Tag Archives: Madonna

wigleaf Goodness Ace read Business of Books

Me got some new words in wigleaf. Go read it and you will be happy like corn or something.



Ace yesterday at Pieradise, hole # 18. Aces make me feel like corn. This man (Alen Pier) turned his farm into a disc golf mecca and we are all better for it.


“Obviously, what we hope and we see with the small, independent publishers that there is a younger generation that is not going to buy into the money culture and that has decided that some of these values still matter to them.”

Andre Schiffrin

I just finished this book:


It talks about how media conglomerates have destroyed book publishing. How thoughtful, intellectual, engaging literature and essay and so on have been pushed aside for glam and glimmer and $$$.

It made me thankful to all the awesome Indy publishers out there. There are still people who care. Half the writer/bloggers I truly enjoy more than likely wouldn’t have their books out by mainstream publishers. Blake Butler, Shane Jones, Molly Gaudry, on and on and on. Exciting, sometimes difficult (in a good way. I’ll take my art hard like a knife edge thank you) work I am so happy to be ABLE to obtain, read, pass on, discuss, enjoy.

This is an important book. All readers and editors and anyone else who believes arguments and inquiries and art/art/art are CRITICAL to a democratic society, to a people, pick it up. I think it makes the argument for why writer/bloggers, indy publishers, all of this buzz and whirl and everything going on right now on the net acts as ESSENTIAL.


Self Improvement Week Day Four, READ BOOKS PLAY DISC GOLF


I am reading books and playing disc golf and reading books and playing…

This morning I read The Business of Books by Andre Schiffrin. It be fascinating and sad.

I finished the draft of my essay about fortune, destiny, and happiness. The essay includes a kid with gigantic eyeglasses and also jager shots. I give it a 5.






Does the internet make us only read the material we want? Like, years ago, to read SPORTS, we had to at least glimpse a paper (actual paper, yo, I know yawn, Papyrus, etc. ) full of news and life and classifieds, whatever, etc. Now, you surf online to site-2-site, all of them interested in what you are interested in, relatively (that’s why you clicked there). So then years pass and your worldview is narrowed? Note the question mark. Does this make sense? I keep wondering am I living a media life where I only read online what I already like? Am I seeking out ideas I already have formed?

It’s weird, people.

That’s not growth.

I want to address this later. I am going all post-lite tonight. Tired. Have this excellent bottle of llama I will soon drink.

Been self-improving all week. Well, knackered.


What? I just got bad generational news: director John Hughes died. I am going into a mini-depression for a short while. I don’t even like movies very much, but I will enter an 80’s cocoon for a short while.



Any parent forgetting their kid’s birthday rocks!!


(Sixteen Candles so connected with me. My mom elevates her kid’s Bdays into national holidays (in our/my own small mind). So what? It means I should recognize my mom, as Good Person. The movie taught me that. And I still feel that way today. My mom doesn’t “remember” her kid’s Bdays. She fucking explodes shit and throws Coke cans and Jessica Simpsons at joggers and wakes you with nachos.)

Time to watch every cheesy movie I own 2night. 1980s. Oh, the people who do not know, do not know, do not know that glittery/Atari/Leg Warmers/Koosh Balls/Friendship Bracelet/ Valley Girl/Pee Wee Herman/Pac-Man/ Snow Lights/Depeche Mode, on and on and on on and on and on……………………………………………….: the 1980s.



Zoltar Rocks my Fortune Told 4 Real.

I was wondering if I would write a decent book, so went to have my future told.


They had Zoltar at Hot Springs. Yes, you recognize him from the movie, Big. You can buy your own Zoltar machine and customize it how you like, changing its face, hands, eyes, even the speaker type and cabinet and type of bill acceptor.

An economy model will costs you $5,500. If you go premium Zoltar, with birch veneer cabinet and oak trim, you will drop $8500.

For one dollar, Zoltar told my fortune. First, he addressed me in a type of condescending wilderness of laughs. I got the immediate feeling he despised me and thought me a fool for paying him money. He cackled four times more, then rolled my “lucky numbers” off his pointed tongue.

24: This is not a lucky number. In fact, it is the number of the most depressing day of the year. Fuck.

