PILTDOWNLAD #6: INSTITUTIONALIZED: donations/trades/stamps, 5 ½” x 8 ½”, copied and bound, 100 pgs.

Jun 13, 2014

Kelly gives lengthy context to what brought him to write Institutionalizedin his letters section where he gets real with some of his readers and pen pals. I’ll give you the gist of it: After a serious mental breakdown where he rid himself of all his possessions and left his wife and home in a cross-country fugue to New Orleans that ended in near oblivion, he decided to “quit running.” He got help and decided to tell his real story. Whereas before he could only write of drunken adventures and hedonism (the devaluing tone is me paraphrasing him. I recommend Piltdownlad #5, which is full of such tales), he gets down to the serious trauma that led to his life of struggling with PTSD and mental illness. After writing an 850-page autobiographical novel that he felt was “an utter failure,” he started all over again, breaking his story up into different issues of this zine. He breaks from typical zine form in the way that it’s still written as fiction, written in four different voices, but he assures us that the story is very true, going as far as to print court documents and newspaper articles. The story starts out with Louis, a sixteen-year-old and his preteen younger brother, Joey, trashing their soon-to-be former home where they lived with their sexually-abusive father and his scumbag accomplice. The narrative of this destruction calls to mind a John Darnielle revenge fantasy song, except in Piltdownladthere’s proof, a gleeful Polaroid of them “so there was no mistaking who was behind the wreckage.” They end this retribution by scrawling “FEEL THE WRATH OF THE INNOCENTS!” on the wall and turning in their father and his slimeball friend to the social workers who’d been prying them, suspecting something was wrong. It’s quite a chapter, but this issue has more to do with what happens next. They’re sent to a home for... I guess I’ll call at-risk youth, institutionalized. And the story continues from there. I assure you, it’s well worth your time. Kelly wraps up the zine with some write-ups on zines he likes and why many of them stand as personal pieces in their own right. A brave zine you should brave reading. –Craven Rock (Kelly Dessaint, PO Box 86714, LA, CA 90086, [email protected])