Tag Archives: Kyle Minor

run run like a mechanical Velveeta

I went down thar into the hollow I did. Logs the size of Sara. Stairs up and stairs down. Sucky mud. The Eagle Creek Park 15k trail race. I ran that thar 15k over mud and water and weeping skulls of deer. I caterwhomped, I did. I caterwhomped over a log twice and now my L thigh all sore like a thrown crow. CAWWWCK it do so. Ruffled bones.

RESULTS:

Time: 1:01:08

Place: 17th overall.

Post-race meal: nachos.

Thanks Qdoba! I didn’t know Qdoba didn’t suck. I assumed they were blar. The chips are not blar. They were tight, crispy like aspirin tablets, fresh as the smell of corn gasoline. Perfect balance of corn, salt and fat. Yet can they support the weight of serious nachos? I doubt. So, if you stick with salsas, Qdoba chips are glow. I give them a 6.86 on the LOVELACE SCALE.

Trail running is odd the miles flow by because you aren’t thinking miles you are thinking don’t-bust-ass look at that Bald Eagle holy shit hundreds of wet wooden steps was that a bear? don’t bust ass what a pretty blue fern or was that a Mountain Dew bottle?

The trail runs seems to hanker back to when we were chasing something down or being chased. There is something remembered, recollected. The runner is very present and eons old.

Trail runners are simultaneously ugly and attractive. Covered in mud and beauty.

I prefer trail runs that are NOT loops. This was a loop, 3 times. Two laps I had to keep yelling out, “On your left!” or “On your right!” as I passed people. Annoying, and half the time you shout out, “On your left!” and the damn person jumps left!

The trail run offers the instant opportunity to fall. To fall and tumble is a rush, I’m sorry, a rush to avoid but then embrace. A man fell in front of me, a sort of odd, clunk fall, his legs somehow wrapped in a bog, then he sort of collapsed/crumped at the knees and rolled down.

I slowed and said, “You alright?”

He said, “It happens.” He laughed. It was a muddy laugh.

He’s right: It happens.

I have fallen on rocks, down boulders, while crossing mossy streams, etc. It hurt but I am glad I fell. I climbed something as I fell.

*

J.A. Tyler emailed me about his new book and said:

If you don’t like my book I’ll write you another book on the inside of that book. Order it, read it. If you don’t like it, ship it back to me & I’ll write a new book for you on the inside of that book. Yes. This is how much I believe in these words. A MAN OF GLASS & ALL THE WAYS WE HAVE FAILED.

This email made me think several things:

1. Couple years ago I remember when Molly Gaudry challenged J. A. Tyler to a publishing battle, like who could publish the most in one year or something. I think J.A. Tyler published 40012 times and Molly went a tad under 300 or so. Lesson: Never challenge Tyler when words are on the line. He will eat your typewriter.

2. J.A. Tyler could and would write an entire book in the pages of another book. I mean he could do it. The man makes Joyce Carol Oates look lazy.

3. J.A. Tyler is everywhere. Example, I sit at a desk right now. In arm’s reach, the new Broken Plate–J.A. Tyler has three texts inside. Oh look, right here behind my computer, The OFFICIAL CATALOG of the LIBRARY of POTENTIAL LITERATURE. Page 1: J.A. Tyler.

4. I have here a pink booklet with the letters MLP stamped across. Boy & She by Jessica Newman.

5. I need to order this new J.A. Tyler book, me thinks.

*

“We are told, for example, that Ralph Waldo Emerson, while he disapproved of laughter, did occasionally allow himself to smile, but he did so only with his eyes closed.”

Top poem about muffins I’ve read this year: Jeff Alessandrelli brings it a Diagram.

*

This Kyle Minor CNF interest me. The way it collapses and stretches and then goes spiraling out. It has a vast structure, yet folded into a tight steel canister, thus its pressure.

We begin with the trouble, but where does the trouble begin? My uncle takes a pistol and blows his brains out.

