Monthly Archives: August 2008

Fridge Pics. Sedaris. MFA. Gambling Tip.

Pal of mine is “re-working the fridge.” I’m not sure  what that means, but he sent a pic:

Pause a moment. I know you’re half-drunk and just awake. I can’t believe what you did last night either. Just relax, and observe that fridge.

I just want to say two things:

1.) THIS is the kind of guy I can hang with. I feel like this guy wakes in the morning neutral, or not questioning the little cage of his life. I consider this way positive. I have MAJOR fridge envy.

2.) A person can reveal their existence through a refrigerator. This is a CW tip, folks.

Note how in this Murakami story, the newlyweds hunger (metaphor!) and uncertain state of matrimony is revealed by the list of items in the fridge.

Our refrigerator contained not a single item that could be technically categorized as food. We had a bottle of French dressing, six cans of beer, two shriveled onions, a stick of butter, and a box of refrigerator deodorizer. With only two weeks of married life behind us, we had yet to establish a precise conjugal understanding with regard to the rules of dietary behavior. Let alone anything else.


I am going to record my football pics. If you want to make $$$ this week, please take TENNESSEE. I am betting 20 UNITS (cash would be illegal, right?) on the vols.


I just read her blog and this article about books signed by the author.

(hold up a second. I’m going to add her blog to my roll. She’s kinda bad-ass.)

In this article, Stephen King signs books with his own blood!

Ok, do you have any signed books? I have many, but none of them mean anything to me (though most are friends and books I admire). I’m not sure why. I mean I had an awesome Martone Double Wide signed up by the author and then this poet spilled an entire cooler of water on it while we were driving back from a disc golf gathering in Madison, WI. What an ass! The water ruined the text and to be perfectly honest, I don’t care.

In Memphis, I once had a chance to own Bono’s (yes, that one) signature on a church bulletin, and passed. I just don’t see the point. Maybe it’s genetic to feel this way?

All this stuff, stuff, stuff, material stuff that lives past us makes me depressed. Somewhere in the future is a garage sale with my bright yellow running shoes on a card table. A fat man in a skinny shirt is bartering: “I ain’t giving over thirty-five cent!”

Maybe that’s the core of my problem? I don’t really know. (I just saw a cloud out the window in the shape of Fremont, Michigan. Weird.)


Only one word in the English language contains the letter combination UFA. Which one?

(no googling, you bastards)


In my MFA Cris Mazza made me read her books and short stories and then ended class by giving me a copy of her novel. A class is a captured audience.

In my MFA a guy named Will played poker naked. He also wore a kilt to bars (complete with Sgian Dubh). You wear a kilt to an Alabama dive bar and certain friction will emerge.

In my MFA not one person wrote like another person so I think the “MFA story” concept is a pile of bullshit. People who say they are “tired of MFA stories” need to get a hobby, or possibly relocate their brain (it’s currently in their duodenum).

One woman wrote pornographic Dr. Suess Rhymes. She now lives on an island.

One man wrote graphic novel type of stories. He has a story here. This story has a Peter Markus Singing Fish feel. (Can I admit I often don’t “get” Peter Markus? I’m not going to sit here and say I do. But I own and read his books and if he wants to hold a reading in my living room I’d let him, so…)

One woman wrote southern Gothic relationship stories.

One man wrote edgy Upper Michigan stories. This dude can play wicked disc golf.

I am trying to make a point here. Sean is trying to make a point. You are trying to make a point. We are trying to make a point.

In my MFA, in an act of possible self-hatred, I threw myself off a rooftop and fractured my calcaneus.

In my MFA Michael Martone had excellent examples but then he would repeat them. If you went to my MFA, I would give you this advice: “Try to meet with Martone alone.”

In my MFA we had a huge grant/bank thingy from a famous drunk, drug addicted actress so had much better visiting authors than your MFA.

like a poem, this woman…

In my MFA if you visited we gave you a big ol’ house.

We had to sue an author to leave that house once. He just would not leave. Maybe he had no place to go? Did we ever think of that, or were we too self-involved? The author read my story once and said to me, “Sean. You have a character talking to his dog. That shows a lack of imagination.”

In my MFA we threw names into a hat and gave a random student their very own house! Does that kick ass?

In my MFA I could name drop like you would not believe. But why?

This VERy famous poet (is that an oxymoron?) told me, “Your generation. You people always write about coffee. Why is that?”

