Monthly Archives: October 2010

kardashian opossum strung and handy nachos, oh my

I recently ran a long race on my fucked up heel. I won the race. Leave me alone.

*

The Broken Plate really needs you to submit!! Go now. You have until Oct 31.

*

Juked! Another incredible Arlene Ang poem.

[she is my sister, as you know]

*

Blink, shuffle, touch a mark on your left temple, go Teutonic, and pay attention to Rose Metal Press, flashers!

Our Fifth Annual Short Short Chapbook Contest submission period begins October 15 and ends December 1, 2010. Our 2010 judge will be Kim Chinquee. The winner will have his/her chapbook published in summer 2011, with an introduction by the contest judge. During the submission period, please email your 25–40 page double-spaced manuscript of short short stories under 1000 words to us here with a $10 reading fee via Paypal or check.

I can personally say (hint, hint–see that little EGGS book to the right side banner?) that Rose Metal will make you a booky-wooky that will glow like cotton undershirts of  Sunday butter on a chainsaw.

You can’t slay a dragon if you don’t shod-on your purple boots. String that bow! Don’t go falling slant in the town lights of Forgetville, USA. Huh? It means ENTER!

[i saw a hawk harass an owl yesterday. that’s rude. blur-jays and brows harass owls, i can see that, but a hawk? i though they were sort of bros…]

*

(photo from a major green light nacho blog)

We shall be cheering for the Texas Rangers in the World Series. Why? NACHOS.

No kidding, people actually went to Texas Rangers games to eat nachos. When nachos and a beverage or two were consumed, they usually left the game because what was on the field wasn’t usually worth watching by then.

Often, the lines to the concession stands to get the nachos were long.

“Doesn’t matter,” one friend, living in the Dallas area at the time, once told me during a night at Turnpike Stadium. “Thinking about those nachos is better than thinking about the game.”

Why are they so surprised people would go to a ballgame only for the nachos? I’d kiss little rainworm stones for hours just for one nacho chip, cheese, a sketchy jalapeno…

*

It is Mean Week over at HTML GIANT. People are wriitng obituaries.

1. Dead: Publishing Genius and Anderbo.

2. Deceased: Elimae, WWATD, online lit mags in general.

3. Deader than disco: AWP.

*

Who doesn’t love Charlie Sheen? You go, man. Jesus H. The candle has been burnt but he made a new candle out of dirty bras, beer bottle foil, and the time-release coatings he just split from his Oxycontin…my Lordie.

“It’s been a very eventful trip,” his ex-wife says. And me, I love understatement, yet another lost and human form of humor.

*

I write a story about John McEnroe eating some cat-head biscuits and throwing Moon Pies over at BLIP. What is BLIP? Well, it used to be RICK MAGAZINE. Then it used to be the Mississippi Review or something.  I can’t follow all the barbed wire, hinder axletrees, or should I say threads….

[get them damned goats off the lawn!!]

What do I know?

Here is some about the controversy (?). This is summer 2010 link, so basically the Epipaleolithic period in blog world speak. You probably know all this already. So why don’t I shut the fuck up?

[snap that racket’s neck, johnny-mac!!]

I read all the BLIP stories for this week. I was coffeed up and all sort of blur skin glow, all wavy rain synapse, all fifteen dollar refrigerators of glow (shard of me already planning lunch nachos), and I thought, I’ll read all the BLIP stories before I go run (hobble, fucking heel) and go to work and read some fiction drafts.

21% of the BLIP stories were blar rawlooking uniforms.

21% were OK feet (mine included)

42% were glow, at least ribbon in hair, at least rope-veined claw, maybe pink ribbon in blond hair glow.

16% were damn fine glow.

The best was “And One Blue Pussy” by Jennifer Pashley. Here is an excerpt:

He has a pony­tail that hangs halfway down his back. Blond and mostly straight. I don’t notice it until he walks away – because of the cap, because of his face. Like a mannequin’s face, carved out of wood or plas­ter, seam­less and smooth and all the same color, even the lips. Like you could pose his stiff arms in a polo, that his fin­gers would hold the shape of dainty point­ing, you could hang your keys on them, place them at his waist, or his col­lar, fanned out like the fin­gers on the baby Jesus in an old paint­ing. He walks away and I see the pony­tail, longer than mine, and way longer than Wendy’s. She cut her hair in her first trimester and now couldn’t make a pony­tail if she wanted to.

