Precise Machine
by Dennis Barone

ISBN: 0-9744503-7-5
Perfect Bound, $14.00
Publication Date: March 2006
5 x 8 inches, 116 pages

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Precise Machine is a collection of poetic fictions that swell with simultaneous dimensions. The pieces take us around the globe and through history, weaving an epic of moments large and small: a bike’s flat tire, a teenage comeuppance, an Italian city destroyed by plague. The prose seduces and derails, then ensnares again. Barone invites us to inhabit his stories and also to retreat to the periphery to query how experience itself is recorded, catalogued and remembered. Infused not with certitude but with the far more human condition of ambivalence, these parables do not patronize.

From Precise Machine...

The Real Way of Looking at Things

On the surface, they’re always talking about cells and things. It’s time for him to take everything out because only they have names and emotions for everything. It’s so silly; for example, logic, logic and intellectual stuff. It’s hard to — and we’re all part of each other’s harmony and everything. There’s a lot of emotional stuff: they’re always sticking their emotions into it. Even at noon it is midnight. It will either happen or . . . but it’s ridiculous to mention. They pass around some wine until we pass out: what the hell. “The minds of all!” This door, I said. An issue torn beyond the closed door, then transparency, an endeavor unsung such as that seen beside a brick wall. There is too much of one particular shade. Would bare bones elevate its status? A headline unsettles; others divorce and still others wear their hats cock-eyed to establish character. Some of them were staring. One of these days (the worst), just you wait — like many a so-so threat. Its crystal had been broken in transit, a really sleepy talisman or a nervous breakdown. And now over there, rather like unopened letters, unopened packages and for more than an hour — the war; a nervous hand, damp at the palm, flattered an enormous-faced wristwatch. The smallest places in the world often add motion to the words. A trifle, bitten down, some cashmere yarn, the flashes, one good mixer, were all essentially the enemy. Out of the blue: the sun goes behind clouds, the wind picks up, and the temperature drops. Look back. The bloodstained ground stained or not. Always it seems a matter of costuming. I just meant she had a letter (nail-lacquer). What happens after? They lead. They swim. Reduce the number of collisions. (The room we had so snug.) We’ll see if we can move air. Ash does not settle.

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