Monthly Archives: May 2010

wigleaf 50 Jensen Beach, ACE disc golf, Harvey Pekar Glows Ball State

Harvey Pekar features his Ball State visit in his latest comic. Pretty cool.

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wigleaf Top 50 is out.

Excellent forward by Scott.

Excellent introduction by Brian Evenson

Today, let’s snare/share “Family” by Jensen Beach.

Someone suggested swimming and someone else said that in this weather all we need is another incident. Someone recalled that there was an expression that perfectly explained this very moment.

This opening is a stirring, a crackling (surely, we are due an “incident” soon) and also a cosmos, a shard-world of a larger one, the world of family.

Someone said that they’d read an article on the Internet about this topic and someone else said that, well then of course it’s true.

Truth. Internet as family, family as Internet: Information. Who to trust? What to say? What to share? How long does it remain, the things we write and say and don’t say–the things we whisper into our coffee mugs/clenched teeth/night.

Craft: Anaphora: The deliberate repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of several successive verses, clauses, or paragraphs

“Someone”

“Someone”

“Someone”

Someone struggled to hold on until someone else suggested that maybe lunch should be served, which turned the subject to food, which as usual had a calming effect.

Food, sure. Or we could discuss sports. Or weather. Or clothing. Or we could pass around photos–as one dimensional as anything, as staged lie–or stare glossy-eyed into our Smart Phones, or we could find all sorts of activities, as a family, intended to assure, to make certain, that we say Nothing.

“These sure are good potatoes.”

Hummmmmmmmmmmmm

“The rain is going to go below us” (A doubling technique–stare into radar on phone, intimate a necessity [I am the one who checks the weather for the family], do nothing.)

Someone said that as a family we’re always forgetting important details, and someone else said, do you mean forgetting or ignoring?

Indeed. Families choose what they forget. Or remember. Unearth. Bury.

And “Someone” works well here. We don’t choose our families. Or if to have them. We are someone. They are someone. Close, far, near, distant. With us. Without us.

This piece dances and swirls around the dangerous gaps, the precipices of family. The repetition brings weight, brings a cadence, as I said, a dance. But it is fitful. Something is about to seize, in the subtext. Somehow I see all the flickering corners of this gathering, as the storm rolls overhead, as the Others stare out the rain-streaked window. Someone is in the bathroom for way too long. Someone is upstairs napping. Someone runs an errand, simply to escape. Someone is laughing way too loud, at anything. Someone hasn’t had a good laugh a single day of their life. Someone has a bottle of beer stuck down their boxer shorts. Most everyone is medicated in some way, and aren’t there so many methods? Someone is out in the yard, on the ground, mouth open gasping rain.

This is an odd piece, Jensen Beach. Odd.

Like family. So.

Someone is impressed.

Your reader.

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ACE at Honey Hollow. Full Peru disc post here for those that glow disc (and why don’t you?)

S

came down with lemon squirrel eggs mange

Lucy Corin at Hobart. Damn. This be like nachos.

(lunch)

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Eggs made The Believer honorable mention list for 2009!

Thanks fans.

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I have decided the best iPhone app is Pandora. I set up a New Order/Smiths/Pet Shop Boys/Depeche radio station mix and cranked out some good miles in the Man Room. Sweet. Next I will do a Missy Elliot channel for my speed work. Maybe a waltz for my long runs?

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he can smell the adverbs on his tongue in the mornings.

That must kind of suck. I hate adverbs, greatly. Ha, ha…oh. Shut the fuck up, Sean.

I’ll tell you what does not suck: This new text from Kirsty Logan at elimae.

If I am lost on a rowboat in an extinguished sea on a giant rind of cheese, please send my elimae. I can read it until the crows loan foam. All day long.

he says that he will go to the 24-hour hardware shop to get the right tiles and walks down the garden path swinging his keyring around his finger and whistling the theme tune from a TV programme and he drives his car around the block and parks under a sycamore which gently vomits leaves onto the roof and lies down on the back seat and reaches into the footwell and brings up handfuls of words and he closes his eyes and he swallows them.

That be gospel. Damn. Glow writing.

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BLACK LAWRENCE CHAPBOOK CONTEST: You got 11 days. We need more fiction chapbook opportunities, people. So go support this one.

