Stefan Lorenzutti Reads “These Bored Bones” from “Great Known”
Great Known was published seven years ago—and yet I feel like I’m still writing it, maybe a third of the way through at this point. There will be an expanded second edition, titled Great Known Haibundle, in 2024, with drawings by Matéo Palévody.
In the meantime, here’s a prose poem from GK about a Halloween when nothing much happened. Which is maybe why I remember each detail. Halloween has since grown in popularity here in Poland—much to the Church’s chagrin—and now that we’ve moved back to the city, there’s a bit more to do. For the past eight years, we’ve been wary of dressing our daughters up as witches and having them march through the devout village in the valley, lest we be branded as devil-worshipping homeschoolers.
One year at dusk, I ran to the old cabin with a bag of Smurf-shaped marshmallows. Asia walked the costumed girls (witch and bunny) from the new cabin across the field in the gloaming. They knocked on the door of the old cabin, I gave them marshmallows in the role of a strange wheezy peasant, and then they returned home for bedtime with big stunned smiles. Asia and I felt like we did good that year.
The graphite drawing on the cover of Great Known is by French artist Jeremy Schneider. It was drawn when Maya was eighteen months old. I asked Jeremy if he could render an older Maya, circa age nine, in a wolf suit (Sendak homage) reading a comic within a circle of protection on the back cover. Now Maya is nine and, as I write this, she is in her room reading a comic (illustrator David Wenzel’s The Hobbit), cross-legged in a protective pool of lamplight.
And now we’re in Kraków, the girls are in school, and I’m taking Maya to her first Halloween party tonight. It’s exciting. Maya is Catwoman; I’m a lumberjack, wielding a massive cardboard axe, and I’m okay.