8/31/10

ABANDONED LUGGAGE

I go through fits of insomnia. No matter what I do, I simply can't sleep. Sometimes sleep will come but within 60-90 minutes I'll be wide awake, staring at a ceiling I don't really care to stare at.

Last weekend was one of those times.

The sun began its ascent. I felt restless as the light illuminated the grease of the Hollywood horizon. The restlessness comes and goes too.

At its worse I feel like grabbing a shotgun and going for the cure.

This particular morning I borrowed Gena's camera instead and headed out my door towards the morning.

I followed the sidewalk to the rural area below the Griffith Observatory. It is some sort of weird park. But like everything in Hollywood, it feels subnormal.

My original plan was to take pictures of the sun. I'm not sure why, it's a dumb thing to take pictures of, but that was my goal.

Instead I stumbled upon two homeless guys waking to the crushing daylight.

They seemed nice enough so I talked to them. We talked about weed and homelessness. Capturing genuine people on film is on of my hobbies. They were nice enough to oblige.

Down farther I found two more homeless men sitting on a blanket in the grass. A tent was constructed behind them like some sort of warm weather igloo. I explained the same sentiment about my desire to photograph them. They obliged also.

The guys I met that morning treated me like a human being. Something I have not experienced much when meeting "literary" people.

Some like to treat the homeless like an undesired plague. I never understand why. They have the same beating heart the rest of us do.

The only designation I see is alive or dead; anything else is ego.






8/30/10

Luanne Rice's Pony Story

Copycat

When I taught, my students used to ask me about the dangers of people copying work. They thought that if a story was published online, it would be really easy for someone to steal it and send it to some other place to be published. The thought being the Internet is so huge no one would notice.

I would always respond to that question by telling them not to worry about it. Not because it's never happened, maybe it has, but I told them not to worry about it because if they are strong writers, they can brush that theft off and write something ten times better. I don't know, if you're rich you can sue or something. But if you're us, it's more of an emotional bruise than a financial one.


But, here's the thing, have you ever been writing something and said to yourself, "This is familiar." And dug through books, or your own damn memory, and realized it's familiar because someone else wrote it?

Or have you ever read something by someone else and thought, "I already wrote that," and dug through your shit and found that yes, you wrote it and read it out loud and now something similar is in print with someone else's name attached. And maybe that person didn't consciously "steal" anything. Maybe, while they were writing it, they thought, "this is familiar," but they continued on writing.

When that happens, it's hard to take your own damn advice. It's hard to brush it off. Seems the remedy is to sit down and bitch about it on a blog and then drink some coca cola and write some new shit that's ten times better than the old shit.



.



8/29/10

INTERVIEW W / BEN TANZER. (YEAH, I GOTTA DO IT) THIS INTERVIEW WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

I have long said that if anyone in the small press game has a chance to make it on OPRAH in the next five years, its BEN TANZER. Women love him, men wanna be him. It seems like he dabbles in everything from writing and blogging to racing stock cars and selling red beet eggs on the side of the road, and even if the latter isn't technically true, it should be. So here he is. And when you're done check him out at THIS BLOG WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.


BG: so many quality indie presses and literary journals, what is the THIS ( ) WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE dynasty bringing to the table? what words of wisdom can it offer to the literary conversation?

BT: This is such a good question, because there is a level of overlap and even groupthink in the lit zine/press world, which isn’t even a bad thing, but from a market perspective, you have to ask what’s different about what you do and why should I care. I think with This Zine Will Change Your Life we try to do one thing in particular, which is to try and explore how literature, art, street art in particular, and music can both enhance and build off of one another, that the experience of reading need not be limited to one sense, that it’s possible to mash things together and try to create a different experience, not better than others necessarily, just a version of something you sort of do all the time, but in this case driven by what we think works, or maybe what we like and so hope you will as well. Soon enough we will be expanding our offerings beyond the zine, the book reviews, and podcasts, to food, drink, denim and cosmetic lines and after that we will be able to truly envelope you in all things TBWCYL, Inc., sort of Martha Stewart, the literary version, which was always the goal to begin with.

BG: when the world ends in 2012, as the mayans predicted, and the next species takes over the earth and digs up America 1,000 years from now, what literary journals / indie press publications will they be restoring, reviving, and immortalizing, and why?

BT: Fuck, where do you begin? No really, where do you begin. The question for me may be, who is or was capturing a slice of what’s going on at this time and in this place and doing it in a way that someone will say, man, I hadn’t thought about it in quite that way. Which maybe is your point? And if so, you’re pretty smart. Anyway, from this perspective, two now defunct journals/magazines come to mind for me, Punk Planet and Clamor, and for any number of reasons, but mostly for their efforts to combine music, literature, film, DYI aesthetics and progressive politics. It may say something about what we value as a society that they are defunct, but either way they both did some wonderful stuff, not the least of which was send the message that you can start something from nothing and your passion can get you pretty far if you think big enough, and don’t care about sleep or making much money.

BG: what is the last book you borrowed and never returned? who'd you steal it from and why didn't you give it back?

BT: My wife tells people not to lend me things because apparently I am not good at returning anything. And she is right, though I don’t think it’s a stealing thing, I don’t want to keep the things I borrow, I just don’t get to them quickly, that’s the primary problem, and then I need some second surge of something to remember that they actually belong to someone else. Now with that caveat in mind, and with the understanding that this could actually be an entire list of books, I will say the last book is The Road by Cormac McCarthy, which I borrowed, sort of under duress, meaning, I wanted to read it, but was worried about borrowing it for all of the above reasons which have since played out, I didn’t get to it immediately, and now I can’t remember that it needs to leave our house and go home. Well, I guess I can’t say that anymore.

BG: name the five best books you've read that you'd bet your balls nobody else has?

BT: It’s hard to imagine such books exist, which is good, right? How about I list five books that have had an impact on me as a writer, which I know people have read, and are probably even popular in certain circles, yet never seem to get mentioned enough, if it all? Would answering the question in this way make me a dick, well more of a dick? Whatever, I’ll risk it. Thanks.

(1) Cruddy - Linda Barry
(2) Andre Dubus - Meditation from a Movable Chair
(3) American Skin - Don DeGrazia
(4) Vacation - Jeremy C. Shipp
(5) Beautiful Piece - Joseph G. Peterson

BG: who is your favorite historical figure, past or present, and how have they influenced your literary journey?

BT: I know I should state someone who had some progressive or social impact on the world, like Alex Kotlowitz or Jonathan Kozol, but ignoring that, and the fact that I also really want to say Ray Bradbury, I am going to go with Jim Carroll. To this day, few books have affected me like the first time, strike that, the first ten times, I read The Basketball Diaries.

BG: BONUS QUESTION: Give us a six song playlist that tells the story of your life.

