A Report on Reports by Brian Evenson (The Cupboard, 2018)
by Jonathan Cardew
I was going to write a report on Reports by Brian Evenson—and I still am, it’s still happening right now—but I must admit to a little bit of trepidation in doing so. After all, in writing a report on Reports (Brian Evenson’s new pamphlet from The Cupboard, 2018) I would be adopting, and indeed mimicking, the style and tone of his work, which is what I am doing now (the assumption here being that mimicry is bad). I’d be attempting to use his voice to describe his voice, which is kind of like if I introduced Brian at a party and I used his particular dialect and accent (just weird). In any case, I’d never be able to achieve an exact carbon copy of his style; for instance, I’d never be able to describe toes in this way: “‘Big Toe’ says: Look at the toes, find the biggest one, and there you have it, you’ve arrived, there’s nothing more to be said” (“a Report on Toes”). Nor would I ever be able to describe the almost complex mathematical problem of a guy discovering that he is being followed while he himself is following someone (“a Report on Being Followed,” which is kind of the way I am feeling right now in writing this piece after Evenson, with another version of myself in the back mouthing, wtf?)
I will say this (and this is me writing this): this book is brilliant, fast, funny, and surprisingly compact and small.
So compact and small, you could place it in your top pocket.
If you wanted to: http://www.thecupboardpamphlet.org/product-page/reports-by-brian-evenson
Jonathan Cardew’s flash fiction appears in Wigleaf, cream city review, Passages North, Cleaver Magazine, JMWW, People Holding, Superstition Review, Atticus Review, and others. He was a finalist in the Best Small Fictions and the Bath Flash Fiction Award (twice), and his stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. In November 2017, he won the Best Small Fictions Micro Fiction Contest. In addition to his writing, he is Fiction Editor for Connotation Press and edits the MicroViews column at Bending Genres. Jonathan teaches creative writing and literature at Milwaukee Area Technical College. Originally from the UK, he lives now in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.