Leslie Scalapino

Floats Horse-Floats or Horse-Flows

Miners, polar bears, insurgents sweeping the desert in Toyota pickups, a detective on the trail of illegal fur traders, Venus Williams' deconstructed forehand, wild horses, blooming chrysanthemums, tadpoles eating corpses in the Euphrates, and so much more — Leslie Scalapino's Floats Horse-Floats or Horse-Flows is a startlingly beautiful, politically engaged, poetic novel. Narrative moments arrive out of inchoate states — an alexia where unknown words create a future — and the reader is continually and unexpectedly moved by the buoyancy and breathtaking velocity of Leslie Scalapino's language.

"This is a jewel book that has come out of the spagyric hinterlands of purest imagination, where it has lain for an immeasurable time alongside Burroughs's Cities of the Red Night, Hans Arp's poetry, Monkey's Journey to the West, and Mark Twain's Mysterious Stranger — and it blows with the elegance of a horse — or a wolf...Virginia Woolf."  Michael McClure, author of Scratching the Beat Surface

"Leslie Scalapino's writing reveals how far language — and therefore thought itself — can go beyond what we are accustomed to, and the forms in which she writes delightfully defy our expectations. Yet her work is infused with a seriousness, a passion, a timeliness, and an intelligence with which we profoundly identify. A new book by Leslie Scalapino is — always! — cause for celebration."  Lydia Davis, author of Samuel Johnson is Indignant

"What is an event anyway? This is a question Scalapino has explored before, but never quite as she does here. There is the known world where 'one-box-fits-all-words' make 'even plants indistinguishable from humans.' And then there is the world Scalapino creates, a world of fresh encounters where the 'hartebeest is wandering' and the 'vast shimmying fractionation is heard.' This other world isn't Eden, though it might seem so at first. Like the one we know, this world is filled with disaster and violence. The difference is that here we don't see it coming; we can't hide behind dead verbiage; we can't brace ourselves."  Rae Armantrout, author of Versed

"Floats Horse-floats or Horse-flows is an action novel. Using aspects of adventure, science fiction, and crime, Leslie Scalapino presents and represents an interwoven series that carries you along, ready or not. In fact, in this writing the sense of the present is the central action for the writer and the reader, as well as for the characters. 'No really it's one thing at a time but all at once...' There are horses and they do float and flow. In fact, there are pictures of this, as well as other photos. The sense of floating and flow is intricately, one might almost say intimately, maintained. There is time travel or, at least multiple times…. It is a wild ride."  Laura Moriarty, author of A Semblance