Confessions of a Cockroach & Headstone
by Mike Johnson
Confessions of a Cockroach & Headstone are two remarkable prose poems of novella length and are a unique literary endeavour. To put the two novellas on equal footing, they have been presented in the ‘head to toe’ format. Read a story, flip it over and read the other.
This playful recollection of the format of short Science Fiction novels from the 1950s and 1960s (Get two for the price of one!) offers some delight of the postmodern kind, and sets up the reader for Johnson’s multi-dimensional prose. Both these stories reflect each other as if in an inverted mirror, the imagery from one echoing in the other.
In Confessions of a Cockroach a beggar sits on the main street of a big city and reflects upon those passing by and his own life. In Headstone, a gravestone in a quiet cemetery addresses those passing by with a series of reflections on the nature of memory and grief. Both stories are steeped in childhood rhymes and rhythms and strongly evoke the sense of the plasticity of identity.
Two luminously beautiful stories from a recognised poet and master of New Zealand fiction.