With Animals on Buses, Adam Lawson makes his extraordinary literary debut

Chris Carfolite (c) 2017
 It takes a brilliant mind to find the subversive beauty in the mundane. We’re living in interesting times where artists continue to take risks. Television series like HBO’s The Young Pope directed by cinematic auteur, Paolo Sorrentino takes the Vatican we know and tips it on its head through the examination of a provocative young pope who titillates the masses with his subversive homilies that dissect what it means to be human and the true nature of faith. Movies like Anna Biller’s The Love Witch subvert the B-movie horror genre with hidden messages of feminism.

It’s nice to be excited about art and culture especially when it offers something so profound and unabashedly honest, which is why we’re excited about Adam Lawson’s Animals on Buses, a collection of micro-essays birthed from his brilliant mind. Through a confluence of profoundly candid narration, Lawson bares his thoughts in an uncannily poetic way. “My Love in a Milkshake’ stands out, dynamic and visceral, Lawson ruminates on his friend Gabby’s admission that she would drink her lover’s ashes, here’s a quote:

“…the idea that someone would be so fond of someone else they’d drink ashes. The energy it takes to sculpt a love that intense. When the soul leaves, what’s left is a familiar hunk of flesh, cosmetic and ornamental only. The idea of ashing hunk, burning it to a crisp, melting it down to powder is romantic in itself, let alone the idea of ingesting those ashes, in something like a milkshake. I get chills of excitement just thinking about it. Ingesting me with a milkshake, that’s the visceral love I’m longing for, that’s poetic and haunting and tragic and perverse and obscene and I need it. Looking back I’ve never had a love that visceral. I’ve had commitments and powerful experiences, but never anything like eating my ashes with a milkshake.”

Lawson’s collection of essays are so unpretentious and unfiltered they have the quality of “halfalogue”. “Halfalogue” is the quality of overhearing a conversation from next door that is so deliciously intimate or honest you know you shouldn’t be listening to it, but you do anyway. “Halfalogue” is why music is so pleasing to hear, because every time the chorus cuts away to the verse, you want to hear the sweet repetition of the chorus again. “Halfalogue” is why you can’t put down Elena Ferrante’s The Neapolitan Novels, and why you’ll be hard-pressed to put down Adam Lawson’s Animals on Buses.