BT: Killer. We’ve talked before, right, and having done so, you must know that all these limits and short lists are very tough on me. It’s like you’re forcing me to edit myself and be thoughtful and more self-aware. Oh, okay, I get it now.

(1) I Wanna be Sedated – The Ramones
(2) Folsom Prison Blues – Johnny Cash
(3) 99 Problems – Jay Z
(4) Sabotage – The Beastie Boys
(5) Highway Patrolman – Bruce Springsteen
(6) Just What I Needed - The Cars

8/28/10

NEW FLASH FICTION JOURNAL. FIX IT BROKEN.

FIX IT BROKEN is an online literary magazine dedicated to publishing outstanding and quality fiction. We are interested in pieces that truly separate one's voice from the countless others out there. We like our authors to prove to us, in 1500 words or less, that they are masters of their own style and design. We kind of have a thing for genuine fiction. We look forward to immersing ourselves in your stories, and encourage you to always do it your own way; or as we like to say around here, fix it broken.

Fix It Broken is looking for previously-unpublished works of fiction that range between 500-1500 words. Fix it Broken will publish a well-crafted online issue quarterly. However, our inaugural issue is slated for publication mid-December. We urge you to be a part of it.
Specific submission dates and deadlines will be listed below.

For the time being we cannot pay authors any monetary funds. However, the author of the Top Story of each issue will receive an extensive bio attached to their piece, as well as a complimentary t-shirt. Each design will be directly inspired by the winning piece of fiction.

Submissions now OPEN for FIX IT BROKEN’s FIRST ISSUE. The submission period will end November 15th.

A FEW UPCOMING READINGS


Both readings are in the BALTIMORE / DC area. The first one wll take place SEPTEMBER 11TH at 8pm in Baltimore at Normal's Bookstore. So if you are in the area, come on down (say it like Bob Barker, you'll like it better). The second reading is happening at AWP, which is a little ways away, so mark your calendar. Details are above.

8/27/10

Selling Out

Night Owl

A few years ago everyone was doing their own versions of Brandon Scott Gorrell's, "Night Owl." Most of them were written.

I did a video.


8/26/10

INTERVIEW W / STEFAN and SANAZ KIESBYE. HIPPOPANTS


This time around I asked some questions to STEFAN and SANAZ KIESBYE. I first met Stefan as a student in his graduate fiction workshop at Eastern Michigan University. My favorite memory of Stefan took place there. He assigned us an Aimee Bender story from an anthology of Ann Arbor writers (I don't remember the name of the anthology but there were Furries on the cover) and the next class we were supposed to talk about it. Well when he started pressing us about it, nobody said anything, and he immediately jumped out of his seat and he either threw the book or slammed it down on the table, I can't remember because memory is funny like that. But he yelled out "EVERYBODY READ THE FUCKING STORIES." Then he calmly sat back down and smiled and said, "okay, let's begin." Ahhh, good times. So yeah, that's my favorite Stefan story. Also, he wrote, NEXT DOOR LIVED A GIRL, which for my money, is the best novella I've ever read.

BG: so many quality indie presses and literary journals, what is hippopants bringing to the table? what words of wisdom can it offer to the literary conversation?

STEFAN & SANAZ: It's a conversation between art and literature. We publish short work that is visual but also has a literary component. We don't limit the forms of expression -- we accept comics, illustrated prose poems, paintings that make use of poetry. We're looking for short forms, graphic flash, but we make exceptions. For example, we published Long beach artist DAVE VAN PATTEN's book "Raul and the Revolution," which is dark and phantasmagorical, and just genius, and right now we're serializing MIKE ALBER's graphic novel "The Baby Jar," which is a work of absolute beauty. And to the first part of your question: no one has pants bigger than ours.

BG: when the world ends in 2012, as the mayans predicted, and the next species takes over the earth and digs up America 1,000 years from now, what literary journals / indie press publications will they be restoring, reviving, and immortalizing, and why?

STEFAN & SANAZ: Hobart, because it's eternally cool and it has this sweet trailer logo; and Hippopants, because it's just weird.

BG: what is the last book you borrowed and never returned? who'd you steal it from and why didn't you give it back?

STEFAN & SANAZ: Shakespeare, Richard III. We stole it from the library and replaced it with an identical copy. It was just the greatest book and we had become attached to that very copy. So we ponied up the money and bought a new one for the library.

BG: name the five best books you've read that you'd bet your balls nobody else has?

STEFAN: Arthur Schnitzler, Anatol (a play)
Wilhelm Hauff, Fairy Tales and Novellas
Eugen Herrigel, Zen and the Art of Archery
Dave van Patten, Black Candy
Otfried Preussler, Krabat

BG: who is your favorite historical figure, past or present, and how have they influenced your literary journey?

STEFAN: Gertrude Stein -- she created meaning beyond words' common usage.

BG: BONUS QUESTION: Give us a six song playlist that tells the story of your life.

STEFAN: Anne Clark, Sleeper in Metropolis
Fashion, Dressed to Kill
X-mal Deutschland, Stummes Kind
Autechre, VLetrmx
Stephan Eicher, Des Hauts, Des Bas
Philip Boa and The Voodoo Club, Kill Your Ideals

8/24/10

Please tell me:

What's the difference between prose poetry and flash fiction?

TREE SEX (3)


You can't cheat on a flower - you can only pick one - that's honesty.


Flowers are pretty but boring.


And belong on graves.

8/23/10

TREE SEX (2)


You can’t cheat on a tree - you can only chop it down - that’s honesty.


Sex is when I get chopped into little pieces and think:


This is nice.

INTERVIEW W / CHLOE CALDWELL. SLEEP.SNORT.FUCK.




I really loved doing this interview because I got to chat with Chloe while she was answering the questions, so we got to exchange little insights, and she even asked me some of my own questions. And I'm sure my nerdy responses freaked her out, like fuck, this guy's a dork. But yeah, I first came across Chloe (see how I did that... nice), when she volunteered to be a guest blogger. READ HER POST HERE. And what she said was pretty amazing and heartbreaking and endearing so I read everything of hers I could find and I loved it and you will too if you read her shit. So after you're done reading this, CLICK HERE. Here's the interview:


BG: so many quality indie presses / literary journals, what is SLEEP.SNORT.FUCK. bringing to the table? what words of wisdom can it offer to the literary conversation?
CC: Sleep.Snort.Fuck. is a place for verbal diarrhea. I want it to be a therapeutic place for writers. You can be vulgar. You can be emotional and personal and high when you write it. It can be a journal entry. SSF is a place to connect. You don't have to be embarrassed. You can play around with writing styles. In fact: Please do play around with writing styles. You can give too much information. Why hide anything? We are all going to die. And may I just put it out there that I absolutely hate the expression TMI. So, in a nutshell, SSF is the opposite of TMI.

