Monthly Archives: February 2009

I Have Been Writing About Jenna Jameson.

I remember when I first started this lame-ass blog and I thought, “I’m not going to do this blog shit if it makes me write even less.”

So I tried to work out a way to mine my blog. The key was twofold: 1.) Go way back in time to do your mining, go deep under the layers, like a snuffling truffle dog. 2.) Use a blog as spark only. Radically edit the spark. Edit the spark like you met it at a bar and it twinkled and smelled self-sufficient. Unfetter your kidney, that type of thinking.  3.) Never blog in the present thinking I am going to mine this later.

(Uh, that’s 3-fold.)

Anyway here’s a new prose poem at The Corduroy Mtn.

Do others mine their blog? Is this “healthy” (Tao Lin quotes).

Tao Lin says he has feelings he will die by a car crash or a hurricane (soon).

Car crash I get. Your odds of dying in an automobile accident are about 1 in 84. You enter a car, or walk anywhere near cars, you are orange plaster waiting to crack. You are a girl sitting next to Jesus. Kiss your ass goodbye daily. (I suggest the morning, right after waking, but before the second Pop-Tart.)

Hurricane? Odds of dying in any natural disaster are about 1 in 500,000.

Tao, you are more likely to fall off a waterfall (or even a sidewalk curb) to your death, or commit suicide, or even die of “excessive natural cold” than by a hurricane.

Hope this makes you feel better, Tao.

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I am selling a new movie. It is an Oscar winner. Buy it.

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I wrote a new long poem today about the entrepreneur  Jenna Jameson. When I say poem I mean crazy-ass hybrid thing. I don’t write poetry. I did, years ago. And one day I woke hungover (when most self-honest, for many of us), looked in the mirror, and said, “Sean, your poetry sucks.” So then I quit writing poetry.

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Hangover poem by James Wright here.

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The new Pedestal is out. I haven’t read it all yet, but here’s a few texts  glowing catastrophic:

Neal Whitman seems fragmented enough I would drink with him.

Holy fuck I love any lit about crows. I would not only drink beer with Amy D. Unsworth (kick ass name–sounds like a Joyce character), I would drink three beers with her, order a bottle of rotgut vodka, polish that off, then invite her to climb the tree outside the bar. We would climb that tree. And the branch would break. And we would end up at the hospital in the most brilliant white rooms, rather happy, or shall I say medicated.

Her poem felt like this to me:

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I watched Six Shooter today with my students and I have a new favorite movie quote:

“You ever shouted at a sheep?!”

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I have more to blog but I don’t feel an epic blog groove. Without an epic blog groove, I should defer. I have disc golf discs to wax, miles to run, wine to drink, Play Station Lego Star Wars to play with my 5 year old before I sleep, with my 5 year old before I sleep…

S

Ebay my Heart. Iceland, a Novel.

AWP roundup blog reports/sites, for those who give a dern.

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I am selling two items on Ebay to raise money for books and the horse track and the aspirin salves.

This movie would be good for you. Also the shiny beads. I bought it and then didn’t watch it, but David Bowie plays Andy Warhol. I wrote about Andy Warhol here, soon after buying the film. If you buy the film you will write about Andy Warhol, like that. It is dark outside my windows now.

This is a baby toy. You could stare at the baby toy and enter a trance and write about the powerful circle of life, how we go from seed to vibrant sapling to sturdy oak to bent over/arthritic lightning struck sodden limb, as in dead. It plays music, too.

Thank you for looking.

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My call for Jesus walking into bar literature has already worked. Here is Sarah M. Wells. I saw Sarah choke on Japanese horseradish once. She seems kind and poetical.

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The “book of AWP“?

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What I am reading…

I finished this last night after reading Harry Potter to my son. (Harry Potter is extremely badly written. This isn’t.)

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I think Ander Monson sent me this; it just showed up in the mail one day. I think it is absurd like a mirror. It had sex by page 6, so the reader did appreciate. There was a falling-into-a-volcano scene. A woman namd Emily swims with organs (kidneys, lungs, hearts, etc.). The narrator robs gas stations and repairs typewriters. This is my second Iceland book this year. I think I want to visit Iceland. Is it expensive? Aren’t they bankrupt now, the entire country? I think so. I do think so.

Martin Amis blurbed this book. I’m just saying.

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I have decided I enjoy drinking wine out of coffee mugs. It makes me feel three years younger than my actual age. I saw a fox cross the yard yesterday, a red fox. My dog has bloodshot eyes. Is my dog a stoner? Impossible. I’m just saying the juxtaposition of the red wine and the coffee mug (SANTA’S WORKSHOP) made me feel more alive. I am going to run far over bricks today.