In my MFA there was gunplay. In fact, one night a visiting friend of mine invited this poet (though I told her to avoid all poets, as a rule) back to my apartment for sexual relations, only they didn’t tell me. And so I wake from sleep and hear some guy in my living room. And I pull my revolver from below my mattress and walk into that room. And let me you tell you what happened. The poet pulled out his revolver! (This is something you have to consider if you are going to walk into a room with a gun drawn.)

Things were later resolved…

I could maybe write 3000 words here about that same gun-toting poet, but I will not.

In my MFA…

Wait, I’m getting bored.


Would you like an inside track on getting your super cool nobody-writes-like-you essay published? Well, here’s a new call for submissions. I got this email from Ander, so I’ll just post it. I’m not sure if the emailer wants it posted in a blog, but I’m trying to irritate some art here…

... I'm the nonfiction editor for Sonora Review
this year,
and we're having a
tough time with the slush pile so far.
That being so, and
a very unfortunate so!
, I was wondering if you knew
anybody who might be willing
(or wanting!) to submit
to our humble and burgeoning publication.
I'm wanting to expand the genre as it's
known in Sonora (we get a lot of
memoir and personal essay) and I couldn't
think of a better person to ask!  If you can
think of a friend, colleague, or just
plain anybody who might have something interesting,
please send them my way!  (Our
tentative deadline is October 15th).
My email is

So send something in if you have an EDGY essay.
Read between the lines, folks.
They want something nontraditional, not your
usual walking in the marsh and saw
a heron and it made you think of your divorce, etc.

They also have a short-short contest.

I am thinking about entering, so you should not
(this will make it harder for me to
cash in).

Now go write like a lucky coin.


No Colony/Preacher Porn. CW Job. Jennifer L. Knox is Chicken Bucket. Velveeta. More Authors Sleeping Around.

Bought me some No Colony the other day (although that nun pic still freaks me out) because I think once a week (or 52 times a year) people should quit talking shit about art and start shelling out some $$$$$$.

Also bought me 9 stacks of tortillas and a big-ass yellow onion, but is that relevant here?

The whole nun arm-wrapping the naked photo on the NO CO (Blake, you can use “NO CO”–I have yet to copyright the low wattage glow of my brilliance) site is just too reality. How could that happen, nuns comforting the naked, religion and the flesh? It would be like some very popular preacher faking cancer for TWO YEARS and asking (and getting) a lot of money for that cancer treatment from his huge and faithful congregation and then admitting (not him, of course, using his dad) it was not cancer, it was, uh, uh sorry, bear with me a moment, uh…a SIXTEEN YEAR PORN ADDICTION!!

Well, I suppose that will emaciate a person…

So, looking forward to the No Colony issue arriving like a Dark Horizon. (I swear to you this beer will kick your ass. Seriously. If you are going to drink this beer, have a spotter [I am more than happy to observe]).


Here at BSU English we are going to hire a new prof, one with a screen-writing and poetical sense. Anyone want to apply? I’m being serious, folks. If you have experience teaching, writing, etc. I’ll link to the ad later, but keep it in mind for your screenwriter/poet buddies


I am beginning to reconsider the Cider Press poet wronged (?) issue. I think this is what I like about blogging, the way it makes u consider what u think (something rarely asked in other aspects of life, where u can mostly avoid). Darby Larson has a different take, and it’s a bit loose and I don’t agree with all his statements (some include obvious logical fallacies), but I thank him for making me think. He may be right, or wrong, or on Robitussin. The fact is I read the poet’s POV and was immediately sympathetic. Probably because I am always empathetic of poets (they live moist, mystery lives of doom and brittle glass and deflated kidneys and soggy Cheerios) and it was the easy read (don’t believe me? Look at the comments, all in the poet’s favor).

Enough humans think the same way, arterial red flag. Beware time. This story has TWO sides. For now, I am going to read and wait and read and wait. Then post what I feel.


Speaking of poets…

Last semester I sent a CW class over to a martini bar above a coffee shop to see Jennifer L Knox and somebody else (I forget) read their poems.

A few days after, a student said, “I really enjoyed that reading, but the poets kept drinking and laughing and drinking. I mean they just kept drinking. Is that normal for a poet to do while reading?”

I said, “Indeed.”

You should buy or steal this:

Then eat this:

Then this for dessert:

Then drink this (but not all of it, fool!):

Then start Drinking and Blogging! Just irresponsibly, without that censor that ruins your life. Post comments you’ll regret but just spread the word about Jennifer Knox!