Not many of us go out. The bars in the hos­pi­tal neigh­bor­hood are col­lege bars, and it’s June. The one guy who goes with us won’t fully sit on the seat, and his wife texts him through his entire beer. He never puts the phone down and it keeps ping­ing, he keeps look­ing, he fum­bles through short mes­sages with his fat thumbs. Right after, he says he has to go. It leaves us in an empty place on a Mon­day night, with some piped in Grate­ful Dead, a lone bar­tender with a mess of dreads, a big belly and a salmon pink t-shirt.

I wait for him to make his own expla­na­tion. He says, Who wouldn’t want to date a red­head named Bridget?

I’ve dated a red­head named Brid­get, I say.

He says his friends set them up, and only told him that she was unpre­dictable, that he would love her, but that she would sur­prise him.

I also dated a red­head named Sam, I say.

Sam, he repeats, fishing.

Samuel, I say.

You’ve had boyfriends, he says, not a question.

Sure. I’ve had boyfriends. I’ve had twenty-five boyfriends, all named Sam, I say. Smirk. He orders another round.

What’s that from? he asks, like it’s a line from a movie. Behind him, the bar­tender wipes in a circle.

Andy Warhol, I say.

Andy Warhol had twenty-five boyfriends named Sam? he says.

They were cats, I say. Sugar Mag­no­lia comes on. It’s a book: Twenty-five cats named Sam. I cross my legs then under the table, and fin­ish the title for him, clos­ing my eyes when I say it. And one blue pussy.

He appears to work some­thing out of the side of his cheek with his tongue, which is pierced through with a round steel ball that clicks against his teeth. It goes pretty quick from there, talk­ing and not talk­ing, my foot on his foot under the table. His arm against mine above the table. Drink­ing, pay­ing, walk­ing to the car, the quick nego­ti­a­tion of who will drive and where, and when I ask him later, how many girl­friends he’s had, to at least try and even up the score of ques­tion ask­ing, he only says not enough.

Jesus, Sean, that excerpt was too long. This is a blog not a lit mag, Freak-O. OK, sorry. I got carried away. I like stories of random sex and Andy Warhol and tattered conversations, OK. And bars. And also there are nurses (remember, I am an RN) and what type of title is AND ONE BLUE PUSSY?

A glow title my friends.

*

I’m not the only one who uses celebrities in their fiction. Just finished Celebrity Chekhov by Ben Greenman. Author takes Chekhov stories and brings them up to date, replacing the characters with celebrities: David Letterman, Paris Hilton, Michael Douglas, oh my.

[this opossum walked below me. it snuffled the air. it itched the air. i pulled out my iphone and took a photo and then i wrote a little flash fiction about a opossum, or notes of, so i guess the iphone has some practical use for writers…]

Some of the C Chekhov stories are trivial. Some are perfect mimics. Some are actually odd and fresh, the concept working, the pre-formed (in our minds) persona working in this new place. An example would be “The Darling,” starring Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt and Keith Urban. Also effective were “A Trilogy” (The Jon Lovitz section is a comedic masterpiece) and “Terror.” The latter is about Michael Douglas, and possibly his current illness gives this story even more pathos, but I would point out and compliment a method Greenman ripped from Chekhov (obviously on purpose–the book is homage) and uses to startling effect: the juxtaposition of the natural world with our human concerns…

Douglas (who has quit acting to run coffee shops) gnashes and gnaws existential on life:

And do you understand life? Tell me: do you understand life better than the world beyond the grave?

I recognize that education and the conditions of life have imprisoned me in a narrow circle of falsity, that my whole life is nothing else than a daily effort to deceive myself and other people, and to avoid noticing it; and I am frightened at the thought that to the day of death I shall not escape from this falsity.

True dat, but then we get all of this delivered on a park bench, and this scene:

On the river, and here and there on the meadows, a mist was rising. High narrow coils of mist, thick and white as milk, were trailing over the river, hiding the reflection of the stars. Every minute they changed their form, and it seemed as some were embracing, others were bowing, others lifting their heads as though they were praying.

* Here is a long interview with Ben Greenman.

* Review of book here.

*

Here is a photo of a deer walking past my deer stand a few days ago. I took its photo not its deer-burger.

*

Here is a story about Kim Kardashian. Who the fuck is Kim Kardashian?

[EXCUSE ME–her sister eats nachos! Her sister eats nachos!!

]

“Joy”

It was twelve o’clock at night.

Kim Kardashian, with excited face and ruffled hair, flew into her family’s house and hurriedly ran through all the rooms. Her parents had already gone to bed. Her sisters were awake, trying on lingerie. Her stepbrother was looking at himself in the mirror.

