Inspired by Virginia Woolf’s The Waves, Cloud Bristle is a cacophony of voices strung together like jetsam pearls glimmering in a set of fake teeth. Linda, Lucy, Lucinda, and Dorrie are four women on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
Caught in the thrum of the moment in the paranoia-hungry monastery of Chinatown, they share their “herstory” of escapades and concomitant joy. Each tells her individual story in the Society of Fire of Light, designed to filter out an existential angst-ridden world filled with sexual boredom and brutality. As virtual nobodies wrapped in delicious anonymity, they seek refuge in the precepts of muted desire and the Tao sheds light on their predicament as specimens of the second sex.
Lucinda lusts after another woman’s flower, only to find that she’s gained a universal creed of self-possession, transcending jealousy for absurd aesthetics. Linda taps into the wellspring of the comical gods, tuning into “Yabba dabba doo” at will, chasing the evil spirits away.
In this darkly woven comedy rapt with poison pen and raucous threads of scintillating beauty, the female voice is scattered like pollen throughout the text at intervals with a magnificent joy in the tradition of the talk story. Coloratura turning into brazen operatic feats of bravura leaves the reader dying for more oxygen in this illuminated text of desire.
Cloud Bristle floats out the door into the square of the city, where dazzling words find their aegis under the accordion sun.