News | 2011 | I Found a Better One

The Beggar's Garden by Michael Christie

In a recent post, I talked about how I liked Michael Christie's similies. I even quoted examples from his new book, The Beggar's Garden. Well, I found another one I want to share, because, well, it's so disturbing and evocative and bang on. This is from Mike's story "Goodbye Porkpie Hat" (which was short listed for 2008's Journey Prize) and describes a woman half-heartedly trying to persuade her boyfriend not to beat up the narrator in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

Her cropped shirt reveals an abdomen stretch-marked and harbouring unearthly wrinkles in the texture of a scrotum or an elderly elephant.

Okay, ew, but still, the picture Mike creates is brilliant. I was reading this story in a hair salon and when I hit these lines I burst out laughing. Which of course precipitated a moment when I felt obliged to share what I was laughing at. Which almost got awkward, but because Mike's writing was so good, it wasn't.

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