SKELETON KEYS, by Steven Fraccaro. ISBN 978-1-946104-39-7 $17 US
74 pages. Prose works on art, culture, politics, memory, and much more.
Skeleton Keys is a hybrid work consisting of short pieces connected by memory, association, obsession, and language. Visual phenomena, thinking, writing, modes of apprehending the world. What we consider in the predawn hours, what we forget in harsh daylight. Personal mythology, tangential observation, shopping lists of the mind, an immersion in one’s surroundings, a separation from one’s surroundings. Written in a language that partakes of the character of poetry and prose. Insistent, subliminal, insidious, intentional.
Skeleton Keys fashions its dramatis personae out of an encyclopedic range of topics, from publicly sanctioned discourse around Literature, Politics, and History, to alter-realities borne of a meld of fantasy and existential introspection. Amazing is the imbrication of a wide range of cultural phenomenon that is reminiscent of Borges ficciones, Brecht’s neo-fables, and the concrete observations of Studs Terkel. Fraccaro’s poetic prose packets continuously refresh one’s curiosity while remaining attentive to the inevitable fade-outs of curiosity. There’s an infectious bounce that carries over from piece to piece that makes the collection nearly impossible to stop reading.
— Rodrigo Toscano
You have in your hands the musings of an aesthete with both feet on the ground. A flaneur through language as life / and life as language / and not in that order. He has written with a careful hand / leaving us untroubled until a meaning startles us out of our legendary stupors. Worth more time than the time we now have. Word perfect.
— Alan Davies