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Bob Schofield

Bob Schofield lives in Philadelphia. He likes what words and pictures do. Find him at bobschofield.tumblr.com and @anothertower.

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“Exactly the kind of thing that we need more of; not a gimmick or a hybrid, but something new.”

– Ed Turner, Biblioklept

“This morning I’m stuffed in my bathtub excited for Bob Schofield’s, Inevitable June, because he is the future of American Surrealism.”

– TJ Lyons, Electric Literature

“You can honestly consider the book to be one of the most original approaches to the adventure story model that you’re ever going to come across.”

– Gabriel Ricard, Drunk Monkeys

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The Inevitable June

The Inevitable June is a black octopus that wants to touch your hair.

05/31/14

So I was reading Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur, and it reminded me of The Inevitable June.  Malory’s ten-pound tome is bonkers— it’s almost biblical. Events just pile onto each other, and adopt their own logic of inevitability. In Malory, Uther Pendragon covets the wife of the Duke of Cornwall, so Merlin magic-disguises Uther so that he can sneak into Lady Cornwall’s locked-away chamber and impregnate her, which is just bonkers. The thing is, this lead to the birth of Arthur. Arthur was necessary; he was the greatest king of Britain in history, and whatever events that led to his birth, however . . . questionable, are justified and even made heroic because of this inevitability.

The Inevitable June does not tell tales of Arthurian heroes, but it does smack of the mythic: “This morning I crossed the river on a horse made of lightbulbs.” This is the speaker’s entry for June 4thThe Inevitable June chronicles the birth of the speaker, and a subsequent journey through the month of June. There is an entry for every day. Some entries are longer than others, and entries are often bridged by illustrations which do as much to drive the narrative as the prose does.

Last year I wrote a recommendation for The Newer York, a literary magazine that took it upon itself to catalog art and literature that was unconcerned with the parameters of genre or mode. I raved about how exciting, how exhilarating, my experience from front-to-back cover was, and how refreshing it had been to experience a collection of work that was identifiably “new” in the face of a preponderance of modern and post-modern literary history that had already branded itself as such. The Inevitable June is the first single author release from that same press, and, like the magazine before it, this volume provides an experience that I cannot find anywhere else on any of my five or so book shelves, or in the piles around my desk.

I’m reticent to talk specifics when it comes to The Inevitable June. It begins with an epigraph, an “Old Zen Proverb” that has monks proclaiming “Oh Shit!” That moment, I think, sets a tone where the work can engage fully with the mythic in a way that leaves plenty of room for personality. There is, more often than not, a pleasant surprise on the next page, and I’d rather not do my readers the injustice of ham-handedly relating them myself. Instead, here is a bit of the beginning:

“This morning I am swollen in my mother’s belly.
It creaks like a door in the lamp post. I imagine
a coat rack built in an iceberg. There are clouds
above it. A black octopus touching people’s hair.

I can’t hide from it anymore.”

I do the text injustice by presenting it without its wonderful line drawings. Even so, Schofield manages to squeeze some wonder into the surreal.

The Inevitable June is a black octopus that wants to touch your hair. You can’t hide from it, and if you try, you’ll miss something incredible. Rather, sit back and turn pages as each muscular hydrostat encircles you in a damp, suction cup grip. It’s even more fun than it sounds.

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