John Jodzio

There's something at once sadistically depressing and jarringly hopeful about those signs on the side of the highway in the no-man's land between urban and suburban regions, the signs that read "If You Lived Here You'd Already Be Home." "Yes, I'd be home and what a tidy condominium complex my home would be! But, wait, I'd also live on the side of a highway." John Jodzio's collection of short stories If You Lived Here You'd Already Be Home (Replacement Press) similarly toys with the line between aching sadness and heartbreaking hope. His characters' seemingly mundane lives are overlaid with the surreal: the couple whose baby persists in swallowing everyday objects; the would-be beauty queen with a barnacle stuck to her ass; the young cancer patient who ends up with the wrong baseball player on his make-a-wish fishing trip; and the teenage boy whose weekend job is to play the role of his neighbor's dead son. In each short piece, Jodzio creates a detailed, diorama-like scene. Together, this collection creates a world that is fascinating to watch even if we don't want to live there, a world not unlike a condominium complex on the side of the highway. (Photo by Tiffany Bolk)
Fri., March 19, 7:30 p.m., 2010

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