Editor: Christopher Nosnibor
Publisher: Clinicality Press
ISBN: 978-0-9556939-2-2

Click Here To Purchase Clinical, Brutal... an Anthology of Writing with Guts

Christopher Nosnibor says his goal in devising the term clinical brutality to account for every day acts of violence recounted with crisp and factual language.  His desire to invigorate contemporary writing with a new and raw edge is commendable -- he attempts to prove his vision with this collection of prose and poetry by 28 authors who he considers as having a solid sting.  So there is no confusion by the slick cover design splattered with blood, this is not a collection of crime, vampire, sci-fi, or over-the-top gore stories. 

These are works driven by a raw edginess arising from a world of violence and fragmentation that the authors are seemingly trying to comprehend.   Nosnibor writes, “There is no extrinsic, universal or even wider commonality, no synchronization, no organization, no coordination.”  As with many anthologies, the works vary widely in style and precision. For the most part we find people trapped in aggravating, claustrophobic lives whose only response is to brutally lash out.  People reach their breaking point and just as often their point is breaking people.

Pablo Vision’s wonderful The Battlefield of Carnivores, presents a man who writes about killing his father in a world where one tyranny replaces another.  His character writes to forget, writes to remember, and writes to figure out what is real.  He says, “I have difficulty concentrating, but I write when I can. I fear that I will never be able to assemble any of this into coherency.”  

Díre McCain describes a nagging wife who says little but who sparks nasty interior monologues in the head of her henpecked husband in the delightfully horrifying Papanicoloa Test: A Grand Guignol. As readers can imagine, I can’t explain this title nor will I quote many passages from the book in a general audience forum such as this.

Nosnibor’s Into the Earth is a strong literary piece reminiscent of Beckett or Céline in which lines compound upon lines almost abstractly, each section adding facets to a dense pondering of the losing battle called living. I don’t mean to infer the entire book is dense or highly literary, most works are entirely straightforward and accessible, albeit not the type your granny would enjoy unless she packs a .57 magnum and boils rats for breakfast.  Think of the sort of stories one finds posted on zines and you’ll get a sense of the general stylistic range. 

Lee Kwo, David Mark Dannov, and Constance Stadler each deserve mention for outstanding contributions of poetry. Kwo in particular struck me as fitting and expanding Nosnibor’s vision.  In his bio he explains of wanting to aspire “to the post digital forming strange new becomings/ word becomes noise again” and I believe he succeeds.  It is perhaps ironic that at its best this clinical, brutal writing can in many instances be cynical, beautiful writing.

Click Here To Purchase Clinical, Brutal... an Anthology of Writing with Guts