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Stephen-Paul Martin:

1200 Overton St.
Old Hickory TN 37138

19 pp.

Two understated absurdist tales that teem with intricate indirect explorations of reason versus the imagination, and the verbalizable versus the sensually genuine. Mesmer, the father of hypnotism, stars in one; the other concerns a man and a woman who wake up in a strange bed with each other. Neither knows the other.--Bob Grumman

Normally stories about an 18th century magnetic healer and intimacy faced with accelerated information would not sit well side-by-side, but here it works. Martin makes each piece an object you can put to light and scrutinize. The two stories are boards from which ideas dive off and get fleshed out. The plots become sheer, like a vehicle whose only intention is transport. This facade allows the real workings of the author to emerge. I hear crisp twangs ending each--for accomplished precision and for defying sullied vagueness.--Nico Vassilakis

One of the remarkable effects of the stories in this chapbook is that they seem to do what they are telling you about. For instance in "The French Revolution", while reading about an individual being hypnotized by Mesmer himself, the description of subconscious, even hallucinatory states is so accurate that you begin to experience the story almost as a participant--integrated into the events being described, you as a character contribute as well. Martin has proven with his visual writing and now with fiction that he is an artist of powerful capability directed at opening the world of our perceptions to greater freedom. Essential.--Jake Berry

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This review originally appeared in TapRoot Reviews #1,
Copyright Burning Press 1993, 1996.

Contact the editor, luigi-bob drake, at Burning Press