Feb 6Liked by Josh Fireland

You are a fun man. As one of the extremely few readers of the latest jam… I think it’s god damn perfect. Even reading the opening again just now, I’m like… yeah let’s go! It’s so good. Okay bye.

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Love the presentation here.

For me, I think 2023 is the closest, but I think there are some tweaks to throw out:

The "what we know and don't know" is a strong frame to kick a story off with, I think. But I'd really like it if you applied the 'don't know' part to this paragraph. Also, I think the oblivio thing is dope but it might a bit too many balls in the air for the opening stanza? Wonder if that could be nestled after this opener? So I'd propose something like (leaving the oblivio line in though):

OK, what do we know and not know.

We know Batya Hull just wrapped up a job at the Ballast Hotel on the northern docks. She got paid to look mean and make sure a deal went smooth and nobody got cute.

We also know the exchange was silver bullion for a new pill called oblivio, gives you this temporary amnesia, all the rage here in Fort Hook. Anyway, it’s not glamorous work but it pays the bills, some of the bills, and nobody got cute.

We don’t know, as Bat’s cutting through the kitchen, why she doesn’t like what she’s not hearing. The dinner crew should be here washing dishes. The radio should be blasting something stupid.

We also don’t know why she felt the room was wrong, and that maybe a knife is missing from that block?

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Feb 6·edited Feb 6

"still chained to the sea" is a line that still haunts me.

To be honest, I'd keep reading any and all of these. Even the 2010 entry, which is in my estimation, the least interesting one.

And since it seems like we are dispensing editorial advice here in the comments, I'm very happy with the current draft and I like your next line mentioned in the comments that ties together the WDWK/WDWNK first line. Seems like it is well timed.

My only issue is the name of the drug. Sure it isn't as bad a name as 'unobtainium' for a fictitious substance but it's a little too on the nose. Also, it seems like it could be either its pharmaceutical marketing name or its street name. If it is the marketing name it needs to be more markety. If that is its street name it needs to be more streety, with less syllables.

Edit: All I can think about now is street names for this drug. So, since you didn't ask here are some. blackout, amee, nessie, nixxie.

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Feb 6Liked by Josh Fireland

There's lots of good stuff in every version. I think the taxicab's engine being stricken with emphysema is fantastic, and particularly effective as a member of the litanies you employ. As for "Swelling velvet curtains," I think it works as a provocation of "Is this 'TV tuned to a dead channel' good or trash garbage?" and that's always a good time because I'm a sucker for both and when people enable my suckerings I mean how can that go wrong is what I'm asking.

"Coughing through a little smile" +++

"The dinner crew should be here washing dishes. The radio should be blasting something stupid. A knife is maybe missing from that block?" +++

"'Some *guys* are coming?!" Okay you didn't write this one just trying to keep you on your toes.

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I think the 2010 intro is my favorite. I want to know what happens to this fish out of water. I enjoy the scene setting in the 2023 version but it didn’t grab me in the same way. A story that starts with curvy daggers is setting itself on a crazy pace, no?

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