Fiction. IN ADVANCE OF THE BROKEN JUSTY is a grievance against everything inimical to nuance and subtlety and delicacy and charm. It's a fervent attempt to reclaim a quality of attention that has been threatened to near extinction by rampant techno-narcissism. Attention, as defined by William James, "implies withdrawal from some things in order to deal effectively with others, and is a condition which has a real opposite in the confused, dazed, scatterbrained state which in French is called distraction, and Zerstreutheit in German." Zerstreuitheit, according to Olson, is a supervisor's sour gaze. It's mandatory overtime. It's having to work for a living. It's the buzz of an alarm clock dissipating a pleasant dream. It's a playground bully. It's a motorcycle gang at a rock concert. It's a cop spraying capsaicin in an elderly woman's face. It's a loud party next door when you're in bed and have to get up early to go to a job you hate. It's endless war. It's the nagging ever- present worry about climate change and corporate predation and the death of value. It's cancer. It's chemotherapy. It's Syria and Gaza and Israel and wrecked Iraq. It's smartphones, the erosion of the commons, and the obliviousness of one's fellow citizens. It's rudeness and insanity and fascism and a boot in the face. It's a neighbor's power saw ripping a quiet afternoon in half.
John Olson is the author of eight books of poetry and prose poetry, including Larynx Galaxy; Backscatter: New and Selected Work; THE NIGHT I DROPPED SHAKESPEARE ON THE CAT; OXBOW KAZOO; FREE STREAM VELOCITY; ECHO REGIME; Eggs & Mirrors; Logo Lagoon; and Swarm of Edges. He has also published three other novels: SOULS OF WIND (Quale Press), which was shortlisted for a Believer Book of the Year Award in 2008; The The Nothing That Is; and THE SEEING MACHINE (Quale Press). Some of his articles and essays have appeared in The Stranger and Seattle Weekly.Author City: SEATTLE, WA USA