How It All Began
by Bob Heman

eBook, Free
Publication Date: January 2007
4 x 6 inches, 54 pages

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How It All Began collects prose poems that Bob Heman wrote between 1975 and 1990.  Some are swift, surreal stories, parables taut with specificity—an ex-vice president disappears in a charred, irregular circle on an elevator floor in “Circuit”—while others are microscopic meditations on the elements that make us up: air, words, “electrons…always in motion.” With crisp, incisive language, Heman calls into question the security of surfaces, of reality as we know it. Death is constantly present, as a sort of parallel universe to life, sometimes playful, sometimes haunting. Bodies and assumptions are turned inside out—a maybe-pregnant woman vomits into her husband's hat, an excavation under a “yellow brick road” reveals not the expected “little people,” but a 1946 Buick with an “unusually dead” couple in the back seat. With warmth and acuity, Heman leads us to these unexpected layers, these alternative terrains—diverting the reader from a life “too flat and predictable.”

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