Kevin Brown of Arkansas has given to readers the world over a phenomenal new collection of prose in Ink on Wood and an astonishing first for Virgogray Press. I found his work quite riveting. In short the work included in Ink on Wood is searing prose at its best. “02:10:31” and “The End, the opener and closer for the book, are dramatic tales of regret and loss told in unconventional and interesting sequence; the former being framed as the story unfolds through video and the latter like flashes of memory. Tragic as they are, one cannot help to turn the pages as the story unfolds and the puzzle pieces itself together. Between these two tales is work that is humorous, as in “Ecdysis,” which frankly I found shocking when I first read. Considering ecdysis means “to shed off skin,” I found this piece to be a masterful literary echo, an elegant step forward for humanity that doesn’t cease to punch you in the jaw. “Learning How to Die,” a nostalgic account between father and son, that is ultimately a tale of acceptance of death, resonated with me. The issue of mortality is lightly punched around by a drunken father teaching his son to box. Other pieces include, “The World (and Everything in it),” a light-hearted look at love loss that reads thickly with poetic hints and crassness. Of course, that’s just skimming the surface, you’ll have to read the story to get the full scoop. Prose fans, fans of flash fiction and short stories, Ink on Wood by Kevin Brown is definitely a collection to pick up—satisfying to the last word.
27 Pages. $7.