“You Don’t Want This” isn’t just the title of Kristin Garth's anthology of short fiction (available for pre-order on Pink Plastic Press), it’s the inscription on the gates outside her realm of hustlers, harlots, and heroes (some who are all three at once). But this ain’t Hell, this is Florida. The ferry carries you through strip joints and sex dungeons, but also where the world, the flesh, and the devil lurk in videostore back rooms and all-night greasy spoons. Garth balances dark humor and wickedly witty turns of phrase with the lyrical touch of a poet, chasing tempests of brutality and trauma with an undercurrent of hope in the form of sexual liberation. These stories reveal the underbelly that is just as much America as the surface if not more so, the evil that men do and women do their best to survive through. The gods will not save you, and neither will Daddy, but a dance mom reality show star may be the light to guide you out of the darkness. After you begin “You Don’t Want This,” you won’t want it to end — it’s not just the awakening we desire, it’s the apocalypse we deserve.
(image by Kristin, who I thank for sharing her work with me)