Last Friday, Peach published two poems by el pearson. pearson’s style goes beyond brutal honesty into a realm of self-actualizing internal examination. Both poems grapple with sobriety and the various minute victorious and torturous failures inherent within the drive toward it. The first poem, “on the third day you will wake up and realize it’s already too late”, is filled with the anguished despair of a bout of sobriety dashed to pieces before it’s barely even started. pearson’s second poem, “our lady of perpetual mistakes”, reads simply and powerfully, “desperately clawing myself from one evil to another / once you get clean there’s still the rest of your life.”
Animals Eat Each Other
By Elle Nash
Dzanc Books / 2018 / Novel
Elle Nash’s debut novel is a tightly wound coil of razor wire prose. Animals Eat Each Other is told from the perspective of an initially nameless narrator, a young woman just out of high school who finds herself drifting aimlessly through the motions of her desolate hometown as she “did not know yet what it was like to be needed all the time.” This seemingly universal feeling of purposelessness brings her into the orbit of Matt and Frankie, two young unwed parents looking to incorporate the narrator into their relationship in a series of increasingly sinister ways.
As the polyamorous relationship becomes increasingly dark and dangerous, the narrator finds herself dissolving into the needs of both Frankie and Matt, becoming a pet and a scapegoat for their fears and fantasies. “How does an obsession grow? Slowly, like a mold? The spores settle unseen and then blooms form, devouring any open brainscape. The genitals become infected quickly. I’m not sure how this process works exactly. A feedback loop. Mycelium reaches out, ridge by beating ridge, a thought, a heart rate rises, a feeling like sex or love, then another thought. Each pulse a quickening like river beneath the soil.” This is a portrayal of intimacy so desperate it leaves a bruised timeline across the lives of its characters. In Animals Eat Each Other, Nash has written a love story of disintegrating identity that hurtles forward with the taught tension of a mystery novel and the fury of a drunken breakup letter.
“Peach Picks” is a column of literary news and recommendations written by the editors of Peach Mag, an online literary magazine based in Buffalo, New York. For inquiries, contact the editors at firstname.lastname@example.org.