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Bird-Self Accumulated

Don Judson
Copyright Date: 1996
Published by: NYU Press
Pages: 192
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  • Book Info
    Bird-Self Accumulated
    Book Description:

    "When BooBoo stabs Morris Boyle I am reading a news magazine that someone has smuggled into the wing." Thus, the protagonist of this novella introduces us to prison, one of the several worlds he inhabits, worlds most of us would rather ignore but which inexorably, through what we see and hear and read and live on uncountable American streets, has become the one world we can no longer avoid. It seduces us with the voice of drugs and violence. Of the disenfranchised. Of those both at once outside and standing within the center of what no longer holds. It informs us of who we are today.

    eISBN: 978-0-8147-4398-0
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xii)
    (pp. 1-10)

    I had decided to borrow someone’s car for a drive down by the water. The place where I worked at the time—it was a hospital for emotionally damaged children—couldn’t have been more than a couple of miles from the bay. My whole job consisted in being at my room by nine o’clock and waiting there to evacuate C and D wards as well as 9-North in case of fire.

    But I went to find the security guard and bribe him with two of my pills.

    “What are they?” he asked.

    “Can’t you see the blue and green specks?”...

  5. Y-CITY
    (pp. 11-22)

    Cheech suggested we burgle a house.

    “We can stab the walls again,” he said. “Shit in the refrigerator.”

    I had no idea what he was talking about. But our Marlboros had run out and the sun was beginning to make my teeth ache and all around us objects continued moving in ways they weren’t supposed to. The street especially, it was up in my face, and then down. Which isn’t the worst. The worst is like what happened in June when I’d been tripping for several days and then decided to do a hit of speed and hitchhike to the lake....

    (pp. 23-52)

    When Boo-Boo stabs Morris Boyle I am reading a news magazine that someone has smuggled onto the wing. It is an article about a dog who uncovers a grave of several small bones wrapped carefully in bits of waxed paper. The dog is not a police dog but only one which happens to be digging by a gazebo in a neighbor’s garden. Also recovered are: three black candles, tufts of hair, a ring and two decks of playing cards. The woman who owns the gazebo and the gardens has lived alone for as long as anyone can remember.

    She tells...

    (pp. 53-70)

    I was standing around in front of a job I’d just been fired from when two friends of mine came along. They were in a brand new car.

    “Jump in,” they said.

    We drove through the park watching girls from the college sun themselves on little blankets for a while, and then went down an entrance ramp by the river where we ran out of gas.

    “Shit,” the driver swore.

    He got out and punched one of the windows.

    “This kind of crap always happens,” he explained. It appeared as if both of them might begin to cry, and to...

    (pp. 71-104)

    Comerford is living in a hole he’s dug in the strip of woods which runs behind Tucker’s Pond.

    That’s what Rat says.

    We are out in front of the drugstore, speeding still from that afternoon. At first, cars, as if in timed interval, come up from the factory road.

    The sound of their doors—then emptied cans of beer or bottles banging in the wind across the lot.

    Later, we drag oildrums from the gas station. Rat stands before one and presses the lid of each eye closed. He throws a match into the paper and bits of trash. Behind...

  9. PART II
    (pp. 105-180)

    What Holgate remembers:

    Across Avenue B a guy stepping from an illegally parked Cadillac and beginning to walk toward him and BabyBoy. The guy wore a loose-fitting silk sports jacket. His shoes, in the sun, appeared almost purple.

    What else?

    BabyBoy standing. He’d stood and reached over his shoulder and touched one of the bags of cocaine arranged on the ledge—there were four of them, one ounce each, in clear plastic sandwich bags and they were not really hidden, but only laid out of sight along the inside lip of the window in front of Friends Social Club.


  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 181-181)