We all need boxes full of useless stuff. We all need foxes that will hunt with us. We all need fortresses that shelter us. We all need shores that don’t erode from us. We all need juries that account for us. We all need jokers in the deck with us. We all need johns who won’t beat up on us. We all need someone who believes in us.
I’ve never confessed in a church, but Charles Jensen’s Nanopedia (Tinderbox Editions) makes me feel as if I have. It bleeds America in a way that yearns to replace presidents “with Anne Geddes portraits.” It’s an encyclopedia of the seedy, the attractive, the “I” of life within modern times and modern body. It’s sort of like the words many want to say, but then get caught up in the moment, and can’t remember what they were thinking anymore.
Nanopedia is the loss of reality. It’s tragedy and comedy. But the comedy gets lost somewhere in the background, buried in car seats, and blankets, and a self that sometimes “pass[es] through the air as a series of sill photographs.”
They are confessing, and I feel like more than a wallflower priest. More than modern art. More than the “dirty man smelling of money and gasoline.” In the end, we live life in the footnotes we are afraid to yawp. We are fast food. Marionette and master. We are convenience – merely an author’s note – there if we want it, but not something important to the plot.