Ok, if that won’t do then read this poem and shut up.

Chicken Bucket (by Jennifer L. Knox)

Today I turn thirteen and quit the 4-H club for good.
I smoke way too much pot for that shit.
Besides, Mama lost the rabbit and both legs
from the hip down in Vegas.
What am I supposed to do? Pretend to have a rabbit?
Bring an empty cage to the fair and say,
His name’s REO Speedwagon and he weighs eight pounds ?
My teacher, Mr. Ortiz says, I’ll miss you, Cassie,
then he gives me a dime of free crank and we have sex.
I do up the crank with Mama and her boyfriend, Rick.
She throws me the keys to her wheelchair and says,
Baby, go get us a chicken bucket.
So I go and get us a chicken bucket.
On the way back to the trailer, I stop at Hardy’s liquor store.
I don’t want to look like a dork
carrying a chicken bucket into the store—
and even though Mama always says
Never leave chicken where someone could steal it—
I wrap my jacket around it and hide it
under the wheelchair in the parking lot.
I’ve got a fake ID says my name’s Sherry and I’m 22,
so I pick up a gallon of Montezuma Tequila,
a box of Whip-Its and four pornos.
Mama says, That Jerry Butler’s got a real wide dick.
But the whole time I’m in line, I’m thinking,
Please God let the chicken bucket be OK.
Please God let the chicken bucket be OK.
Please God let the chicken bucket be OK.
The guy behind me’s wearing a T-shirt
that says, Mustache Rides 10¢.
So I say, All I got’s a nickel.
He says, You’re cute,
so we go out to his van and have sex.
His dick’s OK, but I’ve seen wider.
We drink most of the tequila and I ask him,
Want a Whip-It?
He says, Fuck no—that shit rots your brain.
And when he says that, I feel kind of stupid
doing another one. But then I remember
what mama always told me:
Baby be your own person.
Well fuck yes.
So I do another Whip-It,
all by myself and it is great.
Suddenly it hits me—
Oh shit! the chicken bucket!
Sure enough, it’s gone.
Mama’s going to kill me.
Those motherfuckers even took my jacket.
I can’t buy a new chicken bucket
because I spent all the money at Hardy’s.
So I go back to the trailer, crouch outside
behind a bush, do all the Whip-Its,
puke on myself, roll in the dirt,
and throw open the screen door like a big empty wind.
Mama! Some Mexicans jumped me!
They got the chicken bucket,
plus the rest of the money!
I look around the trailer.
Someone’s taken all my old stuffed animals
and Barbies and torn them to pieces.
Fluff and arms and heads are all over the place.
I say someone did it,
but the only person around is Rick.
Mama is nowhere to be seen.
He cracks open another beer and says,
What chicken bucket?
Well, that was a long a time ago.
Rick and I got married
and we live in a trailer in Boron.
We don’t live in a trailer park though—
in fact there’s not another house around
for miles. But the baby keeps me
company. Rick says I’m becoming
quite a woman, and he’s going to let Mama know that
if we ever see her again.


Quick Fiction rejected my 5th Flash. I certainly understand. I mean not only do I have to read my work, I had to freaking write it, too. It’s a highway dog out there, folks. A highway dog of a world.


In the news…

1.) Yet another writer decides to write about…writing!

2.) Writer making a lot of money says it’s tough for writers to make a lot of money.

3.) Writer says she secretly had sex with mystery politician.

4.) Writer who told us of “100 Things to Do Before You Die” is, uh, dead.

My Life Story. How Poets Feel. And Cider Press is Apparently Head Cheese.

Wow. An awesome post about Cider Press Review hosing a poet and poetry in general. If this is accurate, these guys look like DB supremes and I would AVOID.


How Poets Feel (daily) …

Yep, my life story is on Michael Kimball’s wicked Life Story blog.

He has other blogs and many excellent books and I think you should read at least one (and then you will select another).


Tao Lin vs. William Carlos Williams in an Epic Battle of Irritation

In the reader bag we go, with this request, “Why not Tao Lin against someone dead? You always match people against someone dead.”

Uh, ok. Well, some might say Jesus Christ is very much alive, turning the watery blood of our hearts into wine, etc. Others might say Philip Larkin lives in the dregs of every coffee cup. But I do see your point. I feel the dead should have a voice. I mean it’s tough to know that when you die not that many people are really going to care for very long–the world will just keep rolling on. Sure, it’s sad, blah-to-the-blah, but I also need to get a lo-fat vanilla latte, like right now. So I try to give the dead a little voice. A brief word with us living.

