The Chapbook Review be Kicking Ass. Aaron Burch Flash!

Wow. John Madera told me awhile back he was going to have a chapbook review site. He wasn’t kidding. This site be mad. Be all willow-herb instrument of sunrise. I want to throw my overcoat over my shoulder and go see Sarah, like that.

So much good stuff here, including a list of presses, an interview by Christopher Higgs with that non-sleeping guy Blake Butler, my review of Matt Bell’s excellent chapbook; on and on and on.

I am impressed, period, by this site and will certainly be using its resource and suicide and glee.


The Lovelace men mow the lawn in your honor, Mr. Madera.


Wigleaf top fifty be radish. All hurts to pee. Fellowship of the peach I feel. I read them and read them and measure my life with cocaine spoons, I mean coffee. Split-rail fence is a word that will make you think of Robert Frost. But he was well-acquainted with the night. Seinfeld says cleavage is like the sun. The moon waxes….something, whatever. I refuse to visit Paris. Let me give you an example of goodness.

Today is Aaron Burch, (interview here), the writer, and also cast party deep disciple editor of the excellent Hobart Magazine.

One morning Aaron gave me a shot of whiskey.

It burnt my throat like a profanely virgin sea.

That was a good day.

Another good day I read How to Fold Paper Cranes.

Opening Line: “Home alone, he goes straight for the kitchen…”

Kitchen as best place–knives, glasses, irony of hearth as oven as fists and hurt-words of relationship crackle–for flash fiction. Only followed by bedroom. Then bathroom, but still kitchen as best place.

Setting as character. Setting as conflict. Setting as atmosphere: The Junk Drawers our lives (You have a junk drawer, right? And I could read you–yes, you–from its contents, right? Do you have matches? From where? Do you have string, handcuffs [fucking key is missing], chips clips or roach? Lost keys, lost self-esteem, lost lunch, lost memory, lost virginity, I mean campaign button.)

“…scissors, or some Post-Its, or a battery, or this receipt.”


This receipt. “He studies it. He looks at all the numbers—the price, the barcode, the date and time. They don’t mean anything, save for being the same numbers he always finds, but that first time, he’d looked at a calendar, done the math. He’d figured it out.”

We study it, too. Plot as unanswered structure. Unopened door. Box on the table. Checkbook entry. Mailbox yawning shut, stomach full of…

This receipt. Bought something. Went somewhere. When? How much? With whom? This receipt.

Thin things are fat. Massive maybe could be.

This receipt as her doorway, her colorful bundle of Time.

This receipt as her/his secrets. Shhhhhhh.

This receipt as studied while maybe you are in the shower. Memorized, returned…

This receipt as FLASH FICTION, folks. Receipt as story. Small? Oh, really? No. Large. Immense. The first widening crack in a future sidewalk tumble of kneecaps. Blood. Mortar crumble. Stumble.

Fold it into a paper crane. A hopeful act. In the fist, or held high. Smashed. Or let it go?


Burch’s words tumble forward, leap! Structure, language, theme–the holy trilogy of flash. Flutter by, fly on. Read. Our origami-paper lives, our folded words and sighs, motherfuckers.



2 responses to “The Chapbook Review be Kicking Ass. Aaron Burch Flash!

  1. thechapbookreview

    Thanks Sean! Your words scissor and swish. And that photo is great. How old is your son? My daughter’s almost four. Today she made a huge painting with her feet.

  2. wow. awesome. thanks so much, sean!

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