Karyna McGlynn’s chapbook Alabama Steve is a swirl of captivating Deep South truisms, borderline psychosis, fame, and poignant still-life. She employs an ambitious layering of realities with imagination, meaning that her characters are often tasked with clarifying their own realities. This gyroscopic consciousness volleys from small town porches to university offices to Ecuador, often meeting and re-meeting Alabama Steve himself. McGlynn displays anxiety, obsessive and misleading trains of thought which works with the gypsy-like world she has created where supposedly normal characters uncover the unknown at every turn.
Truly, Alabama Steve has something for everybody. Conversations with famous authors and celebrities, Seuss-like advice, and elements of the erotic and the grotesque. McGlynn with one line can be reminiscent of the Beats and on the next of Lewis Carroll. McGlynn wrote “you can’t know what it’s like—the life that surges through you, when you first put your tongue to the BONE.” Readers will want to put their tongue to the bone, in this case, and find that same indefinable surge in pages of Alabama Steve.