Tag Archives: Jesus Angel Garcia

The pity of it is we are free

Account of working in the Breadloaf Writing Retreat kitchen.

It kills me that people still ban Vonnegut, but Vonnegut is striking back!

I of course remember the first time I met Vonnegut, off near that GM plant in Fort Wayne, on that state land, well we were deer hunting,  a reduction hunt, shotgun only, and Vonnegut and I both clueless, hadn’t scouted besides a quick glimpse at a topo map and asking some lady Vonnegut knew at the plant, her name was Sheila and she had these very largy yet remarkably firm breasts and she just said, “I seen a big ol’ deer out there, size of a sandwich” and anyway Vonnegut goes and shoots a button buck, you know them teenager bucks, little buttons on top, dumb as boiled gravel, and Vonnegut just sort of gut-shoots it and it humps all up and then jumps over the fence, off into that GM land, clearly off-limits, and Vonnegut just unsnaps a little folding knife, maybe a Gerber or whatnot, off his belt and scurries up the fence and leaps off and onto that button buck and they’re all rolling and thrashing about and leaves flying and finally Vonnegut rares up and slits that deer’s throat! Damn, man. And then he just, I guess adrenaline and all, just heaves that deer right over the fence and climbs back up and over and Vonnegut all heavy heaving red-faced, all blood on his hands and arms and specks on his mustache whatnot and sort of panting and laughing and I go, “Damn, man, that was something” and he starts maybe laughing I don’t know and sticks his knife in the ground, wipes it clean on his pants leg, snaps it right back onto his belt, grabs the hind legs of the little button buck and says, “Yeh, it was something. How about giving me a hand here?”

And so we drug that deer out is what I remember and ate some of it over fire that night with cold cans of beer and a touch of hot sauce.

*

He enters a clearing with a small blue tent and a poodle tied to a picnic table.

*

Kraft sells off Velveeta, the sons-a-bitches. You dare doubt Velveeta!! I would like to introduce you, Kraft, to your brethren and their wise words. Your brothers are:

Variety Magazine, 1955. Here is their opinion on rock-n-roll:

It will be gone by June.

I also introduce you to another one of your mealy, doughy, half-baked brothers, Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943:

I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.

And so on…Oh, you will rue this day, Kraft. I will write documents so analytical, so bereft of emotion (seemingly), so rhetorically sound as to raise the hair on the backs of the necks of statues of grandmothers. I will raise an army against you…etc, etc. Hold up, my dog just ran out the door. And guess what? My dog does not react to verbal commands. Ha, ha! What a dog! What a jolly animal. Running among the jolly streets, the jolly screeching of tires, random curses, potential lawsuits, oh ha, ha, ha, living the dream of Man’s Best Friend…Listen: Velveeta is formless. Tabula rasa. A friend with cheese is a friend indeed. Something.

*

Yes, this book stumbles through itself, in search of itself, learning to bend and snap, discovering the depths and directions of its voice and at the end pops out this layered clump, like a rubberband ball with a pulse, that bounces around us and stretches thoughtshapes in and out and back again and we get all smiley, not really knowing what to say or think.

*

Hey, all you communist bastards, you fish-forgetters, you fruit fly fuckers who bang on Flash Fiction, check out these snow globes by Walter Martin and Palamo Munoz.

What’s my point? My point is take note. Click the link. The snow globes ARE flash fiction. Megadecahedron on your ass. Hey you: Stop eating pretentious lunches, like olives and shit, you flash haters, you Neanderthals of the long leg Daddy variety, you flashcists. Punks.

Oh, I bet you suck olives.

I bet you eat multiple varieties of olives.

Pretentious ass! (Lover of silver SUV with Jesus fish; long walks on the cooling bodies of superstars died early; wearer of black ski masks with mouths outlined in yellow; etc.)

*

I don’t know Casey Hannan’s work, but I am going to get to know it. This flash (over at wigleaf is one of the best I’ve seen over there, and I have seen plenty of glow over at the leaf. It catches a moment, then collects the prisms of the moment, the multiple angles of split light. Interior, exterior, the cigarette and the ash, the lips and lungs (and heart). See, flash is light, a flashlight. It illuminates, captures a beaming moment, lets you listen to the scurrying right outside the beam, in the dark.

You love wordplay, so you howl until it transforms into a scissored cough, like your breath is caught in a rock tumbler. I realize this will be your last cigarette ever. You bleed your coughs onto the shoulder of your t-shirt in big, tacky blotches, and you say, “This is it, Case, my only chance to do something like this before I die. I’m dyeing, God, how I’m dyeing this shirt right in front of you.”

