14 thoughts on “And At My Back I Always Hear — Scott Nicolay

  1. and the red light was my mind. — Robert Johnson
    Coauthored with Jesse James Douthit-Nicolay

    Someone or grizzly cowboy on a train, named Dumont? Wounded in the head? Physically or mentally wounded?
    With caring Missy. His dog?
    His girl Tigger had not turned up? Chased by Shadow Riders who knew what happened to Tigger? Words of this text morphing in my eyes like the letters of prehensile Graffiti — in the place where they first attacked? Nah, none of any of that. Don’t doubt it.

    Read up to…
    “….holding some big pieces back, he could tell that easy. Made it all hard to follow but main thing was he could see…”

    • Am I too fucking old to read this? Fersure. The backstory, the violent men against Du-Mont, the running from the squat, drugs, foster kids, the guitar case, and much else all above my head. Read up to: “The junker he was riding was just siding out to let a faster train pass.” Let faster, maybe better, readers overtake me, but I’ll still be shunting around here till you come back and tell me whether it’s worth continuing the reading of it.

  2. Noctuidae – Scott Nicolay


    King Shot Press 2016

    My previous reviews of Scott Nicolay works HERE

    When I real-time review this work, my comments will be found in the thought stream below or by clicking on this post’s title above.

    10 thoughts on “Noctuidae – Scott Nicolay”

    1. nullimmortalis Edit“The level of threat was implicit but limited, deferred.”Berms, resistol hats“mothmen” “awkward angels” as climbing configurations…Read so far up to “her grip in a slide.”This I sense is a novella, in AZ or NM, according to the text, quite outside my experience, and here in England I try and, I feel, succeed to empathise and visualise the canyons and escarpments and their trail and error of lostness or physical enablement as this well-characterised hiking trio – truncated at outset from a quartet to a trio with such truncation’s ominous repercussions – of Sue-Min and Ron (these two together an item), and Pete (forbidding to Sue-Min now without his own itemisation) as they meet even more forbidding ranchers who stop their planned route, till the trio veers off and reaches a cave amid some foolhardy effort and skill and some unnatural configurations of rocks and potential patterns. The text is textured and evocative, my own journey wrapped within other escarpments, those escarpments, I sense, of the author’s brain itself. No spoilers intended but you may wish to continue this dreamcatching journey of mine after you have finished completing your own.“foul stagnant cola”
    2. nullimmortalis Edit“Hindwings only, some up, some down, like powder-scaly tarots,…”I sense the feel of the scenario of this cave shelter, so will you, as things become page-turningly tense, but I have a slow-motion scheme of reading this text as if I am an ohm resistor to eke out the tension – and the foreshadowing (figuratively as well as, it turns out, literally).
      I have so far read up to: “…when he tried speaking to her in broken Korean.”Looting versus archaeology. Concerns. The nature of the now broken trio is strongly etched. The breaking off of characters one by one as part of their fateful path into this scenario.The enthralling development of these characters as now a broken trio. The male tumescence reflected in the night sky? Cosmic fear as a backdrop to sexual tension, a lust that even the fear fails to dissipate.River cobbles inside the cave? A sense of past hauling – or hawling? Those insectoid hindwings scattered in the cave, but where the forewings? And there are some mighty scenes of description that defy my capacity to transport here, albeit the need to dreamcatch them for you if only by this adumbration. It’s as if the letters of the words themselves mass together to form their own insectoid back-shadow.
    3. nullimmortalis Edit“monster-whisperer?” Or just a staged exit, an abandoned love triangle stemming from male bonding and a sacrifice (just as a monster needs sacrifices), become a stylised battle of gender and race archetypes….forcing oneself to consider the politics of rape, adoption, xenophobia, supremacy.“There he sat and leaned his head against the stone’s coarse arc, his eyes aimed toward the low domed roof.”Read up to “Who knew what the unseen parts of this enormity might do,…”
      This text’s gestalt as this enormity: text and monster, separate or the same thing?
      Is this text didactic, a fable with a moral, or a portrait of monstrousness, in nature and humanity, for its own sake? Or both?
      The cosmic fear and the adventure story, for me, take a backseat to such questions.
    4. nullimmortalis Edit“She turned. And saw the new thing approaching. Was it a thing, or an effect? An event?”“Pete continued staring in what she presumed was terror—”Terror is either obvious or not terror at all, I’d say.“Bullshit acting” —It’s only later we learn Pete once acted in a Beckett play.A text about sincerity, whether the whole trip was a conspiracy, and Sue-Min intermittently threatening to scream to bring the monster upon them – or to warn it. More theatrical moments.“Their situation made the simplest things suddenly unpleasant and complex.”Like this text. Simple monster story or a whole complex panoply of solipsistic “jilling off” or existential darkness, where time and timepieces, and the light of the rising sun, are played with – as if as part of a stage set? And the pretence or the reality of lust as onanistic. Alone together, monster and woman. Blobs and ripples. Shameful peeing.Read up to “neither the indigo of twilight nor the poet’s rosy fingered dawn.”
    5. nullimmortalis Edit“…having to reach into that cold opaque foulness, grope blind amongst the sticks and bones.”The text uses the word ‘coda’, not ‘cola’, and I feel this an ostensible civilised gentlemanly coda to this text’s Fortean tale of abduction, a resolution where leopards can’t change their spots but equally pink blobs can pass through your body without touching the sides ……… whether the ending is theatrically or truly cataclysmic, morally didactic or monstrous for monstrous sake.Noctuidae – I have learnt from external sources that there is little difference between their two genders.I am absolutely intrigued by this whole text. Delighted that I cannot truly fathom its raison d’etre, as it continues and will continue for some while to linger in my mind, I am sure.Despite my resistol hat, I have not been very efficient at acting as a literary ohm-resistor against the compelling page-turning quality of this book, having finished it today.end
    6. nullimmortalis Edithttp://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/z73-176?journalCode=cjz
      Regarding the sex of Noctuidae larvae.
      Wikipedia also about Noctuidae mentions the difference between hindwings and forewings.
    7. nullimmortalis EditThe seed that later grew to become Areaimage
    8. nullimmortalis Editimage
    9. nullimmortalis EditA moth metaphor poem by Samuel Beckett…
      “in the fire of thy seeking be consumed.”
      Jilling off?
      “thou turnest into that which thou hast loved.”


