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In this multifaceted collection of dreamscape stories and arabesque concrete poetry, Keith Nathan Brown invokes a wide range of literary and non-literary forms—from poetry to scientific report, from short story to mathematical proof—as a way to explore the gray area between mind and body where selfhood finds its origin. These thirty three fictions, poems and hybrid texts are arranged in thematically-related sets and subsets to simulate a travel guide to “cross-conscious interstates.” Whether induced by illness or intoxication, or inspired by music or meditation, each psychoactive text offers itself as a node in a larger conversation about time, identity, meaning and the human bond. Philosophical in scope, psychological in depth, at turns witty and cerebral, at turns brooding and surreal, Embodied twists language—literally and figuratively—to open up portals of heightened reality and, more importantly, to activate a sense of discovery and awe in the face of everyday existence.
Praise for Embodied:
Keith Nathan Brown’s elegantly eclectic book, Embodied, puts the high in hybrid. This is a significant new twist in the double helix of New Formalism’s formulae, an architecture of Frank Gehryesque proportions. There is no ironing out all these endless wrinkles, a static wall of balled up sound, stamping with the stutter of an uncanny cunning CAD.
-Michael Martone, author of Four for a Quarter
Keith Nathan Brown embodies many voices and forms in this collection, as we have visual poetry and equations mixed inside stories and recipes and the result is a feast for all of our human senses. At once daring and accessible, Embodied is an innovative work from a bold and talented writer.
-Robert Lopez, author of Asunder
“We have to go deeper yet,” says one of Keith Nathan Brown’s characters, early in Embodied. She says, “There’s more layers, always more layers,” and everywhere in this book our reading proves her right: Dig below Brown’s playful form and his accumulations of striking images and fragments, and there you might find only more questions, and beneath them only more almost-answers, new potential significances. “Someday this will all make sense,” promises another character, and perhaps he is right. But if not, then who are we to complain, when the uncertainties are this curious? This is a book for seekers, a ritual of discovery, and Brown is a fine guide to its mysteries.
-Matt Bell, author of Cataclysm Baby