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M Sarki

Besides being a poet with four collections published, M Sarki is a painter, film maker, and photographer. He likes fine coffee and long walks. 

M Sarki has written, directed, and produced six short films titled Gnoman's Bois de Rose, Biscuits and Striola , The Tools of Migrant Hunters, My Father's Kitchen, GL, and Cropped Out 2010. More details to follow. Also the author of the feature film screenplay, Alphonso Bow.

Currently reading

L'Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home
David Lebovitz
We Learn Nothing: Essays
Tim Kreider
Fiona Mozley
Limbo, and Other Places I Have Lived: Short Stories
Lily Tuck
The Double Life of Liliane
Lily Tuck
At Home with the Armadillo
Gary P. Nunn
American Witness: The Art and Life of Robert Frank
RJ Smith
Karl Ove Knausgård, Ingvild Burkey, Vanessa Baird
Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd (Reading Edition)
Nick Mason
American Witness: The Art and Life of Robert Frank
J.R. Smith

Hill William

Hill William - Scott McClanahan http://msarki.tumblr.com/post/97155000128/hill-william-by-scott-mcclanahan

Not sure I even know a Scott McClanahan. However, I have read five of his books now and I have seen him on TV, or my equivalent of TV, if you can count and consider youtube as part of my inadequate equation. I have also heard him speak to me, again on my machine that allows me this enterprise, in a voice that is somewhat gravelly and raw and at times a bit, I think, deranged. Similar to a defrocked but still far too-serious preacher. Sort of also like an insane construction character I used to know who I named Alphonso Bow in a feature film I wrote a few years ago. I have been around a lot of fellows who talk like Scott McClanahan and who I would consider authentic rednecks, and more than a little dangerous. Therefore I believe I do have the proper credentials to give me credibility regarding the points I am about to make. Even if it turns out that McClanahan made all these people up, fact is, I have not. I know all of them in some form or fashion. I best believe we can probably lose the lyrical and rhythmically embroidered, but still fucked-word, “fashion” in a future editing somewhere.

Hill William is quite the disturbing book for those of us already irritated to extremes by hearing similar sickos rant, and in too-loud voices insisting on explaining to the rest of the world their pitiful troubles and violations performed on and against them. On the other hand, for those of us somehow having escaped this peculiar kind of life and living, or those of us who have been engaged among this certain brand of hillish person and thusly discovered the general experience to be fascinating with all the foibles, perversions, and deceptions daily cooked-up, then the book becomes important for what might be heard somewhere else between McClanahan’s lines. As diseased as these people are it only compounds the problem to not acknowledge their existence. Their anger at themselves and life in general is real and justified. There are permanent stains on their lives that can never be cleansed or repaired or even clarified in a language acceptable to the so-called normal person. Most likely all that can be hoped for is a personal McClanahanic satisfaction knowing that the words in his book have found a closure of sorts, and that a reader like me actually finished devouring this typically ugly smorgasbord all the way through unto the very last page.

In the paragraph above I called the characters frequenting this book “hillish”. Note I use this term loosely. These people are everywhere. The culture of the poor and oppressed. A way of life that offers little escape, especially if an individual (or family) intelligence is found lacking or non-existent at all. Even someone possessing a superior intelligence is often not enough to overcome the permanently engrained culture born of generations of abuse and bad information. Belief systems reinforced by consistently improper behavior and lack of social training. Parents and grandparents guilty of carrying on the sins of their own fathers and mothers, and the hopelessness of a situation that rarely evolves past the lowest common denominator.

It is difficult, at best, to maintain a hearty and healthy appetite while reading this book. There is plenty enough crap inside it to get sick over, or upset in your stomach, or your head. If you are “the feeling sort” your heart can reel about and swirl in its almost-constant despair. Scott McClanahan’s words are exactingly humorous only if you think they may not be so true as the author makes them out to be. The high-wire cleverness he adroitly presents comes from an intelligence obvious to anyone who gets to know this type of person. But still, if he or she is really real then the burden becomes too great to carry anyway. Which is what occurs in this tale as well. The burden becomes too great for anyone but the narrator to handle. And he has struggles of his own managing the demanding largeness and dread of it all. Revolting and appalling incidents are commonplace and accepted as so. Bad teeth and bad manners are the norm. Inappropriate responses are expected and often encouraged by the leaders of these households and communities. No amount of charity and church-going has, or ever will, correct this plague of ignorance that profits within and by this chronic disease born and prospering since its inception. There is no hope, and only through steadfast denial can there be even a delusional morsel of it left to be chewed and spit in the faces of those who attempt to clean or at least curb it. It is a way of life. And even a prideful attitude among these sorts exists beyond any culpable reason.

It seems Scott McClanahan has come to the masses to proclaim and own his heritage. To show the world from which he came. This may all be a lie involved in creating his fictions. But the truth nonetheless exists in what he is saying. He is reporting the facts of a too-real existence. And for that he may be commended, or perhaps, if he gets too close, he might end up getting himself crucified. At the least, he gets my attention. The most significant problem with reading this work is that it came too swiftly on the heels of my reading his previous four collections. That is perhaps too much for any man or woman to handle within a time period of say a month, or two. Every few moments or so I felt I had made a grave mistake in tackling this title after having been beaten, almost to death, by his first four installments. But I persisted and made the best of my difficult situation.

Scott McClanahan, the character, has an innocence about him that must also be recognized. He narrates in a manner respectful of these same pathetic people, and he has a love beyond understanding for his so-called friends and relatives, even those who harm him. Be it also understood that his character, named after himself, is neither without sin nor anger about his place and standing in the world. But he does employ help in his attempts at getting better. And he seems to see a possible way out of all this misery. But in another way he accepts it all as a sort of parallel life, outside himself, rich in its absurdity and ambiguity, and the offering seems somewhat redeemable in how his characters all bear on their backs the same heavy and awkward cross that has been made for all of them to carry to their graves.

And now that I have finished my reading of the fifth book produced by the author Scott McClanahan, and after having allowed myself to have been dutifully written upon by him, this gifted writer from West Virginia trying like hell in some way, anyway, to get himself inside me, in some strange and perverted manner it seems he did get the fuck he wanted and thought he deserved, and had a good time with it, in me, despite my attempted, and failing, indifference.