Monthly Archives: April 2010

26.2 pain

3:19:38

Didyou

hear?

An American won a fucking marathon! An American.

That’s like a grapefruit winning a knitting contest. Maybe it can be done, but…

I was there, too. I finished 109th. 3 hours and 19 minutes. Pretty dern slow for me, but it was humid and my training spotty and the hills came for me like propaganda and pulled drapes of razors.

Will I ever run a fast marathon again? Who knows?

Interesting race. Chaos. Costumes. Country music. I thought I would run faster as I ran AWAY from the country music, but I suppose not. Some guy from “Biggest Loser” sang the national anthem. We were off!

OK

OK

(Dude next to me is running barefoot. This is an insurrection in running. It scares the hell out of Nike. This book is one of its bibles.)

pain

Pain

PAIN!!

Miles 22-26 in a marathon. It may be why people run the race. Or will never run the race. You are in a different world, some odd planet. You float but in a sheen of blue/orange/some glow. You are on a drug, but like no other drug. You are in a tunnel but you see more. You are alone but somehow connected to the winds, to the cloud formations, to the bird sitting on the wire. Hello bird. You feel like an alien now, a strange race, or possibly you have shed everything and you simply feel human. Human. How it was meant to be. All of this contained in a crucible of pain.

A lot of people fall. I mean stumble. Strapped into stretchers. This is miles 22-26. People falling into stretchers. Sirens…

There were storms! Severe weather. Over 2500 runners didn’t even get to finish the race!

The race apologized.

Some of them even ran alone around the parking lot. Finishing their very own marathon, in the lightning and rain. I call that Steel. And I get it. You come this far, you train, you set this goal. You want to finish the damn thing.

Did anyone hear about the princess who ran a recent marathon as a 34 person caterpillar?

OK

word

Sean Lovelace Reviews The Night Mare Filled You With Scary by Shane Jones

A green arrived yesterday. A sickly sort of green. It was square, bound in six strands of string, and clutching another square, tall, arthritic letters on a milky patch of bled skin. But then the longer I stared into this green, its vibrancy, the more my mind seemed to float. I thought of moments of flu, the cursing of birds within my eardrums, and often I will drink white wine during flu (the best thing to do when sick is to ignore the entire reality of the situation [maybe]) and then stumble out into the field  behind my house, to fall, to sprawl there and wait, for the vomiting, the slosh and wrack and upheaval, and then those long, hollow seconds afterward as I fold back against the prickly grass, as I feel a bit of earned self-pity (See? I told you I was fucking sick), the drool pooling off my lips, as I let go, down there with the soil now at head-level, and I will feel, well, yes, completely peaceful.

The Scary Mare Filled You With Night. No.

The You Filled With Mare Scary Night. No.

Bear with me. I lost six pounds in two days. Sometimes my knees slosh like honey and walnuts.

The Night Mare Filled You With Scary. Yes!

By Shane Jones.

Bear with me because I think this book is an illness. I read it four times and my stomach boils in its own wandering juices and I feel the fanning of heat across my forehead, pink tips of ears, and I know I am moved now, I know words move me (miraculous forces and rhythmic etchings), I know this book is a world and I dipped my eyes into this world and almost cried, almost cried but when I want to cry I do anything but cry, so I drank 7 beers, climbed a small elm, descended, went back inside, built a tiny house  from couch pillows, drank 5 beers more, went back outside and granted every single dandelion amnesty. I will no longer kill the dandelions! (I raised my arm to the sun in some sort of awkward, dramatic salute.) They are plants, too. They are alive. Who am I to choose?

Bear with me. Not two days ago I sat in a bed-cave and screamed out hallucinations and identification papers of sweat.

So bear…

I mean to say I am moved to empathy. All Shane Jones (I have read) moves me to empathy. Technique? Is it characterization? Oh, dialogue. Oh, visualization. Oh, write a list of things in the character’s glove compartment. Oh, a character sketch where we get an index card and we list every…

Shut the fuck up!

Sorry, sorry…Bear with me.

I have this fever. It’s like a huge child in my head. It is the huge child of Shane Jones’s imagination. It’s his world we get from accumulation, the way the borders of Shane Jones shape themselves, the “foxes on the red leash,” not in direct, descriptive lines, not in simple telling, but in stumbling upon cottages and candles and nursery rhymes and navy pea coats and potions and knives.

