Big-Ass Nachos. Tao Lin uses too many Quotation Marks. Mary Oliver Poet. Methadone, Lay off Friend (my advice).

Anyhow, before my ex-wife (the fourth one, a rangy woman, ugly as homemade soap) introduced me to nachos, I would eat a kind of normal breakfast: free-range turkey eggs (boiled or scrambled—runny eggs make my stomach flop like a runover snake), country venison ham, venison bacon, venison sausages, Bit-O-Honeys, Cheerios, cinnamon buns, toast, saltines, biscuits, hash browns, Pepsis, flapjacks, cheese grits with butter, Doritos, crepes, muffins, beans and franks, jellies and jams and marmalades, omelets, and sometimes a small tin of candied oysters (Ebay).

Now I eat nachos.


Best Opening Line in Short Fiction. Lorrie Moore, “Amahl and the Night Visitors.”

Understand that your cat is a whore and can’t help you.



This kicks ass, over at Barrelhouse, Brock Adams tells us: Things You Can do With a Can of Campbell’s Soup

I also like these from Liz Scheid at Diagram.

I have this idea only those diagnosed with mental illness are responding to our world correctly. Only 100 years ago ADHD would be a handy tool for saving your life. But it does tend to suffer when sitting in orderly rows, quietly. Why are so many people’s biochemistry off kilter now? Environs? Genetics? This world (pick up a newspaper). Too much information overwhelms the filter. The brain, sponge-like, but any sponge can only hold a certain amount. Then it leaks.

Liz seems to reflect some of this idea here.


The new Poets and Writers (because poets are not writers, right?) profiles Paul Guest.

Paul went to Alabama MFA while I was there. The article doesn’t even mention Alabama for some odd reason. Thanks.

For those who think poets don’t make cash, you might want to gander at Paul’s book deal. A poet being solicited by an agent! A lucrative book deal for poetry and a memoir. (I basically know the amount but seems unseemly for me to say. It is much more money than you are thinking right now.) Not to mention they will publish all his future poetry forever. Uh, sweet.

Paul writes by using a plastic stick he holds in his mouth. I often think about the difference between hand-written, typing, speaking into a microphone, the different ways the synapses crackle, but Paul’s method takes it to a whole new level. Think how meticulous the act to create the word, the very letter. I think it probably benefits the creation process, but that’s only conjecture.

We know several older writers–Cormac McCarthy, Jim Harrison–prefer to write by hand, on a legal pad.

Young people go for computers.

The difference?

Tactile. The word from the pencil/pen tip, the clutched hand, the brain chemistry of arm-nerves-cells, IN CONTACT with the word. Versus tapping away, intermittent contact. Let’s take this into an analogy. Treadmill running in a room versus trail running up a mountain? Painting with oils versus Photoshop? Microwave versus cutting board…

The physical experience of art can not be mimicked. Or can it? Boxing is an art. Or a sweet science.

Any sport where killing the opponent is a positive (or even goal?) should be wiped away. Erased. If you kill the opponent in boxing (many have, and do), you win.

I’m not sure why I just said that.

I don’t know.

The text on the page looks “done.” Looks printed, published, in crisp, crisp MS Word. Cut and Paste versus erasing? Revision now a series of cuts, pastes, moving text here, there…

I went to Mark Neely’s class and in five minutes learned more about page layout than I knew in 38 years. That’s a smart class, but I am also dumb.

But so many word processors make a text look “done.”

Ok, I’ll stop with the “quotes.” It’s getting all Tao Lin.

Does MS Word trick the new writer into seeing a finished product?

Mary Oliver revises her poems fifty times, people.

Due to his disability, Paul Guest says he can never write down an idea, a scrap he might have thought up while in bed. Any other writer can just jot something down in a notebook. He can not. This makes him frustrated, angry, so he has trained his mind to never think of ideas while in bed. That’s pretty wild. Pretty impressive.



Kyle Minor is coming to Muncie in the spring! Looking forward to meeting the man, and introducing his work to my students.


I feel like this today (the bird).



8 responses to “Big-Ass Nachos. Tao Lin uses too many Quotation Marks. Mary Oliver Poet. Methadone, Lay off Friend (my advice).

  1. notice that is the largest nachos “attempt”

  2. help me apply for grants and fellowships and things like that

    comment things i can apply for that i’m eligible for that give me free money.

  3. Tao Lin:

    Why don’t you just get an MFA? What would an MFA do for you?

    1.) Give you free time to write, years, no job.
    2.) Pay you to write. For years.

    Isn’t that basically a grant?

    Any other grant stuff I know is professor grant stuff.


  4. sean, i didn’t comment that comment, it’s probably the person who talks shit in my comments section

  5. Tao:

    Oh, ok. That person sounds sadly.

    No worries. Maybe someone reads my reply, gets an MFA, and finds true love. Etc.

  6. I liked reading your thoughts on writing by hand vs. computer.

    Hmm. I’ve always preferred computer, I’ve only written a few stories by hand.

    I like the idea of challenging myself to slow a little, though, and trying pen and paper more often. Tactile change, hmmm.


  7. Thanks for the shout-out. Not sure how I just saw this, but it seems appropriate that I did just that today. Glad you enjoyed the poems. I also very much like paul guest’s work.

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