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**PRINT: No. 34.2: Part dictionary of the outrageous, part chronicle of the manic twists and turns of American life, Atlanta writer Jamie Iredell's BOOK OF FREAKS (due fall 2010 from Future Tense) is A+ material, the best of its bits spawning raucous laughter and righteous anger read after read after. Check out several of the "freaks" in this issue, part of our mini-broadsheets series, along with Nashville-based Gabe Durham's similarly structured selections from "Fun Camp," a work in progress, on the back side. Durham is Keyhole Magazine's new editor.

**PRINT: COLD WAS THE GROUND, by Chicago's Scott Stealey, is No. 34 in our broadsheet series. Gina, protagonist, a rather lonely condo dweller/office manager, strikes up a fleeting friendship with one Porgo, an Eastern European construction worker who is burying on her property what Gina takes for a time capsule. But the metaphorical fix is in -- Porgo, an ESL student, may be leading Gina in directions she can�t exactly get her head all the way around. Enjoy. Chicago writer Stealey is editor of the Please Don�t online mag.

**WEB: DEATH IN YELLOWSTONE: CHAPTERS 22-24 Mark Chrisler
THE TAO OF THE WHY AND THE WHEREFORE Michael K. Meyers
WING & FLY: CARVING W/ WOOD-BLOCK PRINTMAKER MARTIN CADIEUX | Todd Dills
DEATH IN YELLOWSTONE: CHAPTERS 18-21 Tony Mendoza
BAND CONSIDERS ITSELF A VOCATION Mickey Hess
DEATH IN YELLOWSTONE: CHAPTERS 14-17 Matt Test
DEATH IN YELLOWSTONE: CHAPTERS 11-13 Tim Stafford, Susie Kirkwood, Landry Miller
CARS Meghan Austin
DEATH IN YELLOWSTONE: CHAPTERS 7-10 Tim Racine
HIDEOUS BOUNTY: ONE WITH WOLF | Andrew Davis


DEATH IN YELLOWSTONE, CHAPTERS 22-24
DEATHS FROM GAS STOVE EXPLOSIONS AND STRUCTURAL FIRES; DEATHS FROM CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING; and TRAVEL IN WONDERLAND: DEATH ON THE ROAD AND IN THE AIR
  ---
Mark Chrisler

Playwright Chrisler has been called many things by many people, such as "smart," "masterful" and "menacing" when he was named Chicago's best emerging playwright by the Chicago Reader in 2009. His plays have been produced at Prop Thtr, Curious Theatre Branch, Viaduct Theater, Side Project, National Pastime Theater and others.

PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3 | PART 4 | PART 5 | PART 6 | PART 7 |

[Transcribed from the ramblings of an unnamed fictional figure at an event where such a diatribe might be appropriate, but then would cease to be appropriate as it reaches the points that seem like they wouldn't be]

Folks, I come to you today with a simple message. Nave, maybe. Hebephrenic, even. But that's just my way. I've always been an over-amiable, almost angelic sort who, when exposed to offenses imagined or unintended, flies into fits of dissociative rage which no pleading or reason can reach.

And then I cry. Cry a lot.

Bohemian Pupil Press, Chicago publishers of the South Side Trilogy

Why, my little girl used to call me - heh -- cry-face daddy. Cry-face daddy! Can you believe that? WELL, SHE DOESN'T ANYMORE!

[Horrid, disgusting weeping]

But I digress. I'm here to explain for you why Yellowstone, like all our national parks, should not be sanitized, commodified, developed or built upon, but instead left natural and wild as Lord Cervilor intended.

And while I may not be a whimsical-yet-melancholic surrealist poet, or an absurd improvisational comic, or an organic roof-top gardener, or even a woman whose natural hair color is so gorgeous that to dye it would represent a sin before beauty, I do have passion and a lifetime's experience digging around the park.

Whenever a woman is mauled by a bear or a boy topples headlong into a boiling hot spring or a drifter disappears shortly after covetously leering at my earlobes WHEN HE KNOWS THEY'RE MINE!

