The Rooftop Sutras
by Levin A Diatschenko
Undergrowth Inc & Wolfty and Cliff Publishing

"The Suburbs are like an elephant graveyard: people only go there to die."

Thirteen short stories wind together in this collection to produce the "sutras" or thread of fictional scenarios expressing the author's themes. They are dreamlike and surreal storylines about things like a man having to build the perfect house of cards in order to escape the boredom and sameness of suburbia. Another realizes he is buffeted about by a strong currents of force. In another story, a disembodied voice announces the next week of life will be lived over and over again for ten years. A man finds himself in a "suburbia" located on the ocean floor.

These are not simply fabulist inventions on the author's part. They are part and parcel of his use of illusion and fantasy to explore the very themes of illusion, or, in the Hindu and/or Buddhist sense, Maya. The rat race of repetitive work and competition just to live in the suburbs is a modern metaphor for this ancient concept of the endless cycle of birth and death. Through concentration, a house of cards can be completed. Through silence and solitude, the currents of social forces can be avoided. By practicing Raja Yoga and focusing on Humanity rather than the personal self, the cycles of life and death can seem less painful. Postmodern and ultra-ironic at first, each of these stories ends on a note of hope and belief.

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