Also I just glow Gulf Coast.

Also years back Kyle Minor and I were drinking incredibly dark beer and he told me a story about a rabbit. Then he said, “Don’t steal that rabbit story.”

*

Last week I did a 20 miler on the treadmill while listening to an exhaustive three chapters from a long, long book on Siberia and it just now occurred to me how running 20 miles on a treadmill and Siberia are similar.

*

Teens from around the county spent the night dancing, playing basketball, and eating nachos, all while raising money for community charities. Been digging this cheese lately:

Bake corn tortillas. Add cheese.

Add to your favorite green nacho bowl.

Or even use your backup bowl. (You do have a backup nacho bowl, right? Bought mine a few years back from a BSU student in ceramics. Thank you, BSU student.)

*

I am late to this party but The Human Mind by Angela Woodward is fucking Mondo Glow!

These flashes wind and set piece break apart piece and take us into tunnels and along the edge of Gothic arches. Sort of like philosophical throwing of glass. Ideas sharded into our guts and eye-meat. Victorian prose spliced with birds made of neon pink. Odd, in a great way. A book that you put down, and think a while, then pick up and read, and think a while. A machine, a lovely machine. I will now go find and read more Angela Woodward.

Title story at Elimae.

*

BSU IN PRINT FESTIVAL is next week!!!

Tina May Hall, Debra Gwartney, and Paul Killebrew will read from their recently published books. The event will be followed by a booksigning and reception.

S

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.

*

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.

*

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.

*

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.

*

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

Writers Eavesdrop Hate Mail Project and I Write about Flash Fiction Yo.

I have an article/blog thingy on FlashFiction.net. I discuss the history of flash fiction, clausal implicature, structural concerns of, The Universal Question, and also Kelly Clarkson. I think if you go read this article you will most likely write like a fish attached to Autumn and flapping in the breeze, or I guess I mean waving.

*

HATE MAIL DRAMATIC READING PROJECT

My recent Flame War on flash fiction (which I do NOT want to revisit, but you can go revisit all the details here if you so, sow, sough desire) has been made into audio art. Very cool site. I think the Kyle Minor one is probably the best and I did much enjoy.

*

writer/bloggers eat squirrel…

DSC01389

Took Little Man with me to Wilbur Wright DNR. We hiked hill and dale and creek. We hunted squirrel. I made a spectacular .22 rifle shot. Then we had to cross a valley and a creek to find the squirrel. Little Man was a trooper. He was excited I think. We dressed the squirrel. We put it into buttermilk and breading. We fried like grandmother back in the day cathead biscuits go eat turnips raw with salt pocket knife slice right out the ground well water gravy. We put the squirrel on a plate with rice and corn and peppers.

DSC01393

I think Little Man knows now that meat was something, something alive. It does not just appear on a plate. I think people should know that, get to know that simple reality (or go vegan–another excellent choice). But I digress.

Am I the only writer/blogger who eats squirrel? probably not. That is a presumptuous thought.

*

Writers always eavesdrop, meaning this is what we do, either for material or an ear for dialogue or because we are intellectually curious or maybe because we are nosy/creepy bastards. Something. Today I didn’t need to eavesdrop to capture a couple great scenes, all out loud, very human.

First was at the beer store. I dropped by to buy a bottle of beer the size of Benson, England’s most loved fish, RIP. This fucking fish is incredible and if you don’t fall in love with this fish we don’t need to meet for disc golf or fartlek workouts or stimulating discussions of the awesomeness of flash fiction and all rivers in general and the new dive bar in the area and why is ketchup so perfect and also hot sauce adds to life and did you hear about that one truck stop off H 69 with the level 4 nachos that taste level 9  I swear and Regis Philbin, Regis Philbin, the empyrean muse.