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Nicholas Sparks is a douche bag:

“There’s a difference between drama and melodrama; evoking genuine emotion, or manipulating emotion. It’s a very fine eye-of-the-needle to thread. And it’s very rare that it works. That’s why I tend to dominate this particular genre. There is this fine line. And I do not verge into melodrama. It’s all drama. I try to generate authentic emotional power. I write in a genre that was not defined by me. The examples were not set out by me. They were set out 2,000 years ago by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. They were called the Greek tragedies. A thriller is supposed to thrill. A horror novel is supposed to scare you. A mystery is supposed to keep you turning the pages, guessing ‘whodunit?’ A romance novel is supposed to make you escape into a fantasy of romance. What is the purpose of what I do? These are love stories. They went from (Greek tragedies), to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, then Jane Austen did it, put a new human twist on it. Hemingway did it with A Farewell to Arms. A Farewell to Arms, by Hemingway. Good stuff. That’s what I write. That’s what I write…There are no authors in my genre. No one is doing what I do.”

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galaxy nachos nine feng also i ocean i nightclub

Galaxy Nachos recipe.

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Wells by Nina Feng at wigleaf.

I have noticed a lot of writers now have glow-wicked names. Nina Feng sounds pretty cool. Like a weapon or something. Like maybe a blue weapon you would store under the neon cash register.

“Commander, bring me the Nina Feng.”

Or maybe some orchid?

Or maybe the minute before midnight. Like we have names for times. People will say, “It’s noon.” So why not: “When do we meet for the drop?”

“Set your watches. We meet at exactly Nina Feng.”

I’m not sure. Possibly I am foolish, all radio, static-eater, etc.

Who is Nina Feng.  I don’t know. wigleaf says, “Nina Feng is a candidate in the MFA program at the University of Iowa. She has work forthcoming in the Alaska Quarterly Review and upstreet.”

What does it mean to be a candidate?

Doesn’t matter. What matters are her words:

I worked behind the meat counter at the grocery store. Soft curlicues of ground chuck swung together, depressed a breath and squeezed; steaks lounged in casual sheets, lipping one another’s firm bodies. The light was watery and stinging and spit pools into the meat.

Word

She put me there. I am there. Now she can take, her words can take me, whatever her whim. Strong.

Be sure to read the entire piece. The sentences are re-dunkulous glow. Lutz-like.

Looking forward to more Nina words down the line…

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12 poems from Peter Davis. These are from his new book, Poetry! Poetry! Poetry!

I’ve seen him read these before and it kills. The delivery, the subject, the meta. I don’t find that many poems truly funny, as in layered funny. Davis does that. Get the fucking book is what I’m saying. It is and is not poetry. That’s the thing to me. It is wonderful. It is odd.

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So I get take0out nachos but they come in aluminum tray/pan and you know, you know the dog slips her leash and is running, running across the lawn, into street, up street, out into highway, possibly to Kansas the land of grasshoppers and eternal highways (Are we there yet?) corn/corn/corn/splat! (grasshopper)/corn and I’m out dog-stumbling, dog-stumbling with a 2.5 beer buzz and the whole time I’m clambering the highway shoulder I am thinking of my nachos back home. They are in the oven. I put them in the oven to retain their heat. I found my dog, alive. My dog had a look like, “Brain cell, one.” My nachos were mashed. That’s the point. My nachos looked like a soup. What to do? Here’s what you do:

Get fresh tortilla chips. Layer until they look like your forehead.

Pour “nacho soup” on top, circular, concentric pooling.

Now you have created a double layer of nachos. You have refreshed your nachos, I say. You should be happy like inflatable coffee.

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What in the hell is an odometric wheel? I don’t know. But that’s why we read poems. Thanks David Sharp!

I’m going to use that word. I’m going to use it soon.

I begin teaching summer class next Monday. Introduction to Creative Writing.

“Class, my name is professor Lovelace. We are going to study odometrics this semester. We are going to get odometric. What do I expect from you, odometrically speaking? Well, that’s a manner of odometrics. Let us begin.”

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“If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you got a problem.  Everything else is odometrics.”

“The odometric is not that there are odometricss.  The odometric is expecting otherwise and thinking that having odometrics is an odometric.”

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Spring has sprung. I put a 1970s filter on this photo. Not sure why.

But My Boy is catching fish like songs.