BG: when the world ends in 2012, as the mayans predicted, and the next species takes over the earth and digs up America 1,000 years from now, what literary journals / indie press publications will they be restoring, reviving, and immortalizing, and why?
CC: None, they will be dead. I am a realist. R.I.P. Lit Zines. R.I.P. S.S.F.

BG: what is the last book you borrowed and never returned? who'd you steal it from and why didn't you give it back?

This is a broad subject for me, as I am obsessed with other people's things. I have Prozac Nation from the last guy I dated. Never read it. Never returned it because I haven't seen him since. Also borrowed as of today: The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone. The Ab Diet. What Happy Women Know. The Highly Sensitive Person In Love. When Things Fall Apart, These have all been borrowed by people that I work for. Is it obvious I love self-help books? Damn. The library tells me I have a copy of When You Are Engulfed In Flames by David Sedaris and that I owe them forty dollars but I cannot find it. I could write a full piece on all of the books I own that are not mine. I will not bore you with it. But once I took my brother's copy of Ginsberg's HOWL and collaged it with letters and pictures of a guy I loved. And I am constantly giving books away that are not mine to men I love. Bukowski and Fante books mostly. Guilty habit. I feel better now that I said it though. And now no one reading this will ever lend me a book. That's okay.

BG: name the five best books you've read that you'd bet your ass nobody else has?
CC: The Ultimate Sex Test by SMITH and DOE is extraordinary. My friend out here got it at Value Village and gave it to me. The best chapter is called 'How to determine whether or not your man privately feels that your vagina is revolting.' There is an actual math equation in there.

Bullshit Rodeo by Misti Rainwater Lites is one of the best creative non-fiction works out there. Seriously. Bullshit Rodeo is off the fucking chain. One of my many favorite paragraphs:

"I wanted to give him eternal sunshine of the spotless mind. But I think he wanted eternal moonlight of the scrawled mind, like me. That is one thing I think we have in common. It tortures us but we like to remember where we’ve been and whom we’ve loved. We wear our hearts’gaudy mistakes like wine stains and wave away offers of lemon juice or bleach."

Elaine's Black Gigolo is a book I bought at The Strand off of the dollar carts and it was pretty entertaining.

The Ethical Slut is eye opening for people that enjoy sex and don't always have run of the mill relationships. It's very straightfoward and talks about things that a lot of people think are taboo, which I appreciate.

Oh and god, I love Aaron Cometbus. I really do. The book Despite Everything, is a compilation of twenty years of his punk zine that he started in Berkely, CA. He is so inspiring and such a great read while drinking coffee.

And I am going to sneak one more in here, another book off of the dollar carts: Notes To Myself by Hugh Prather.

Oh, and Everything Was Fine Until Whatever by Chelsea Martin is one of the most dynamic things I have read in years.

BG: who is your favorite historical figure, past or present, and how have they influenced your literary journey?

CC: I don't know, dude. The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson did a number on me. As did every Judy Blume and Lois Lowry book. As did every Bukowski book. But Judy Blume made me feel less alone, before I knew what feeling alone even felt like. And that is what I would like do do for people. So I choose her.

BG: BONUS QUESTION: Give us a six song playlist that tells the story of your life.

CC: Gypsy by Fleetwood Mac. Duh.

And, not to go, like, totally Lilith Fair on you, but Martha Wainwright's Bloody Motherfucking Asshole, because I like this one lyric about wanting to be a man: Oh I wish I wish I wish I was born a man, so I could learn how to stand up for myself, like those guys with guitars, I've been watching in bars..

I also like how she begins with: Poetry is no place for a heart that's a whore.

I have always felt a kinship for Martha, like my heart always went out to her, because she has a brother that is a genius at everything and she is "okay." I have some sort of hang up about that myself.

Fireworks by Animal Collective has been my prozac for a few years now.

Amity by Elliott Smith because two important people in my life have told me that they think of me when they hear that song and also I like when he says, "Hello Hello Kitty Happy in New York City" because I always heard it as: "Hello Hello Can you be happy in New York City?" And I always wondered to myself, can I? Can I be happy in New York City?

Old Man by Neil Young because I want to dance with my father to that song at the wedding I will have one day.

Tower Of Song by Leonard Cohen. Because Leonard Cohen just has the best words sometimes.

No Service


When I wake up tomorrow my vacation will be one day from over. I will pack up and I will drive drive drive and drive until I get home. When I get home I will have as much internet service as I want. I will have bucketsful. I will be swimming in wireless. I will bathe in web pages that load within seconds. I will rub the internet all over my body. I will feel elated at the sight of four solid bars.

I’m not sure if this is a good thing.

You see, for the past week I have been in Buttfuck, California. Don’t get me wrong, I love Buttfuck. I’ve been coming here since pretty much birth. I love that there is a lot of dirt. I love sitting on a choice of porches, listening to wind rustle the trees and birds doing bird things. I love hardly hearing cars. I love hanging wet laundry on a clothesline and taking the clothes down a few hours later, jeans stiff from the sun. I love the slow pace that is really a no pace. I love being forced into the Now and not having to constantly think three steps ahead.

But what takes some getting used to is being unconnected.

No reliable internet service makes one realize just how much they depend on the internet. In my case, I might as well have been coming off of crack. Okay, I am exaggerating, but still, maybe not as severe, but close. I feel sick with just how much I check my email, my Sitemeter, Twitter, Facebook, Google Reader, etc. I mean, seriously. It’s gross.

But in Buttfuck, you can pick up your iPhone and you can try clicking to these sites and if you are lucky you might get the page to load. It might take three to five minutes to load, but, thank fucking God it was worth the wait! Right?

No.

Half the time when I went to check my Gmail, I had nothing. No new emails. Within the first two days I slowly started to learn, like an idiot child, that perhaps it was completely worthless to keep wasting time checking my email for the lack of results I was getting.

On the first day I would walk out on the acre of land I am staying at, holding my iPhone out in front of me like a dowsing rod, waiting for bars to miraculously grow in the upper left corner of my phone’s screen. I found that the best reception was in the very back of the property between a large grapefruit tree and some tomato plants and there I would stand silently begging pages to load quickly because the dirt was so fucking hot it was burning my feet because I forgot to put flip flops on before I left the back porch. I kind of felt like I was turning tricks for drug money or something. I felt stupid.

The running joke became, “Hey, look at how many bars I have.” And in the upper left side of the phone it simply read, “No Service.”

But being unplugged did a lot for my writing. I quickly realized why it always takes me so long to finish a piece; I can’t stop checking the internet.

I write a few sentences, I check the internet.

I re-read what I wrote, make a few changes, I check the internet.

I go back, I add a few sentences, I re-read what I wrote, I make some changes, I check the internet.

Oh, look, I got an email! I respond to the email. I check the internet some more.