“Where have you come from?” her sister Khloe cried in amazement. “What is the matter with you?”

“Oh, don’t ask! I never expected it; no, I never expected it! It’s positively incredible!”

Kim laughed and sank into an armchair, so overcome by happiness that she could not stand on her legs.

“It’s incredible! You can’t imagine! Look!”

Her other sister, Kourtney, threw a quilt round her and went in to fetch their stepbrother Brody. He came into the room, holding a hand mirror. Within a moment Kim’s parents were in the room as well.

“What’s the matter?” her mother said. “You don’t look like yourself!”

“It’s because I am so happy. The whole world knows me! The whole world! Until now only you knew that there was a girl called Kim Kardashian, and now the whole world knows it! Mama! Thank heavens!”

Kim jumped up, ran up and down all the rooms, and then sat down again.

“What has happened? Tell us sensibly!”

“You live like wild beasts, you don’t watch very much television and take no notice of what’s online, and there’s so much that is interesting there. If anything happens it’s all known at once, nothing is hidden! How happy I am! Oh, Lord! You know it’s only celebrated people whose names are published online, and now they have gone and published mine!”

“What do you mean? Where?”

Kim’s stepfather, Bruce Jenner, turned pale. Her mother crossed herself. Brody looked at her and then looked back into the hand mirror.

“Yes! My name has been published! Now all the world knows of me! Bookmark that page and print it out in memory! We will read it sometimes! Look!”

Kim went to the computer, tapped a series of keys, and then pointed to a paragraph on the screen.

“Read it!” she said to Bruce Jenner.

He put on his glasses.

“Read it!”

Kim’s mother crossed herself again. Bruce Jenner cleared his throat and began to read: “ ‘We will all be hearing more of Kim Kardashian soon . . .’ ”

“You see, you see! Go on!”

“ ‘. . . since an intimate video starring Kardashian and her ex-boyfriend has been confirmed . . .’ ”

“That’s me and Ray J . . . it’s all described exactly! Go on! Listen!”

“ ‘. . . and will be released later this month. The tape, which Vivid reportedly acquired for one million dollars, includes more than thirty minutes of explicit sexual activity . . .’ ”

“Go on! Read the rest!”

“ ‘It was filmed a few years ago, when Kardashian and her boyfriend, an R&B singer named Ray J . . .’ ”

“I told you. Ray J! But keep reading. There’s more about me.”

“ ‘Initially, Kardashian tried to block the release of the tape, but at length came to an agreement with the distribution company.’ ”

“That’s right. I’m being distributed. You have read it now? Good! So you see. It’s all over the Internet, which means it’s all over the world! Give it here!”

Kim closed the window and turned away from the computer.

“I have to go around the neighborhood and show this to a bunch of other people . . . the Gastineaus . . .the Hiltons . . . .Must run! Good-bye!”

Kim put on her hat and, joyful and triumphant, ran into the street.

*

Smokelong Q is named Smokelong because you can read a flash fiction in the amount of time it would take to smoke a cigarette. Now you know something. Want to know something else?

They have a 30 word flash contest in November. Sweet.

Gum those words, folks. Chew and spit.

*

I vouch for VOUCHED.

*

I am grading/eating nachos/drinking a beer/watching football. We call this a Sunday.

*

Damn, M Sarki over at elimae. Pretty dern glow, sir. You made me wash out my slackwater for a moment there. I just about J-boned my flatness. I thought there was no way M Sarki would be publishing online.

I was wrong.

In my nude art work the model is most definitely my collaborator and there must be space and tolerance for absolute failure.

Amen, dude!

Oh I just used The Google and here he is at failbetter.

*

Gritty Tony O’Neill interview at 3 am.

Watching people shoot up, smoke crack, all of that stuff – I find it hypnotic.

*

This blog has too many long excerpts today. Well, arrest me! Seriously arrest me–I’m lonely. My days are a wrecked car hidden behind a cabin made of cheese.

[climb the steps! push open the door!]

*

…and we are always doing depressing things together. Drinking champagne or going to visit the polar bears. Things not to do, but to have done.

Why yes, Liana Imam has one golden dust flash over at decomP. Thanks for the words, Liana.

*

We actually didn’t arrest Susan Tepper. Susan Tepper was doing some Pop-Tart flattening stuff. They just had Susan Tepper leave the grocery store. Susan Tepper was throwing her body down on the produce. Susan Tepper was basically bruising all the produce and so that’s why they asked her, you know, to quit throwing herself around or leave the store. People don’t want produce all touched by somebody’s body.


