What other writers are saying . . .
Christopher Rosales’ writing in Word is Bone is so vibrant and dirty with street-level intimacy like a lot of hip-hop: think Kendrick Lamar’s Money Trees and Domino’s Getto Jam. These are stories from the stoops, laundromats, canals and alleyways, that show how a community weaves narrative webs to understand their own truths. So, here we go, here we go as the tune starts to bloom.
—Steven Dunn, Potted Meat and water & power
"If all stories are really either about someone leaving town or someone getting to town, then Word is Bone is, pretty much, all stories, but in a way that's so particular to SoCal and the nineties that you'll find yourself looking down at your own feet, expecting them to be wrapped in June's cowboy boots."
—Stephen Graham Jones, Mongrels and Mapping the Interior
What it’s about . . .
When a young man named June Walker realizes he's in too deep with this teenage girl Kiddy, he's gotta strap his guitar to his back and jam out of town. But the story of him doesn't go away, it just waits for him to come back to finish it.
Ten years gone now, and June's back. He's meaner, hardly talks, and he rocks cowboy boots instead of Air Jordans. No doubt, he's here to salvage his reputation, to finally claim Kiddy as his own.
Except Kiddy's no girl now, she's a starlet. And not only that, but there's her boyfriend Spanky, the local hood who runs these streets and doesn't want Kiddy to leave them. Him and June got beef that goes way back, too. Not that any of that matters to June. He'll burn all of Clearwater down to get back with Kiddy, maybe light himself up in the process, and this has got the hood talking again. It don’t even matter that Spanky’s the one who brings a strange and high death toll to the town. Everybody’s gonna blame June.
So, yeah, the stories about June, they might be true, and they might be chisme. Either way, they're what he's made of, what he can't escape.
Like the direct-to-video project these people expect to launch Kiddy's acting career, the story of June and Kiddy and Spanky is that mix of romance, drama and comedy, horror and mystery, which you expect would play out in black and white. It's a mean ride—word is bone. But here it is, cruising down the streets of a Southern California hood, and so damn smooth you’d swear it was painted in Technicolor.