*

My lunch was all European, all junque cosmopolitan, olives and blue cheese olives and hummus and brick-bread and almonds (king of the nuts), and a little Fat Tire, Fat Tire, a beer on the cusp, the little shimmering cusp, of obnoxiousness. I see one more semi truck plastered in FAT TIRE and I’m going to get off my feed, going to chuck a lug, going to pour grape juice marinade on the cuticles of my…something. OK, we had people by last night and I now eat leftovers. This lunch made me feel like a normal human being.  Or like the value of my house dropped yet another 10 grand or that Boeing launched a 787 Dreamliner

or

–I wanted you to actually hear what I’m saying.

–What was that?

–the wind picked up…

–There’s only one thing really wrong with him.

or:

*

More and more often I don’t ‘understand’ Blake Butler’s blog.

One time I was in Chicago and this woman approached me and I was all feeling inside like “wow I like when women approach me” and she got really close, sort of like artist-in-the-anticipation-of-needs close or like swans in a floral arrangements close (anyway), and she said in this sort of haltingly with an accent voice: “Do. You. Know this. Blake Boootttleerr?”

And I said, “Blake Butler? Yeh I know him.”

And she said, “Can youse. Show him. To me.”

So I walked her over to see Blake Butler and we both stared at the back of his head, from a distance. And she said, “Tank. You.”

*

Steve Stringer has a wonderful touch over at Juked, with Seaplanes. It’s a little Carver and certainly a shake of Denis Johnson, but he avoids the derivative, with crisp scene-setting, with an occasional jarring transition, and an oft memorable line. Don’t know much about Stringer myself, but will keep my antennae up.

He says he shoplifted gospel cassettes, says he filched from the collection plate, says sometimes he prayed to basketball players instead of God. He says when he worked in the morgue he was coming off a morphine addiction. When no one was around, he’d peel back the fentanyl patches off the bodies, prick a hole in the patch with a pin, and lick the gel. He says he’s sorry.

He just sits there frozen and dry like astronaut food.

*

At decomP I enjoyed this by Robert Laughlin:

The parade moved on, but not the elephant that collapsed in the city’s busiest intersection. People in their stalled cars watched a city truck arrive. The city men planted a sign in the asphalt: ASIAN ELEPHANT/ELEPHAS MAXIMUS
IN PROCESS OF NATURAL DECAY
FINE FOR REMOVAL

*

Fog gets a big ol’ review here at Faster Times.

What? You want me to answer even more questions about Fog? That type of thing fascinates you, along with cockroaches and snorting Dexedrine off the top of church pews? Ok, then, I answer questions about Fog for NANO Fiction.

Here, I slap a canoe rack of my glow Outback:

Placing a canoe rack feels glow because I know I have done something. When I write, I am not sure I have done a damn thing. And it goes on and on and to thread one’s way unseen through the world must feel wonderful, so to speak…something.

*

I am now reading Today and Tomorrow by Ofelia Hunt.

Bill Murray’s face is on the cover, always a very good sign.

“R2D2 was a great guy and a fine actor.”

-Bill Murray

*

Would everyone please shut the fuck up about Shark Week?

*

Hill workouts. Are they effective?

1. East Africans have been traipsing up and down the steep slopes of the Great Rift Valley for millennia.

2. Hill muscles and sprint muscles are almost exactly the same.

3. While every other runner dreads hills, why not make them your specialty? Then you approach the hill and think, “I’ve got them now.”

4. Hills develops coordination, encouraging the proper use of arm action.

5. Hills are a grind. Every runner must grind. Must fuck grind, love grind, sweet milk of grind embrace grind. Know grind. Lick grind. Grind. I can’t even tell you how much of my running career has been built on grind, or as one coach told me way, way, way back in high school:

“Sean, you’re strength is your strength.”

Meaning I don’t stop. I grind.

6. Running hills make you better at…running hills.

Just did 9 minutes at 2% grade, 9 at 3%, 9 at 4%, 9 at 5%, 9 at 6%, 3 at 7%. I am now sweat-slicked and legs all undressed and winnowed Tree and sigh, sigh muscles and I need a beer.

*

I kind of dig this photo of Jesus.I ripped it from Vouched. Who knows where they ripped it from.

*

You people who hate flash are still here?You damn kite stranglers! You Shrunken Strunks & Whites. You baa, baa, baa haters. You postnasal lopper-gangers! You fountain pens filled with troll heavens. You mes! You memory hazers. You slap boxes! You TVs! You slow, slow cult. You Sheriffs! You tornado Sheriffs! You posh costumes of baleful asthma. You curds. Well.