I go back to my piece, I make some changes, I re-read, I make some changes, I check the internet again.

And what the fuck with, “check the internet?”! I mean, how much could change during the time it took me to write a couple of sentences? “Check the internet.” It’s completely mental.

So, do you know what happens when you are writing and you have no internet to check?

You get shit wrote.

I wrote shit. When the ‘feeling’ of ‘checking the internet’ came over me, (usually after I completed a paragraph or a few worthy sentences) I would pick up my iPhone. My iPhone would tell me, ‘No Service.’ I would feel frustrated and then I would put it down and I would continue writing.

Lather, rinse, repeat until I simply stopped picking up my iPhone.

It was weird to just write without distractions. I felt ‘grown up” or maybe like how a real “old-timey’ typewriter writer wrote. Like Nike, I just fucking did it, and it felt good. I felt less bullshitty and trivial. I felt mature. I felt focused. It felt good. I got shit done.

But now, on the eve of my return to the land of four bars, I am begging my future self to remember what its vacation self learned; that you can NOT check the internet and survive. That nothing on the internet will ‘change’ in the time it takes you to write 33 words, and even if something does, it can wait. I hope I will remember how good productivity felt and how asinine it is standing on hot dirt between grapefruits and tomatoes cursing a slow-spinning circle to bring your non-existent new emails faster.

TREE SEX


You can’t cheat on a tree - you can only chop it down - that’s honesty.


I’m overpowered by myself almost constantly.


Nothing chops me down.

8/22/10

INTERVIEW W / SCOTT GARSON. WIGLEAF


I am honored to bring you an interview with SCOTT GARSON, champion of flash fiction and editor of WIGLEAF, a journal I have admired since it first began. Check out the interview then check out WIGLEAF and you will know why I am a loyal fan.

BG: so many quality indie presses and literary journals, what is wigleaf bringing to the table? what words of wisdom can it offer to the literary conversation?

SG: So many ways to answer this question.

Because we're not like 'monetized' really—because it's not a job—there's no hiding the question of why we do it in the first place, and I do it because I love reading great stuff that's new to me and working with the writers and also getting to know those people in the way that you do over the internet.

But I like to think Wigleaf brings something to the table. Hard to say what. We were fortunate, early on, to have readers. Does everyone have readers right away? I don't know. But we did, and they helped me imagine the journal through their response, and in what I imagined I saw the possibility of a kind of niche, though again it will be hard to articulate that.

One angle: on the internet a journal is a place, not a thing. I've always wanted Wigleaf to be a good place, an alluring one. There's a big range in the writing, in terms of aesthetic, but I've always wanted it to have immediacy. I think some editors, maybe lots, underrate immediacy. Just considering print journals: my usual percentage, for liking the stories and finishing reading them, is maybe in the fifties or sixties (and that percentage is bloated by the inclusion of my favorite mags). Obviously taste comes into play, but I also think there are editors who aren't interested, in a primary way, in the reading experience, or who understand that term—'reading experience'—differently. What I want as an editor, as a reader: I want a story to be a like a face if you imagine that face rising up through depths of water into the shrieking light.

BG: when the world ends in 2012, as the mayans predicted, and the next species takes over the earth and digs up America 1,000 years from now, what literary journals / indie press publications will they be restoring, reviving, and immortalizing, and why?

SG: They will wear the wigs of leaves yo.

I don't know, will all the electrics be lost? The current vogue for imagining the apocalypse is no electricity. It's like, we lose electricity and we're cut off from our entire legacy of advancement: everything we've ever learned is lost. If that's the case, I guess a journal like Everyday Genius has it right: don’t bother much with the interface, or with your identity as a journal; just send out those vanishing transmissions.

BG: what is the last book you borrowed and never returned? who'd you steal it from and why didn't you give it back?

SG: Usually it's a case of me spacing—forgetting that I have the book until I've moved away or the person I borrowed it from has moved away. One book I've felt guilty about: a collection of Yiddish folk tales I checked out from a public library in Rockville, Maryland. I never lived in Rockville, Maryland but I worked there and I had to leave in a hurry after punching out the pig-faced man I worked for. Still I could have gone back to return the book. I kept it because I loved the humor, which is really singular—tight-lipped and spare but sort of infantile too.

BG: name the five best books you've read that you'd bet your balls nobody else has?

SG: I'm not betting my balls on anything, though I guess they've completed their historical assignment.

Here are five I haven't heard people talk about in indie circles, so we'll see:

1. Borges' Doctor Brodie's Report, translated by Norman Thomas Di Giovanni.

When I read this in the Andrew Hurley translation, as part of Collected Fictions, I was kind of like, What was I thinking? Why did I think I loved that? I went back to the Di Giovanni translation and it was really interesting. My bet is that Hurley took fewer liberties with the language. Whatever the case, the Di Giovanni is better: finer sentences, more authoritative, more cleanly askew. The story ordering is also different: Di Giovanni's starts with "The Gospel According to Mark" and "The Unworthy Friend"—two of the stronger ones, and they get me right away into that season of high retrospect.

2. Russell Hoban's Riddley Walker.

Probably somebody has read this; it was celebrated when it came out in England, in 1980, and an expanded edition came out about ten years ago. I have an old Summit Books hardcover, with review copy and a fanciful landscape illustration on the front cover. They were marketing it as sci-fi/fantasy, but it's not really that, and it's not really revolutionary in its language, as some people were saying; Hoban messes with spellings more than syntax. But a good read. One of my favorite novels of the apocalypse.

3. Wright Morris' Real Losses, Imaginary Gains

This is an out-of-print volume of selected stories, from 1976 (the later Collected Stories, from Godine, is still in print, I think). Morris was a more or less conventional literary fictioner, though one of high standing (the individual stories were originally pubished in The New Yorker, Esquire, The Atlantic, Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, etc.). I include him here because he meant something to me when I was coming up. He's a super-fine stylist. The language is alive but has a Midwestern plain-spokenness, an easy precision that I still really admire.

4. Patricia Highsmith's The Tremor of Forgery

I was thinking that the easiest way to go on this list would be genre novels. I like genre novels when they don’t suck. They usually do suck. But then so do most other types of novels. Highsmith's novel spins away from genre, and so probably isn't as satisfying as a perfect genre work (my standard: Christie's The Murder of Roger Ackroyd). But from another angle, it's more satisfying: when I think back on it, all the strangeness of the early chapters remains vivid, undischarged.

5. Czeslaw Milosz, Road-Side Dog

Probably someone has read this too; dude was a Nobel laureate already when he wrote it. But I had to get something vsf-related on here, right? The jacket-copy writer didn't know what to do with this book—called it a "memorable collection of poems and essays, aphorisms and anecdotes." That makes it sound like a rocky mix, but it's not at all. This is a book of shorts, and one that has natural movement and progression. Milosz was old when he wrote it; I think he was at the point where he didn't really give a fuck how people would categorize the thing; it wasn't about meeting anyone's expectations. He was just writing; he was making small things.

