dream whip #11 by Bill Brown

Dream Whip #11

by Bill Brown

It's hard to describe the short, intricate glimpses of life Bill shares from his travels around the world. They're quick, careful sketches of single moments or entire days, acute and reflective like tiny windows into the world around us that we never even think about.

In this issue, Bill drives around the country before settling in New York City for a while, admiring and dreading the subway wind and contemplating tiny moments of silence and simplicity in a chaotic, beautiful city. "...that's how this city is, sometimes. Solemn and quiet. A place to buy a donut without saying a word, as if the world's running low on words, the way it runs low on pennies now again. How can you run low on something so worthless? That's what people want to know..."

With writing that is intensely visual ("Maybe a whole lawn would spring up, an Austin lawn in West Harlem, where my Dominican neighbors could dance and make-out while the music blares from their open windows.... The mayor would send in herbicide helicopters and flame throwers, but it'd be too late.), contemplative, and sensory ("...it's furious and fast, like the piano player is trying hard to get to the end of the piece while the city comes crashing down around him. Seasons and cities and whole centuries smash through the ceiling, and all the pianist can do is play faster and faster."), Brown pulls you into his life in tiny snippets.

Before you know it, you're addicted, devouring page after page until you're swallowed into his gritty, expressive, hopeful words, following his days exploring the city, his trip to D.C. with Food Not Bombs, his tour of New York Coffee shops, and then, quite suddenly, you're left to flounder when it's all over and there isn't any more.

"Then the big departure sign is like a slot machine, and the times and the places blur, and you hold your breath. For a few dizzy seconds, you could be going anywhere."