys, direct into the goiter of (too much information).
His tired eyes rose like a dawn rocker of the mission style rhetoric. Five fingers down low asking for a slow ball over grande central station. He was used to being on standby, or standby rotation. He blamed this on his eyes. Poor tired eggwhites, dark marbles in the middle. The kind of eyes that stare at you and permit you one last breath.
The hands gripped down on twelve oclock. The trial had ended by then. He was clearly innocent. Turned and smiled toward his only friend. Caught the yellowed teeth of one of his many hated accusers, instead. Where was she?
Meet the opposing party’s interpreter at the bistro two blocks down from city lights. Where the long legged gal in white tights butters up to wheat ciabatta. Ha. There she was! Drinking her bombay tonic and his. Saphirre in her eyes. Somebody’s damages would cover the lunch check.
The olive oil days were over. He should have known. He beat his head into the mahoganey like Perry Mason lost a case. So began the vinegar taste in the back of his throat, phase. He felt a feeling he knew well. All his bones shifted like some skeleton robot gone up and shorted out. Computer dissociative.
Off some where walking now with the interpreter was the girl. Saturnine with a lemon twist. Her freckles, sun kissed. The new fucking smart phone attache foreplay. Distraction impact high and non-resistant. She made a lovely nouveau interpreter’s assistant.
Not no store bought, this jam he had got himself in now, praying with a cigarrette out on the steps of the halls of justice. This jam was more like apricot preserves or some shit. Some district attorney’s intern’s intern, gave him a menacing look and an evil eye. No smoking on the steps to the halls of justice. Dummy.