And always children (some as adults) inside the belly of the huge child.

The brilliance of Shane Jones and his characters are that he needs no more than brushstrokes, name (Avery, Anna), possibly gender, and then, the large thing, the large sympathetic thing, the reason we follow them—THEY ARE ACTED UPON.

That’s it.

Such as?

Such as the sheriff. He places a note on the front door. The note says if you fall asleep you will Night Mare. You will meet Avery. (You do not want to meet Avery, trust me.) So you must remain awake. But how?

How can I remain awake, in this odd and clattery world?

Kill yourself. Kill yourself. Kill yourself over and over.

“When I come back outside I tell Anna it’s happening again. She pulls a knife from her coat pocket and cuts my wrists open.”

“I take the knife from Anna and slit her throat.”

“Henry jumps into a bear’s mouth.”

“How’s the baby.”

“He’s good.”

“Has he slept today.”

“No.”

Bear with me now.

Like with tornadoes and tsunamis, even the animals know (in Shane Jones’s world, the animals always know, as it should be).

“A group of sleeping deer drowns in a puddle, turning blue, eyes bulging.”

“When I’m walking back home I see a cat impale itself on a sharp rock.”

Interesting the reversals in Shane Jones’s work. In this book. A boy playing a trumpet is not the hero. A motorcycle gang might be. Kill yourself to live. Sleep. Not restorative. Not restful or an escape.

Sleep as portal for Avery.

And what is Avery?

Avery is the one who wants all of us to kill the dandelions. An industry—pamphlets, prongs, products and pesticide pumps–to kill the dandelions. But why?

Because they are not of lawn.

Because they are intensely beautiful.

Because they gnarl in glow.

But now I speak in metaphor again. I cough in metaphor. And, no, I will not kill the dandelions. This is always the impact of reading Shane Jones. You are going to value sleep less, because sleep might just be obedience. You are going to do tilt to something else, a tumbling gesture toward something else.

It’s called awake.

awp 19

1. Holograph

2. Flew out of Indy. Drank 2.4 beers at sports bar to calm my think-dragons. Think-dragons throat of fire like “Steel tubes should not fly” or “Humans build airplanes and humans, without a doubt, 100% throughout history, fuck up everything” or “My car breaks all the time, why not this jet?”

Sports bar full of Butler basketball fans. They looked stunned like empty shotguns. Even the ceiling fans were sighing.

3. Fiction writers eavesdrop. That is what we do. I went and sat in a chair and read a running book and overheard three flight attendants. They were arguing over Prose Poem versus Flash Fiction.

She: “…but the poem is a throat, an opening and a closing, not an event. Flash is when the gun fires.”

He: “Do you have to go Chekhov? Huh? Must you. This is Indianapolis International Airport! And what about The Colonel? How can you dismiss the artifact of the language in its content. It’s  a poet and you know it.”

She: “Hey, hey, shut your porthole. I could say the same thing about that Ashley Toliver piece, the way the phone rings, its sparkling beauty, right? Flash, flash fiction. It’s like pornography or a tipsy pilot–I know it when I see it!”

He: Have you worked the new Boeing 7?

She: No, no. But if I did I would treat that thing like my new car. One vomit stain and it’s your ass.”

He: I heard that.

4. The simple fact is I will most likely never join the Mile High Club. I just have to live with that.

5. I bought every issue of 3rd bed (so can you). On page 101 of issue 8 I found “Barn Song” by Corey Mead. Enjoy.

Liquid trees? and Edgar doesn’t know

even a part of Anna

To rise and go to the field and cut off his head.

Like, the more they talk

never having

in fields this constant: nature is lost.

Edgar almost…the mind.

And risen never

returned to the barn.

6. Got into Denver late. Ander phoned and I said “Dinner or disc? We could just do dinner, but that wouldn’t be hardcore. It’s too dark to play disc but that would be hardcore.”

To just fly in half-tipsy/flung-out exhausted and hit the course while the sun is falling like a detached retina.

Ander said we should hit the course.

I don’t remember much. I could not see. We threw discs into the darkness. The night was iron oxide and thunks.

