Trembling Pillow Press, June 2015
Walker Percy was fond of declaring serious writers as ex-suicides—“he starts with himself as nothing and makes something of the nothing with things at hand.” The emptying of this egoistic self allows writer and reader to gather into the unknown tethered to an enigma. In Mike Sikkema’s May Apple Deep, readers encounter a world we know and have forgotten: a snowed-in town of the cut short and war-torn, where taxidermy, twang, porch talk, and a “fixing of the light” are shared territory. Here, the house you most know becomes a rifle, reckless under the surface, wild dogs on the other side of the street: all a lie or it’s a lie: this town where you can run into your own ass. Spaces enact gut punches in the fragmentary spaces of your living. Post-your dreaming, after your remembering, “we,” when “we” forget, Sikkema’s collection brings us back from this nothing into a world known, fast, trembling.