3309OB1

Benson

Anyway, I stand in line at the beer store and wait for this older gent to count out my change (I used cash. Always use cash at beer stores, unless you are a phony), and this other grisly, dusty, obviously hard-working dude walks in with a bright yellow vest, you know, road crew (he’s even driving the typical, white, Chevy state IDT truck–for some damn reason, every road worker, in every state, drives a white pickup truck), etc., and he yells out to the cashier, “What you doing, Joe?”

Joe: (immediately, yelling now, with customers in the store) “Playing with my dick! You want to come over here and help me?”

Road Guy (yelling out): “I can’t I don’t think, unless I brought my tweezers. At least that’s what your little boys said.”

That one shut Joe down for a second, which you have to respect. You know the cliche about guys bonding over giving each other shit, but this was an impressive level of back-N-forth, parry and thrust. It felt off-the-cuff, but it could also be ritual. I don’t know this beer store that well, and it is on the highway. But still, very good material. I mean it included inappropriate levels of voice, inappropriate levels of voice in a public milieu, the term dick, which has been slowly working its way out of vogue, an ironic invite to assist in onanism, a quick and witty and off-putting reply (a sure sign of rehearsal, or intelligence. I am going with intelligence here. This guy could have replied this sharp to several volleys on alternate subjects, I feel) that was also a reference to the medical condition of micropenis and incest concurrently.

I took my change and walked out the door.

A few minutes later I was at the grocery.

I am in Xpress lane. The elderly woman in front of me plops down two giant yellow/white packages of Puffs (for noses in need) tissue. The young cashier does her Hello (bing) there, you (gung) hap-py pee-pul (splat)”-the splat being the drawer flying out thing as Updike would say.

And the transaction moves along–we are in the Xpress lane, remember?–and the elderly woman says, “Well, these were the last two Puffs on the shelf. I guess you won’t ever carry Puffs again.”

The cashier smiled. You know, first response, ignore old people. Pretend they never spoke.

The woman (voice lowered now, in mourning?): “Yes. You will never have them again. No more Puffs.”

The cashier (looks at me. Gives me that here-we-go glance, and I look away. I’m not the cashier’s ally. Hell, listen to the woman, OK? She’s in front of you, she’s a human, she’s lived five times your life.): “Ma’am, I think we will still carry Puffs. No one is going to stop carrying Puffs.”

bard_box

The woman: “No, there were only two left.”

The cashier: (now in the loud, slow voice, the one where you treat someone 70 years old like they are 3 years old): “We will restock the shelves. We always restock the shelves. They just forgot.”

The woman (resigned, takes her change): “No, they are gone. They won’t make them anymore, and it’s the only ones I like. Thank you, dear.”

Walks off, dejected.

I pay. Go to my car. I was thinking on my drive home, the fatalism of that. To think that an item off the shelves temporarily means it is gone forever. It seemed to suggest a life of knocks, of knock downs. Things are bad now (shelf out of tissues) and will naturally get must worse (no tissues again, ever, period). Not sure where I am going with this…but maybe both of these scenes appear later in a story? Except in my story, the old woman pulls a fillet knife.

*

I just ordered AM/PM by Amelia Gray. I am excited to see and hold and read. Yes, I am behind on this one, but so? Can I read what I want at my own fucking pace, please?

(Geez, Sean, why so defensive?)

I am going to go run now. Run like a best friend’s closet. Dove sneeze. Something.

S

Laurie Lindeen and Kyle Minor and Nikole Brown, oh my.

I think I might be an idiot.

I went to dinner and drinks with a bunch of writers last night and I have a writing blog and I didn’t even bring my Didge Cam. Well that was dumb as boiled tortilla chips. It spleened me. I am going to blog about hanging out with these writers, but sorry no pics. Instead I staggered around my house this morning and took 3 random photos. You will have to imagine these photos are something else entirely. I need you to do that. I need you to do. I need you to. I need you. I need. I.

dsc00438

This is Nikole Brown and Kyle Minor and Laurie Lindeen giving a reading at the BSU art museum. What a room, huh? We are very fortunate to have access to this vast imaginative space, as you can see. It is whole hog awesome. The reading was a 8.9, way up there on my Dedicated Lovelace Scale of Badassness. I hope you see that Nikole has an amazing smile and that Kyle is thoughtful and often edgy and that Laurie said Judy Bloome was an influence on her writing.

