From a novel to be published (with exquisite cover art, for what that's worth) by Harper Perennial in June:
When you grow up you can be anything, they said, but that's a lie too. So I go to band practice and plug in the Twin Reverb, the Stratocaster, and the noise is a beautiful plane crashing into my face. So I make a gun with my finger and thumb and aim heavenward. So I dream of a landscape, this one, darkened by the slow rolling shadows of cloud-sized tits.
Got your attention, at least. Hey, I don't really know what to make of the cloud-sized tits either, but as idylls dreamed up by electric guitar players I won't deny a certain vocational harmony. Surely the boobs-in-sky motif was established long ago in the annals of misogynist album covers?* Once upon a time, you'll remember, rock and roll was genuinely offensive. Why hold the modern rock novelist to higher standards?
"What's wrong with being sexy?" Nigel Tufnel famously asked.
Except, shouldn't they be tit-shaped clouds? If said formation is rolling over a landscape, they are clouds, right, not just cloud-sized? Granted, the narrator is daydreaming, so perhaps poetic license is due, but when I try to imagine breasts large enough to shade whole neighborhoods what comes to mind is a Terry Gilliam animation from some old Monty Python film. Can it be long before the giant tits attack?
Anyway, back to the paragraph: not to the perhaps grating repetition of so to begin three consecutive sentences, but rather to "the noise is a beautiful plane crashing into my face." Arguably, this line does exactly what much good poetry sets out to — it knocks the reader off-balance (and therein trains the reader's attention) by turning a familiar image or metaphor into something utterly unexpected. Though in this case, maybe it's unexpected but just strange. Such is the subjective nature of poetry. You'd want to read the rest of the poem, at least another stanza or two, before deciding. And so it goes when we don't know whether we can trust the novelist. Whaddayathink?
* A $20 Powell's Card to the first person who can point me to an actual album cover featuring disembodied breasts hovering like dirigibles in the sky. Such artwork must exist, but I can't recall an album off-hand.
Update: Find the author and title.
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Books mentioned in this post
Dave is the author of Out of the Book, Volume 3: State by State