39: This is not a lucky number. Are you joking? “39” is a song by the rock/glam group, Queen, off the spectacularly dramatic album A Night at the Opera (taken from the Marx Brothers film of the same name). The song “39” tells the  Sci Fi short story of a group of volunteers leaving a dying earth to find a sustainable place to exist for the human species. They do find a better world, but return from their voyage one hundred years later (yet only one year has passed in their lives, due to time dilation). All their loved ones are dead! They collapse in grief and agony. You call that a fucking lucky number, Zoltar? (clairvoyant creep)

21: This is not a lucky number. This is the legal age for drinking alcohol. One drink leads to another. I said to another. Next thing you know you wake up in a picked Nebraska corn field with llama on your breath and your pants gone fishing.

12: November 12, 1912, the explorer Robert Scott and his men are finally found in Antarctica. They are frozen and dead.

31: What? “31 Days” is a book about how Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney rose to power. Thanks, Zoltar, oracle of shit.

04: I guess four is kind of lucky. Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Etc.

Now onto my written fortune. I got the feeling an out-of-work MFA graduate was lurking.

I see a great deal of happiness in store for you. (OK, pretty cliche start. I took this to mean I should walk next door to the Nuevo Latino restaurant and order nachos.)

Waitress with a voice like espresso: “No nachos here.”

Me, in aftershock and disgust: “WHAT?! Well, then bring me the closest thing you have to nachos, and beer bottles growing like mushrooms on the dried manure disc of this table.”


Wow. This actually tasted great and so I calmed down like a TV show. In Hot Springs, do eat here.

Zoltar continued (my comments in parentheses): Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. (I question this but will remain focused) Happiness never decreases by being shared. (Right) So, if an object you ardently pursue brings little happiness when gained (does dude know me?) remember most of our pleasures come from unexpected sources. Share the good news when it arrives. (HUH?)

Has anyone reading this ever graded a freshman composition essay? WTF? Zoltan is clearly drunk on a drink called Faulty Logic Run-on Crazy with a lemon twist. My head spun like a black helicopter after this one, so I went to my hotel and unpacked the lime green cooler of nacho fixings. I routinely bring nacho fixings along when I visit foreign countries (if you have been to Arkansas, you know it technically is), and this time was a bonus: I had just visited my gardener dad. My lime green cooler held:

* one package veggie crumbles.

* one big-ass organic tomato.

* one yellowy wisp organic onion.

* one Mason jar of bhut jolokia. (WARNING! If you are an amateur, do NOT try this salsa. IT IS THE HOTTEST IN THE WORLD, and this is not hyperbole. I couldn’t handle this until a full 5 years into my adoration of agony. However, if you are a heat aficionado, you can buy it here.)

I heated the tomatoes and onions and tofu in microwave. I mixed in jolokia. I poured it over Garden of Eatin’ baked tortilla chips. My tongue did the dance of hard chuckle cocaine while watching an American win the French Open. Something. I suppose this is what Zoltar meant.

nacho home

Zoltar goes on, and my future now takes a bit of a dark turn:

For happiness is like a sunbeam which the least shadow shall intercept, while suffering is often as the rain in spring.

Wow. This really made me want to know who writes these fortunes. I kept seeing this young guy with an old face sitting in a motel outside those jai alai courts in Miami, with a greasy pint bottle of peppermint schnapps on the table alongside a pocketknife and a book of matches with a woman’s named scrawled on the back cover. The ink is bleeding and the woman’s name is MISTY. The man’s head throbs and he has a six-inch gash on his shin. It is an angry gash, hot and pulsing. He tries to ignore the pain as he leans over one of the last typewriters left on planet earth, picking out fortunes letter by letter (he gets paid one nickel per completed fortune, and he averages about three per long day).

I researched the source of the fortunes, a company in Boulder City, Nevada.

They are out of business…You would think if you wrote the future, you would make really excellent business decisions, but I suppose not.

Time to out Zoltar.

Zoltar is a fraud, I want to say that. He’s a plagiarist in my book. Here is the original fortune teller, ZOLTAN. Zoltar obviously copied his look.

Zoltan is a bad-ass, and note you don’t just randomly get a fortune. You play an active role, by selecting your astrological sign, thus leading to a more individual destiny. You also get to pick up and listen to an old-school telephone. I’m sure this felt even more personal, like you just received a phone call from God.


Here is tricked-out Zoltan, so obviously you could customize him, too. I would like to have Zoltan in my bathroom.


The bidding starts at $6500.


Here is a schematic for Ander Monson. Hey, Ander Monson, put this in your Diagram thingy. This is how Zoltan actually tells the future!


Back to mine… Clever writing, this last part of my Moirai, actually taking spring (traditionally, in literature, a device connoting growth, rebirth, hope) and turning it into a time of rain (it is), showers of misery and flood and choking sorrow. As I said: Wow. Thanks, Zoltar, palmist of pain.

