In Cactus, correctional officer and ex-punk rocker Will Stephens works guarding prisoners who pick up trash on the side of the highway. One of them, a hardened inmate with a tattoo right beneath his eye, seems oddly familiar, but Will can’t quite place him. When he realizes that the prisoner is none other than the former lead singer of his favorite punk band, he must navigate an emotional desert landscape populated by neo-Nazis, asshole cops, guilt, student loans, and a double dose of mescaline tea.
Praise for Cactus:
“Perkins does what classic literature does. He invites you to witness an accident, and like the desert, it is beautiful.”
– Noah Cicero, author of Nature Documentary
“Shades of Updike’s ‘A&P’ but much less boring.”
– Bart Schaneman, author of Someplace Else
– Adam Gnade, author of Locust House
Nathaniel Kennon Perkins lives in Boulder, CO, where he works as a bookseller and publisher at Trident Press. He is the author of the short novel, Cactus, and the ongoing literary zine series, Ultimate Gospel. His creative work has appeared in Triquarterly, Noncanon Press, Keep This Bag Away From Children, decomP magazinE, Pithead Chapel, Timber Journal, and others. He has written for SLUG Magazine, the Tico Times, and the Mormon Worker. Pest House published his chapbook, Acknowledgement (2014), and he is the recipient of the High Country News’s 2014 Bell Prize. In October 2015 he gave a reading tour of the Western US with the sound artist Braeyden Jae, and in the summer of 2018 he toured with the emo band Tall Boys.