Disparate Pathos

Disparate Pathos
by Meg Tuite
Monkey Puzzle Press, 2012

After reading Meg Tuite’s short-short from a child’s point-of-view, entitled “May I Please Be Excused from Reality?” in Spring 2012 issue ofjmww, I knew I had to read more. Disparate Pathos focuses on adult concerns and how they voice their wants and needs. Sometimes sex and drinking seemed a little too familiar for my taste, but that didn’t deter my like of this chapbook.

Tuite does amazing things with voice in a tiny space. In “Bipolar Menopause,” a feisty narrator decides her time is valuable and scares away her friends with her honesty, saying “I’m sucked into this vortex of foaming, blustering violence and I understand all those poor souls that are fenced in behind bars in prisons all over the world, because right now I’d like to take a rake to her…so I tell her she’s a bloodsucker, someone who comes from a long line of deranged gene pools….”

“Couple Busting” shows the reader a bored couple that meets a passionate couple. From there, the bored couple realizes their hatred for the love they see in the passionate couple is something they share in common, which skyrockets their own passion, and they are “slamming each other against the walls, making raucous love like [they] hadn’t done in years.” When the passionate couple becomes annoyed with the new-found love of the boring pair, they leave in search of new friends, and those who began bored become bored again. Essentially, Tuite delivers large changes in four characters, flipping their worlds upside down and back again in under two pages. What Tuite accomplishes in the short-short genre in surprising; she avoids slice-of-life moments that have become too common in many magazines.

*This review was originally published in JMWW

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