Tag Archives: Gertrude Stein

FOG of postcards and sublime slivers of glass

Holy fuck this is glow! Watch it. Drink Canadian whiskey and eat 114 oysters raw and wack-off (or don’t wack-off, whatever) and watch it. What a human. A golden humpbacked whale. A walking lighthouse of thorn-bushes and vodka bras and poetry. I love the man.

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A bird just flew into my window, but enough about me. Wearing ballet slippers to a funeral? I enjoy the feel of a half pint bottle in the back pocket of jeans, that smooth pressing. Wrist-bone, phone, sky. A boy carrying either a human head or a head of lettuce under his arm. Overpasses. Revision is more creative than the actual first draft. Is that true? Hot swatches on sun on the grass. Water the lawn only occasionally, but for long, long periods. Work habits. Dug out a tree, but have not replaced the tree. Big, empty spaces. Fuck. No, fuck you. No, fuck me. The treadmill is repaired! I keep running through my days. What are you running from, sir? That seems an empty and obvious question. The past is growing! Oh shit, that means the future is shrinking. It’s all, unfortunately, math. Staggering on spindly legs. Something like that.

[follow my command!]

The Fog is rolling in…

Review here:

The comparison to Stein is perhaps the highest praise I can offer for Fog Gorgeous Stag. The more I spend time with this new genre of Fog, the better I like it.

Review here:

Fog Gorgeous Stag is brilliant collage, unsentimental divergence, uncorked spilling and a lack of containment.

Review here:

At first read, one might mistake Sean Lovelace’s hybrid-prose poem collection Fog Gorgeous Stag to be a magical manual, a book which reads back the conscious of whatever the reader is looking for, through glowing light pages.

Two comparisons to Gertrude Stein. I’ll take that, though it is a bit like comparing a golden crow to a chalky lump of bird splatter (myself as the bird shit, obviously). So, anyway. If you like Stein, maybe purchase my book. Eh, eh?

[boom!]

I’m sort of into the work of Laurel Nakadate (two pics above)

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Went to a reading. Met cool people. Words all Gem bottles of Gin. Night a blur. Wish I could have talked to more of them, longer. Words all black-marketed moons. I mean to say, went/bent/went to a reading all Vouched-like, all hot glass tire service center, all sweet walking odor of tire, all sun off the windows like Ljosvallagata, all electronic sun, all Jesus Angel Garcia (dude’s on a huge-ass reading tour) rocking the Mr. Microphone, all words like fat slaps of friction,

[me and Jesus]

all religious comment on religion and shit, all barbaric sexual yawp, all Roxane Gay (she read a major glow story about anorexia bulimic fucking, etc.), words all oil barrels of light, all flickering halos, all FREE BEER, all free fucking IPA (thanks, Flat 12, I will be down there for some growlers soon), all Barry Graham (Monica Lewinsky crush), all Dogzplot in the house, all French fries and shards of hope, all trash fires of the pelvis, all words in ravines, words flying in the air like typhoids of sunlight, all grinding sunlight, all Matt Mullins (wicked poem here), all shadows and saw-blades, all

[Matt Mullins dropping words]

corned beef lickings of words, all Steve Himmer (we discussed garden gnomes and also I bought his book--I can tell it’s going to kick serious ass), all serpents and hermits, all  Micah Ling (She is not Asian or a man. She is a runner!–see you at a race maybe?), all word filets of crunchy telescopes, all FREE Lit Pub T-shirt, all Laura Adamczyk (interview here), all Jim Walker (Cool guy. I met him at the last Vouched reading.), all John Clark, all Jessica Dyer (uterus as muse?)

Let me tell you about the rat I keep in my uterus. He stores cotton balls, faux feathers, and little pink beads in me to make the perfect nest. I use these in my crafts. My uterus is squishy, and he has a fun time in there bouncing around and sometimes I have to bang on my belly to make him stop. It tickles but is awkward in public. He is quickened by cinnamon, and plays tricks on all my sphincters. I call him my pocket protector. In the mornings there are little rat marks on my thighs; somehow he gets out, but I always let him come home to my beaded plush cave. I would let you pet him, but he has claws and a tail like a real baby, even little milk teeth!

all Kevin McKelvey (I got this in-touch-with-the-earth feel. I guess I’m saying I’d like to fish and/or canoe with the guy.), all words as parachutes of mud, as echoes of golden barbed wire, all Layne Ransom (hell yes CHICKLITZ!),

[Layne all literary]

all Bryan Furuness (Bryan read an amazing piece about tubes, life as, etc.), all that’s a shit-load of readers at one reading but it did glow. I then went to a bar and ate fried green beans.