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I like this Amy King poem at delirious hem.

This line: “We are metered only by our own machines”

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How To Be Happy.

To be happy shop at Salvation Army. Buy items that spark nostalgia, that make you think childhood, not-so-bad, where did I lose my dachshund? Her name was Jone. Anyway, whatever item you purchase, take it immediately home, fill it with red wine, and get drunk.

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To be happy hide Woody Allen movies around your house. You will find them later after you forget. This will quiver a thousand wings of your serotonin, a little pop and glow of bees humming. Be sure to hide only the older good movies, not the newer shitty ones. Hide them beneath your pile of jeans in the closet. Hide them behind the toilet. Hide them in that top drawer where you keep your grass, those old emails you printed off for evidence, and all of your secret codes.

Note: Martone writes about how the president and secret service call the briefcase with the nuclear launch codes “the football.”

Obama: “Oh fuck, man. Iran just launched a missile at Israel. Go get me The Football.”

Secret Service dude: “No problem, sir.”

(It is always always “no problem.” A guy has a full time job to carry The Football in proximity to the president.)

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One of my favorite pics.

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To be happy drugs.

(just kidding, children!)

[just kidding]

{drugs are shucked off sugar}

caffeine, Tylenol, bananas…

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To be happy read Mary Miller’s Big World. It made me happy. I will review it soon on this bad-ass blog. I will fling myself half-naked down onto the snow. I will.

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To be happy vitamin bolus. Do you have any middle to upper class relatives who are elderly? If so, visit their house. Right above the stove or sink is a cabinet. Open it. There are many vitamins and supplements and aspirins. Take one of each, every single pill or capsule. Fill your hand, and then down them all with a glass of cold tap water. Make sure you tell your relatives you are going to take one of every thing in the cabinet. They will find you odd, but happy people are always seen as odd. Don’t be sneaky, just tell them. Secret happiness can have a tinge of sadness, so try not to be counterproductive here.

Right after doing this, for at least three minutes, you will be happy.

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It is possible that personal happiness is not the answer to the short time we have together. Not the answer worth striving for. Something to think on.

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Accidentally dropped nuclear weapons from aircraft are called “Broken Arrows” by the U.S. government. Many times we never learn of these instances but we do know of Atlantic City, New Jersey (1957); Savannah, Georgia (1958); Goldsboro, North Carolina (1961); and many instances of armed nuclear weapons dropped at sea.

Here is a sobering example.

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To be happy the studies say experience always trumps possessions. Sex will be better than a remarkably skinny TV set. Downhill skiing better than leather bedsheets. A trip to Rome over can of Spam. But why are these ideas mutually exclusive?

What if I buy a shotgun and a camo catsuit? That’s a product. But then I go shoot the shotgun into the air while wearing my camo catsuit. That’s an experience. Blending both like a beer poured into glass of Merlot. Like mixing rattle and canopy, like that. Now I feel happy.

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To be happy I don’t know. I miss Joan.

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To be happy get on the internet. The socialization will cattle-tromp your dopamine to new and higher levels. What you do on the internet is up to you. I certainly won’t judge. I can suggest things:

Read this thoughtful essay by Jimmy Chen on Shelf Life Magazine.

Read stuff about Jesus. Here is one by Molly Gaudry at Hobart. It is fucking awesome.

Read a Catherine Meng poem at Fence.

If none of this is slaying your dragon, you might have the wrong blog. But no worries. There are other blogs out there. I think there are.

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Eleven American nuclear warheads are thought to be lost and unrecovered, primarily in submarine accidents.

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To be happy give away things. I bought several copies of Mary Miller’s Big World today and I will give them away soon. It will make you blee, or even blee blue. Like that.

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To be happy throw things. I like to throw apples into large walnut trees. I must have thrown at least 400 apples into walnut trees last spring. It was fantastic. Once in Tuscaloosa, Alabama I threw a coffee table into a wall. Very happy feelings, an acetylcholine clatter. These big drywall wounds in the shape of archipelagos. One of my friends is big into throwing parties. He seems happy enough.

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To be happy plan things into the future. Have something waiting out there for you. Example. All of you who rocked AWP Chicago like it was a cat made of Velcro and diamonds, think about AWP Denver. I used to live in Denver. I will take you to amazing nachos. You are invited to eat nachos in a nacho town with a nacho expert. Put it on your calendar. Now you are happy.

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“If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker.”

–Albert E

Bankers Never Sleep Well. Tao Lin Interview. Cocaine.

