This very short story by Ron Carlson is emphatically commanding, "Get that box!" The strength of the story is the voice, its urgent demands, and the amount revealed in such a short space. The story moves into the reasons that the blue box shouldn't reach the city, people, loves, family. The box begins its trek, it's followed, it's lost. Then the narrator delves into characteristics about family members, school children, games played, school subjects all while keeping the emphatic voice. The sentences read fast and furious and flow so that the reader is convinced something quite dangerous is in the box. We never find out. But I like how it plays on our twenty-first century fears of things in boxes and how they must be kept in or out of certain places. The story echoes our anxieties without ever being specific. Sound familiar?
"You Must Intercept the Blue Box Before it gets to the City" was first published in Carlson's collection, The Blue Box, by Red Hen Press and subsequently included in the wonderful, slim volume The Best Small Fictions 2015 published by Queen's Ferry Press. And, as I understand it this will be an annual anthology.
03 February, 2016
25 July, 2009
Frederick Busch, "Widow Water," Stuart Dybek, "Arf," Ron Carlson, "Sunday in the Windy City," Dorothy Allison, "Jason Who Will Be Famous," and Cheryl Strayed, "Munro Country" essay
Went to the William Kentridge exhibition at Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth today.
Still on a mini-break from "Woodie Hart."
In the last couple of days have read, Frederick Busch's "Widow Water," Stuart Dybek's "Arf," Ron Carlson's "Sunday in the Windy City," Dorothy Allison's "Jason Who Will be Famous," and essay "Munro Country" by Cheryl Strayed.