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Meg Pokrass with glow interview of Dan Choan.

How do you stay creative? What are your tricks to get “unstuck?”

Here’s one trick:  get really drunk or stoned and fall asleep weeping on your keyboard.  When you wake up,  magical elves will have come in the night and turned your bitter tears into words and paragraphs,  just like they made shoes for that shoemaker.

Actually, that doesn’t work most of the time, but I keep trying it.

Another trick,  this one somewhat less self-destructive,  was suggested to me by a teacher,  and has worked on occasion:  Make a list of 40-50 things that could potentially happen next in your story.  Don’t worry if they are boring,  or improbable,  or stupid.  Just make a list as quickly as possible.  Then take 5-10 of them,  and write one or two paragraphs for each one.   Somewhere in this process,  you are going to get unstuck.

Otherwise, I need to put the piece aside and start something new. I’ve never been at a loss for new material,  for whatever reason.  It’s never a problem to start something — finishing is always an issue.

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Speaking of Meg Pokrass, her flash fiction continues to blend my bones silver. To make me actually glow. This, from elimae, the opening of “Albino.”

I deserved an ample scolding. I watched the sunset with an albino. We went to a thrift store, and joked about trying on hats and getting lice. “Miami Lice,” he said. Was he safe? I hoped not. Was it scummy and frivolous to hang out? My birthstone was emerald, I told him, and his chlorinated eyes said, “Well, that makes you not-simpleminded.” We both laughed. An albino laugh. Watery veins stood out and his forehead looked like a stolen woodpile.

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Cathy Day blogs about Midnight in Paris. I am not going to read her post entirely because I am going to see the movie this week. Then I will read her post. Also I will tell you what I think. My thoughts now? Woody Allen used to make amazing, thoughtful, layered films. Then for a long, long time he made mediocre films. They depressed me with their earnest mediocrity. It made me sad. It made me feel like I was watching an aging Muhammad Ali get his ass kicked at the end of his career. I can’t watch that type of film, not from a genius like Allen. So. I am hoping. Hoping this film glows.

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I am thinking about running the Big Sur (a haven for writers) marathon. California. Ander Monson already signed up! I must join him! Shit. Well. OK. Thanks, Ander.

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Amie Barrodale story at The Paris Review. It has sex AND drugs. I mean what do you want?

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Joyelle McSweeney on Herzog and the Sublime. Wow. I think McSweeney is one of our most perceptive, intelligent writers. I pretty much will read anything she writes, as should you. I’d also like to add that Montevidayo is one ugly-ass blog site. I mean the design is clunky as hell. They might also want to hire a copy-editor. I’ve never seen such consistent misspelling errors. But I like the site. Trying to be constructive. Anyway, all that is their own business. The content is consistently good.

But this solipsistic notion—that man is the measure of man- is itself a loop, a folding, a self-saturation that begins to gesture at the hyperbolic over-saturation and collapse of humanist project or portrait in Herzog’s films, yielding something so irrational, beautiful, terrible, and certainly out of control that it is less like a portrait of a man and more like an inundation with the Sublime.

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I went to New York City and took many,many subway stops and walked, walked, walked, and found some nachos. These are grilled zuchinni and black bean and three cheeses. A solid 7.23 on THE LOVELACE SCALE OF GLOW NACHOS.They came from El Camion. Nacho review here.

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Peter Tieryas Liu brings it over at decomP. What I like here is the language, how he knows us flash writers must–must!!–understand the way of the poet, the Word.

I experience four cyclical deaths every day; lavatory, office politics, televised Internet, and dreamless sleep.

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[I swear to gods my book is cheesy. Order it here. ]

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A letter from Mary Hamilton.

