Friday, October 20, 1978

Long Island Poetry Collective Newsletter reviews Richard Grayson's DISJOINTED FICTIONS

The Long Island Poetry Collective Newsletter reviews Richard Grayson's Disjointed Fictions in its current (October 1978) issue:

Disjointed Fictions. Stories by Richard Grayson ($3.00 from X, A Journal of the Arts. PO Box 2648, Harrisburg, PA 17105)

So what’s a person who mostly reads poetry and non-fiction doing with a book of stories? Fact is that lots of modern fiction is innovative, defiant of form, and often less self-conscious, more daring than most poetry we read. We see an evolving open form, assimilating poetic advances and rapidly transcending category. Read aloud, it even sounds great. In Disjointed Fictions, things fall into place . . . or seem to . . . or maybe not. Richard Grayson is frequently witty, nearly always irreverent; we catch him in the midst of talking to himself, trying to put it all together, commenting on the process of writing, managing to skirt self-indulgence as he steps and out of his stories. He tries for scope and simultaneity with mixed results, though; his connections are often tenuous, the parts sometimes refuse to link. Maybe it’s intended; the book’s title implies as much. Grayson is most effective when he works in direct forms. “Progress” is a bizarre but understated tale reminiscent of “The Twilight Zone” and works very well for me. “The Facts Are Always Friendly” is ingenious, successfully developing characters through news briefs covering all the days of Winter 1972-73. Disjointed Fictions appears as Issue #5 of X, A Journal of the Arts, and is perfectbound with endpapers. Unfortunately the entire thirty-eight pages of text are set in an italic typewriter face, without leading, a poor design choice resulting in margin legibility. The $3.00 price tag seems steep and is sure to discourage many who would enjoy the book.

– George William Fisher