Ariana Kelly, whose recent essay on desuetude, boundaries, connectedness, and the superannuated notion of privacy was disguised as a story about phone booths, has great peripheral vision. Even when her descriptions become so vivid that you’re sure her eyes must be exclusively regarding the thing she’s describing, she consistently sees and introduces what’s adjacent to it. And what’s behind it and she probably sees a little into its future too; she has a hungry mind that way and readers get to luxuriate in its cross-currents and felicities.
Ms. Kelly kicked off the year at LA’s Betalevel reading from a new work, Subterranean Homesick Blues. (Here’s to her tossing her note cards on the floor.) The essay is allegedly about basements, but we imagine it’ll be about imprisonment, safety, storage, earthquakes, wine, torture, flooding, angst, aspiration, soil, and illegal tenancy. Word is she’s at work on a collection of essays. That should comprise the whole world, pretty much.