What to do?

I ran 5 miles up Hot Springs mountain, hopped in the hot tub without showering, met a Cajun fellow in the hot tub and he told me his business idea (He plans to open a Yelling Zoo. He goes, “You know, like a petting zoo, only you scream at all the animals! It calms your stress.”), dried off in my room, went to the hotel bar, drank a Spaten, a Spaten, a Budweiser, a jager, a jager, a Spaten, went to my room, threw things at the wall, got a knock on my door and a noise violation warning (embarrassing), fell asleep, woke, couldn’t find my phone battery (apparently my phone was thrown and shattered), drove home, told my mom I loved her, went to eat nachos with my cousin at my favorite restaurant, RP TRACKS, where I had BBQ tofu black bean nachos with a side of Fat Tire (and they let me keep the glass, keep the glass, Zoltar! You tea-leaf smelling mother fracker! You phony psychic of shitinits (infection of the shit?); you fraud-o exponential! Big sucks, dude! Tom Hanks sucks. He keeps playing Tom Hanks! That isn’t acting! Your movie sucks. You suck. I hope you get hit by a truck and don’t even see it coming! I hope your crystal ball pops  and withers like a balloon. I hope chicken feathers fall on your grave like the, the…I hope, uh [but I digress]).

calm, calm…(I need to go run now. Seriously.)

nacho rp

Taste like foreordination to me.

I guess I won’t write a decent book.

My favorite flower is the jonquil.

Well. OK.


Hot Springs Arkansas # 2

I came off the Hot Springs mountain and my knees hurt. Throbbed like immobile crowds.  I ran Dogwood Trail and Peak Trail (took me to the observation tower) and Dead Chief Trail (is that an appropriate name for a running trail? Not sure.) and then I drank 5.4 cups of the fortifying Hot Springs water.

The water flows from spigots all over the city. People gather and fill their hands and mouths and bottles and milk jugs. One greedy dude filled a Gatorade cooler.


Citizens gather to quaff the enjoyable water of naked poetic glow.

Now is time for the statistics/facts like water droplets. Spray the statistics/facts now. Where are the facts/statistics?

What are the Hot Springs? Rainfall 4000 years old, now seeping up from the ground. This made me wonder: wouldn’t it run out? I mean wouldn’t the rain end?

Did you learn any cool words? Yes. Hydro-geological, cathead (a type of biscuit), and empadinhas de palmito (I ate Brazilian in a quest for nachos).

I also learned a phrase: “taking the baths.” For 200 years, people traveled to Hot Springs to “take the baths.” I understood this phrase, since I often “take a run.”

How many springs are on the mountain? 47.

How large was your fancy hotel? Really fucking large. The Arlington is vast and Southern Gothic (luxury mixed with decay) and you might see a chandelier juxtaposed with a falling ceiling plaster, a golden leopard statue with a pile of beer bottles, a deck with two pools, a massive spring-fed hot tub, and then right behind the pool a sign in the woods noting that you are under 24 hour surveillance, while, uh, in the woods…

I met this Cajun guy who visits every year and he told me, “Listen son: Don’t be round the hot tub at night.” Uh, OK.


Big-ass hotel


Creepy sign right behind hot tub area

How hot is the water? 143 degrees Fahrenheit.

Did you go to a horse track and touch a horse statue when said statue clearly said DO NOT TOUCH. Yes, I did. It was great. I played blackjack also but everyone knows bringing a $50 bill to a horse track is bad luck. I had a 50 in my wallet. So.


At that temp, how do you bathe and drink the water? They cool it down first, dumb-ass. My bath was 104 degrees. I was thinking about bathing with corn and veggie hot dogs. Could you exit the bathe and then eat a lunch? I’ve been thinking about corn recently.

Did you eat nachos? What do you think? I’ll blog about Hot Springs nachos later. Jesus.

Did you disc golf? You seem to always disc golf.


Cedar Glades Park Disc Golf Course. Full blog here of the course, for those who give a dern.

What makes the water so special?

(milligrams per liter)

calcium 45, silica 42, magnesium 5, bicarbonate 165, sodium 4, potassium 2, sulfate 8, oxygen 3, carbon dioxide 10.

Did you have your fortune told? Yes. That’s for later. I had my entire fortune told. Wow.


Bambi Tenderloin or Maybe Read New Dogzplot Now.

