UnCommonwealth

The online journal of speculative fiction author Christopher Rowe.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

What's it about, David J. Schwartz?



The woman in the traffic copter, the sales rep, the anthropomorphic tortoises who staff the toll booths at exit 46, QTYPY22. These are some of the people around you while you're happily stuck in the traffic of David J. Schwartz's poem, "Jam."

Here's a few lines:

He's got accounts
from N'Orleans to Kalamazoo,
Bowling Green to Boulder.
He's thinking about the
snowplow in the next lane.
He wants it all to be over.

David J. Schwartz's fiction has been appearing on the backs of subway posters for nearly seventy years now, which has led to speculation that he is either a sandhog, a rat, or an electrical conduit. The truth is far more terrifying. Recently his fiction has appeared in more reputable publications such as Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, Talebones and The Third Alternative.

David keeps a web journal called Mumble Herder. You can read some of his work online, such as Iron Ankles at Strange Horizons and The Colossus Vignettes at The Fortean Bureau.

When I asked him what this poem is about, David elected to answer with nothing less than the truth, unvarnished and unadorned. The poem, he said, is:

"[a] series of human interest pieces written for the short-lived cable news channel Spoken Word News. The anchors recited their copy from stools in a smoky bar while a trio of local high school kids played wank jazz in the background. All the reporters were required to wear berets and drink vermouth. My beat was Interstate 13, which runs between Zirma and Palomar. Interesting side note: the head meteorologist for SWN was a malevolent spirit from the lower planes who delivered the forecast in limerick form. It needed bodies to inhabit, though, so we went through a lot of on-camera temps. After the network folded it went back to its old job at Fox News."

"Jam" appears in the new 'zine, Say...have you heard this one? which you can purchase via the PayPal links at the right. Thanks, David J. Schwartz!