I have a 5 day rule about any epic event, say AWP Chicago. I stop recording. I think nostalgia creeps in, colors things wrong. I just park the event in my memory vault (of course, to bring up later and view–while huddled in some rainy tent in Colorado, some hospital bed in Arkansas while my broken bones heal, some platinum/dried manure rocking chair years from now in Bangkok). I left Chicago 5 days ago, and so this will be my last photo or post posted (post posted? Redundant?) about those lost (the good lost–where you stumble into Shangri-La, free cold, cold beer, devout Buddhists who also do Indy Lit readings and want to play you in disc golf, or sushi tossing, etc.) shredded days of broad shoulders, the shrugs.

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John Wang offers a refreshing LIT. I say, No, I will not accept your refreshing LIT. I will take 3.

A truly cool guy. Good heart all the way, I felt. Good vibe. Hope to meet him down the road and we drink for freedom, or for Amphibians, or for that space right before the both (true conversation).

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The Urban Elitist interviews Tao Lin about how to make money as a writer. With so many writers giving books away at AWP, I think some of you need to realize you should make money with your writing. There is no shame. Why do people feel shame? This from a guy who writes book reviews for NewPages where they pay you in the very book you review.

My next mortgage payment I am going to send the bank a book. I am going to send them a book with a note that reads, “Here. Here is my payment. Read this. Maybe you will grow, alongside your throbbing gallbladder, a dollop of integrity, or a soul.”

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I was about to read at Quickies and I glance up and there is Robert Olen Butler, at a table….

Do you have any celebrity stories? I remember once years ago in Memphis Andre Agassi bought me a glass of wine. At the Peabody Hotel. He said, “Man, you look like you need a glass of wine.” Then he walked away. That was a good day. Later, on the taxi ride home, the cabbie insisted he take me to a strip club. I guess he was getting kickbacks from the clubs or something. I detest strip clubs. But he kept insisting and insisting, like I was a chump, like I was going to let a cabbie destinize me, mind-jack me of my free will, my existential birthright. I forget the rest of the evening.

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This photo is for Emma.

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From the Chicago Literary Scene Examiner, concerning the off-site AWP RUI reading: “Sean Lovelace (who’s RUI quickie last night on guns, cocaine and action figures won the crowd)…”

Word on that.

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Here’s more AWP photos, notes. To follow the rules you have yourself made is an illness.

The final Chi-town AWP 2009 photo I will release to the public. This is me with two big-time short-list Pulitzer writers (one is vomiting into the garbage can, so I cropped her PhotoShop  in the interest of discretion, but that’s cool–the writing life is torture, all that paperwork, adoring fans, etc.). We went to the Joyce Carol Oates after party and they wanted to return to my hotel for drinks. Fine with me, ladies.

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“Never play poker with a tattooed lady.”         –My dad.

(why dad?)

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“Sean, why do you have to use that F word in your blog?”       –My mom.

(Fuck, I don’t know why, mom)

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I drink oily coffee and write words at the kitchen table and look outside, at my boccie balls buried in the snow, an odd juxtaposition. When I think of boccie I see sunshine, green and golden hues, and sweet, sweating 16 ounce gas station beers; Tuscaloosa, Alabama and my friends heaving the boccie balls around a sprawling grassy field, a city park, a jagged stone ruin of a Civil War era courthouse. We called this “modified boccie,” or as we would tell others, “We don’t really play the game like you’re sposed to.” Stuart (an athletic madman/freak [in the good way of freak]) hurling the heavy clay balls into the sky, moon-shots rising, rising, then arching down with ferocious intent, into mortar walls, brick stair steps, ricocheting off crumbling cornice edges. Stuart actually split boccie balls in half while playing; we all did, I shit you not. Maybe except for Will, who preferred to open his hand and drop the ball nearby, plunk. Will and his titanic gin and tonics (this was a man who would order triple straight gins at restaurants, served in a tall water glass, to the rim). Myself, the others–Charlie, Mark, T.J., Don–our little demented clique, sipping beers, sprawling on the grass, talking shit and tossing boccie balls. Metallic taste of canned beer. Rustling breeze. Silk-blue sky. A crystallized moment, Georgian idyll. Fuck. I do miss it. I do. You turn your head one day, look back, and find your friends scattered, your boccie balls scattered, your mind, well…I guess some things are obvious, and here:

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S

Cella is Tripping. Nachoolic. Quick Fiction.

Lots of people only use one type/grain /grain perimeter/size/endpoint/shape/scoop layer/etc. as their base chip selection for nachos. This saddens me. A tremendous error, and an urban legend, really, like believing the northern wind is not your ally, or that cocaine is a bad idea for wedding parties. Just a real closure to the possibilities of life, I feel.

