Monday, June 02, 2014

Reader's Diary #1126- Jane Ozkowski: The Lawn Sprinklers at the End of the Earth

At Jane Ozkowski's blog, "The Lawn Sprinklers at the End of the Earth" is found with an accompanying video of her reading it (following a brief intro where she casually throws out that she had recently went to Dennis Rodman's birthday party as if she's some kind of Korean dictator, or something). My plan was to press play and follow along as she read the story. I pictured it like on TV when a character begins to read a letter from someone else and suddenly it's voiced over by that someone else.

Yeah, that didn't work out so well. Ozkowski's voice and reading are just fine, but I quickly remembered that that's never worked for me. Whenever I go to a presentation, I'm following along nicely to the presenter's voice but as soon as she throws text on the screen, I just want her to stop talking so I can read it on my own. But that's me and it has nothing to do with Ozkowski's story (there's a reason these things are called "reader's diary" and not "reviews"). In any case, "The Lawn Sprinklers at the End of the Earth" is flash fiction and so it's easy to read it a couple of times, audio or no audio, depending on your preference.

Revolving around a man named Christopher who fixes sprinklers and cuts the lawn at the literal end of the Earth, there's very little else we can conclude with certainty about him. It's a surrealistic story, and Christopher's memory of who he is and how he got there comes and goes with certain breezes. He had a mother and a sister, and seems to have had a familiarity with Canada, but it's all very vague. And optimistic.

What am I to make of all of this? Like all surrealism, I'm never sure if I'm supposed to make solid sense of it and to be honest, I can only tolerate it small doses. Thankfully, this was a very small dose and I did enjoy it. I had a thought that the story was set in purgatory, but I also thought of how a summer day can really remove you from the crap and put you on such a natural high. I'm in a t-shirt, typing this on my deck at the moment, which was buried under a foot of snow a mere month ago, so if this is not what "The Lawn Sprinklers at the End of the Earth" is about, I'm not overly concerned.

 by acrofish, on Flickr

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License
  by  acrofish 


Unknown said...

I went and listened. I liked how effectively she made the end of the world become the beginning.

John Mutford said...

Pam: Agreed. It's what I was hoping to get across by saying it was optimistic. It's also why I changed my initial post to state "purgatory" instead of "limbo." I admit having to take a bit of a crash course (or quick Google search) in afterlife beliefs!