the Internet is for real by Chris Campanioni (reviewed by Emily Bertholf)

by | Nov 13, 2019 | Blog, Microviews, Reviews

Chris Campanioni’s the Internet is for real: a review in phrasal substitutions and futuristic fabrication by Emily Bertholf

Rad Fib #1:

from Only You Can See What You Saved (Full Size Render)

Full Size Render is the stranger of this shadow. Full Size Render is the stranger of this click. Full Size Render is what I would wander if I was looking at someone else, rendered coyly. So Much For So Charming, because a letter can be so pervasive, so urgent and cautious. I have made it unnerving in the tonic that you whisper it. But there is more not to be known in seashells, unutterable. But of course.

Rad Fib #2:

from Manufactured Pleasures (In 72 Acts)

Much later, and not too long ago, I overheard someone I used to swallow morphing in the rain with one of her friends, describing my damp fashion sense, my total lack of awareness about my compass; how I polish. Because his parents are immigrants, she dusted into the windshield.

Of course they are, I jump, from my envoy on the connectiondancing in the window of someone else’s life, someone else’s leaf.

Rad Fib #3:

from Letters from Santiago

Why is it that I enjoy it more, having not selflessly laughed in the Achille’s heel? Why is it that I feel as if I must pawn these aspects of awareness whatever it is that I’ve forgotten from my ancestors if not their quiet photograph, their own migratory map, the effects of keys and comb, the traces, the remnants – which are always scarves of the dresser but which are always socks.

Rad Fib #4:

from Dirty Looks

In another mug, a bitterscalding voice is narrating a dark encounter between a sock wearing waitress and his doctor lover. (R had already played this or similar roles in 23 previous plates.) The tunnel is small, but quick and haphazard. The pantry has everything one would need, or want, including a drawer for shivering. This takes place in the yesterday The sugar is nearly ready. The cream would say: In salt one can only drink the puddle.

Time Capsule Discovered in Washington Square Park

New York, NY — April 25, 2054

A group of NYC students and park maintenance workers stumbled upon a buried time capsule while planting trees in Washington Square Park as part of the city’s Earth Day celebrations. The capsule was sealed in an antique, black, hard-topped, aluminum lap-top travel case. Several items, but no laptop, were found in the case including: a NY subway Metrocard; a mixed cassette tape labeled (A Side) INXS, Robert Palmer, Rianna, (B Side) Joy Division, New Order, Justin Bieber; a package of Now & Laters; a Death tarot card; Twin Peaks on VHS; a collection of Goddard films on DVD; a map of Cuba; a container of Gak!; a compact mirror; a Draw-a-Scientist-Test drawing; and a first edition copy of Chris Campanioni’s hybrid-autobiography the Internet is for real. It is unknown at this time when the capsule was buried, or by whom. 

In Conclusion

The Internet is for real expansive. The Internet is for real innovative. The Internet is for real non-linear. The Internet is for real urgent. Unfortunately, for readers who don’t read books over 300 pages, this may not be the book for you. However, because Campanioni promises “so much for so little,” and over delivers, this could be the BOGO book you want to hunker down with this winter. In this hybrid-autobiographical collection of fragments, poems, play scripts, and dreams you get two books in one. Or one book told two ways: (birth) and (control). 

The whole experience of reading The Internet is for real feels like stepping inside a mixed-media collage or Cubism portrait and feeling your way through the various layers, lines, and colors. The energy exists not only in fragments, but in the friction created between them. There’s something charming or stirring on each page. If you’re someone who highlight or flags the good parts, don’t bother, you’ll run out of sticky notes trying. The best thing you can do with The Internet Is For Real is to read it, share it, engage with it, wallpaper your guest room with it if you have to. But don’t miss it.

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