Folks, you can use secondary, even tertiary (Nacho King, anyone? How did you think they so quickly dominated the Philippines?) layers of foundation, especially if the nachos are going to be utilized as primary entree. The laws of superposition still do apply, obviously, but I’ve pushed those theoretical constraints many times.

Example?

Just last week, at a local mixer (OK, keg/key/self pity party) involving all of my unemployed neighbors, I brought a platter of nachos (I always do), but no ordinary entree–rather I established an underpinning of roasted plantain chips, a schist of flax seed tortilla, then even threw in (OK, placed ) a thin but even sedimentary layer of plain ol’ store-bought kettle corn chips (fried). Did they go over well? Does a mountain dew? A McCarthy go all Cormac? A bull doze? Does Blake Butler straddle train seats and shout all crazy when hammered drunk???

Hell yea!

(Um, sorry Blake)

People kept asking for the recipe but I told them that would be like Mozart playing at your house and then handing out laminated cards of sheet music. At the extreme edge of nacho construction, it’s not the dance, it’s the dancer. But I digress…

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Lunch. Can anyone say Argentina? Thank gods for Latin American and the regional influence on nacho topping considerations, especially the bean of black.

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Cella is tripping like a car-struck sparrow. Check out Ander Monson (and my interview of), Matt Bell, Peter Schwartz, more.

I also heard their flash fiction editor was total badassness.

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Quick Fiction took my story!!! Yahoooooooooooooooooo

I tried three times before. They said 1.) No. 2.) Uh, no. 3.) Dude, we can’t even open your document so forget about it, and then 4.) Hell yes, mofo!

I am yappy. Quick Fiction advocates, adores, annihilates, other a words to the image/idol/glim-glammer of FLASH. I am humbled to appear in their wonderful pages.

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I think I should publish a collection of poetry about Jesus walking into a bar.

Here’s one by Susan Rothbard at pif. (scroll down)

Here is one by me at Press 1 (scroll down, #6)

Elimae is basically ridiculous now. I thought last issue kicked the can of placenta, wings, hmm. But wow. The new issue is glow, and large, and glowing large, like lightning off the throb of waves, whales slick backs. Sick.

You should read it all. For example…

Blueberries (by Brandi Wells)

We eat blueberries while he drinks a Newcastle and I sip chocolate milk. Really, I am drinking the Newcastle and he is drinking the chocolate milk, but I thought it sounded better the other way.

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Anaïs Nin? A hack. Go read KGM.

I will drink a giant glass of red wine with you any day, KGM. But no fucking Big Macs. No way. Lord…

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Am I the only one to notice that no one seemed to care when Updike died? I think he got about 14 seconds of coverage. Weird. I don’t want to get into all the reason he was hated–many I see, some I don’t see–but I still thought it sad and odd and sad. 61 books aren’t what they used to be, folks…

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On the way out of Chi town I hit this place for nachos # 8 of the trip:

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I give this place a 4. I could go into detail but going into detail about mediocrity is a loser’s game. Or to put it another way: Just how much life you got left to live?!

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S

50 Life Sentences AWP 2009 (my head is a chewing leg)

I couldn’t blog in Chicago. I was too drunk or too busy with work or too compartmentalized. No, that wasn’t it. The hotel’s internet was slow like boiled sugar. A lot of people told me their Internet didn’t work in Chicago. Didn’t work well. I think I heard the term sluggish. I heard a lot of great terms in Chicago. I heard Painbis, hip-swinging, also annihilates. Words and writers of words appeared in front of me like kicked doors, or armored saints growing day to day.

I am going to blog now; I call this:

50 Life Sentences AWP 2009

1.) I have arguments inside my compartments.

2.) Shards inside I feel the need to fill, with alcohol, rationalizations blue, interstitial fluid, food.

3.) My many Chicago meals were triangles.

4.) A goal of mine was triangles…

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5.) A goal of mine was to meet Kim Chinquee.

6.) Why didn’t I take a photo?

7.) Why was I too afraid to take a photo, to seal my memory in everlasting angles, perfect ghosts, in queens and hearts of glimmer?

8.) The poker game was a ghost everyone was talking about but no one had actually seen (like sustained love?).

9.) The poker game was mystical as a flower (on the moon).

10.) Listeners at readings whoop, laugh, bloom and flutter.

