“Passion, like violence, is unpredictable. It strikes in flashes and employs whatever chokehold necessary to keep its target pinned. For Kerry Howley, author of the memoirThrown, passion felled her in Des Moines. As a graduate student in philosophy, Howley was escaping small talk during a phenomenology conference when she wandered down the convention center’s hallway and, strangely, into the MidWest Cage Championships. There, in a room full of Iowan men and spectacle violence, Howley felt the contours of her perception balloon outwards, a sensation she’d read about, but never before experienced, in the writing of Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Artaud.”
My essay “Suspecting The Smiths” is up at the Oxford American.
“From the ages of nine to eleven, I worked as a spy. No one paid me, nor did I report my findings to any higher-ups. I discussed my cases with my partner, who went by code name Mountain Chicken Mother of the Buddha. Mountain Chicken also happened to be my identical twin sister, and during morning recess or summer afternoons at the neighborhood pool we let lifeguards, teachers, and stray dogs in on our findings. Eventually, the Department of Labor, the U.S. Postal Service, the Virginia State Police, and the State Corporation Commission got involved. Our next-door neighbors were indicted in September of 1998 by a federal grand jury, Joe Bob on eighteen counts and his wife, Jeannie, on fifteen.”