BG: who is your favorite historical figure, past or present, and how have they influenced your literary journey?

SG: Oh man. I'll say Thurgood Marshall. He's a hero of mine, for sure. Even as an insider, towards the end of his life, he was an outsider: not surprised by the bullshit and evil that some were championing, and not resigned in his opposition to it. How does this relate to me? Well, if Wigleaf ever gets to the top, I won't sit fat on my sense of natural privilege.

BG: BONUS QUESTION: Give us a six song playlist that tells the story of your life.

Not really in chronological order—first six that come to mind:

• "In a Jar," Dinosaur Jr.
• "Are You Experienced?" Jimi Hendrix
• "Some Kind of Love," The Velvet Underground
• "I Hate Myself and Want to Die," Nirvana
• "Where Was You At?" War
• "As We Go Up, We Go Down," Guided By Voices

8/21/10

Virtual Reading


What the fuck? A while ago I read this piece I wrote called 'Letters to Air (part 2)' for The Nervous Breakdown Literary Experience at Happy Ending Lounge in NYC and totally lost my shit and don't even remember doing so. I'm the last one to read but please listen to this: http://www.thenervousbreakdown.com/podca

sts.

8/19/10

WHO ON THAT JESUS SHIT ??


Stole this link to EARLY CHRISTIAN WRITINGS from KYLE MINOR. It's pretty solid.


Really easy to spend hours, days, months, a lifetime there. If you're lucky...

8/18/10

O MINE EYES HAVE SEEN THE COMING OF SOME SHIT I JUST DON’T GET



I’ve seen big girls kill their little girls because they thought it’d make them bigger.

And then their hearts shrink correspondingly.

I’ve seen boys get crushed under the weight of their own toys.

I’ve seen everyone I’ve ever known at times lose their cool over a blender.

I’ve seen books on toxicology, but stubborn me, I’ve passed them by.


I’ve seen lepers become heroes inside of Wal-Mart shopping carts.

I’ve seen babies catapulted through time and space, land, get up, and become fully-functional, minimum-wage workers.

I’ve seen mellow murderers take on the features of their elderly victims.

I’ve seen those victims take on the form of green planetary ooze.

I’ve seen black holes I may or may not have had something to do with (no really, I myself don't know).


I’ve seen people beat up just for living on some old high school shit.

I’ve seen busty college grads smoke the good stuff, hallucinate, and turn to elves.

I’ve seen mammoth barbarians cry over a teaspoon of heroin.

I’ve seen armies of ants and roaches parade away my last hotdog bun.

I’ve seen life suck the fun right out of the party.

And been blamed and never invited back.

INTERVIEW W / RYAN BRADLEY. SENTENTIA. ARTISTICALLY DECLINED PRESS


My first attempt at interviewing folks here on THIRD FACE. I'm gonna start with 1/2 of the SENTENTIA / ARTISTICALLY DECLINED PRESS (other 1/2 is the amazing PAULA BOMER) dynasty, RYAN BRADLEY. I'm kicking things off with Ryan because he is an intelligent, creative, charming, insightful, good-looking fellow, but most importantly, because he was the first one to respond to my email and answer the questions.

I have two lasting memories of Ryan, one of which I will share here and one which I will not. I had the honor of sharing a table with him at this last AWP and I will not soon forget his ability to sell so many goddam books. He was blessed with one of those infectious personalities that makes people wanna buy things off him. I'm sure he sold quite a few copies of STINKY POO BUTT, simply because he was the one selling it. He reminds me of AARON BURCH in that sense. How many fucking HOBART's get sold every year just because it's Aaron selling them. Exactly. So yeah, Ryan is that guy. So next time you see him online, say hello, next time you see him at a table at some obscure literary event, stop in and say what's up. But be prepared, you will be ten dollars lighter and in possession of a new book.

So yeah, here's the interview:

BG: so many quality indie presses and literary journals, what are sententia / artistically declined press bringing to the table? what new words of wisdom do they have to add to the literary conversation?

RB: I'm not sure that we are bringing something more than any other journal or press. We are bringing a passion for great writing, which I hope any other press or journal is bringing to the table as well. My greatest hope for what we do is to always present each project we do with beautiful design to match the work. More than anything I want to do our authors proud, and to add to the community of literary arts.

BG: when the world ends in 2012, as the mayans predicted, and the next species takes over the earth and digs up America 1,000 years from now, what literary journals / indie press publications will they be restoring, reviving, and immortalizing, and why?

RB: Most certainly McSweeneys, which even at its most pretentious are always an artifact to behold. Fence, Caketrain, and Annalemma will be there. I think the breadth of Ken Sparling's work will have an exhibit in a museum of Earth literature. I think more than a single press it could be about individual canons of small press writers, like Sparling. Ben Tanzer is quickly building an empire of words as well. There are so many, really I could add more to this on a daily basis depending on what I'm reading at the moment.

BG: what is the last book you borrowed and never returned? who'd you steal it from and why didn't you give it back?

RB: I've never not returned a book. I rarely borrow books to begin with. I like to own books, I like to have my own copy. I have problems borrowing or lending books because of a laundry list of OCD issues I have surrounding them.

BG: name the five best books you've read that you'd bet your balls nobody else has?

RB: Well there will always be other people who have read them, but here's my top 5 books that are under-read and I believe should be on every booklover's bookshelf:

The Journey of Ibn Fattoum by Naguib Mahfouz
Minotaur by Benjamin Tammuz
Wanting Only to Be Heard by Jack Driscoll
Night Swimming by Pete Fromm
Long After Hannibal Had Passed With Elephants by Alan Jones


BG: who is your favorite historical figure, past or present, and how have they influenced your literary journey?

RB: My favorite historical figure's always been Abraham Lincoln. Since I was real little. I minored in American history largely because of my love of our 16th president. My 2 year old is named Lincoln. But I don't see that he's influenced my writing. One historical figure and writer who has influenced me more than any other (beside Hemingway) is Langston Hughes, whose poetry touched on the themes of tenuous coexistence between people of many differences (not just racial), has always held a place in my heart. And he did it with such beauty. I am obsessed with how we, as humans, manage to get along, but I deal with the theme without his level of grace.

BG: BONUS QUESTION: Give us a six song playlist that tells the story of your life.

RB: This is a dangerous question to ask an audiophile, so I'll try not to over-think this and just go from the gut:

"Why Can't You Be Nicer To Me?" - The White Stripes [Childhood]
"Cure for Pain" - Morphine [High school & college, the great search. For what I didn't know]
"Caribou" - Pixies [My home state of Alaska and my time working in the Arctic]
"Rearviewmirror" - Pearl Jam [Growing up, becoming an adult, letting the past go]
"On & On & On" - Wilco [My wife]
"Across the Universe" - The Beatles [This song I hope will be my continuation, a journey full of love and soul]

(By the way, this playlist works oddly well together if you take the time to put it together for real... told you, compulsive...)

