El Dorado

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Letter from Ohio. The green so green it must be chemical. Faint drift of charcoal smoke. Rock radio. The pink azaleas thrusting at the blue. And all the same desires come crashing back: incredible X-ed out scenes and afterward the whoosh of traffic surf, our bodies bathed in the whole sweep of towers and freeways and meadows of blanket flowers. I want it all: heat puddle in the chest, moments like handfuls of honeycomb, split, dribbling...Enough. We've lived apart for weeks now and your voice cracks from the cell reception, hums and dips and breaks for seconds, as evening peaks to orange in the sycamores, and the need to see you stretches into the days that follow: stray lifetime spent in office rooms and parks and station halls as they fall to the curve of earth, the ocean. In El Dorado, Peter Campion explores what it feels like to live in America right now, at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Splicing cell-phone chatter with translations of ancient poems, jump-cutting from traditional to invented forms, and turning his high-res lens on everything from box stores to trout streams to airport lounges, Campion renders both personal and collective experience with capacious and subtle skill.