Migration, by Brian Morse and Betsy Potter
44 pages – $18.00
ISBN-13: 978-0997870602 ISBN-10: 0997870605
A wonderfully disorienting mix of nature writing and haunting surrealism, told in epistolary form, accompanied by delicately unsettling illustrations. Brian Morse and Betsy Potter have made a book that will make readers feel slightly to the left of themselves, as they follow a narrator through a peculiar landscape via letters home to his mother (and a few other folks).
I think you will find this interesting: we happened upon the crow’s ghost in another card game. He was sitting with a southern panther and an Ivory-billed Woodpecker in the middle of Singer Swamps. The travelling gamblers called themselves The Doormen. They circle the country looking for exhausted ghosts willing to gamble for a chance at resurrection. If the ghost loses, they relive their death 1,000 times. It’s a sadistic sustenance for the cat and the bird.
The game is simple: each side cuts a deck of cards; whoever pulls the highest card, wins. The crow has been chasing around The Doormen since he died. That’s how he found himself at Mildred’s farm: he was closing in on them. The game took place on the bank of the river, on the gambler’s traveling crate.
We entered the scene as the paperwork was being filled out. The crow won by cutting a 10 versus the Doormen’s 4. That old wildfire burned in the crow’s eyes as he scribbled his name on the dotted line. The panther paced back and forth, the woodpecker coldly processed the work…Once the deal had been brokered, the crow greeted us dead-eyed and flew away. I wondered if he remembered how dismal his last ending turned out? The Doormen packed up their little wooden crate, respectfully nodded to us, and went in search for their next mark.
Come see Brian read from Migration October 15th, 3pm, at Rust Belt Books in Buffalo, NY, and October 22nd, 3pm, at Small World Books, Rochester NY.