If space determines the contours of possibility, Ben Segal’s domain delineates limitlessness. From an oceanic bedroom to a restaurant overrun by hedgehogs, a man who stumbles across strewn—about human—limbed planters to four people in an enclosed room where their every action is prescribed by cards drawn from a slot, Pool Party Trap Loop perambulates space and potential and in so doing plots a humanizing intersection. For the human condition—as revealed in these short yet shapely fictions—is dislocated, and dangerously so; repositioning requires the daring elasticity in language and form that pushes against the surreal sides of this boundless collection.
"The fresh, previously unheard notes in Ben Segal’s brain–feverish surrealism arrive in the reader’s mind with an audaciously hyper–compact lyricism, and his sentences dart straight to the heart. Pool Party Trap Loop’s expertly miniaturized fictions of bodily havoc, of messily human collision, introduce Ben Segal as a vital and original voice."
—Gary Lutz, author of Stories in the Worst Way
"Suppose every fable is tired. One’s been the childpainter for years. Another the Worm King for every dream. Up on the Ferris wheel is the wrestler in a red singlet that matches his beard. Down into trap loops they collapse, and Ben Segal unspools rusted tinsel from real hearts and philosophies. Ghosts are here, but they live in buckets. Squirrels are dead, but they live in jackets. What they sing for is to be at peace."
—Mike Young, author of Sprezzatura