11.) Listeners at readings will buy you bourbon, will buy you shots of congratulatory bourbon, and you will drink that golden sun-struck poison like a harness-maker, like a household of leaking cells, drink them all and all and very well…

12.) In the swanky hotel lobby of the Hilton, Blake Butler voiced an opinion that authors shouldn’t just pick humorous work for a reading, just to be funny, etc., and I agree and disagree: They shouldn’t pick just funny work; they should pick funny work that is also sexual.

13.) I have arguments at Abjective.

14.) I have arguments inside my compartments, my flux and flow.

15.) Why didn’t I take the photo?

16.) I can’t get my head around Chicago, my actions, non-actions, and faulty do/do not/residue.

17.) Right alongside my heart, a nick of rib bone, I keep shaking inside like the El.

18.) I was intimidated by the El then learned to observe, conform, climb aboard, overcome something, or some thought inside my skull rolling.

19.) To meet (drift and swerve) with Samuel Ligon was glacial, as in very very cool.

20.) To meet Jac Jemc was glacial, as in very, very cool.

21.) To meet Molly and Matt and all others glowing was glacial, as in very, very cool.

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22.) My many Chicago meals were fermented/distilled liquid.

23.) My many Chicago meals were squid, were prawn.

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24.) My co-eaters were 1.) a woman who was raised in a “town” (my quotes) of 92 people, who runs marathons and swims with whale sharks; and 2.) a woman who writes drafts of poems about experience so recent (the El looping) so quickly and fine it makes me shiver.

25.) I bought sake and rode its candy-cane high.

26.) I bought more sake, diet cola and books (stored in my car, a Shane Jones signed book, Barry Graham signed book, Mary Miller, others…).

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27.) I bought a form of hesitation, medication, some other ation.

28.) I bought the poison and inhaled the poison.

29.) I bought the books; I bought the books in front of the SmokeLong table.

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30.) Mary Miller signed the books.

31.) Why didn’t I know she was awesome?

32.) At my age, why don’t I know what I am doing?

33.) I read her book immediately, last night, such likable object, such simpatico of scene and non-scene (I know so well, beer cap moth-ing through air), such castles of crickets and leftover wine.

34.) Sometimes I watched, in all my hours shifting weightless.

35.) Sometimes I watched others and wanted to be with them, or be them.

36.) Sometimes, less often, I felt watched, or should I say observed.

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37.) To be my age and feel lostly.

38.) To feel hesitation and unrest.

39.) the photo…

40.) Why do you think I didn’t take the photo?

41.) Honestly.

42.) Why?

43.) I felt this blue crackling in the air.

44.) I felt this moment after.

45.) Of course I took the photo!

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46.) (A man can only shelter so much regret…)

47.) (I am learning.)

48.) (and now.)

49.) and now.

50.) And..well, now.

AWP Itinerary/Readings/Poker/Nachos

Most have seen the press release. But the press release is false, a Blue Tuna, a technique to throw off the paparazzi and several stalkers. Here is really what I am doing at AWP. I hope to see all of you (well not all of you, just the ones of you I like). You can buy me a beer and I will buy you another. Etc exponential.

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1.) My primary role at AWP is to assist my colleagues in hiring a new professor at BSU. This is exciting, and will be my Professional Mode. If you see me carrying manila folders, or anything produced in Manila, I am in Professional Mode. Eye contact during PM will be direct. Also my voice will lower, one could say sonorous or just the term International Foliage. My hair style will resemble a cashew. My walk a Big Walk during PM. Most verve will be expressed by a very fucking cool necktie. Also I might spontaneously limerick.

2.) The necktie is rent away and buried in a potted plant and I am in Book Buying Mode. During BBM, I glide like champagne. I wear bright yellow shoes flecked with glitter. I drop at least 100 American dollars on books. Maybe more. If you are selling a book, now would be a good time to approach me (but never from behind). If you shoot me with a free book cannon I might read that book and then review that very book on this blog. Here is an example, Ever by Blake Butler.

(Not to imply I only review free books. I bought EVER, and others I review.)

(visit CELLA!)

3.) If you see me reading aloud I am in Reading Mode.

I am reading here on Wednesday night. Reading Under the Influence? Uh, no worries. I always ingest beer during readings to alleviate my self esteem. I will be wearing sunglasses made of the sun.

I am reading here on Thursday night. The list of people reading this night is humbling. I should not be on the stage, as I will attempt to prove.

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NACHO DINNER?? Anyone want to meet for nachos before the Th night reading? I like nachos. And tequila.

