Friday, March 3, 2017
February 27, 2017, Issue
McKenna Stayner’s “Bar Tab” sentences are amazing mashups of unexpected words and images. Her “The crawlers, finishing a hot whiskey cider that tasted like the dregs of an overly honeyed tea, passed through a teensy smokers’ patio and into the booze-soaked main bar, attracted by a glowing yellow counter, its surface like the cracked crust of a crème brûlée,” in “Bar Tab: Sycamore,” was one of last year’s highlights (see “Best of 2016: GOAT”). Her “Bar Tab: Super Power,” in this week’s issue, contains another dandy: “Visiting Super Power, with the gentle glow of a blowfish lamp, the fogged windows dripping hypnotically with condensation, and the humid, coconut-scented air, was exactly like being on a cruise, but everyone was wearing wool.” That sensuous conjunction of light (“gentle glow of a blowfish lamp”), steam (“fogged windows dripping hypnotically with condensation”), smell (“humid, coconut-scented air”), and texture (“everyone was wearing wool”) is ravishing!