“Everything looks the same from the bottom of a lake.”

A review by Bex Peyton

Summer camp: godless terrain, a receptacle for teenage fluids, burning alive and flickering between the film grain. Logan Berry’s newest work (RUN-OFF SUGAR) Crystal Lake (11:11 Press) arrives to us as an anachronistic totem through a contaminated portal. It is poetry, a narrative glitched to hell (literally), a visual treatment for Saturday the 14th, the horror that doesn’t end after you’ve been dragged from the canoe. The lake—infected with young blood and medical cyberwaste—is transformed into a temporal liquidizer: campers and killers as corrupted data, counselors trapped in a glassy 80’s paranoia, blending and oozing from the forgotten VCR in the woods. Crystal Lake is the inevitable response to a dying world fetishizing its own doom. Just try to survive the summer.

When I was younger, I would often fall asleep with the TV on. I would wake up in the middle of the night, paralyzed in my bed by late night horror movies playing at full volume, too scared to find the remote. Crystal Lake reminds me of those nights: bloodshed and sex filtered through a half-asleep brain, inescapable and somehow increasingly comforting. While charged with a nostalgic hysteria, the book is unafraid to indulge in slasher-kitsch, appropriating formulaic horror lines, tying in clever wordplay, and making sing-song out of a kill count. The book stretches across a wide range of visual and typographical forms, functioning within the world as a map, as instructions, as a thematic texture, darkness as a centering force, holding a shaky flashlight on the carnage. Still, Crystal Lake is most successful in its language, demonstrating an impressive balance of hyper-specific imagery and abstract dread that, when paired with Mike Corrao’s visuals, form one of the most cohesive literary nightmares I’ve seen this year. A must-read for anyone interested in the incomparable power of alternative poetry and digital art.

With the release (RUN-OFF SUGAR) Crystal Lake, 11:11 Press continues to awe me with its catalog’s variety, each book unique yet equal in its intelligence, scope, and quality. In this late-stage capitalist clown world, presses like this who keep passion and experimentation at the forefront of literature have my eternal gratitude.

Find (RUN-OFF SUGAR) Crystal Lake here.

And Logan Berry’s other work here:

Transmissions to Artuad