A selfish lot, they say of us. Those shallow brats with Twitter, oh indifferent, lost and dumb. In our Kingdom Facebook paradise, are we merely Yelping morons? 

Are you sick of being labeled? Nevermind their games: read A Little Soul. Inside his tiny text, Darren Cormier has written one-hundred forty, one-hundred forty character short-stories. These are stories for a different age. What exactly are we reading? These are bullets made in ink.

In his tiny works the power hides. Like Williams with his peaches and Eliot with spoons, A Little Soul is storytelling purified. This is honesty in artwork where that bloated, wasteful prose you’ve known has kindly been avoided.

“Empty doesn’t live here anymore,” he writes, “It’s been gone for quite some time.” And remove it well he has: in Cormier we read simplicity. Are you busy later on?  Cormier has seven things on his to-do list. The seventh thing he’s listed? “Stop making lists.”

When reading A Little Soul, you’ll often experience shifts of emotion. Laugh before you ponder, then beware that craning neck. If they see you reading Cormier, they will know you by that neck: the craning, shifting back-and-forth of brains exposed to thought. 

Cormier claims this book was born inside his boredom. Perhaps it was, but deeper worlds await. We’re bouncing off from school to family gatherings and experiencing a world in focused, tiny stories. There is progress in this experiment, potential in technique. Read along in this experiment and find power in uncertainty. Cormier knows you don’t need endless description.

“How often you screw up before your disappointment becomes expected?” he asks. In “Paradox” we read for truth. Is he saying that we’re not at fault? Does A Little Soulsuggest the game itself has changed? Has Cormier found the way?

In a life of other’s labels we’re often left discarded. Stupid, lost and lazy, yes, you’ve read it all before. But for experts who don’t know us and the endless columns of sketchy claims, let them ramble and go grab Cormier. In A Little Soul we’re reading and developing. This is reading, not passivity. 

 

 

JW Mark is a poet living in Ohio. His work has appeared in numerous national and international publications. His current goals are to secure a publisher for a collection of his work. He is the author of a novel, entitled Artifice, as well as a book of poems entitled Patched Collective and can be contacted at jwmarkmail [at] gmail.com or via his website http://jwmark.wordpress.com/ 

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