For various concerns, I hesitate to explicate either poet. I mean Tao Lin considers annoyance as a genre to explore, like poetry or bumper stickers. And William Carlos Williams uses his first name as his last name. Who does that? Ol’ WCW seems like the kind of guy who who never tips well. Or the girl who brings a six pack to your poker game, has one beer left in the fridge, so takes it home with her. And so on. THOSE people.

But, hey, this is like Amsterdam up in this here blog–the people get what they want.

Tao Lin vs. William Carlos Williams in a Match of Irritation:

Like a mosquito in your bedroom, art is meant to annoy. To keep you up swatting, hopefully crazy swatting, where you flail about and let spittle fly and miss the insect and ram your open hand through the mirror of your life like Martin Sheen in the opening montage/freak-out of Apocalypse Now (Sheen was drunk during this scene, cut his hand severely on the mirror glass, and later had a heart attack while on the set, all at age 38). Art should drink your freaking blood and spread the yellow malaria of thinking. Should make your head spin a dyslexic clusterfuck. Your heart ache with blasphemy. A heat fanning across your lungs, into your spine (forming a cyst there), making your ears go thick. Like coming home and Karate-kicking a tree stump in the forehead.


Here are two poems that feel like dropping my number one lollipop in the sand. But which can claim the victory?

Tao Lin enters the fray with his whale slaughtering epic “i went fishing with my family when i was five.”

William Carlos will submit every gardener’s favorite lever of force and axis, “The Red Wheelbarrow.”

As always, the rules are simple: Which author writes the more irritating poem of the two texts I have chosen? The categories are:

Most Annoying Opening Line

Most Annoying Image

Most Annoying Thing That Made Think

Most Annoying Reference to Nachos

Most Annoying Ending Line

Before we begin, I have a short anecdote concerning both works.

1.) A few nights ago I was putting my 4 year old to bed and he asked for a “fishing story.” This is not unusual; he is obsessed with fishing. But I didn’t tell him just any old fishing story. I told him Tao’s whale fishing poem, maybe the first 35 lines. This worked wonderfully, and my child immediately memorized the poem, only he changes one line. He says, “On the second day we ate whale” as opposed to “on the next night we ate whale.” But the effect is the same (or better?), since he says the “second day” line over and over and over, like the usual “next night” line. He is now going to recite the poem for show and tell at his daycare.

2.) I was at this conference thing at a university. At the lectern was a writer I cannot stand. For many reasons, I spleen her. So, I was so pleased when she was publicly called-out as obnoxious. She was complaining of how dumb undergraduate students are about literature (she’s the type who puts down younger students like she was never young, or a student) and she busted out this line about The Red Wheelbarrow: “Lots of these students don’t even know the difference between imagery and an imagist!” So then the moderator says, “Really? Well, I’m sure the audience would be interested to hear the difference right now.”

She stood there frozen, squirmed a bit, let out this sigh like a ghoul escaping a pumpkin, and said, “Well, I’m not saying I know..”

Ok, onto the match:

Most Annoying Opening Line

TL: “when i was five”

A classic colloquial voice here, a trope of narrative, up there with “A man walks into a bar” or “You won’t believe what happened today.” But is it annoying? A bit. The irritation is in the “i” and the lowercase spelling of the title.

the lowercase title means you must be reading a poem, right? possibly a hip poem. possible if this poem is read aloud people will drink pbr in the crowd (they will-i’ll have video proof later).

The poet Bruce Smith once told me, “American poets look out the window at the world, and then write about themselves.”

So, yes, it gets irritation points.

WCW: “so much depends”

Well, if you have ever taken a lit class, (and if you have, don’t worry, this poem was in the class), you know this line is one of the “hinge” moments of the poem, supposedly opening a door to its meaning, and…oh god I can’t go on.

(I just hurled up a piano)

It scores points for vagueness. Being vague is actually a smart CW technique, for a first line. Ever seen a magazine cover that announces “IT WILL MAKE YOU LOSE TEN POUNDS” or “IT WILL HELP YOUR SEX LIFE IN FIVE MINUTES!” Purposely vague can lead to an unanswered question, a reason to read on….

But is it as annoying as Tao’s? Not really.

Most Annoying Image

TL: I’m not really seeing any images here.

WCW: THE WHOLE FREAKING POEM IS AN IMAGE!!! That’s the point right? Simply isolating an object to express its essence. “No truth but in things,” etc.