    “Suddenly they were lost in a labyrinth of almost,…”

    Dream of mutated ‘burbs’ — echoing Donna’s nipple bubs when Michael and her were growing children and these suburbs were almost unchanged, like the Croke park where all the restrooms have now been opened 36 years later. And the “boobs” in the gutted Playboy magazine, gutted like the bullies gutted fish, and fish ate dead ducks or vice versa, and where these bullies rifled Donna, and Michael ran away, scared. Well, he was only 11. This feels like an ever-memorable archetypal story, a palimpsest of past and future, whereby Michael has traced Donna by Facebook after 36 years and he still recognises her, and they meet in a restaurant to be somehow forced to recall those memories together, the trolls under a bridge and a dam’s lake before renewal began, and guilt swept away by a denial of it ever happening, but now rehappening! And who is telling this to whom? A deadly collaboration foretold, thus archetypal. Where a storified monster is used to conceal a real monster? A story I somehow had within me before I read it. Carp and Stonehenge. Donna who wondered what it was like to have a cock. “…his right elbow striking a rock,…” a story with no info dumps, but far worse evacuations of what we gather happened. And what had already happened many years later. The middle years taken out, like a car’s booster chair unstapled.

    absence of evidence was not evidence of absence

  4. Pingback: Carp and Stonehenge | The Des Lewis Gestalt Real-Time Reviews

  5. after

    “…she allowed her mind to move […] as if crossing a row of stepping stones planted in a creek.”

    This is a full-length novella that I have spent stopwatch time consistently visiting throughout my day so far from very early this morning, feeling compelled to do so, and that surely must say something special about it. I rarely read long works in such a one-day gulp. It held me, and eventually charmed me, scared me, too. A gulp of the slug that Colleen herself gulped or let slip inside her like Paul when he was still alive, as well as gulping a ‘slug’ of Jäger, whatever that is, but it sounds as if it is strong stuff if not just another unpredictable beast become a consistent beauty.
    This long work was a rare exception, whereby I thought it a ‘monster’ plot that one often sees caricatured by a reader’s face frighteningly agog at a pulp magazine with a scary monster on the cover; but this was the first of such plots that really really worked for me in a blatantly scary as well as a more subtle feeling of what was happening here. The monster itself is damned hauntingly memorable and I dare not — for fear of spoiling everything — describe how it is skilfully built up here from its first appearance to its later habits.
    All stemming from a scenario in a place called Seaside, decimated by superstorm Sandy, and Colleen’s return there to check her shorehouse, as only allowed by rules of the police, between certain hours. She deliberately becomes a sort of Crusoe figure there, haunted by her own backstory of men in her life: Derrick (a sort of Depp figure if Amber is to be believed), her late secret lover Paul, and her late stepping-stone father. And there is also a loner whose name is tantalising and incantatorily not clear. I wonder who of these taught her the sand trick to cope with shit?
    I tried to remember, throughout the reading process, loads and loads of things that happened in it to tell you about but, eventually — as pages ever-turned into more pages — I realised there would be little point. Just simply read this genuinely scary monster work with believably subtle-complex and accessibly unique characterisations. And a hugely powerful genius-loci of decimated Seaside. And vivid nightmares, too, that she dreams outside the reality of her ordeals. Unpredictability versus consistency as a significant theme throughout. And I have no further tongue to voice my reactions to this work.
    The Sprite sugar rush, notwithstanding.

  6. Pingback: Worm Horribilis | The Des Lewis Gestalt Real-Time Reviews

  7. Pingback: Tenebrionidae — Scott Nicolay & Jesse James Douthit-Nicolay | The Des Lewis Gestalt Real-Time Reviews

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