Any other reading will be of foot-pounds pressure, mattress creases, air in the limbs of skyscrapers, bubbles rising in glass, catastrophes, or my two cards as I out-flop all comers in…

4.) Friday night I will be in Poker Game Mode. There is a poker game! So far, rumors of Ander Monson and Blake Butler and Barry Graham and others, others…

(Game of choice will be Baccarat or Texas Hold ‘Em. I have also been known to bet on how close a person can throw a penny to a hotel wall, what gender will appear first in the next TV commercial, man or woman; and any other prop bet you might devise.)

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What? I out-flop Mark Neely again!

5.) Any other free time (not much) I am the guy at the bar. Join me. I promise to tell a beer and drink a dull story.

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Other modes for AWP include disc golf, Mojave Slammers, rocket glares, Scottish coats, jogging, higher pitches of living, time-out understandings, opiate withdrawals, further nachos, and don’t you know all the museums are for free in February?

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Me, final judge, this:

There are ten million other cool things going on during AWP. Support all the art you can, folks, and be careful, or I will blog you.

Anyone interested (all 1.7 of you) in getting my phone number to make contact easy in Chicago, just zap me an email: leapsloth14@hotmail.com

S

Antarctica Marathon and Dead People.

Whew. Just ran a TEMPO, 5 miles in 30 minutes flat. Good flow, felt solid. I got in a little zone, which will happen, if you are lucky.

(The most I have won in one hand of video poker is $1000.)

Running is the best sport in the world. You just bring your shoes, and then fall forward. Ok, you do need shorts. I know people run naked, but you are just being troublesome. I think humans have been running for 50 millions years, so when you discover running it’s like finding the DNA eyeglasses you lost years ago while skiing. Like that. Sometimes I hide things to later find, to get that glow of finding–this a useful technique to avoid depression. God hid the fossils for this very reason.

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You can’t catch me, Paw! I am leaving for the big city and the cocaine!

Friend of mine sent me a link about this guy. He ran 7 marathons, in 7 days, on, uh, 7 continents. Feeling like you did a lot today, punk-ass? Well, you didn’t.

[Aside: Sometimes I will read Tao Lin’s blog and think about how little writing, especially decent writing (most of my writing sucks–but that isn’t really my point here), I actually do. I think, What the fuck? You blog about writing and make a living teaching writing and all of that bullshit, but do you actually do enough writing? No. You fucker. You fucking fraud. Die! Or at least fling yourself into a pile of roadkill (but are the opossums really dead?). Kneel there and inhale reality. (The wet matted skin of a opossum is strangely remarkable, this shade of soft gray.) Something…Then later I’ll just drink beer and let myself off the hook, a little. But, oh the nights (late blue light of thinking) I’ve considered returning to nursing. Oh the nights. Hell, maybe I will. Maybe…Then I think, well Sean, you are a great dad and a decent husband and a damn good disc golfer and runner (relatively) and fisherperson and you care about your teaching, care a lot, so on and so on and why not shut the fuck up? Good advice, actually.]

At least I have a food ethic, that’s something. I will not eat meat I do not personally kill. I suppose that means something. I think so.

I caught a fish once with a bite out of its side, a perfect half moon. I was cutting this vast lakeside yard in Alabama and up walked a zebra and a Great Dane; they walked together, simpatico. That was a weird day. One time I shot my uncle but I didn’t mean to and he didn’t mind. He just shrugged and on we walked down the railroad tracks, no worries. I remember the blood mostly, the sunlight off the rails, and that shrug.

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They took us in a room to see a dead person. Like a rite of passage. You are in nursing school, so you are going to see a dead person. Don’t even try to run away. Come on, Mr. Lovelace, and why does your breath smell like tequila? (Thursday was dollar margarita night, Dr. Dyer (We had a nurse who was a doctor, very confusing), you are smelling residue from last night when Peter lifted me above his head and threw me into shrubbery). I see. Come on in here, this room. See that? See that lying there on the bed? It’s a dead person.

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I am happy to see writer/blogger/readers continue to give the Nathan Neely piece on elimae some run. He is a grad student at BSU and I once ate caviar and cactus with him (no lie).

Another interesting “text” is this one by Robert J. Baumann. I think this piece could actually be a drinking game, though I am not sure the rules.

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I think of all the Drunk History videos, this one is best. I think I have a crush on Jen Kirkman, so maybe that helps, but it is easy to be fascinated with someone in a cool video. Like a singer on a stage in a small nightclub. You’ll get fascinated by them, want to sleep with them, whatever. But if you just met them at Sears they aren’t that fascinating and don’t even have a hobby or any real interests outside mass media consumption and maybe even don’t eat nachos or even nachos (or nachos) and just go around saying lame things like, “In Pulp Fiction, they say the word fuck 400 times.” (They do not. It is 257)

This is the best drunk history.