>[Putrid, shuttering tears]

Whenever someone is hurt in the park, the cityfolk cry out for fences and roads, cages and buildings. But what they fail to realize is that Yellowstone is not a zoo or an attraction, it is the preservation of a great antiquity, and to manipulate and safen it would be a death of a thousand cuts.

Death of a thousand cuts.

Deathofathousandcutsdeathofathousandcutsdeathofathousandcutsdeathofathousandcuts.

But don't take my word for it. Instead take my word on Todd Campbell's word for it. Todd was an avid fisherman much beloved in the community for his ability to lie to and deceive them. I met him fishing the Yellowstone River one day. He explained to me that he fished there precisely because there were no roads or fences or power lines. The naturalness of the park added to his fishing the experience of being away from humanity and technology, and that was of incredible value to him.

He offered me some of the fish he'd caught and I thought then that Todd and I were to become fast friends. It's too bad that he had poisoned the fish he wanted me to eat, but lucky I realized it before I had.

WHY DO THEY KEEP TRYING TO POISON ME?!

[Revolting sounds of convulsive self-loathing]

The last thing he said to me was that he hoped no one ever spoiled the majesty of the park, and particularly he hoped no one ever trawled the river five clicks south of the falls. I believe we should honor that.

Or take Samantha Giere, one of the most beautiful young women to pass through Yellowstone in years. Hair like a forest fire, breasts like home comfort and skin so soft you just wanted to wrap yourself up in it and wear it around.

Samantha came to the park to camp out beneath the Milky Way, to live deliberately, to see nature unspoiled by man. She also came -- I learned by her manner of blinking -- to seduce me on behalf of my arch-nemesis Lord Candlehead.

DAMN YOU, LORD CANDLEHEAD!

[Pitiable, just pitiable and mawkish crying]

No one knows what happened to Samantha, least of all me -- as I've repeatedly reminded U.S. Marshals -- but I'll say that during the night of whorish iniquity to which she subjected me, she did seem very upset, even by the rakish standards of a soulless harlot.

MOMMY! WHY IS HE HURTING YOU!

[Unwatchable, unlistenable sobbing]

Samantha told me she worried that the park might one day be sanitized and it saddened her considerably to imagine backhoes and shovels being taken to places like, say, the bare field north-northwest of campground 531.

Isn't preventing that the least we can do?

Because maybe Samantha is fine. I don't know. I don't know about her or Todd or Kristen or Vicki or Ed or Edward or Eduardo or Edd with two ds or Thomas or Thelma or Jacket Lady or Puppy Face or little Suzie Hoffenmeyer.

But I do know that all of them -- like me -- believed that to contort Yellowstone with fences or signs or sidewalks or forensic archaeological surveys would be to surrender up its greatest aspects and render it but a roadside eyesore. And so whether they rest eviscerated and quartered discreetly beneath rocks and water or they all, like my wife, decided spontaneously and without notice to disappear to the Island Republic of Mauritius and cease all contact with those of their former life -- as her note to me, which I un-serendipitously misplaced, had indicated -- JUDAS!

JUDASES! WHY HAS THOUS FORSAKENETH ME?!

[At this point predictable, yet still unsettling weeping]

In respect and in solidarity for the shared beliefs of those disappeared and myself in a forever fallow and loamy land, I would like to donate my crawlspace to the National Park Service, that it too be protected from rapacious developers, greedy energy companies and meddling federal investigators who, it is my paranoid understanding, are working to procure a search warrant even now.

PUPPETS OF THE CANDLEHEADED SATAN SPAWN! RUE! RUE IS THE REWARD OF THE LEMURES OF PETTY EVIL!

BUT NOT ME!

[A thoroughly un-choreographed breakdown]

Not me. Not me.

[A final spasm of tears, now more annoying than perturbing. And certainly not funny at all.]

If anyone would like to join me in donating their land to federal protection, feel free. Especially if any of you happen to own the verge beside Exit 28b on I-88.

Thank you.

PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3 | PART 4 | PART 5 | PART 6 | PART 7 |




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