The Association Of Small Bombs is a panorama of the bigotry and bureaucracy of contemporary India, written in voluntary exile. It takes the victims and their families, the terrorists and the falsely accused, and hurls them against each other in “Delhi – baked in exquisite concrete shapes… Delhi – flat, burning, mixed-up, smashed together from pieces of tin and tarpaulin.”
NASA should have sent up a poet or an artist, he reckons, to describe the view for all mankind. Because the question is always the same: “What did it feel like on the moon?” He doesn’t have an answer. “Magnificent desolation,” he called it, while he was there.
Some think the riots damaged the community. Others call it an uprising. “There’s power in non-violent protest,” said Shorty, “but you need to show that you’re capable of violence as well.”
“It is a place where you can be anything. It’s a place where you can say anything, write anything, paint anything.” But not for long.
Ashrita Furman was juggling hand axes in his back yard when I arrived. The hatchets were sharp, and weighed more than two kilos each, as Guinness regulations require.
A few days after the execution date was confirmed, I received a message: Swearingen wanted me to watch him die.