But the MOST annoying is easily the “glazed with rain.” Glazed sounds like a poet trying to be a poet to me. I’m from Memphis, TN–the only thing I want to see glazed are the best donuts in the world.

Most Annoying Thing That Made Think

TL: Line 84, “the next night we ate whale” (this is also line 11, 104, 214, and others)

As we know, mantra is sound. Sounds exist in everything, molecules a-quivering. Not to get all physics class on you, but meditative mantras (Tibetan, Indian, etc.) are most likely linked to the various waves/vibrations constantly cycling through the universe (and our bodies).

So to judge this section, I sat cross-legged alongside a buckeye tree at the rear of my property and chanted:

the next night we ate whale
the next night we ate whale
the next night we ate whale
the next night we ate whale
the next night we ate whale
the next night we ate whale
the next night we ate whale
the next night we ate whale
the next night we ate whale
the next night we ate whale
the next night we ate whale…


After 5 minutes of this, a great blue heron swooped into the nearby creek and speared a diet Mountain Dew can. I saw a bluegill the size of a Nike. A bee bumbled by. My mind went all open briefcase. I thought about Moby Dick. Or how they killed the little whale who was lost and suckling the teat of a pleasure yacht. Then animal rights: we eat cow, but not whale. Chicken but not crow. I knew a woman once who would eat pork but then owned and loved a dog..this whole experience was very irritating.

WCW: None of the lines in this poem made me think. So I had to call my mother, a high school English teacher. She was in the bathtub. Her knee hurt. She said, “He wrote that poem in five minutes.” Now that did make me think.

This is what I thought: “How could it take that long?”

Most Annoying Reference to Nachos

Neither poet referenced nachos. I blame Tao Lin, since he has a dinner setting, with characters eating multiple meals. Not even a twig of cheese? A wedge of tortilla? You’re going to sit here and tell me you couldn’t place a shred of whale on top a tortilla?

Whale Nachos


1 (105 ton) Whale
1896 lbs Onions
7326 lbs Jalapeños
1908 gallons melted cheese
2276 lbs black beans
927 lbs pico
104 lbs cumin
76 lbs cayenne flakes
52 gallons hot sauce


Place whale on tortillas. Broil at 300 degrees for 14 minutes. Add onions, jalapeños, cheese, cumin, beans, pico, and hot sauce. Flake with cayenne. Serves 347,161 people.

Most Annoying Ending Line

TL: ” the next night we ate whale”

Tao Lin sometimes drops this line at 3 minutes, sometimes 7 or 8, depends on the reading venue and time regulations. Whenever, it really doesn’t annoy. Most are relieved. But a few are indeed irritated. Those people have entered a meditative state (see above) they enjoy.

WCW: “chickens.”

This is not that annoying. I like it. I mean I could hang out with someone who just gave you a look and dryly said, “Chickens.”



At first, I thought we had something here, a chance at some friction and verve. But the more I examined these two works, the more I started to feel William Carlos Williams had a brain of cabbage. His poem couldn’t win because cardboard is not an appropriate material for a surfboard. His poem just made me feel like thunk.

In Tao Lin’s honor, here is a reading from his memoir, the short version (note the smart women drinking cheap beer).

Bowling Ball. Blake Butler. Hemingway Hangovers. Things We Should Quit Writing About.

Today in a disc golf tourney I lost by one stroke (tying for 2nd). This spleened me. I felt like ice crystals crunching. The most interesting thing of the day was on hole one, a bowling ball nestled against the tee sign. On the ball was a message that read FOR MARC STONE. I haven’t seen that on a D golf course, and I’ve certainly never seen a disc golf disc in a bowling alley.

Since I haven’t been able to run and road race (Achilles–don’t ask), I have missed the usual outlet for my competitive nature (not to mention irritation, insomnia, depression, ETOH long-time, a tendency to fling my children into the air). So 2nd really did make me feel like splinters, like a dog getting smaller. I hovered a little black cloud over my head all afternoon. Well, to take the high road, THIS GUY WON:

moving on…

Blog Thingys I’ve Read Lately That Were Interesting:

1.) Blake Butler riffed on the MFA. This could, at another time, probably be a catalyst post, could probably send a segment of the blog-world/writer-world into a back N forth, a bit of spiraling friction, but most likely will not, now. There’s too much kinetic energy/newish sparkly things going on, and Blake’s post was a bit distracted, a bit anecdotal. Know why? Because dude has some sparkly stuff going on! His heart was good for the topic, but the timing was off.

