Deer Season, Polly Bresnick

 

Dead and Dying Deer, 1888 - New York Public Library

“….and the deer seems to be charged with that dangerous energy of wild animals that makes them fascinating, but also terrifying.”

At first I wasn’t going to write about this one, but then I just couldn’t stop thinking about it.  All because of the search for blood, all because of my own neighborhood wilderness childhood and the countless deer strapped to the bed of my grandfather’s truck.

Blood marks the death of both girls and deer here, though all of the blood is hidden until the end.  Much of flash must focus on a clarifying moment that delineates past and present – a short, sharp shock that somehow renders clearly all that has come before, and all that must come after. Polly Bresnick’s “Deer Season” (Monkeybicycle) manages to encapsulate three very particular moments – each happening in quick succession, one leading to the next.  That Bresnick can bring these five minutes to their inevitable conclusion without falling prey to sentimentality is, at heart, why this piece is so unforgettable for me.

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