S



drop your miter into a first historical Saltine of sadness

KGM sent me a letter today. Wait, a letter arrived today from KGM. Wait, the return address is Amy Berkowitz, from Mondo Bummer Books.

[I need to cut my yard but there is a certain luxury to looking out at an unruly yard and not cutting said yard. For a moment I forgot determinism and poured four cups of coffee. For a moment I thought about the sky nothing but the sky.]

Letter as chapbook? I might have been drunk and ordered this online, not sure. I have been laying off the Drinking & Ebaying habit, so maybe have leaked a bit into Drinking & Buying Literature. Anything is possible at this point.

Sometimes my brain feels like an aquarium.

Look, I’ll tell you this: KGM wrote a letter. It begins:

Laura had a dream about being a potato. She sat on a table, being a potato. She could feel her fibers, and skin. She was surprised to find that the eyes of the potato didn’t see anything at all, not even something surreal and magical, as she would have guessed. Laura woke up slowly that morning, remembering her dream, and feeling a little upset that she could never dream anything more exciting.

The remainder of the letter is a ceiling light or blinds you peek through, waiting for someone at the drive, the way sun on walls will become an itinerary, I mean the ways words are like days as they move you. I mean to say beautiful. Often KGM writes in beauty.

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[You can actually mix Merlot and Guinness. Free tip right there, kids.]

I liked Other Electricities. It was an elegy. I don’t think this was written about enough. It was a prayer to some lost thing. Sometimes I will see the word snowmobile and think of a tombstone. Or I might be trapped in a stairwell and start thinking about snow. So, that’s how that machine works.

Neck Deep, I loved. It could be because I also enjoy baths. Or it could be the disc golf essay. It could be because Ander is a good friend but I doubt it. A lot of my good friends have books I like less. Also one time Ander hit me directly in the back with a disc golf drive. But I digress.

I Glow Vanishing Point. The other day I was crouched over a black beer and I told someone, I said, “I really think Vanishing Point is better than Neck Deep.” They said, “Really?!” I could tell they didn’t agree at all. So I disagree with their disagreeing or some kind of math thing. And I knew the buzz on that book would go Boat Flips and Grits. Since the pages bleeds into the Internets, the Googles. Yep.

The man is doing things, folks.

[This bar you can lift up framed photos and the walls are white behind the photo. The wall is yellow from nicotine. I thought it was a yellow wall. You should probably use that detail in a story. Details in stories will make the reader less aware of the teller of the story, maybe. I have no idea what picture will be in the frame. Look, it's your story but God please don't see your reflection in the glass frame and start describing your protagonist's bangs and shit.]

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This is Literally all the Info I have at the Moment.

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A kick ass glossary over at Hobart. By B.C. Edwards.

Worried is how a dove coos when you hold it real tight.

That’s actually true. Also a dove’s breasts contain white and dark meat. Also it’s considered bad form to shoot a dove from a wire or off the ground. I see that from someone on like a Tuesday in Mississippi and I think, “Douchebag.”

I tried to get into the Hobart Outside issue. I mean to say I submitted. I thought, “An outdoor issue? That’s made for me.”

No it was not made for me. Fail. Aaron sent a really nice rejection.

{It was this story published soon after at Superstition Review. Beware the author photo. They ripped it from my BSU work site. I look sort of creepy or maybe like I tan [I do not]}

I saw Aaron at AWP and someone STOLE HIS LIQUOR!!

OK, they “confiscated” it. But, look, you can use the word “confiscate” all you want, but you still took a man’s whiskey and, yes, you will go to hell.

Speaking of my life, the Indiana Review kindly emailed me about sending them a story a while back. I was pleased as a pair of sweatpants to send them a story. Actually, I didn’t really have a story. So I wrote one called “The Thing.” (Sort of a dumb title, now that I reflect on it.) They emailed me yesterday with Fail. In the spirit of Jac Jemc’s excellent REJECTION BLOG I will include the letter for you. I thought it professional and kind:

Sean,

Our apologies for the delayed response; we wanted to give your work its editorial due.

After much discussion we have ultimately decided not to utilize your submission, however, you have certainly made fans of our staff. Please feel free to submit in the future.

