I can identify with Liz’s desire for caffeine as she pulls an all-nighter working at a sleep lab in “Intersomnolence” by Wendy Wimmer. She adeptly weaves the mores, jargon, and visceral tastes of our contemporary coffee culture into synesthetic metaphors to further the reader’s empathy with these sleep deprived lab workers. It’s unnerving when morning arrives and one of the patients, draped with wires and electrodes, looks like a squid, but I weakly convince myself that it’s only a metaphorical squid, even though I know that these cepholopods are masters of transmogrification and could out-chameleon a chameleon. I’m easily lost in the narrative once more as Liz adds another entry in the lists of her life.
- Joseph Pascale, Drunken Boat
Some of the pieces challenge categorization and push the lines that define genres, like “Billets Doux,” by Wendy Wimmer, a short story told in snapshots of e-mail messages and BlackBerry screens.
Another excellent piece is Wendy Wimmer’s “Billets Doux,” an art/fiction piece (Barrelhouse art director Kylos Brannon does a top-notch job laying this piece out) comprised of emails tapped on a Blackberry, offering verbal snapshots cumulating in a portrait of loneliness and desire.
Without a doubt, my favorite story in this Issue was Billets Doux by Wendy Wimmer, which was brilliantly laid out amidst pop-y graphics and constructs an almost-love story during a public transportation commute. Barrelhouse knows how to tap into pop culture without sacrificing literary know-how. Worth the $9 every time.