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Fiction. A man wakes up one morning believing he has a wife who lives in Tucumcari, New Mexico. A wife he somehow remembers yet does not know. When he decides to find her, he embarks on a surreal journey through both landscape and memory. The reader travels with the narrator through sinking cities, his father's various jobs, government-designated atomic safe havens, motel ...more
Paperback, 150 pages
Published May 15th 2018 by Kernpunkt Press
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Tucumcari is less a novel and more dozens of interconnected prose poems where radios crackle, fluorescent bulbs hum, and oxygen tanks hiss. It’s a beautiful, meandering narrative made up of the strangest and most compelling collection of images. Parks employs a devastatingly observational eye, positioning his narrator as the ultimate voyeur, the odd-man out to beat all odd-men out. The images in the book are like the mirages a person might see as they die from exposure in the desert; beautiful, ...more
Set in a near-future, dystopian America, in which the narrator’s home city is covered in a layer of ash belched out by unspecified factories. Men live alone in one part of the city, women in another. Our author dreams of escaping to Tucumcari with a dying talk radio host, with whom he has been obsessed since childhood. The author thinks he may have a wife in New Mexico (he can’t quite remember – lost weekend in Vegas), but he has a vision of her ‘making jewelry or pottery’, ‘fixing a fence’, ‘be ...more
Pack up your meager belongings: grab your toothbrush, that small box of old mementos, and your mother’s portable typewriter. Look up and down the street, watch for that suspicious stranger. Scrutinize your neighbors’ windows for a face behind the blinds, a lit cigarette, a furtive movement. Soon you will clamber inside your old station wagon and drive away from this run-down neighborhood of men. You will leave behind the leaden sky of softly falling ash. You will drive and drive to reach your fi ...more
This novel is lovely, evocative, enigmatic, and very self-propelling in style and content. It is peppered with apparent facts and intricate invented realities, and Parks employs great skill as the tale floats back and forth between the real and the imagined. As reader, I am continually trying to come at novels from a feeling of seeking empathy, so I bathed in the memories inserted and teased out of me. My own childhood even seemed to become mainstream for an instant again and again as I followed ...more
Patrick Parks has had fiction published in a variety of journals, including The Chattahoochee Review, The Beloit Fiction Journal, Clockwatch Review, Farmer’s Market, and B City, and had a story in the anthology, The Breast. In addition, he was editor of Black Dirt, a literary journal, edited Sarajevo: An Anthology for Bosnian Relief, and wrote reviews for Literary Magazine Review. Recipient of two ...more