The Thing in Packy Innard's Place by David Omer Bearden
David Omer Bearden’s last piece of writing was his magnum opus. The Thing in Packy Innard’s Place — is an innovative novel of adroit storytelling. A picaresque? A satire? A work of high-fantasy? A dystopian fiction infused with aspects of the quotidian? It exhibits all of these elements yet remains a hard book to classify.
Bearden, who for much of his life worked outside the conventional literary status quo, has produced a fey tale based upon his final years spent living in Scranton, Pennsylvania. After his life in the limelight as a widely-traveled poet and musician, he settled into the closed and shuttered city of Awoken. Whether schmoozing at a local Irish bar or redemptively working as the night manager and caretaker for a homeless shelter — he is a close observer of both scenes. As for the city of Scranton itself, he poetically describes its people, its architecture, and its natural setting with precise detail, intelligent wit, surrealist imagery, and inventive lingo.
Stylistic comparisons in the book can be made to James Joyce’s logophilia, Philip Lamantia’s surrealist poetry, and Vladimir Nabokov’s elaborately long sentences. Bearden’s own love for vocabulary while coupled with his use of everyday spoken language are on display throughout The Thing In Packy Innard’s Place. He handles words by their roots — to be pushed, pulled, chopped, re-ordered, re-invented, and expanded into new ideating forms.
©2019 bt Roseace Publications. Paperback. 66 pages.