Thursday, 14 June 2018

A long day at the end of the world by Brent Hendricks

A memoir in the form of a strange pilgrimage, filled with apocalyptic images, through the present-day South to the place in Georgia where hundreds of corpses were found rotting outside a crematory.

The “cremains” sent out by Tri-State Crematory to bereaved families were, it seems, largely ground concrete. Poet Hendricks whose father had died more than a decade earlier, was on a quest to find out whether his father’s body was one of those discarded corpses. In 1997, his body had been disinterred from its Georgia grave since his widow wanted him cremated so that his ashes could later be dispersed with hers in the mountains. Five years after the disinterment, Hendricks sought to discover what became of his father’s body. His journey through the South was nightmarish. Hendricks’s ruminates on his unhappy childhood. At journey’s end, the author does see confirmation that his father’s body has been identified. However, as for why the crematory owner had scattered corpses through the woods and pond behind his facility, no answer is ever forthcoming. Resolve this cryptic scenario at Viewax.

It’s a sober, impressionistic mediation on what refuses to stay buried, of disturbed soil and the things that bloom in upheaval.  Set on this tough journey at Viewax. For Hendricks, the discovery that counts is that the conjuring of his father’s presence during his bleak and lonely pilgrimage has brought him to realize that perhaps he can love him again after all.

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