Shitty Ranch Dip (again). We Hold the Fire.

Question: Why can’t a man get a decent ranch dip? A man who deserves a decent ranch dip, a kind (kinda) man who has actually saved lives (OK, this was when I worked as a nurse and then once I saved three kids in Nashville from getting hit by a train, but I might have also killed a few people, one or two, so it evens out, right?), a man who knows that exactly 22 cigarettes were smoked in Casablanca, that Dom Perignon was a monk. A man like that buys a ranch dip like this:

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And it sucks. I want to say: moldy pennies in the mouth, Marie. It is a kit of colorless dregs. Creamy like hard coal and socks. Like riddle me mildew. Consistency of a bloody nightgown, a great cloud of witchgrass, itchy. Smelled like lay still slosh, lay still slosh, like friends dancing at a false wedding, a false religion, a false love. How I hate false love. Like great art ignored again. It made me want to plant a sapling, just anything, plant a sapling on the forehead of my ugliness. I retched thrice. I hovered in layers of wet leaf-wine, in pools of seams sewn tight–I suffocated like God; like that, bleeding stumps of corny tsunami jokes/disbelief. Due to this dip, this dipping, this dipped deed, this curd of my life now soaked in milk, I am missing four fingers (two of each hand). I am missing my dull-witted responsibilities, my duty to arrange/rearrange words, blog, snog, wog, dog (you cur), daycare pick-up even forgotten (now my children lonely, possibly harmed). Fuck you, Marie. Fuck you and your flawless skin of divine mayonnaise (national food of Midwestakstan, its many friends, provinces) . Your mom is a strumpet, Marie, and she charged me 14 dollars. Your father a toad, raising eyebrows at every single authentic decision. You are sausage and ribs. Iron barrels of cancer and orthodontics. You are suck of soggy bread. You are chomping starchy mold-flecked Death. And other D things. Like kneecaps, dehydration, or days. Did I mention suck?

Also the taste, it bad.

It bad.

*

I wish it was spring, like the inside of my oven…

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Like spring, no badness. Only warmth, a canoe, and flowing water.

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Blogger, with best friend. Spring.

S

Sean Lovelace Reviews EVER by Blake Butler.

I Need an Opening:

Professor sits in office. Reclines like a (fill in animal), feet up on a file cabinet. Socks only: one blue, one bluer. Professor thinks, “This is what I did with my intellect, my drive, my abilities and efforts–snagged a job where I can sit with my shoes off in an office and nobody gives me flak; in fact they might say, ‘Oh you creative folks,’ and expect me to sit with my shoes off, to let the artistic integrity breathe out my toes…”

Light knock. Tentative, a shoe scuffling. Professor thinks, “Undergrad.”

Undergrad peers into door. She sits, glances about office full of books, action figures and artifacts, hot sauces and hotter sauces, posters and paintings, heap after dangerous heap of shifting papers…

“Creative people make piles,” professor says dryly.

(Professor has used this one before for the state of his office. It usually works, and really what is an undergrad going to say?)

Then undergrad mumbles something about The Twilight Series, zombies, allergies to carpet fibers, about her dad wanting her to work as a bank teller; then finally, “Do you think I can write?

Yes. Always. Whenever you decide. Etc. If one thing: Do you love sentences?

Blake Butler loves sentences:

“..my veins an atlas spanned in tissue.”

“Strings of night might gleam of glass.”

“At my feet now in the bath the book had swollen several times–so large it filled the whole blank basin–it sponged around my knees.”

I say these give Lish and McCullers and McCarthy and all those McC-motherfuckers a run for their syntactical money. Strong medicine and music, a thumping heartbeat meter, a thought and non-thought (that weird interstitial space) that makes lines of words flow like rivers.

I Explicate EVER In Rural Tennessee Jargon:

Where I was raised we called this type of thing a slap-your-grandmother.

“This is how you clean a shotgun!” my grandfather said and he grabbed my gun and shot it into the air. Like that.

Cathead biscuits. Like hose pipe. Gravy. Gravy. Gravy.

Wild as a peach orchard hog.

My grandmother would say, “Lause.” Not sure what that means. But, Lause, Blake Butler, I do think you drop a mighty fine EVER on us here.

My uncle and I used to fish all day and night on a railroad trestle in the bottoms of Carroll County, TN, and one day–I don’t know how, child-like fascination, true fun, leading to sensory blindness–a train “snuck” up on us while on that trestle (a bridge, folks,over a swamp full of swamp and turtle and snake) and we had no living choice, but to lose poles, lose tackle boxes, lose lunchboxes, lose snake guns–LEAP into the river of swirling blackness below…later that evening we dried out over a low campfire and caught bluegill and cooked their tails crispy and ate them like potato chips, like no potato chips you have ever known, and we were grateful.