8/17/10

MORE STUFF TO READ. PANK. THE COLLAGIST

THE COLLAGIST. August issue. HERE IT BE.

Featuring:

FICTION

My Head is Buried
Andrea Kneeland

Cedars of Lebanon
Mary Miller

Killing Guss Killing Me
Alec Niedenthal

Cowboy Good Stuff’s Four True Loves
Joseph Scapellato

NOVEL EXCERPT

Sprawl
Danielle Dutton

The Avian Gospels
Adam Novy

POETRY

Two Poems
Steve Orlen

Two Poems
Lisa Russ Spaar

17 Again
Brynn Saito

Everything Looks like a Target
Steven D. Schroeder

NON-FICTION

Coal Hollow Ekphrasis
Floyd Cheung

Light
Michael Palmer

BOOK REVIEWS

Termite Parade, by Joshua Mohr
Gabriel Blackwell

The Private Lives of Trees, by Alejandro Zambra
Anna Clark

Drowning Tuscon, by Aaron Michael Morales
Darby M. Dixon III

Under the Small Lights, by John Cotter
Adam Gallari

Love in Infant Monkeys, by Lydia Millet
Kathryn Houghton


PANK. August issue. Shit's hot, BETTER GET YOU SOME.

Featuring:

Zack Bean, Eric Bennett, Nicelle Davis, Sean Doyle, John Fischer, Luke Geddes, Luke Goebel, Melissa Goodrich, Brett Elizabeth Jenkins, Matt Lapata, Lindsay Merbaum, Teresa Milbrodt, Colleen O’Connor, Matt Salesses, Katie Jean Shinkle, B.R. Smith, Beth Thomas, Robert Alan Wendeborn, Bonnie ZoBell

8/16/10

GUEST BLOGGER: CHLOE CALDWELL "THESE ARE THE THINGS"


Snow on the ground. Riding the A train uptown. New York is the only place I can read the back of a pregnancy test while eating Smart Food popcorn and be invisible. Having second thoughts. Afraid of moving. Even more afraid of staying. Afraid of myself. There are things I can’t let go of.

The people of my past. The people of my past don’t know that I sit on floors in New York City listening to music and thinking about them. They don’t know that I smoke cigarettes while staring out windows thinking about them. Standing outside of bars, thinking about them. Sleeping on floors. They don’t know that all I do is think about them—write about them.

Last night I couldn’t sleep. Last night I lit incense that my friend told me smells like hamster shavings and smoked the rest of my friend’s TOP tobacco and listened to Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks all the while staring out the window at the snow.

Windows. All the different windows. Rooms. Perspectives. Views. Incense flavors. Lovers. Candles. Music. Anxieties. Seasons. Treasons. Jobs to wake up for. Bras to unfasten. To fasten. Cell phones of different men on different nightstands. Cell phones to drop in margaritas while trashed. Cigarette preferences. Cigarette addictions. Glasses of water after sex. Different lovers saying can you get me some water? Do you want some water? Can you pass me the water? Futons. Flannel sheets. Silk sheets. Snowflake pajama pants. Alarm clock noises. Different CD cases on different tables with white lines of different powder on them. Lucky lighters. Unlucky lighters. Someone told someone that the white lighters are bad. Unlucky lovers. Lucky lovers. Books on the subway. Books at the bar. Books in bed. Books in my bag. Books on my head. White powder on the books into my nose. Socks. Sweatpants. Scarves. A cigarette outside after a fight. A cigarette at a bar after a fight. In the kitchen after a fight. Cars. Car crashes. Different penises. Different hands. Drugs in the morning. Drugs in the evening. Drugs at suppertime. Different handwritings on the different letters they write when we break their hearts or after they know they have broken ours.

And New York. I can’t let go. I loved New York so much last night that I had to tell myself inside my head: yes, it would be weird if you humped that store front, yes it would be weird if you lied down on the sidewalk masturbating, yes it would be weird if you rolled around on the street like a kitten with catnip. I’d walk around with a constant hard on if I were a male. It’s like the city is fucking me on a regular basis. How bad do you want it? Bad! I answer. Hard! Fuck me off! Fuck me until I hate you and you hurt me. Fuck me until I am tired and burnt out. Fuck me until I leave you. The money game, the train game, the making breakfast game, the drinking game.

These are the things I obsess about and I do not think the average person does. These are the things that make me question my stability. These are the things that are important to me. These are the reasons I need to write:

Sun. Fire escapes. Drugs. Mannerisms. Powder. Apartments. The words people say to me in the sun on the drugs on the fires escapes off of different apartments. Kisses hi and kisses goodbye and dank bar bathrooms and insufficient sun and insufficient funds and arms around waists and hands around necks and hands around cocks and trains and tracks and third rails and you buy the first round I’ll buy the second and sweat and sobs and sadness.

I want everyone I love to live in one place. I want there to be just one place that I love. They will never all be in one place. There will never be one place that I love. I want to dissect my friends' beautiful hearts, take the parts that I love out and into my own heart. I want to have a little red wagon with all of the people I love inside of it following me everywhere I go. I want to pick up new people in new cities to go into the wagon. But I don’t want to have to lose any of the old people to get the new ones.

I want to keep them all.

ML PRESS. STAMP STORIES. DOGZPLOT. AMELIA GRAY. RYAN RIDGE


DOGZPLOT / PAPER HERO PRESS is once again participating in this round of ML PRESS's STAMP STORIES. We will be distributing the 50 word stories of AMELIA GRAY and RYAN RIDGE. Here's the good word from ML PRESS:

"These are 50-word stories printed in a 1x1 size & shipped free with orders from various participating indie presses. We wanted to tie together the small press community in a vibrant yet viable way, & so this venture was born. Our writers are found through solicitation only, but every press that comes aboard suggests more authors to solicit, & it becomes a beautiful kind of literary-snowballing. New presses are welcome at any time, simply contact our associate editor Andrew Borgstrom if you are interested in participating. & how do you get your hands on one (or all) of these Stamp Stories? Buy something, anything from one of the participating presses & like magic, a stamp of literature may appear."


For additional information, including a complete list of participating authors and presses

RICK HALE. BIRCH BOOK


"You who read these words: Take heed. You hold in your hands no little book. You hold no stack of wood."