FOG of postcards and sublime slivers of glass

Holy fuck this is glow! Watch it. Drink Canadian whiskey and eat 114 oysters raw and wack-off (or don’t wack-off, whatever) and watch it. What a human. A golden humpbacked whale. A walking lighthouse of thorn-bushes and vodka bras and poetry. I love the man.

*

A bird just flew into my window, but enough about me. Wearing ballet slippers to a funeral? I enjoy the feel of a half pint bottle in the back pocket of jeans, that smooth pressing. Wrist-bone, phone, sky. A boy carrying either a human head or a head of lettuce under his arm. Overpasses. Revision is more creative than the actual first draft. Is that true? Hot swatches on sun on the grass. Water the lawn only occasionally, but for long, long periods. Work habits. Dug out a tree, but have not replaced the tree. Big, empty spaces. Fuck. No, fuck you. No, fuck me. The treadmill is repaired! I keep running through my days. What are you running from, sir? That seems an empty and obvious question. The past is growing! Oh shit, that means the future is shrinking. It’s all, unfortunately, math. Staggering on spindly legs. Something like that.

[follow my command!]

The Fog is rolling in…

Review here:

The comparison to Stein is perhaps the highest praise I can offer for Fog Gorgeous Stag. The more I spend time with this new genre of Fog, the better I like it.

Review here:

Fog Gorgeous Stag is brilliant collage, unsentimental divergence, uncorked spilling and a lack of containment.

Review here:

At first read, one might mistake Sean Lovelace’s hybrid-prose poem collection Fog Gorgeous Stag to be a magical manual, a book which reads back the conscious of whatever the reader is looking for, through glowing light pages.

Two comparisons to Gertrude Stein. I’ll take that, though it is a bit like comparing a golden crow to a chalky lump of bird splatter (myself as the bird shit, obviously). So, anyway. If you like Stein, maybe purchase my book. Eh, eh?

[boom!]

I’m sort of into the work of Laurel Nakadate (two pics above)

*

Went to a reading. Met cool people. Words all Gem bottles of Gin. Night a blur. Wish I could have talked to more of them, longer. Words all black-marketed moons. I mean to say, went/bent/went to a reading all Vouched-like, all hot glass tire service center, all sweet walking odor of tire, all sun off the windows like Ljosvallagata, all electronic sun, all Jesus Angel Garcia (dude’s on a huge-ass reading tour) rocking the Mr. Microphone, all words like fat slaps of friction,

[me and Jesus]

all religious comment on religion and shit, all barbaric sexual yawp, all Roxane Gay (she read a major glow story about anorexia bulimic fucking, etc.), words all oil barrels of light, all flickering halos, all FREE BEER, all free fucking IPA (thanks, Flat 12, I will be down there for some growlers soon), all Barry Graham (Monica Lewinsky crush), all Dogzplot in the house, all French fries and shards of hope, all trash fires of the pelvis, all words in ravines, words flying in the air like typhoids of sunlight, all grinding sunlight, all Matt Mullins (wicked poem here), all shadows and saw-blades, all

[Matt Mullins dropping words]

corned beef lickings of words, all Steve Himmer (we discussed garden gnomes and also I bought his book--I can tell it’s going to kick serious ass), all serpents and hermits, all  Micah Ling (She is not Asian or a man. She is a runner!–see you at a race maybe?), all word filets of crunchy telescopes, all FREE Lit Pub T-shirt, all Laura Adamczyk (interview here), all Jim Walker (Cool guy. I met him at the last Vouched reading.), all John Clark, all Jessica Dyer (uterus as muse?)

Let me tell you about the rat I keep in my uterus. He stores cotton balls, faux feathers, and little pink beads in me to make the perfect nest. I use these in my crafts. My uterus is squishy, and he has a fun time in there bouncing around and sometimes I have to bang on my belly to make him stop. It tickles but is awkward in public. He is quickened by cinnamon, and plays tricks on all my sphincters. I call him my pocket protector. In the mornings there are little rat marks on my thighs; somehow he gets out, but I always let him come home to my beaded plush cave. I would let you pet him, but he has claws and a tail like a real baby, even little milk teeth!

all Kevin McKelvey (I got this in-touch-with-the-earth feel. I guess I’m saying I’d like to fish and/or canoe with the guy.), all words as parachutes of mud, as echoes of golden barbed wire, all Layne Ransom (hell yes CHICKLITZ!),

[Layne all literary]

all Bryan Furuness (Bryan read an amazing piece about tubes, life as, etc.), all that’s a shit-load of readers at one reading but it did glow. I then went to a bar and ate fried green beans.

