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Edmonton author Field Basansikis serves a sharp cocktail of short stories

Monday 28th, November 2016 / 10:59
By Levi Manchak
Photo: Levi Manchak

Photo: Levi Manchak

EDMONTON — Field Basansikis is an Edmonton-based artist, musician, poet and author who is discontent with obscurity. Through a new collection of short stories written over the course of 2016 and compiled under the title Light Bleeding Light into the Gutter, Basansikis enlists his style of gritty yet artful prose and lobs it like a literary Molotov cocktail toward casual indifference. Through his words he hopes to transfix and draw attention to his inner dialogue.

Prior to the publication, as Basansikis puts it, the stories compiled in Light Bleeding Light into the Gutter had been “hidden in the dark half of my bright future.” His imagination ignites on the pages. Social encounters are vivisected, thoughts laid bare, the act of writing itself is ruminated on, and zombies are tied to an altar, victim to a group of post-apocalyptic boys; all in the service of allegory. Expression is paramount to Basansikis. He wears his words on his sleeve – literally. The same antique typewriter typeface Basansikis uses in his visual art is also tattooed on his body and appears as a stylistic visual signature spilled out across the pages of Light Bleeding Light into the Gutter.

There is a defined edge to Basansikis’s writing but the sharpness is not the clinical kind. Rather, the poignant edges of the stories in Light Bleeding Light into the Gutter can be imagined as jagged shards of broken glass. When hit with a beam of streetlight the sharp edges shine. The dazzling reflection radiates an inherent beauty, but the beauty is belied by a raw ability to lacerate. What Basansikis seeks to cut through with his book of personal aphorisms is common banality. While many of the stories contain nuanced cultural critiques, many stories consciously avoid cruelty; the jagged glass is marbled with hopeful reverie. A certain sense of stoic optimism glimmers through many of the short stories, shining hopeful glints of light upward, out of the gutter hoping to catch the eye of a passerby.

A launch party for Light Bleeding Light into the Gutter features author readings, music by The Give ‘em Hell Boys and burlesque performance by Lionessence Burlesque Troupe Dec. 4 at the Yellowhead Brewery.

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