This is pretty bad ass. Check it out when you get a chance:
http://birchbook.info/page1.html

RICK HALE
BIRCH BOOK

wtf is a blog

Writing nonfiction is nothing more than just being an unrepentant gossip. Is it fair to the people you write about to share the experiences or secrets you know, calling it writing, calling it memoir, calling it just drawing on your life for inspiration? Could sharing these things ever be fair to the people you spend your life with, trust you, love you, could be hurt by what you have shared?

I can't take back any of the love poems I wrote before I fell in love with my girlfriend; the woman I'm going to propose to, the woman I'm going to grow old with. I can't take back any of the secrets I've shared about people, that are freely available to anyone who wants to piece the stories together. I can't even apologize for the stories I've told, because I'm not going to stop writing them. There are people I wish I could call and tell I'm sorry, but I can't, because I'm not. What I feel guilty about is that I don't feel sorry about it; that I somehow rationalize writing about private experiences and sharing them with anyone who cares to read it by saying that it's necessary, that it's something I have to do.

It isn't something anyone has to do. It's selfish and indulgent and unfair. It's unfair to:

the best friend who reads a story about how we once fucked and never talked about it again,
the father who googles up his daughter's writer ex-boyfriend and reads a poem about her,
the aunt who reads her dead sister's son's poetry about her battle with cancer,
the girlfriend who loves someone so dearly she can't help but read his shit poetry about another girl,

All out in the open.

There are so many more examples that thinking about them just makes me want to go back to writing fiction and stop airing out dirty laundry, to stop getting off on strangers identifying with me because I share things that sometimes make me feel sick to my stomach to let out. But in every story, in every piece of 'fiction' is reality. In every joke lies a bit of truth, and in every story there's an experience there that I've typed up without permission.

To be fair, the only thing I really have a right to write about are internal admissions. I can write about my shortcomings if I feel the need to, but not everyone else's. That can't truly be justified. I could write about how I seem to be unapologetically narcissistic, vain, childish, selfish, an addict, a thief, a liar, and that I exaggerate things a million times a day. Just before submitting something that I'm truly embarrassed to share, I consider writing under a pseudonym. I consider rewriting it to cast myself in a more positive light, or just deleting it. I hover over the 'Send' button on emails or 'Submit Comment' on websites and think about what will happen if some time in the future someone close to me actually reads all my work. What will happen if an employer calls me into their office to ask me why I write about being a sexual deviant or how I used to rail coke or have prostituted myself on a few occasions, or how I [post edited for content]

8/15/10

THE BABY JAR. MIKE ALBER. HIPPOPANTS


A graphic novel in bi-weekly installments, exclusively on Hippopants.



Mike Alber is large, he contains multitudes. He is also the proud owner of a case of Crystal Pepsi from 1994. A recent graduate of Ohio State's MFA in fiction writing, Mike has come to L.A. to sell out to the film and television industry. Also, a warning to the ladies: Mike Alber will knock you up as quick as look at you. Those who aren't on Nuva-Ring are recommended not to make direct eye contact with the screen, instead viewing the novel through a hole punched in a shoe box.


click here --> THE BABY JAR

8/12/10

GARGOYLE EGO

the great OSHO:






Lit Quake Comes to NYC on 9/11 [press release]

San Francisco’s Litquake Brings Reading as Spectator Sport Ethos to New York City



cintra_wilson_72dpi-7258821 4 DSC_0129.low 2 SeanW.Porch.Frontal.low

From left to right: Cintra Wilson; Writers at Bowery Poetry Club; Sean Wilsey


Writers will take over bars throughout Lower East Side and East Village for an East Coast version of the City by the Bay’s famed Lit Crawl, a literary pub crawl that will include Sean Wilsey, Cintra Wilson, Ben Greenman, Bruce Weber, Bomb Magazine, Paris Review, Gigantic Magazine, Soho Press, Granta, Kensington Books, The Daily Green, and many others.

LitCrawl NYC is scheduled for September 11 from 6-9pm; Admission is free and venues include Bar 82, Bowery Electric, Bowery Poetry Club, Fontana’s, Jimmy's No. 43, KGB Bar, Lolita Bar, Solas, The Lounge and more.

Litquake, San Francisco’s Literary Festival brings its “reading as spectator sport” ethos to New York for one night only on September 11 when it hosts the East Coast version of the Lit Crawl, a literary pub crawl through 15 + bars in the East Village and the Lower East Side.

This is the third year that the SF-based literary festival has come to New York to stage a crawl and the first time welcoming on board the Paris Review and Granta(who is also sponsoring the event).

Participants at the Crawl in the East Village and Lower East Side include SF Litquake vets, Sean Wilsey, Cintra Wilson and Ben Greenman who have all made the trek west to appear, as well as Bruce Weber, author of As They See 'Em: A Fan's Travels In The Land Of Umpires, Other authors include David Leviathan, co-writer of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, Penny Arcade and many more.

Litquake 2010 is scheduled for October 1- 9, and will be giving its Barbary Coast Award for contributions to Bay Area letters to none other than Lawrence Ferlinghetti—who this year turns 92—and City Lights Booksellers.

"Both San Francisco and New York have literary lives that are extraordinarily rich - and a little bit rowdy,” say Litquake Executive Directors Jack Boulware and Jane Ganahl. “Each year we look forward to this version of the Crawl. In some ways it's much more New York than SF, but there are similarities: people love books and they love to go to bars, so we've found that Litquake's ethos of reading as spectator sport thrives remarkably well, no matter which coast you're on."

Literary organizations, magazines and groups making their presence known at Lit Crawl NYC on Sept 11, 2010 include:


  • Paris Review



  • Granta


  • Harper Perennial


  • Gigantic Magazine


  • Soho Press (Crime writers)



  • Lower East Side Girls' Club and Girls Write Now (YA)


  • Words Without Borders


  • BOMB Magazine(BOMBaoke!)



  • Instant City


  • Fence


  • FSG



  • Kensington Books


  • The Daily Green


  • National Book Critics


  • YourTango (Sex & Love writers)


Venues include:

About Litquake

Litquake, San Francisco's annual literary festival, was founded by Bay Area writers in order to put on a week-long literary spectacle for book lovers, complete with cutting-edge panels, unique cross-media events, and hundreds of readings. Since its founding in 1999, the festival has presented more than 2300 author appearances for an audience of over 53,000 in its lively and inclusive celebration of San Francisco's thriving contemporary literary scene. Litquake seeks to foster interest in literature, perpetuate a sense of literary community, and provide a vibrant forum for Bay Area writing as a complement to the city's music, film, and cultural festivals.

Dates: 10/1-9, 2010.

http://cts.vresp.com/c/?ShaveandaHaircut/f9ccc5abae/f9218fbea5/038bed42e0

NIETSCHEAN POETICS

"He that speaks here, conversely, has done nothing so far but reflect: a philosopher and solitary by instinct, who has found his advantage in standing aside and outside, in patience, in procrastination, in staying behind; as a spirit of daring and experiment that has already lost its way once in every labyrinth of the future; as a soothsayer-bird spirit who looks back when relating what will come; as the first perfect nihilist of Europe who, however, has even now lived through the whole of nihilism, to the end, leaving it behind, outside himself."

