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Bragging Bantering Bawling: Collected Stories Kindle Edition
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The narrative voice that fires the stories is the voice of a compassionate, intense, poetic spirit. The writing is often as fine as gossamer, and as delicate: thoughtful, provocative, and a little weird sometimes (but in a good way).
Who can forget the cowboy who spits tobacco juice into his cup at a restaurant or an artist with ALS ("Yay!") who earns the narrator's phone number? Somewhat unsavory male characters predominate in Sisk's world--no lawyers, please!--but rather than taking this as cause for regret, she does the opposite, ending up in bed with the thief who robs the stereo from her car. (He was, at least, a considerate thief.)
"Take me," she says after their night together in a trailer park setting reminiscent of the conclusion to James Dickey's junkyard tryst: "Wild to be wreckage forever."
Sisk's women characters tend toward the suspicious as in Joe's wife, Monica, in "Joe." If the characters as a whole appear to be ugly, not quite grotesque, ugly in the sense of not being able to measure up to the narrator's amazing sensitivity and energy, the narrator is, one realizes, the great big Mama of the sky she cries out to as a child.
For she does not condemn the ugly, she embraces it, him, her as if the ugly were one of her own, and therefore she is like Buddha. She cares for the beauty beneath the appearance, even if she can't admit to the value of what she conceives to be the manmade conception of such a reality.
Like the girl in "Cutting the Boys Loose," "She was well taught by her grandmother not to turn quickly from the suffering in human beings--but to instead linger a bit longer than comfortable to see if there is something to learn, to do, or understand."
"The brain is wider than the sky," said Emily Dickinson, and once you get inside Sisk's brain through her book, the ordinary world opens up into vast intricate vistas--recommended reading, especially for lawyers!