You get the venison tenderloin and you butterfly the tenderloin and you broil like golden warbles 2 minutes, flip, and you add the thin as fingerprints layer of pesto sauce and broil two minutes and add the fat big firm tomato and add the slice of electricity hollow provolone and there you go, there you go, 100% organic steroid free no hormones never caged since I know I arrowed it with a bow at 10 yards quartering away (most ethical angle for arrow penetration/lethality/double lung/heart) and I kill what I eat and maybe less abstract not like an aluminum ball passed through a drive-thru window or cellophane and the blood is on my hands like maybe eons ago and that’s how I am trying/caring to and also vegetarian is good if I shoot no deer I go vegetarian and tonight it tasted like big as God pale raspberries on a 14,000 private party cobbler of rhinestone hats all creamy.



The new Dogzplot is here and it is chunky loaded! This is exactly why I love online lit mags, an eclectic mix, arriving in my computer box of groove.

–There is an interview of Adam Robinson I find rather good. It is a mix of useful info and then the usual Dogzplot humorous questions/answers/riff, so a lively read. I prefer this format to the earlier Dogzplot way, which can sometimes ONLY be quirky question and answer, without writing/publishing/process content by the writer (example Mary Miller). I prefer the style/pop/glow of Adam’s interview, but that’s just me.

–There is story by Amy Holloran I liked because I love persona fiction, ones where writer inhabits persona or even just visits with persona and maybe relates to, or changes with, or persona as big ol’ objective correlative, like here, where narrator is, “I am alienated. Want to leave my situation. Want to fly. Help me, Amelia Earhart.”

Another example, from Smokelong Q, the excellent flash, “Raymond Carver.” This kicks ass: Dan Chaon actually writes a Carver type story with Carver in the story, as character, and in the way the story as homage and satire and all meta-crazy form=function. My point is persona fiction can be many things.

[I actually wrote a letter story once to the same flying and lost woman, Amelia Earhart]

–I love bar stories and Paulette Livers brings it with this one. Why? Language lined liked rows of beer. Author brings the words in big-ass foamy sentences of glass.

shambles over and slumps into the booth katty-corner

The bicycle folds into the churning water like walnuts in chocolate cake batter…

etc. etc. etc.

People break up so easy in the movies. Like Jenifer’s A’s character will go, “Look Stan, I realized something today while throwing a football in Central Park with a black lab montage: you’re just not the man for me. The marriage is off.” And Stan will shrug and go, “Uh, OK” and walk off. Anyway I was just thinking this after reading Donora Hillard’s “Devolution,” a break-up poem thing I do love. Seems real here, not spangly.


You think relationships are easy? Well, fuck you in the note of C!!!

I also love Shriparna Sarkar’s “Ebb.”

I didn’t enjoy the line “ocean of stars” because it seemed ordinary, but the others did not seem ordinary and anyone who can grill venom, who can write, “when their venom is grilled/folded up” is OK, better than OK with me, so I just said I love this poem.

The others poems in this issue I just like.

Great issue of Dogzplot. I am thankful. Made me read and think and read and then, uh, think. So. I hope everyone knows to read online lit mags exclusively for 3 months then go back to print if you want but be sure to read both because why catch a comet-bus line way that is already gone or something. Twitter sucks.


I got my Hayden’s Ferry contract today and they pay. Wow. They pay money. Wow. OK, beer money for me. I once wrote a story and was paid a sweet one thousand dollars. That will never happen again. The Denver Post used to pay me to write about crayfish. That won’t happen either. Not sure where I am going with this. Pay me or not, I will write something once in a while either way.

BTW, I used to think HFR was the slowest lit mag in the mega-verse as far as contacting a writer for an accept/reject/whatever, but I guess they have changed a few things. Their correspondence has been crisp. So heads up. Send them something.


I need to run 10 miles this morning. My hamstring feels like fuck. My left foot throbs like the story she told herself at the kitchen table. Painful. Oh well. Shut up Sean stupid-ass waaa-waaa ( me no like complainers) of and go run.




Get Hooked on Fishing not on Drugs!!!

Me got some new words at Writers’ Bloc, a long piece about Writing About Writing About…(infinity mirrors…)


I have no idea what to do for dinner. I was thinking about cutting corn tortillas into wedge shapes and maybe sprinkling them with cheese, beans, and jalapenos. But would it taste OK? I have no idea.


It did indeed.


It is almost time for fishing season in Indiana!

Bluegill (SmokeLong Q)

Other Fish (elimae)




It was not an outhouse resting upon the imagination.

It was reality.

