Tag Archives: Bruce Smith

the paris review interviews god and mud rock lobster nachos!

check out Lady Gaga eating nachos!

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I blow shit up at Huffington Post.

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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!]

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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.

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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).

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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!!]

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Flash at deComp:

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

Speed Diagram Nachos Danica Nurse

Did speed. Burns X 20. All one minute bursts with .40 seconds jogging between. Good flow, cadence, feel quiet and fast, and no problems during, but hurt today. My L heel a bit Unreliable Narrator and my knees two cans of spaghetti. They will be fine. They just need a day. I should have taken a cold bath after the workout but instead drank 4 cold beers.

Speed was 5:27 X 4 reps, 5: 24 X 4 reps, 5:21 X 4 reps, 5:15 X 4 reps, then finished with 5:07 pace X 4 reps.

The last few were Nails, but you must recreate that feeling of 6. I mean the last six miles of a marathon. The first 20 and the last 6 are the same race, but different zip codes. The last 6 are a zip code in outer space. Or possibly located in the center of your chest. You fold into yourself. Things blur or become crisper. Things float or cement themselves to the ground. There is no one answer. You must put yourself in the crucible during training, that is a form of answer. If you see/feel enough of this you might not be so concerned. There is a philosophy of making training tougher than the race. It depends.

OK.

I have a 10k coming up and I’m not in 10k shape (I am in marathon training mode), but I do want to keep my leg turnover. I mean you have to rev the engine once in a while. Or as one coach told me way back when: They key to running faster is running faster.

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The new Diagram Ten Years Anthology is a fucking deck of cards. It has new diagrams and many, many authors. These: Stephanie Anderson, Sarah Blackman, Jenny Boully, Jason Bredle, Lucy Corin, John D’Agata, Brian Evenson, Tom Fleischmann, Albert Goldbarth, Heidi Gotz, Caitlin Horrocks, Melanie Jordan, Paul La Farge, Dolly Laninga, Sean Lovelace, Barbara Maloutas, Ben Marcus, Michael Martone, Philip Metres, Ander Monson, Manuel Muñoz, Lia Purpura, Emma Ramey, Aurelie Sheehan, Michael Sheehan, Katie Jean Shinkle, Lauren Goodwin Slaughter, Bruce Smith, Nicole Walker, Kellie Wells, Joshua Marie Wilkinson, Mark Yakich, Jake Adam York, and Charles Yu.

I am one of the Jokers, as you may guess.

I would suggest all AWP poker games use this deck of cards.

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How great is my Advanced Fiction class at BSU? Recently they presented Kim Chinquee’s work to the class. Today they present Richard Brautigan. They are studying the Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction.

I am brainwashing flash fiction, as is my way.

Chinquee points out in her flash essay (pp. 109 in the Field Guide) that plot is NOT the events, it is the context around the events. So I wrote DOG BITES CHILD on the blackboard. The students spent time filling in the context: what child? what dog? who owned the dog? what the did the child’s parents say? Etc. This went on for some time and many interesting stories bloomed. They could just spin them out in class, aloud. I felt good about this.

I then read THIS aloud.

That worked.

They then went home and wrote a plot Flash.

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I got chips two time and had this radical idea of baking the chips two kinds and habanero love goodness all dark blue freckles all grainy strong hands and the salsa and the beans and I don’t know where this idea came from, my synapses shuffle my OK let’s eat my everything united cheese as one (enter song) and I broke grain broke mind broke tastebuds broke giant erasers of glow and redraw glow and munch my skin. Does this name have a dish?

Level 6.

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I watched the NASCAR race until Danica crashed out. I liked how Danica’s mechanic radio dude or whatever you call them got on the radio and kept telling her to race closer to the other cars. I bet she was like, “Fuck you. Why don’t you get in this car?” That is the most car racing I have watched in my life. The old record was 34 seconds. I watched the very end of the race where Dale Earnhardt died. I was working at a psychiatric treatment center for children in Alabama. I do not like working with children. They are vastly more unpredictable than adults. This has been my experience. One time in Tennessee two kids busted out and jumped in a huge-ass river (It was the TN river). They swam out into the current. I was in charge at that time. We did get the kids back, alive. It is a long story. It was a long, wet day.

I miss being a nurse and I do not miss being a nurse.

S