That’s EVER

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I Walk into my Freezing Backyard Right this Moment (While it Snows) and Take Four Photographs to Represent my Feelings on EVER.

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p 48: My head had several hundred heads.

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p 68. She was there inside the wood.

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p 92. Other times the glass showed water…

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p 32. The door, when stubborn, made my teeth ache.

*

I Make up Blurbs About Ever

“I laughed. I cried. I just kept on crying. I cry a lot lately. I am going through one awful divorce.”

–Gustav Klimt

“You know the thing where you compare this book to three others? Well, fuck that. This book isn’t a book. This book is 1.) My ugly nose. 2.) The way I slept with Jackson Pollock. 3.) Juneau Alaska (the largest city in the U.S [land mass], yet can only be reached by boat or plane). You understand me? No? Who gives a damn. I am rich. Rich. The rich don’t need your understanding. We glimmer in golden gyros above you.”

–Peggy Guggenheim

“The author’s sister is a  fine wine I have tasted.”

–Charles Dickens

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I Notice Page 57 of My Copy of EVER is Blemished by an Orange Stain. Why?

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top right corner, what gives…?

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I Decide EVER is One of My Hundreds of Disc Golf Discs. Which One?

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Ever is a Starfire SL. Custom fly-dye motherfucker to the house. Fast, “curved obscure” (p. 90), “a sense of time passed.” (p.78). See, the new Star Plastic is grippy, resilient, and so are these words, my friends. Because EVER is a maze, a fucking head-throb labyrinth, but Butler gobbles up all the breadcrumbs along the way, he cuts your little red thread, the one you were going to follow back out the cave. Whoops, Butler just got your plastic wind-up flashlight and laughed at you for having a plastic wind-up flashlight (What’s next, a Snuggie?) and then said: “Ever thought of this?” before snapping off the handle and shoving it down your esophagus. “There was much they could break…” Butler writes on page 43, and damn if he doesn’t grab an ax, a pickax, a motherfucking “center of the earth of the earth” (p. 82) kind of destruction. Things Fall Apart. Things Fall Apart. And move…Like the Starfire, Ever has glide, that mysterious flow of words that will propel you down the tunnels, down the plumbing pipes, the doorways–into the walls. The walls of EVER: cold, gray, white and full, crumbling, crumbling within themselves, the null and void of “…the morning of no sun.” (p. 95)

Sometimes I felt pulled. Sometimes I felt pushed. But something about EVER moved me, forced me, brought me along, page to sentence to word. To word. A said, word.

I read these words, like a flung one.

I Create a Graph About EVER:

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I Discuss My Opinion on the Book Cover of EVER.

I did not enjoy the cover. The cover made me feel I was in an office waiting on a doctor. I do not like to pay for waiting. There’s something wrong there. I feel vertical blinds from the cover. I wanted something to be in the act of falling. Or maybe some splash of blood cells on porcelain, stark like that. I got a 1970s from the cover.  A fern, dusty fern feeling, or something government. That is all I want to say about the cover at this time.

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I Discuss My Opinion on the Size of EVER.

More and more, I find myself really enjoying books the size of EVER. Recent examples of similar sized titles I’ve read lately would be:

Jesus’ Son

(What type of fiction professor takes this long in life to read this landmark collection? A stupid, negligent one.)

The Art of War

(If you have not read Art of War, stop reading my blog. Go buy a cool leather book stachel; AWP is on the horizon! Leave me be.)

The Blue Guide to Indiana

(Martone had to settle a lawsuit over this one. Note the big-ass disclaimer on the cover of the book. Do you read Martone? You should. Martone is  like that blues musician that all other blues musicians nod about, know he has the chops. Whispered in backrooms, speak-easys, flop house water coolers of life.)

I just think this an optimum size for a book. You can fit it in your pocket. You can easily flip through it with bulky gloves while on a deer stand. You can get in a drunken fight and impulsively reach for the book to throw at your opponent and it won’t kill them, causing you to regret the morning vision through the metal bars. Also it costs less, usually. You can trade it for dog tranquilizers. You can avoid the onslaught of TV by holding the book directly in front of your eyeballs.

I Admit to the Readers Why My Copy of EVER was STAINED.

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That’s no stain. That’s the hot saliva of God. Lunch with EVER. And satisfying. Go eat a copy.

You can buy it here.

S