Blake was like the time this woman cut my hair, semi-badly. She had always cut it well before. What gives? I’ll tell you what gives. She talked the whole time about her new fiance. In her head, this guy. In her hands, my hair.

How does this analogy work? What new thing for Blake? Uh, wake up peoples…

No Colony getting stronger like a thumping flower.

Novella coming out on Calamari.

Also he shaves now.

2.) As a professor, I like stories about parents who buy extra houses next to the college their children are attending. Wow. Stay close now, parents. Follow those kiddies, if you know what’s best and have never understood even one aspect of normal child (or adult) development.

If my parents followed me around all of my life, I would not be writing this blog (unless they let you blog from prison). Thank you Tenured Radical.

3.) Any post by Poker Grub is fascinating. He is simply (and never simply) the most honest addict I’ve ever known. Also he takes photos of his food. Who does that??

The other day I was blog scrambling and came across someone saying we should have a ban on writing about Kafka. (I would link the blog but I honestly forget where I read this.)

That got me thinking…


1.) Wine glasses.

2.) The moon. I am sick of seeing the moon as a polished coin. As a lamp. Or some seashell thing about a crescent moon. Tides, too. No more tides, since they are influenced by the moon. No faces compared to moons. No earrings like moons. No dangling. I’m sick of dangling. Either stick to something fully, or just tumble off–cut the dangling bullshit. No full, blue, new, quarter, gibbous, disseminating, dark-side-of, or October moons. No more fucking moons! Period.

Hey, do you want to know what moon I was born under?


(Also eliminate lunar)

3.) Whales (you hear me, Tao Lin?)

4.) Apartments. I am fatigued of stories, poems, essays set in apartments. For now on, any apartment reference should have an instant FIND and REPLACE. You can set MS Word to a default to simply REPLACE apartment with a series of various improvements.

“Jeff had a face like black ore. I wanted to have sex with him so he came over to my Armadillo and I poured him a vat of wine and we did.”

“I am pure now. Emptied out. All existential. There is nothing but lost coins, splotched paint, and loneliness on the floors of my baby’s arm.

“In Manhattan, you’ll find no kitchen in your lichen.

“Wow,” I said, taking it all in. “Now this, this is the Carpathian snow-melt of my dreams”


5.) kids with sippy cups and shotguns. You sick bastards, why do you people keep writing about kids with sippy cups and shotguns? What’s next, a frecking photo? You get your own son and position him next to a shotgun, a sippy cup, and hell, why not, throw in a Subaru–ha, ha, you alliterative nothing. You fiends. You sick, sick, communist bastards. I don’t even get the point…

What? Oh, never mind.

6.) Nachos.

In the news…

1.) In yet another Hemingway hangover, author carries around “large capacity” firearm.

2.) Bloggers really want to write books not these blog things.

3.) Author says Babe Ruth was black.

4.) Yet another writer “dies in despair.”

5.) Americans watched more TV when the writers were on strike, not less. Writers of the world, please go mirror. Everyday, look right into that sweet void.


Sean Lovelace Goes 3rd Person and Interviews Jewel

I selected Jewel for the Blogging-on-a-Blogger-Blogging-Thing. I’m a little late on this project because I was thinning mints all Thursday at the plant and things got out of control.

Jewel blogs here with her usual fierce honesty and only a little bitterness about the nuclear winter of her music career and the generally negative reviews (of those that would review it at all) of her book of poetry, A Night Without Armor.

I caught up with jewel at a Chinese Chicken Salad kiosk. She was wearing torn jeans and had just had her hair disheveled at the local hipster boutique. Needless to say, she looked stunning. Her voice was a bit rough from a recent concert at a local mall (and the heroin).

Sean (I wore a yellow cardigan, with crocs): So, I guess a lot of people really liked that living out of your car story. Maybe we could start there?

J: I lived out of my car, just with a guitar and some ketchup sandwiches. It was Heinz, man. I had this old guitar, an old beat up six string–that’s what I’d call it, “Ol’ Beat Up Six String!” (laughs here–like a thrown child, this really genuine laugh) In fact, I’m doing that again. Just living out of my hunter green Explorer over there. I find it liberates the artistic congressness..I mean that’s what I meant in the book, when I wrote those lines: I want to fly from here! I want to fly from here! I want to fly from here! I want to fly from here! I want to fly from here! I want to fly from here!

S: I loved those lines!

J: Yeh, me too.