7. Wynkoop for beer, nachos. “Build your own Nachos” Vegetarian green chili and pinto beans with cheddar & American cheese served piping hot, topped with chipotle salsa, roast corn salsa, sour cream and a basket of chips for dipping. 6.95

The build-your-own as gimmick? I barely missed John Wang (interview here). He ate Wynkoop nachos the next night. I wish we could have broke tortilla chips together. Next time, John. These nachos were level 7. Solid.

8. Next day. There is fucking snow on the ground. Now what? What do you think?

Daunted yet?

Now?

What about now? Do you think that water was cold? Do you think it’s snow-melt and I can’t feel my feet, my hands, I can’t feel anything but little stingers of rice, little wooden bowls of my feet all cloddy off the rocks and rill and glass (?) and what do you think, Ander?

(Yes, he retrieves that uphill shot from the river behind him.)

9. Interview people all day, interview people all day…

10. Golden ticket at our hotel. You hold this ticket, you get free drinks for one hour. How many drinks can you drink in one hour. Wait. How many FREE drinks can you drink?

IT FEELS GOOD HERE

I met a Texan man named Kelly. If you are Texan, your name should not be Kelly. I noticed people tip less if the drinks are free. That’s not right. You should tip MORE. Think about it, folks.

11. Rose by Lyn Lishin at deComp

when it’s behind my knees
you’d have to fall to the
floor, lower your whole
body like horses in a field of nachos
to smell it. White Rose,
Bulgarian rose. I think of
sheets I’ve left my scent in
as if to stake a claim for
someone who could never
care for anything alive.
This Bulgarian rose,
spicy, pungent, rose as my
16th birthday party dress,
rose lips, nipples. If you
won’t fall to your knees, at
least, please, nuzzle like those
horses, these roses, somewhere

12. Interviews, interviews. Then I did a quick Eggs signing. Abagail Beckel and Kathleen Rooney are two very nice human beings. Cheerful. Professional. Cool. We sold many books. I thank all. Enjoy.

Here is my POV pic from behind the table.

I saw Blake Butler and Adam Robinson and Wendy Rawlings and a bunch of others. I saw everyone for seven seconds. Only seven. Sad.

13. The best Mexican food in Denver is the Lo Do Rio.

It be sick like stomping off the porch. Glow.

14. Met a guy named Josh. I got a kick out of when he drove his disc right exactly here. He almost fell into a river.

15. The very worst Mexican food in Denver is Cilantro Fusion. Poor food, poor service, margaritas weak like Popsicle-slushies. As I told my friends, this restaurant fused SUCK to LAME. Avoid. Avoid. Do not enter.

16. This Pasha Malla story be great at Hobart.

Bear with me here: I don’t know shit about baseball. I honestly don’t think I could name a single player in the entire professional baseball league, whatever it’s called now.

17. They freaked on my disc bag in Kansas City. They said, “Sir, what is this?” Then they swabbed the interior for drugs or bombs or something. What the fuck? It’s a bag full of discs! No fucking terrorist is going to have the common sense to play disc golf. Our community is one of friendship and glow…

weapon?

18. Interviews, interviews…

19. I want my life to end this way. Just walk off into a disc course…

kill author blue nachos blar

I got Snakes at kill author.

I got Methods at kill author.

Go bleed.

*

The new thing is where I add poetry to the Google but I also crowbar my own line to like, like maybe add even more zest-birds to the Internets. So I will begin with Adam Robinson. I met him at AWP. We met for four minutes. I thought he would have bigger, chunkier eyeglasses because everyone talks about his eyeglasses. He might have been wearing a back-up pair or a pair especially made for indoor book fairs, etc. Here is a poem from his book:

THE SKEPTIC


I’m looking for a balance

between not God and God

like fruit

or feet

or nachos

or all the little birds

on Jaybird Street

*

I will write a big-ass AWP post soon. Hang in there, my little shrieks.

S

AWP. see you there?

Yo, let’s go. Ah, Denver. Rocky. Mountain. High.

Copper Nickel with great visitor advice. Drinking, weather, clothing, altitude, all dat.

I will glow town Tuesday to Saturday morning. I will glow NACHOS every day.

Here

Here

Here

And elsewhere. If you wanna meet me for nachos, give me an email. Like I said, I’ll be eating them every single day.

What else?

Mostly bizness, BSU bizness, though I do have a Rose Metal signing at the book fair for EGGS. One pm on Friday.

What else?

Well, I will drop by readings and gatherings and signings all I can! See you there. I will buy your books!

yep