on Jan. 22, 2012 :
I came to Hosho through a circuitous path: He and I share space in the special novel-excerpts issue of Sententia magazine, and I loved his prose so much that when I had the opportunity later to make a play for a free copy of one of Hosho's poetry collections in a PoetHound giveaway, I leapt at it -- and, to my great good fortune, won. And Hosho's poetry is just astounding. So weirdly melodious is his language that you sometimes forget how stark and spare his writing can be.
Returning to Hosho's prose in Something That's True was a nice reminder of what he can do with sentences and paragraphs, which is in some ways very similar to his poetry -- so spare and unforgiving -- and in some ways so very different. Something That's True, which reads at first like a throw-back story, some mid-80s Carver knock-off of blue-collar life and broken relationships, is actually a haunting modern morality play, in which the strip-clubber is a suffering saint and the town sheriff is a quiet sort of villain without ever resorting to cliches of corruption or gunplay, and the violence we encounter is a violence of the heart, subtle and more damaging for it.
I've not yet read enough of Hosho's work -- I yearn to read more -- but so far I think perhaps his most defining characteristic as a writer is his ability to sneak up on you, presenting poetry or prose that seems at first so pedestrian you want to take it for granted and then, from the inside, unleashing revelation, heartbreak, insight, and a dozen other emotional onslaughts. He's a stealthy writer. And he's a beautiful writer.
Well worth a read. And when you've finished it, track down more.
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)
on Oct. 28, 2011 :
Hosho McCreesh has been featured many times on my blog Poet Hound at http://poethound.blogspot.com for his poetry but he also writes short stories which I enjoy reading, also. His latest short story, Something That’s True, intertwines the lives of a stripper, an auto mechanic and the mechanic’s waitress girlfriend who happens to be cheating on him. Although the auto mechanic is sitting at a strip club he is the one who behaves himself and the story showcases the fascinating personalities of the moral and the immoral.
The small moments between characters are captured vividly, the way Brooklyn at the strip club tries to encourage Gil, the mechanic, to spring for a dance as he sips his beer to the moment Gil’s loneliness compels him to encourage Brooklyn to stay by offering her a drink. The unlikely pair begin a conversation about life in the club before she goes onstage and works the crowd. Gil’s mixed feelings as he watches her lead us to realize he’s a moralistic man, especially when he beckons her to return to continue talking. When we meet Cathy, the waitress dating Gil, we learn about her sarcasm and wit, her morals versus Gil’s. Cathy mouths off to her boss while working her shift, her friend and fellow waitress eating up every moment of it. When the Sherriff’s SUV pulls up we get to meet the man Cathy’s seeing on the side, we also get to see what happens when Gil arrives. I can’t give you the ending, you’ll have to read it for yourself as this whirlwind of love gone awry continues. You will be entertained to the last, your heart lurching with Gil’s every move.
(reviewed the day of purchase)