It began out of context. As in, Once there was, and Once there wasn’t. The midwife fleeing on a ferry out of Tangiers, this child sleeping on her lap. A disgraced boxer sweating vodka while tracing his life’s ineluctable direction over the surface of a river. Why the spectral figure pursued the child, what he sought to claim from that boy . . . As the characters matured, I obsessed, and understood their actions in further detail—who each thought they once might become, the past gods and lovers indifferent to their suffering, their existence in one another’s lives, how they will eventually hold each other in memory alone. Those ashes and their timbre.
We are storytellers in Montana: the winters are dark and often brutal, and whiskey carries only so far before oblivion. The tropes of Westerns, in story and film, are a childhood inheritance and somehow find their way into my writing, witnessed here through a modern lens. There is narrative impulse deep as winter in our blood; it continues to suture these characters to my imagination and I cannot let go. The Midwife’s Antinomy ambles into a manuscript, one risen out of landscape and, most importantly, character: a trio of broken saints. I honor their voices.