New Mexico Sizzle

by Kevin Bray


Kevin_Bray-New_Mexico_Sizzle

[Editor’s Note: Click on the triptych for a full view.]

Kevin Bray writes and teaches in Toronto. He studied at the Humber School for Writers and the Vermont College of Fine Art. His essays often appear in the Globe and Mail and other writing is found in Airplane Reading, The Danforth Review, The Healing Muse, Biostories and Penduline Press. His essay, “The Fragmentary Blue of a Butterfly”, is contained in the anthology How to Expect What You’re Not Expecting (Touchwood Editions). He blogs at www.kevinbraywriter.com

Would you please describe for us your triptych experience?

    In the 1980s I wore a parachute suit and dyed runners, but I shamefully admit that I did watch pop-up videos (how did these help kill the radio star?). The bookends of the triptych are a little like the MTV pop-ups, without the “bloop” noise. With less shame I confess that I had to use the OED to define triptych. I also found “diptych,” a word that could, in a loud bar after midnight, be construed as a rude or pejorative word. (I would never use this word in that context, even if it best described the menu.) I realized that my students create triptychs when they go to Dollarama and buy display boards. They use them to construct really bad triptychs about topics like the World Bank, comparative advantage or Steve Jobs. Writing the triptych forced me to look at my writing as if I were looking at myself in a fun-house mirror; I kept seeing things that may or may not actually represent truth. Writing the two pieces that book-ended the main piece was similar to deciding what to put on a dinner plate around a steak. The steak was cut and cooked in a workshop with Richard McCann in Vermont.
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