WRITERLY MYSTIQUE. HEMINGWAY. THIS POST IS NOT ABOUT HAM AND CHEESE SANDWICHES



been thinking about mary's post below. and here's what i was thinking:
"i love hearing about how/where other writers find their inspiration. how they formulate their process. i wonder if blogs/internet communication has taken away some of the mystique behind writers/writing. i mean, what if hemingway had facebook and he was our "friend" and we all knew he was just sitting around, drinking beer, jotting things down on a napkin while he's watching people argue in a restaurant and we all knew he wrote 4,294 words before dinner. would hemingway still be a superhero?"

Staring at the wall IS WRITING

Last night, I was sitting in my office, which my friend consistently accidentally calls a "closet." I was listening to music and pausing it to listen to the songs of the Muppets on youtube. Those Muppets. Brilliant.



I have a friend who had an internship at the Jim Henson workshop and then, one day, whoops!, she walked into a room where they kept the costumes/Muppets and saw a room of detached Muppet heads and she hasn't been the same since. Childhood destroyed.

So, I was sitting at my "desk" (a filing cabinet with a, what do they call those? Wings? A small piece of desk that folds up from the side of the filing cabinet). So I was sitting at my desk, watching muppet videos and I got to chatting with our own Peter on the facebook. And he mentioned something about writing.

And I responded that while he was writing I was drinking beer, watching Muppet videos and looking at my bruises from moving a small shelving unit (by myself). The bruises were slowly mutating and getting darker and some were teasing me like "Oh! Am I here or am I gone? Where did I go? Nope! Still here! And now I'm green!"


So, what's to say I wasn't processing some kind of writerly energy in those hours of chair-time?

I've learned that a huge part of my writing process is just sitting my ass in this here chair and thinking thoughts and whatnot.

I don't know if "they" say it or if I said it first, but 99% of writing is staring at the wall, ya dig?

8/11/10

Or A No Life Loser


Last week I had a few days where the place I lived would be completely empty and devoid of inhabitants. For me, this is a rare occurrence and I knew I had to make the most of it. “Make the most of it” usually means: watch loads of porn (The term,‘loads’ used intentionally.), eat ice cream directly out of the carton and write.

The days of this freedom fell on a Wednesday/Thursday/Friday/Saturday.

I called in sick on Friday.

I didn’t call in sick so that I could have a clandestine meeting in a reasonably priced motel room with an internet boyfriend in the middle of the afternoon. I didn’t call in sick so that I could go see a matinee. I didn’t call in sick so that I could spend my day at the mall or at the beach or getting drunk at the mall or the beach.

I called in sick so that I could stay home and write all day.

I woke up. I left a message for my boss. I made coffee. I ‘assumed the position,’ i.e. sat on chaise lounge, laptop on lap, fingers on keyboard. And I wrote.

I wrote all day. (With the necessary exceptions for bathroom, food and fucking around on the internet breaks.)

I didn’t even change out of my pajamas. At about 5 p.m. I realized I hadn’t even brushed my teeth!

After dinner, I allowed myself to stop sculpting the piece I had been massaging all day long and watch a movie and eat ice cream out of the carton, finishing the day off with some “free internet sites” that are best viewed with both eyes and one hand.

Saturday was a beautiful day. I really should’ve gone running at the beach. I should’ve planted a garden. I should’ve taken a walk at the park. But I didn’t. Saturday was a basic repeat of Friday. With the exception of letting myself lie outside on a beach towel taking in about an hour’s worth of rays, I spent the majority of the day writing.

It was on Sunday when I had to start thinking about work the next day and figuring out what dramatic details of Friday’s ‘sudden stomach ailment’ I would have tell my boss when I realized what I had done. I had called in sick to my job that PAYS ME MONEY so I could stay home and do something I love that PAYS ME NO MONEY. I gave myself a day off of work where I could have done ANYTHING and I chose to sit on a couch, in my pajamas and morning breath, all by myself, so that I could write. I did that for TWO DAYS. And I thought to myself, what does this mean?

And my answer to myself was, I guess it means you are a writer.

8/10/10

GUESS WHO'S BACK. WIGLEAF. HINT FICTION


WIGLEAF is back, with a special issue full of HINT FICTION, with contributions from: DAVID ERLEWINE, DONORA HILLARD, STEPHEN DUNN, ROXANE GAY, BEN WHITE, MICHAEL MARTONE, ANDREA SLYE, MERCEDES YARDLEY, NATALIE MCNABB, RANDALL BROWN, and an introduction from the HINT FICTION master himself, ROBERT SWARTWOOD.

http://wigleaf.com/

the space library

for michelle reale


pablo, walt, t.s. and ezra
all have monster spaces
in history, but do they

have their own librarians?
no, but I do--

and her name is michelle
and she's so human I think
she almost can't take it

but she does--

she calls me buddy
and I giggle like a fruit loop
because that's what

we have built
between us.

like a rocket-
ship built of trust
and pillows

filled with books
and twinkies and milk
a goodnight kiss

so far into the future
we're already enjoying
a kind of afterlife

right here in the soft
sweet and timeless
library in space

we have built
between us.

8/9/10

WHY DOES ANYONE BLOG ???

"if anything i am pro intimacy no matter whats at stake and if the ultimate outcome of any blog means that one person can give one other person one genuine hug, then we have succeeded"

Drunk Sonnet from Silicon Valley

Daniel Bailey wrote this crazy book of drunk sonnets appropriately titled "The Drunk Sonnets" & encouraged other writers to drink & sonnet with him. After being sufficiently poked, prodded & fluffed by tech fix-it grrrl Cici Rider, I morphed into the inebriated Transformer you see before you here.


This is contemporary poetry, friends... drip drip, drop, drip, drop drip...

8/8/10

DOGZPLOT interview on DUOTROPE

Here's a little chunk:

Question:

If you publish fiction, who are your favorite fiction writers? If you publish poetry, who are your favorite poets?

Answer:

FICTION
Sam Lipsyte, Davy Rothbart, Junot Diaz, Kyle Minor, Stefan Kiesbye, Suzanne Burns, Jonathan Safran Foer, Jayne Ann Phillips, Elizabeth Ellen, Lydia Copeland, Scott McClanahan, Sam Pink, xTx, Brandi Wells, Andrea Kneeland, Jeff Parker

POETRY
Uncle Walt, Peter Schwartz, John Berryman, Stephen Dunn, Robert Hershon, Daniel Bailey, William Carlos Williams, Scott Oliver, Mike Young, Donald Hall, Ezra Pound

Read the complete version HERE.