September 27th, 2017

Book Hands

Bodies Behind the Marked Door



This morning I read about two women discussing mysterious sea creatures, which means I read the new Sirenia Digest. Included is a really lovely new Caitlin R. Kiernan story called "THEORETICALLY FORBIDDEN MORPHOLOGIES".

It's more than just a cool, intriguing title. We meet two women, one an unnamed narrator, apparently a writer, and another calling herself Perse, one among many names she evidently goes by. The story moves over different points in a chain of events, not in chronological order and yet in another way they seem to be. Much of the dialogue concerns the nature of storytelling and what readers or audiences expect from stories, but it's also about shapes unseen, undescribed, but certainly terrible, not meant for view. In other words, theoretically forbidden morphologies. I couldn't ask for a better story from that great title.

Beginning with Perse, naked, leading the narrator to a mysterious location, the story is also wonderfully sensual, something that is teased out further in subtle ways through dialogue. In discussing storytelling, potential vulnerabilities and sensitivities come to the surface as possibilities of meaning, and of dreamlike stimulus, eliciting emotion that makes connexions between the imagination and the physical realms. That's another way of saying it's sexy.