Thank You and All the Best,

The Editors

Indiana Review

Does any magazine out there want “The Thing?” Come on, I took the time to write an actual short story and you know I’m into micro-fiction and flash and all that hybrid thing like when you get a bird and fly it into a ramshackle. Or sit out in a storm, out in your shed. I was about to write about the rain sweeping the roof but God that sounds so like a writer. The rain should saw the shed or pith it. The rain pithed the shed. What the fuck is a pith helmet? I mean I see the thing.

But pith?

Here is a sample paragraph from “The Thing” to help you nap:

While asleep he sweats. While awake he occupies himself. Finds all the strands of hair—corners, bathtub O, eyelids of doors—and spins them into tangles and lines and decahedrons of light. The yellow teeth of the window. There coughs the Cat’s Cradle, frantic fingers, clacking nails, hands unhinged and flailing, gummed-out in the elbows of a clattering machine. Or he might walk room to room and identify objects. Green lotion, cigarette husk, open drawer. Fact: A kitchen knife is a computer. Fact: You program the thing. Or back to the dancing fingers. Effigy of music, with the hands and the splitting/shimmering hair, blurring some stringed instrument, the greasy hiss of bones.

A blue humming, veins.

Touching of the Starbursts? To alternate flavors, to maintain an equality of each, but he suspects they try to fuck people with the yellow (lemon). Today all is right with the Starbursts. He unwraps each candy, inhales, mashes them together into a little man (cuts four pieces in half for arms and legs), and props the Candy Man in the freezer, alongside the vodka and the burnt tots of tator.

He names the Candy Man. He says, You are empty like _______ I will call you Empty. You are the day I was drowning and realized the universe. I will name you Palms, Palms Up, Open Hand of the Universe.

He bathes and pees in the tub and keeps on bathing.

…staggers naked into the kitchen…stuffs the whole hard, cold, dumb Candy Man into his mouth. Jaws mashing, tongue pebbling up, maw swollen with sugary drool.

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I need to revise and revise and revise and revise and revise and revise and revise and revise and revise and revise and revise and revise and revise and revise and revise and revise and revise and revise revise and revise and revise and revise and revise and revise and revise and revise and revise and revise and revise and revise and revise and revise and revise and revise and revise and revise.

Look there goes James Thurber and he’s running after the mail truck. “Come back here with my fucking essay!!”

As he drank gin dude would change out his glass eye and replace it with a series of increasingly bloodshot eyes.

Dude had one glass eye that was an American Flag. You wanna get laid? Put a fucking glass eye with an American flag into your skull. Like excuse yourself from the conversation, go to the bathroom, return with American flag eye.

Hell, I’d sleep with you. I’d sleep with before you could sneeze.

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Oh look, Cubby tells all of us how to tape our fingers for disc golf! Thanks, Cubby! Cubby! Cubby! Cubby! Cubby! Cubby!

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Wait. Who in the hell is B.C. Edwards (this my mind thinking out loud now)? Sometimes I will read a writer and the hooks in and I’ll float away into the ribs of a washboard stomach and I’ll go get on The Google and hunt that writer down. I suppose it is a good thing when your words make my synapses move my fingers move my time on this planet move my earth my blood so here we go:

Found this over at pax americana. Check this opening line:

As I was walking down the street that cold afternoon I crossed paths with a man with blood pouring down his face.

Tension, immediacy. The story has started. This B.C. Edwards has a sort of cool name and apparently chops.

This at pax again.

When Milo opened his eyes he was still nineteen.

“Milo” is the type of name you find in short stories. But another great line. An opening. Nineteen indeed and then we dissolve into Mad Dog.

He reviews a Sam Lipsyte novel here.

I think he’s involved in Literary Death Matches, a term that always bothered me when I would show up and not one person would die. Or they never died when I was in attendance. I did see a poet punch a teacher-of-forms once. I guess all in attendance will eventually die, now that I reflect. So I guess it is–in a way removed–a death match. Wait, life is a Death Match. Are we really going to go down the We-Are-Born-to-Die route? Sometimes my brain reminds me of a teenager and I just feel sad about that.

[So I cook this huge pasta recipe {this one} and buy all these ingredients and cook it all and when I'm done I put it all into Tupperware and in the fridge and I make nachos and eat the nachos.]

Well, now I know B.C. Edwards. And I’ll keep a look out for B.C. Edwards.

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What we need is more stories that begin with one word: Gorgonzola.

Interesting flash by Jane Hammons at deComp

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