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TOY FABELS
by Cass McCombs

Coming October 16, 2019

A book of poetry. 72 pages, illustrated by the author.

Toy Fabels is Cass McCombs’ debut poetry collection. Reading Toy Fabels feels like traveling through McCombs’ singular itinerant experiences — high and low voices merge, as childhood and adulthood, the east and west coasts, paganism and religion, twist into each other. A central theme is memory, especially a sort of half-remembered, half-obscured — but never idealized — landscape of Northern California. This remembered landscape is always in flux, shaping McCombs’ poetic language. Within this unique place, Toy Fabels features a number of unnamed narrators — from delinquent graffiti artists telling absurdist tales, to Marquis de Sade’s shadow and echo, to a disembodied voice that provides the mythic grounding for the collection. Illustrated by McCombs, Toy Fabels’ brilliance lies in its embrace of the inexplicable and the ephemeral.

Cass McCombs is a musician from Northern California, whose latest album is Tip of the Sphere. Visit his website here.

[Cass McCombs’] songs would lose nearly all of their magnetism without McCombs’ lyrics, which are some of the greatest you could hope to hear nowadays. Sung in a mild voice, they’re tightly packed with defiance, nihilism and esoteric jokes — all of which create a bizarre, exquisite friction against the calm of the music. Plus, it’s always a kick to place your trust in a narrator who never seems to want it.
— Chris Richards, Washington Post
[Cass McCombs’] characters give voice to paranoia, psychosis and pettiness, but their author isn’t telling you what to think. They can withhold crucial details and contain Beckett-level humor, dry and dark. His music is easy on the ears and unending pain on the logical and moral centers of the brain.
— Ben Ratliff, New York Times