2 thoughts on “ALTAR by Philip Fracassi

  1. Pages 7 – 27

    “Deep down inside him, something had… dislodged.”

    This takes me about halfway in this story within this flaccidly tactile chapbook as a physical object, so appropriate for reading at swimming pools when not swimming, about a boy taken by car by his separated slightly-alcoholic mother to that swimming pool over a pothole, his elder sister’s special wink at him in the car about knowing-things between them, flip-flops, water-wings or angel-wings, then another boy in that pool as a different point of view, an incident of bullying, and a fragile, frangible reality of hard-surfaces softened by water that swimming pools seem to have, a sensory-aversionary smell and baking heat under foot at the side of the pool, ominous with I know not what, something perhaps no lifeguard as the author can prevent – even if he wanted to do so.
    Very atmospheric. I feel I am THERE sub-merging myself with the pool of text … and I will keep the subtle suspense pent up for a while before reading the rest. NO spoilers, just remembering his sister’s school’s called Middlemarch Middle.

  2. Pages 28 – 50

    “The children in the water were flowing in a circle,…”

    The various feelers of this story’s first half (grown-up and adolescent bullying and sexual politics, swimming-pools as a strikingly inchoate metaphor and, for me, something like Azathoth at the earth’s core) are literally and literarily fulfilled to such an extent that your clambering out of this text is tantamount to sinking back in again. We need such inchoate metaphors to help humanity make cracks coherent and, thus, transcendable. Horror without victims.
    A bursting bubble of a reading experience. Not to be missed.


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