(Her snaggle-tooth coruscates in the wind. really sexy.)

S: I though the pun in the title of your book, A Night Without Armor was amazing. Most critics seemed to miss that entirely and just focus on the words inside the front and back covers. Why is that?

J: Look, as a poet, you do and see and say things others will never understand. I mean have you ever seen a robin, or like Alaska? It’s like when they hung Mozart. I mean he signs the album for the dude and bam! But that’s how it is, man. I would just play in coffee shops, selling records from my car. The back part of the car. And I’d see all kinds of things, once, twice a week. And you know once you go there…

S: Right, right…So, do you mind if I just throw out a couple lines, and you maybe discuss them. I have your book right here.

J: Oh no problem. My fans do that. They’ll sing right along with me too. Sometimes they even play the guitar with me. Or have me put my name inside there. You know, back when I played…crowds.

S: Ok, can you kind of give us some insight on the wonderfully titled Faith Poem:

I look in the mirror/and I see filth/Who is that?/Where did the Angel go?

J: Oh man! You know what, I’m going to give you a scoop here. This will make your bog explode with people hitting it! My MOM wrote that! (laughs here, really genuine, like a dog that’s just realized it is going to live the rest of its days on this earth in the servitude of Man). She’s clinically depressed and those lines were about how Zoloft destroys your sex life and makes you gain water weight.

S: No way! Wow. Just wow. And it’s a blog, not a bog. Ok. I’m sensitive about that, actually.

J: Right, a bong.

S: A blog. Say it, blog. I mean you’re a blogger so you should know the term.

J: A blog.

S: Ok, good. Well, what about this one from Lost:

Alone is a reminder/of how far your acceptance is/from your understanding.

Can you talk about the imagery here?

J: The who? Hey man, do you have a lighter?

S: Uh, no.

J: Citric acid?


J: Well, then FUCK YOU!

Jewel runs off at this point, and climbs into her SUV. Peels out like an orange, and I’m left holding a pint of Chinese chicken salad and her book of poetry.

This Sonnet is Better Than Your Sonnet

After St. Vincent Millay
Bruce Smith

When I saw you again, distant, sparrow-boned
under the elegant clothes you wear in your life without me,
I thought, No, No, let her be the one
this time to look up at an oblivious me.
Let her find the edge of the cliff with her foot,
blindfolded. Let her be the one struck by the lightning
of the other so that the heart is jolted
from the ribs and the rest of the body is nothing
but ash. It’s a sad, familiar story
I wish you were telling me with this shabby excuse:
I never loved you anymore
than I hated myself for loving you.

And about that other guy by your side
you left me for. I hope he dies.

Six Things About Duotrope’s Digest…


Fifty percent of this country’s truck-drivers are on black tar heroin. Half of them!

(But I forget to mention I only interviewed two truck-drivers for this report)

1.) What exactly is Duotrope‘s statistical method? Is it all self reporting? I hardly see this as accurate, reliable, or significant.

Crazyhorse rejects 84.1% and has an acceptance rate of 0.5%?

How about this: ClapBoard House accepts 40% of submissions!!! (Oddly, they also reject 40%)

Uh, ok. I read the latest issue of Clapboard and although it didn’t wow me, and some of the editing was sketchy, I feel they probably accepted just a smidgen less than 40 percent of submissions. But it must be true, since in the last year TEN people have reported it on Duotrope’s.

Are these rankings meaningful to anyone out there?

2.) Am I the only one to notice Duotope’s interface/home page looks like it was designed on an Atari 2600 by a young, goofy looking Whiz Kid with plaid bell bottoms and an addiction to Pong? I keep wondering if their offices have printers with perforated paper. Or maybe they really decide their Lit Mag data by Magic 8 Ball?

Busted! For Bland Design of Duotrope.

3.) They do note that writers want to get paid. Word on that. Although attempting to pay my mortgage with copies of magazines is a nice trick.

4.) Here’s a new Flash Fiction I wrote two days ago:

They woke one morning with a Duotrope between them. Oversized, enormous, with an oily sheen and silent density; a gravity tugging them to the center. They couldn’t see each other, only the black planet of the Duotrope…

(There’s a bunch here in middle but it didn’t click. Let’s pick up near the ending…)

They lay there in separate furrows, both staring at the ceiling, both turning the identical thought: “I wish we’d flung away this Duotrope when it was the size of a Duotrope.” But neither knew the other’s mind. What stirred in the black-lit hallways of their hearts. Because they voiced nothing. Instead sighed and rolled over, spine to isinglass to spine. In the arching shadow of the Duotrope, they hugged themselves and listened to the weather rolling in: Push of wind at glass. Strike of lightning. Thunder. Then rain.