I don’t know.

** blog update to Susan Tepper photo (please note scissors used in cutting pizza):


the paris review interviews god and mud rock lobster nachos!

check out Lady Gaga eating nachos!

*

I blow shit up at Huffington Post.

*

Whoa. Slap me an orange bear-like sandwich and call me Sally. Mud Luscious has a wicked 2011 sale. You pay $35 and get like four, five books, nine or more chapbooks, an anthology, a test tube of sweat, a company of mutes, a sack of yogurt, and an impressive and enormous spinal cord of chicken wire and flashing lights.

[Subway should make a sandwich of deep-fried coffee and sell it for $2.95 in the mornings. I guess you’d have to freeze the coffee, batter it, then fry. I mean it could happen.]

I did it. I spent $35 on books. You should, too. Now.

[Look over there! A fucking bowl of slaw!]

*

I find it amazing all the Paris Review interviews are online. I mean, honestly, you’d sort of be a pickle-flipper not to read them all.

*

Willow Springs is one of my favorite lit mags. Their fiction contest is open. $2000 prize. Hello. You could buy some beer and some baloney with that kind of cabbage.

“You miss one hundred percent of the shots you never take,” my pal THE GREAT ONE told me one day over nachos on the Roof of Cincinnati (a now closed brothel).

*

Oh I’m up in a tree. Sound of leaves making out. Dirt contemplating dirt. Reading this book where the author takes Chekhov’s stories and replaces all the characters with present-day celebrities. So far I’ve read about David Letterman and Steve Martin, maybe Oprah. From one review:

The best stories take time to unfold: “Terror,” in which Michael Douglas confides to a nameless narrator his fear of death and unrequited love for his wife, while a dissipated Gary Busey keeps interrupting to wheedle a job out of them; or “The Darling,” in which Nicole Kidman is the quiet frontier widow of obsessed theater impresario Tom Cruise, then lumberman Keith Urban, and is barely sustained by the platonic friendship of Brad Pitt, whose son she agrees to care for.

Looking forward to those, as I sway, sway above the earth reading and looking–there goes a mink, a opossum, two raccoons, a cat, three squirrels (2 fox, one gray), a hawk, a small 4 point buck–and thinking about the one warm beer in my camouflage backpack and the trees is rocking/waving me and the wind all humming and the earth smells like earth which it always takes me a awhile to realize, the soil/air/green smells all about me…I wonder if I could eat an entire tree?

[Most any large forest will delay depression.]

[…ice cream rebellion!!]

*

Flash at deComp:

Here’s some more advice: Stop listening to Nick Drake.

*

Lobster nacho recipe.

I’d probably go Rhode Island for the actual lobster.It is tough to get a beer at a bar in Rhode Island. Everyone is really loud. They scream, “Ay, bartinn-da, gimme a fucking be-er!!”

And I’m sort of standing there surrounded by these huge men (most are bald headed with really sunburnt domes!) and waving my little $20 in the air like a sprig of parsley–wee, wee, excuse me, might a get a little bottle of beer over here, uh, please?? I dance a little jig.

RAAAAAOARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!

says the bartender.

[Rhode Island folks call a water fountain a bubbler. They love America. They like boats. They like quail dipped in milk and giant-ass clams. They will gnaw, but not bite.]

Go to the ocean. It’s everywhere! Just turn and walk, there it is–the ocean. Like just wade out there, into the bay, yes, into the bay, your feet all knobby and sliding on the shells, glass, batteries, oil filters, bones, clams, starfish coating the ocean floor. Stop! About shoulder level. Make out with your friend. Now swim to the nearest lobster pot (you see that orange float? It leads down to a lobster pot)! Dive! Steal a lobster. Go ahead, reach in there. Leave something behind, maybe a Frisbee or a glass snowman. That will blow some minds. Now swim back to shore. Can your feet touch? Make out again. Take the lobster home. Now make lobster nachos.

*

A story has Prospero. A story has Caliban. All of this from The Tempest.

I think I heard this idea from Bruce Smith, but I was taking his poetry class. I remember he would stamp our poems with Victorian stamps, lithographs of devils and angels and gargoyles. Then he would hand the poems back to us, but I am getting off track.

[One time he said, “I like the can of beer in your poem.”]

Ariel is flight, imagination, language. Ariel is a writer invested in the sentence, the word, the love/pop/verve/flow of words making out in the dishwasher in the cave on the purple moon.

