Fail Nacho Coffee Clear My Throat Now

Well, my MSS “Twentieth Century Visits” has been rejected again. It got kicked like a cupcake made of school nurses, or ash. It is a collection of persona pieces. It has been finalist for a few book contests and several editors have given it the glance and no-glance. Blah blah. I just fell into a fish-like slumber. I just fell into the doorstep of America.

Example John McEnroe.

Example Andy Warhol.

These two pieces are strong (that’s why they appear in strong mags), but it’s past time for this writer to face the honest edge of the mirror. Misunderstanding, while often endless, doesn’t have to be. Yes? (Has anyone ever seen a deer with a red bandanna tied around its neck? A bunch of local hunters in my county have seen this exact deer, and it makes you wonder. Why do people make pets of the wild things in life and give the winking night a destiny?)  The editor gave a close read and perceptive comments on my MSS and it boils down to this: This album has several hits, but then several fuzzy, washy, well weak (these are all my take, not his words) songs. I totally agree. But that leads to my 2nd problem:

Do I want to revise, tighten, re-work these weaker stories? Not really…


Because this MSS was written a few years ago and I don’t write that way, in that style, that tone, that whatever. People change. Projects pass and move on. How can you become a past you?


Is a frozen lake a clone? Or our all frozen lakes specific and special. I’ve just been wondering.

I like the word shrewd, I have decided.

Thing for me to do is work on the multiple projects I am writing now. The ones I am engaged and excited about. And I think that is OK.

(Blake Butler, on HTML Giant, once called it “Today is National Delete That Old Ass Shitty Manuscript Off Your Hard Drive and Live Again Day”)

Blake be smart (often, not always–I will destroy him in any nacho-related milieu).


This guy married a video game character. Really.


WordPress keeps making snow fall across my screen and they didn’t even ask me. That’s real fucking clever. You should ask before you precipitate across my computer. You are intruding, WordPress. What if snow makes me remember cold and cold makes me remember the day I couldn’t find the niceness inside of me and then I go and get dysentery from eating Comfort Food (yesterday’s cabbage or meat soup in a slop pail)? Who am I going to blame? You, WordPress.



One time at Bama I made love in a tobacco field. Very funky. One time at Bama the poet Kevin Young visited and the first ten students who signed up were offered the ability to talk with him about a few of our poems. It is weird I signed up, since I rarely wrote poetry at the time (and always very badly). Anyway, I gave him some poems and we met and he said, “All you young people write about coffee. Why is that?”

I didn’t have an answer.

One time the poet Bruce Smith looked at my poetry and said, “I like the gas station beer.” He was referring to a line from the poem.  That was his feedback, and I feel fair.

Translation: Dude, your poetry sucks.


I still write bad poetry, BTW. People love to write them some bad poetry. I mean LOVE to. I sometimes wonder why. I think writing bad poetry is ingrained in certain DNA. I”m going to wake up today and write some bad poetry, how about you?

My point is coffee. A long way of saying here is WHY I NEVER SAY NO TO COFFEE at Pank.

Here is something about eggs at Hayden’s Ferry review, if you like eggs. I do not like eggs. This is the title story of my collection. People like it at readings. Flash is excellent at readings. I tell people, “If you don’t like this piece, wait. In a few minutes I will read a different one.”

I just had a reading and another professor here at BSU gave his class extra credit to attend my reading and the students had to write up responses and the professor gave me a copy of their responses. They seemed to enjoy flash fiction. They liked my yellow shoes. They liked my ponytail, and that was good since I am way too old to be trying to pull off a ponytail, I am thinking, and here these people say, “No, no, it’s fine.” I try to be flaky but not too flaky, so. I would think at least two of them are going to write and/or read further flash fiction, so that makes me glow all Stinking Potato. I was going to quote from their actual work here, but that seemed petty and presumptuous of me and I am glad my internal editor said, “No, Sean, do not quote from their feedback, that is stupid.”

I can’t say enough about the “new” Hayden’s Ferry (I feel it is new). I mean they had a reputation for being SLOW and a few other things. Now, they are awesome, period. I mean I’ve never seen such care, feedback, work with authors, all of it. Beth Staples (and, naturally, others) have decided to do things the right way, no doubt. In a word, impressive.


I think I need a third nacho bowl.

I have been eating so many nachos lately I have exhausted my two bowl system. So I am looking for a new bowl. Tonight I actually had to go to a reserve bowl, some Pyrex dish, since both bowls were in the washing machine, and it caused me great discomfort during the Nacho Experience. I wasn’t happy. I need a large bowl, in green or blue (the only colors I admire). Some folks have been helping me with this search, so hope to have a 3rd bowl to work into my rotation soon. Of course, any hints or leads you have, please do.


Matt Bell is kicking Dinosaur ass. I get my Hayden’s Ferry and he is in there. I get my new Gulf Coast and he is in there. The man can flat write a story. And his stuff keeps evolving, getting tighter and weirder. I like weird. I think he is stretching things, flux and pop. Pick up the two mags and read him!


I did a 28 minute tempo yesterday, about 5:54 mile speed. People, do your tempo run! It is the bedrock of your training. I know runners read this blog some, because I know you, so DO NOT NEGLECT THE TEMPO RUN! I’m serious.


The new DecomP is out and I like this flash by Mark Neely. I think his work is getting weirder, too, and didn’t I just say I like weird?

OK then.



3 responses to “Fail Nacho Coffee Clear My Throat Now

  1. Yr. probably right on the tempo run. In Central Park this morning, I got whupped by 3 runners, and 2 of them were ladies.

    Still, I’m more worried about distance than speed. I need to get to the point in the next couple months where I put together some training runs of 50K on trails, lots of rocks, lots of climbs. I’m really just jelly right now.

  2. First Leutenant Thorton R. McMurphy

    Sorry about that MSS. fuck em.

    I do like them yellow shoes for real.

    Love you.

  3. Just found where you can disable the snow falling on your wordpress dashboard. it’s in the “Extras” page of your dashboard, under “Appearance.”

    That’s handy.

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