The Garbageman and the Prostitute, out on local publishing company Chiasmus, shows a distopian America where the shit has hit the fan and we're all getting splattered in crud. Phantom children with holes for eyes thump their chests and flash knives in the street. Clones of the plain talkin', salt-of-the-earth president lurk in alleys with bloody claws and moony, you-can-trust-me grins. The world's foremost porn star hides out in her breast-shaped compound, gets loaded on pills and canned beer, and fucks the diseased, beat-down PI hired to flush out her supernatural stalker.
And to hell with the current, neo-puritanical publishing scene—Zack Wentz's (also of the punk bands Kill Me Tomorrow and Tender Buttons) writing is full of ecstatic rim jobs, penile discharge that looks and smells like soy sauce, and bodies filleted like mackerel on every charred, ruined, graffiti-scarred corner. The obscenity and fun picks up fast (first page in) and rolls hard into campy, savage, porn horror—spraying pulpy violence, sex, and excess across 179 pages (which are illustrated Ralph Steadman-style by Wentz's wife and Kill Me Tomorrow band-mate K8 Wince.)
So far, Wentz's debut has been compared to weighty countercultural icons like Kathy Acker, Philip K. Dick, and Pynchon, while the critical response (and back cover blurbs) come packing complimentary pipe bombs that most young, ambitious authors would murder for—or at least fantasize about and get real bitter about later in life. Because where a lot of writers can put together a pretty sentence, Wentz can make 'em ugly and chaotic, and the bloody phlegm he spits down is hard to look away from. ("Chaos is the score upon which reality is written," said Henry Miller.)
As chick lit and reactionary fundamentalist novels flood the market, Wentz's book can be seen as a throbbing, pus-slick canker on American lit's limp and wrinkled cock. It's a vulgar, hallucinatory work, a vision of an America not just decaying but coming apart in sped-up time lapse photography, full color, swelling, aching, groaning, 60 hot seconds from busting open and gushing warm, pink, steaming guts and bright green bile all over our clean, white sidewalks.