Example: Within Blake Butler Bath or Mud or Reclamation or Way In/Way Out, an electronic book you can find for free right here. Ariel, the workings of language:

Other shit began to happen. Behind the sky, I saw _____. The clips of drips of dropping muddle, scratching the face of everything in long bolts as flat as the back of my hand. And zapped in groggy columns things were melting out of nowhere, big rungs of hung gob spurting from sections overhead. And the skewed lobs of architecture and landscape bowled in rhythms clogged with problems, no repetition. I could hardly stick a foot straight; I was, like, wobbly hobbling through the dead grass. There was everywhere to walk now. Everywhere and none at all. I could feel my fiber peeling—my blood spread thin—my pupils slurred.

The word play, the internal rhymes, the syntax, the consonance, assonance, attention to sounds, the poetic qualities, Ariel, and what I want to see from a writer–a devotion to the word.

But what about Prospero? The what, who, where, the ground, the parameters, the wheels of the narrative drive, the chassis, at least a hint into out direction?

Same book, Blake begins with:

When the final crudded current first burst somewhere off the new coast of Oklahoma, I was seventeen and cross-eyed. The storm spread in a curtain. It came and cracked the crust that’d formed over the fields, the junk that’d moored up in our harbors. It washed away most everything not tied down and most everything that was. All those reams of ugly water. All that riddled from the sky. My family huddled hidden under one another in the house our Dad had built alone. The house where we’d spent these years together. The old roof groaned under the pouring. The leaking basement filled with goo.

LOST: my gun collection.

LOST: every board game you can think of.

LOST: mother’s bowling trophies (30+).

LOST: our hope for some new day.

The author still wrangles words, but not solely–here his intent is to inform:

Who: 17 year old me.

Where: Oklahoma

What: The storm.

Naming, listing, grounding. This is Prospero.

I like fiction with both. I want to be moved by words and I want to be moved, along, page to page.

*

Lots of people are into God. So here. I wrote about God at NANO fiction.

*

I will give that Facebook movie a 7.0034. That is a high rating. But:

The casting was blar. Timberlake cannot play some sleazy guy with any real verisimilitude, any sewer-gusto. He looked like the same Timberlake on the TV commercials, the same half-dancing while dangling from strings. Not a menace. More a punk.

Then they cast some some woman from Disney or some kid’s show world to play a psychotic, possessive girlfriend. She did not come across as crazy. She did not come across as dangerous. She came across as absolutely limp. She’s over her skis in this film. She sets a garbage can on fire with all the passion of a wet newspaper. Where are the spinning the eyes, the circus behind those eyes? Have you ever actually seen a crazy girlfriend, lady? They don’t daintily ask about text messages and set little garbage cans on fire. No, they break your arm and put dog shit in your pillow case and slash your tires, open the hood, rip everything possible out from under the hood, toss your cell phone into the toilet, and shatter every mirror in your house. Then they mail porno to your boss. Then they put your hot tub on Ebay. Then they set the garbage on fire, all the garbage, and also every shirt you own. On the way out, they let your dog run free.

Film? The pacing, the direction, the cinematography, the internal workings of Ivy League socializing–all of this I truly enjoyed. It’s not a bad film. It just missed its chance to be a great film, mostly due to casting.

*

Here is my foot, in a sock. The sock is inside-out. I am going to wear it to work that way, because why does it really matter? Inside the sock is my left foot. It blars. The Achilles continues to blar. I run twice a week and have not yet seen a doctor. Depressing. Yesterday, I went:

3 min 6:00 pace     3 min 6:00 pace     5:52 mile

3 min 5:49 pace     3 min 5:49 pace     3 min 5:39 pace

3 min 5:39 pace     3 min 5:18 pace

Once the heel was warmed I flowed fine. But now it is stiff like a boulder, only a boulder so shaped by the river to be long and narrow and screaming from the time some kid hit it in the head with a Teflon bat of lava. My heel is the next generation of weapons. We will fight terrorism by chipping off bits of my left heel and carpet-bombing whomever we need to carpet bomb next. Wasn’t it Jimmy Buffet who said we should carpet-bomb our enemies in lingerie? Not the worst idea…

So. Is this any way to live a running life? Probably not. I need to see a sawbones. Soon. I’m so hesitant, but why? You can’t train through an Achilles, I don’t think.

*

This flash by Joe Kapitan is rather glow.

When the sun was above the treeline, and the hunter returned to the cabin, they were ready for him.

Good work with opening line, tension, and this surprising and apt turn from realism to something more, something opening. Lovely, really, in the way the internal organs of a fish are lovely–glossy, visceral, true.

Good work, sir! I thank you for the read.