It's about the ravages of time, about AIDS and meth and porn, it's about life during the "war on terror" and fake biographies, kidnapped children and schoolhouse shootings, San Francisco, street outreach, the study of Arabic verb forms, the study of transgender Polish modernists, obsession, future life forms, Amish children and wayward Mormons, getting lost in the woods, prison as both metaphor and reality, a doomed romantic attitude toward literature and writing. And what more? Evil clowns? Iceland? Madness? Mystical texts? It also serves as commentary on and a version of the I Ching, meaning you can use it as an oracle.
If you'd like instructions on using Glory Hole to advise you on your life affairs, go here.
“Glory Hole is a novel that provides the glories of story with none of its limitations. Offering all the sensemaking forms of narrative without ever coalescing into any one binding tale, it is a gorgeous, shape-shifting trapdoor into the void, the only true home you’ve ever really known.” —Elisabeth Sheffield, author of Helen Keller Really Lived, Gone, and Fort Da
“Glory Hole is a capacious, sinuous, complex book that pursues the interlinked stories of characters on the margins of social classes, conventions, and sexual/gender structures in ways that reveal the authentic, everyday fabric of their lives.” —Matthew Roberson, author of Impotent and List
"How to be alive? Glory Hole jerks and sputters with flitting urgency, electricity, paranoia and cosmic catastrophe—it offers a kaleidoscopic lens through which beauty turns to horror, and vice versa. Which are you—captivated or taken captive? Beachy peels away the surface with a delicate, invisible blade. I am left raw, open, gaping…in utter awe." --Rachel Nagelberg, author of The Fifth Wall
This outward world is as a smoke or vaporous steam … breathed forth both out of the holy world and then also out of the dark world; and therefore it is terrible and lovely … for the pregnatress of time is a model or platform of the eternal pregnatress; and time coucheth in eternity; and it is nothing else, but that the eternity, in its wonderful birth and manifestation in its power and strength, doth thus behold itself, in a form or time. Jacob Boehme Mysterium Magnum
It begins like this:
Once, Philip got off the bus in a Montana town perched above the flatlands he’d just passed through. In the far distance, black and purple rain clouds had been pasted into the otherwise empty sky. The vapor trails hung down like chromosomes. This all happened a long time ago and nobody knows it. Might as well have dreamed it. Once, Philip had a crush on a crazy. Roger, the crazy, was in love with Madonna, and had mailed her furniture, naked photos of himself, and dog shit once, and then, to apologize, he’d mailed her his thirty-page proof of the existence of God. He’d mixed words and numbers together with boisterous squiggles and indecipherable equations, all purporting to demonstrate an irrefutable divine truth: time and death, it all added up. Roger believed Madonna was into him, too, or that she was, at least, keeping tabs on him, sending her spies over Big Sur in airplanes and helicopters, and communicating with him through songs on the radio, her own songs, and even other people’s songs. Roger was handsome, with that childish magnetism that insane people sometimes have. Philip and Roger had both ended up in Big Sur because they’d been down to almost nothing. Separately, passing through, they’d seen the Help Wanted sign at the gas station. Roger had gotten to the point, in Oregon, that he was living in a cabin in the woods and eating dog food. Roger was heading south toward LA to confront Madonna once and for all. Philip wasn't headed anywhere in particular at the time.