Dear Wigleaf,

I noticed today that one leg is longer than the other. That’s a lie. It’s more like I am unevenly distributed. One knee is placed higher than the other. One calf is slightly bigger. One shoulder is lower. One boob is larger. My right ear is smaller and set farther back than my left ear. One eyebrow is shorter and thicker. My left eye is basically sitting on my temple. My belly button is not centrally placed. Don’t even get me started on my elbows.

The walls of my apartment are crooked, making measurements for an aspired-to new couch difficult.

I think you should know that I’ve grown three inches since high school and all of it is in my left forearm making pancake flipping a difficult balance.

Stay cool,
Mary

Some Crank-Shaft Disses Flash Fiction. I Defend.

Some Brie-head interviewed over here at ShatterColors Literary Review. I guess he edits the magazine or something. So he’s interviewing himself in his own magazine?  And he publishes himself in his own magazine? Hell, I don’t know. I’m tired after running a hill workout. Then I read this, making me more tired. He’s one literary dude, though. Very literary, no doubt.

Robert Scott Leyse (14 bucks he prefers you use all three names) says some really un-sightful things here.

Like he says that he attended a “writing event.” Sounded like he had a hell of a good time, too. In his words, I thought, “What does a gathering of clowns spouting pretentious rubbish and thirsting to have their asses kissed have to do with writing?”

Touche, Robert Scott Leyse. “Thirsting to have their asses kissed” is an excellent image, or maybe just a mixed metaphor/dating service for burros. Either way, I love a man who can recognize a clown in disguise (or were the writers wearing their red noses and giant shoes?).  Reminds me of the grandmother in Flannery O’ Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” Grannie wears very clean underwear and knows exactly how to identify “Good Men.” Only takes her a few minutes, too. (Unfortunately, she is soon executed, along with the entire family she leads directly to their collective doom.)

clown on computer

I’ll just jot down this epic poem here, la-dee-da….

One problem I have with Robert Scott Leyse is that the people I meet at “writing events” are scared of clowns. Also they are self-deprecating, witty, humble, interesting, well-read, grinders at the page after page, and know how to drink a shit-load of quality ale. (Those that don’t drink beer I maybe never meet.)

Possibly we attend different conferences?

As an editor Robert Scott Leyse prefers, “love stories, at whatever stage of a relationship…”

Hey! I do too, maybe. So good call, maybe.

Then Robert Scott Leyse reveals his true internal thrumming, as he drops the dark and stormy nights of his intellect onto flash fiction.

Egads! Run for the big tent, you clowns!

On flash fiction (you can hear the disgust steeping in his bottom lip like a tobacco chaw): “It’s a writing exercise, useful in learning the virtues of succinctness of expression. As for it being a viable form… Basically, some corner-cutting smartass thought, “Hey, why waste these writing exercises? Why not doll them up in fancy terminology — call them ‘flash fiction,’ ‘flashers,’ or ‘impromptus’ — and persuade people they’re real stories? That way, I’ll be able to churn out three or four or five of them a night!” Needless to say, I neither read nor publish writing exercises.”

I adore that last sentence. Cutting, shall we say. In fact, fuck it, all short forms are actually writing exercises, especially those damn sonnet things. I mean how can 14 lines be “viable”? Yo, parable, fable, mythology, psalm, and all you annoying hieroglyphics, please go away or at the very least add a whole lot of words, OK? Can we get some more words, seriously? Back up the fucking WORD truck, beep-beep-beep. MORE, MORE, like in a legislature or a contract.

And, yes, you pegged me, Robert Scott Leyse, since I do write and read flash fiction, I am indeed a “corner-cutting smartass.”

[But Impromptus? That sounds like a type of water dwelling dinosaur in a children’s book. Dude, don’t bring that one out in public, just a friendly tip.]