5.) What the hell is a Duotrope? I keep thinking of a dinosaur.

AHHHH, A Duotrope Attack!!

6.) Have you noticed? So many of the magazines on Duotrope are expired, or offline, or simply do not exist. Then why list them, I wonder?

As many of you know, I once ate nachos for 41 days. I’ve been considering breaking the record, as an act of spiritual cleansing. Updates later.

Cella’s Birthday Party. Madonna Again. Celery Demands.

Cella’s Round Trip party last night. There was Nintendo and the greatest Mexican beer I know (Pacifico) and also bowling and various wines and vegetables and THIS:

For every croon of cheese. For every vindication. Every blur.

For brown paper bags of spring onions.

For black beans unblocking your chi.

For avocado’s formless freedom.

For a hipper beat of lettuce.

For Serrano peppers softly ticking in the cupboard.

For the 26 year old Melbourne man who ate packaged Mexican (Nachos to Go) and is now paralyzed for the rest of his life due to botulism.

(Who the hell eats packaged nachos?)

For Kenny and Spenny.

For John David Lovelace and his girlfriend. His girlfriend mixes cheese and butter and pours them over her nachos.

(I’m not sure how I feel about the butter thing.)

For nacho cheese.

And cheese nachos.

(they are not the same)


In the news…

1.) Author says, “I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing.”

Then tells a neat story about Barnes and Nobles being jerks…

2.) Author of silly children’s books kicks the arse of Tolkien, Dickens, Shakespeare.

3.) Authors Like to Read About Self!!

(shocker–what’s next they check their blog stats?)

4.) Author says Madonna actually a bright woman.

Six Rejections This Week. Blue Cardinals. Beck.


1.) Elimae

2.) It was really late. I had a 2.5 drink buzz. On the TV a beautiful man was shilling an exercise machine that resembled a preying mantis. He had abs like abandoned clocks. I walked into the bedroom. The shadows made me tired. I whispered, “Denise?” She didn’t move. She didn’t move at all. I lay down. Stared at the ceiling fan and treaded night thoughts and fell asleep.

3.) Avery: An Anthology of New Fiction.

This was an encouraging letter. Here is a small excerpt:

Hi, Sean:

Thanks for letting us read your work. We talked about your piece quite a
bit and each liked the premise of the story. It’s something you don’t get
often. I truly love the quietude and loneliness you’re able to convey in
such a short amount of time.

Unfortunately, we received a lot of short pieces this time around, and in
the end, we just couldn’t find a place for “Ingrid” in AVERY. As much as
we liked the writing of the story, we just weren’t as emotionally
connected to..

And so on.

I have at least three magazines this year say they couldn’t get “emotionally connected” to some of my persona pieces. Maybe the writer (me) isn’t connected enough? Frost said, “No tear in the writer, no tear in the reader.” He was using hyperbole, but you get the idea. Do I care enough about this material?

Me Above, after Checking My Email:

Sometimes in intro Creative Writing, a student will get their work back with my feedback; and will sheepishly say, “I apologize. I admit I just wrote that a few minutes before class.”

And I reply, “Yes. I know.”

4.) I was so ready to disc golf. So ready for the sirens. With disc golf thoughts and disc golf glee and disc golf supermarkets in the Denvers of my brain. So crank and father. So miracle stuff the turkey. I felt disc golf in my aorta, thrumming, a little wild bird, a little chance to be a better man, a little pulse growing to verve growing to a universe of composed songs…Then God made it rain.

5.) “Come here, Mia! Come on dog!” I pleaded. “Come on, girl!” I was in the eager kneeling position, hands outstretched to the sun. My dog ran away from me, across the creek, across several yards, across highway 32, into a pasture, over a fallen tree, across a river, down a bypass, into Manhattan, along a tunnel, out of the tunnel, up a brick wall, into a hispter’s apartment on the upper East Side, a tiny little shotgun going for $1400 a month, and my dog curled there below the futon, below the hipster and a single mom of 45 making out with up-most awareness of the brevity of life, in the warm glow of actually living; and off the bookshelf tumbled Buddha.

Some of this is metaphorical. (I just saw a blue cardinal outside, at the bird-feeder, and that’s going to distract me all day. A blue cardinal?)

6.) Elimae again…