“America lands me, unpiloted, the lone flight attendant
Gripping a wine key while the captain takes a piss.”
– from “The Gentle Country” – Emily Vizzo
There’s a reason why an Allison Krauss and Johnny Cash and Lucinda Williams or John Prine hold so much weight in so many people’s lives. They write stories, add music, and create memories that even though one may have never lived, makes it feel like it was their life only yesterday.
But, I am a city boy through-and-through. I have no real blue-collar experience. I don’t really like getting dirty. I didn’t go camping until I was 18, I’ve never been hunting, I can’t work on my car, and if I try to do basic repairs at my home, my wife and daughter worry that I – like my father before me – will probably just flood the place.
Luckily, because I am not alone in this, we have Emily Vizzo’s Giantess (YesYes Books) to act as our modern day guide to real relationships, that deal with real world issues, and are laid out in a real world way. It’s the tangling of the feet in the driver’s seat while “….pressing uselessly somewhere / between the brake and the clutch.” It’s the roar of the motorcycles, the smell of unpeeled clementines, and the red garra fish that I can now feel pressing up against my toes. Even the e.e. cummings’ feel of “Black Truck” makes me want to forgive Death, and “be buried in the body / of a black truck.”
Giantess is like an a cappella Americana album — it’d be nice to hear the picking of the strings, but they aren’t needed to dance with these words.