Speaking of “corner-cutters,” and since I just spent a semester with a grad student researching a bit of the inexhaustible history of flash fiction as a genre, other corner cutting clowns would include:

Margaret Atwood, Ernest Hemingway, Langston Hughes, Dave Eggers (a ton here), David Foster Wallace, Tara L. Masih, Pu Songling, Kim Chinquee, J. G. Ballard, Jim Harrison, Kobo Abe, Primo Levi, Angela Carter, Max Steele, Barry Graham, Umberto Eco, H. H. Munro, Don Delillo, Mervyn Peake, Anton Chekhov, Kurt Vonnegut, Andrei Bely, W.B. Yeats, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Luigi Pirandello, D. H. Lawrence, Katherine Mansfield, John Steinbeck, George Orwell, Ander Monson, Mark Twain, Marianne Gingher, Wu Jingzi, Dubus (x 2), Vladimir Nabokov, Oscar Wilde, Molly Gaudry, Agatha Christie, Dr. Seuss, Jaroslav Hasek, Samule Beckett, Jeff Noon, Matt Bell, Aesop, Deb Olen Unferth, Patricia Highsmith, Emily Bronte, Franz Kafka, Italo Calvino, John Updike, Jill Christman, Julian Barnes, Richard Wright, Sherman Alexie, Sara Teasdale, Shane Jones, Diane Williams, Jesus H. Christ, Blake Butler, Maya Angelou, W. G. Sebald, Edmund White, Thomas Pynchon, Raymond Carver, Carolyn Forche, Djuna Barnes, Virginia Woolf, Buddha, Dorothy Parker, Tao Lin (oh, fuck him [I kid]), Carol Bly, Russell Banks, John David Lovelace, Krishna, Richard Brautigan, Ezra Pound, Scott Garson, Michael Kimball, Jewel, Robert Olen Butler, Gertrude Stein, Alexander Pushkin, Joseph Young, Emile Zola, Ursula Kroeber Le Guin, Michael Martone, Hart Crane, Tania Hershman, Joyce Carol Oates, John Edgar Wideman, Rose Terry Cooke, Plato, Katherine Anne Porter, Kate Chopin, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Gabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez.

tolstoy

hanging out, corner-cutting...

I could go on, but it gets ridiculous the number of authors in the canon, and outside the canon, and shooting from a cannon (a la Hunter S.), that have worked in this genre, and didn’t I just say I was tired, and also I need my typing finger for clowning tomorrow morning.

I just got to clown, yo.

Wouldn’t want to be with that “impromptu” crowd, anyway, would you? What’s next, you start valuing other forms of brevity, like say oysters, shots of bourbon, sudden kisses, short films, or the well-cut diamond?

A writing exercise? Flash fiction is to a writing exercise as a haiku is to a pretzel. Something. I disagree, Robert Scott Leyse. And what if a flash WAS a writing exercise? What if someone wrote a story in the shape of an apartment building (Georges Perec) or as a travel guide (Martone) or I don’t know a freaking examination. On and on…or can stories only be one way, “love stories, at whatever…” etc.

[A red fox just loped across my backyard. Is it limping or loping? I mean loping is like attitude. Limping you probably got car-struck crossing highway 69]

Oh hell, I digress, and if you read this blog you know where I will digress to, like a ship drifting to harbor…1.) preheat oven. 2.) slice corn tortillas. 3.) Add cheese and “impromptu” toppings.

Well, I just had some kick ass nachos. It felt good. It didn’t take long, they are often listed as appetizer…so eat my board shorts (those are the very, very, very long shorts, sir, I think you will like them), Mr. Robert Scott Leyse.

Nachos

(BTW, here is an exam, a writing exercise, as you would say.)

Well, what can you do? Not human at all, is it, the flash fiction above…drivel, really.

No, no, know.

Now?

I am going to go relax in the bath.

I will not! For me, a hot shower. I said hot.

And quick.

And good.

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Beer prices are going up. (again)

Here’s what the D-bag at Budweiser says: “The environment is very favorable, we think.” (He means for price increases.)

Here is the D at MillerCoors: “We have seen very strong pricing to date this year, and we are projecting a favorable pricing environment moving forward.”

Can you believe people who work at a brewery talk like this? I am done with these fools. Can you smell the cynicism in the voices of these guys? It’s micro-brew only now (was heading percentage-wise that way anyway). I mean I feel like I am buying my beer from an attorney, and he’s laughing right in my face. Going home and telling his wife about all the suckers he found today in his “pricing environment.”

rcarter0012

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Kind words from The Prettiest Girl in School about Eggs here. Thank you for reading!

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S