(When various Heads of State arrived at the White House, Lyndon Johnson’s chef, Henry Haller, was proud of how his “steaming nachos adorned a long buffet table decorated with yellow roses…”)

Also:

Kyle read fiction about a young girl being chased through tobacco fields. (spoiler: she might get caught)

Laurie read nonfiction about boxcars and hobos and a very beautiful Nordic painter. (spoiler: the hobos might set her car afire)

Nikole read poetry about a character peeing on the side of a house (but in a good way). (spoiler: Nikole might have quaffed a Blue Moon at dinner. Huge-ass slice of orange. The orange slice was larger than the beer glass. It was like a monolith of orange. It was the largest slice of orange I have seen so far.)

I was happy as a dead pig in the sunshine. I felt skint. A good time. These were all good people I felt and their words felt like maybe spring is nearing. Maybe near.

(Pour an undrunk bottle of rum over the kebabs. Add rhythm and allspice to the nachos. Serves 14.)

Next we had dinner, and two Sycamore Review editors joined us. One was from Iran. I asked him, “Does Iran have separation of church and state?” Then I said, “Are Iran and the U.S. fighting a cold war in Israel?” I’m not sure what I meant by these questions. He answered them all. He answered them rather well.

He said his taco was too hot. He started sweating. I thought, “He sure is sweating over that taco.” He was really sweating. I had a friend who would sweat that way over hot wings. It was pretty much endearing. I left thinking this in Tao Lin quotes: “That was a cool guy. I wish I could have talked with him more.”

Another editor said she ran marathons (like me) and then after the second marathon she had two seizures and stomach problems and I guess almost died, like that. We talked proper preparation for a marathon. I told her, “You should get a doctor who is also a runner.”

She seemed like she really wanted to run another marathon although she almost died after the last one. I could totally get that. I felt close to her then, spiritually. I felt much obliged to talk with her.

(Nachos are not cowpoke food. That is a misrepresentation of nachos.)

Out of nowhere someone at the table said loudly, “That guy Blake Butler makes his money writing about poker. That’s how he makes his money. Did you know that?”

(I did not. I was startled to hear the words Blake Butler. I had not blogged in a few days and felt detached from blogging and someone yells out Blake Butler. It almost put me off my feed.)

We ate fried pickles and I ordered…yes! Check out these fucking nachos!!!

dsc004391

Can we say salsa?? Do you notice how the chef actually correctly placed the jalapenos? Finally!

Next Kyle said, “I am done with my readings and so CAN I GET A QUALITY BEER IN MUNCIE?!” And Laurie said, “Hell yeh!” (She is a rocker at heart. She was/is member of Zuzu’s Petals.)

(Caviar doesn’t have to be beluga for certain upscale nachos. Long story.)

zulu

(Laurie in middle here)

Uh, Kyle and Laurie, you are preaching to the exponential choir now. I said, “Drinking? I’ll take you to the Heorot!”

I took them to the Heorot.

We drank quality beers. We drank Magic Hat #9 and Two Hearted Ale and some IPA I forget. I think it had the word dog, or either wheat or maybe inscrutable malice in its title.

(A flattened waffle is basically a nacho. I mean you can take it that way, with tenaciousness.)

At the Heorot Daniel Bailey walked up and spilled his flask on me.

I said, “Dude.”

He laughed. I love Daniel Bailey’s laugh. It’s like a Motherlode of mandatory triggers. He said, “I feel like my whole life is nachos and I wonder who made them, and are they enjoying the experience?”

I nodded.

Here is my final photo. This is Kyle singing Karaoke up on the stage! That is Laurie smoking the cigarette in the background! That is me on the saxophone!!! Wow.

dsc004371