*

Meg Pokrass with glow interview of Dan Choan.

How do you stay creative? What are your tricks to get “unstuck?”

Here’s one trick:  get really drunk or stoned and fall asleep weeping on your keyboard.  When you wake up,  magical elves will have come in the night and turned your bitter tears into words and paragraphs,  just like they made shoes for that shoemaker.

Actually, that doesn’t work most of the time, but I keep trying it.

Another trick,  this one somewhat less self-destructive,  was suggested to me by a teacher,  and has worked on occasion:  Make a list of 40-50 things that could potentially happen next in your story.  Don’t worry if they are boring,  or improbable,  or stupid.  Just make a list as quickly as possible.  Then take 5-10 of them,  and write one or two paragraphs for each one.   Somewhere in this process,  you are going to get unstuck.

Otherwise, I need to put the piece aside and start something new. I’ve never been at a loss for new material,  for whatever reason.  It’s never a problem to start something — finishing is always an issue.

*

Speaking of Meg Pokrass, her flash fiction continues to blend my bones silver. To make me actually glow. This, from elimae, the opening of “Albino.”

I deserved an ample scolding. I watched the sunset with an albino. We went to a thrift store, and joked about trying on hats and getting lice. “Miami Lice,” he said. Was he safe? I hoped not. Was it scummy and frivolous to hang out? My birthstone was emerald, I told him, and his chlorinated eyes said, “Well, that makes you not-simpleminded.” We both laughed. An albino laugh. Watery veins stood out and his forehead looked like a stolen woodpile.

*

Cathy Day blogs about Midnight in Paris. I am not going to read her post entirely because I am going to see the movie this week. Then I will read her post. Also I will tell you what I think. My thoughts now? Woody Allen used to make amazing, thoughtful, layered films. Then for a long, long time he made mediocre films. They depressed me with their earnest mediocrity. It made me sad. It made me feel like I was watching an aging Muhammad Ali get his ass kicked at the end of his career. I can’t watch that type of film, not from a genius like Allen. So. I am hoping. Hoping this film glows.

*

I am thinking about running the Big Sur (a haven for writers) marathon. California. Ander Monson already signed up! I must join him! Shit. Well. OK. Thanks, Ander.

*

Amie Barrodale story at The Paris Review. It has sex AND drugs. I mean what do you want?

*

Joyelle McSweeney on Herzog and the Sublime. Wow. I think McSweeney is one of our most perceptive, intelligent writers. I pretty much will read anything she writes, as should you. I’d also like to add that Montevidayo is one ugly-ass blog site. I mean the design is clunky as hell. They might also want to hire a copy-editor. I’ve never seen such consistent misspelling errors. But I like the site. Trying to be constructive. Anyway, all that is their own business. The content is consistently good.

But this solipsistic notion—that man is the measure of man- is itself a loop, a folding, a self-saturation that begins to gesture at the hyperbolic over-saturation and collapse of humanist project or portrait in Herzog’s films, yielding something so irrational, beautiful, terrible, and certainly out of control that it is less like a portrait of a man and more like an inundation with the Sublime.

*

*

I went to New York City and took many,many subway stops and walked, walked, walked, and found some nachos. These are grilled zuchinni and black bean and three cheeses. A solid 7.23 on THE LOVELACE SCALE OF GLOW NACHOS.They came from El Camion. Nacho review here.

*

Peter Tieryas Liu brings it over at decomP. What I like here is the language, how he knows us flash writers must–must!!–understand the way of the poet, the Word.

I experience four cyclical deaths every day; lavatory, office politics, televised Internet, and dreamless sleep.

*

[I swear to gods my book is cheesy. Order it here. ]

*

A letter from Mary Hamilton.

Dear Wigleaf,

I noticed today that one leg is longer than the other. That’s a lie. It’s more like I am unevenly distributed. One knee is placed higher than the other. One calf is slightly bigger. One shoulder is lower. One boob is larger. My right ear is smaller and set farther back than my left ear. One eyebrow is shorter and thicker. My left eye is basically sitting on my temple. My belly button is not centrally placed. Don’t even get me started on my elbows.

The walls of my apartment are crooked, making measurements for an aspired-to new couch difficult.

I think you should know that I’ve grown three inches since high school and all of it is in my left forearm making pancake flipping a difficult balance.

Stay cool,
Mary