An eleven-inch rainbow trout was killed. Its life taken

forever from the waters of the earth, by giving it a drink of

port wine.

It is against the natural order of death for a trout to die

by having a drink of port wine.

It is all right for a trout to have its neck broken by a fisherman

and then to be tossed into the creel or for a trout to die from

a fungus that crawls like sugar-colored ants over its body

until the trout is in death’s sugarbowl.

It is all right for a trout to be trapped in a pool that dries

up in the late summer or to be caught in the talons of a bird

or the claws of an animal.

Yes, it is even all right for a trout to be killed by pollution,

to die in a river of suffocating human excrement.

There are trout that die of old age and their white beards

flow to the sea.

All these things are in the natural order of death, but for

a trout to die from a drink of port wine, that is another thing…


Sean Lovelace Reviews Mary Miller’s Big World




Shaking our heads…

I want to start there.


If Big World was a beer, it would be the type of beer that carpet-bombs hangovers in the form of bowling balls (shard/chunks/stilettos off; the type of bowling ball you find often abandoned in creeks, alongside upended shopping carts, those mud-clutched femurs, skulls), big ol’ Moon Pies echoing upside your forehead. The characters would not bowl. They would watch others, disinterestedly, like observing flies on a windowpane. They would sip from those little crinkly bowling alley cups, and the pitcher urine warm, same cloudy hue, the sides streaked greasy. These characters would not bowl, not ever. They would watch, watch so closely (as in exactly) the pain of others (that they don’t [can’t?] express), that pain a moiling presence, or a caught truth, like hangover sweat seeping through pores, like what ifs, or what wheres. But no bowling. No lift and fling. No fucking way.

“I sat outside with him while he drank his bourbon and Coke and watched the pigeons circle” (Leak)

Big face of the stupid morning. Salty, like blood, or glass added to the beer. Something added to the beer, as if the beer itself was now done, exhausted and boring, not enough. What should we do to the beer now? Put glass in the beer. Like that. But who puts glass in beer? Shut the fuck up. Drink. Drink. Drink, and add glass, crushed glass–make it sparkling, all reflective and sped up like lightning…Do it feel glow now? It do, I suppose. If you don’t live these few minutes, few days, how you feel in your gut and blood and pulsing crackle, what’s the point of feeling at all? (this option also explored, soon).

(These characters caught up in what they should do, versus what they don’t want to, societal vs. self, as in a Burroway paradox: individual and universal. Like that. I know someone reading this can relate. Ndeed.)


[Do I sound like D.H. Lawrence? So?]

{Why did his narrator freak out over the snake?}

To teach U something…

“We feed him shots of vodka and amaretto to catch up…” (Even the Interstate is Pretty)

(note: you might want to be careful what you catch up with here, since nothing moves forward)

A white sleet of alcohol choking down the chimney of your reading house. Clogging it. Filling your hostel/temporary world, all tracheal lodge, cigarettes and pickled eggs and fuck. Onions and bourbon, etc. Life seems to accumulate, to drift up on these characters. One day they look around and go, “Shit, my mirror, false friend. It’s deep and cold now. I am going to freeze.”

(Seeing self in others. Seeing others drink will make a person feel less alone, less insect)

“I’m also at the bar, also drinking something frilly…” (Not all Who Wander Are Lost.)

What I mean is glow/slow headache and waking up alone on a mattress, in low hotel, free will intact and spinning those springs. Maybe itch of done-something. (Amazing the greasy sheen on a hotel TV screen. How did it get there?)


“There were only four left and the bottle of whiskey was almost done.” (Fast Trains)

[Does this seems scattered, complicated? A neat drinking game would be to read each story and take a drink every time a character does the same. Now leave me be.]


Get that lime off my beer.


(If you need a lime on your beer: 1.) Stop reading Mary Miller. 2.) Stop reading my blog.)

B vitamin deficient uptake penance meal: BBQ chicken fried chicken fried. Deep fried Snickers pizza. Meat & 3. I seriously suggest the 15th Street Diner, Alabama

(Sex is fun. When I mean fun the red clock numbers do pass. I mean something is inserted so I guess something happens. Time passes. Friction.)

Shotgun. Where is my shotgun? Fuck, it’s gone, and I smell gunpowder on my index/middle fingers. Somebody get me a big-ass mug of beer. I said full, please my lady.

We thank thee.

“He fixed my drink, put his elbow on the bar.” (Pearl)

Mason jar of. Drinking aluminum pyramid. Recession proof. Common sense proof. Proof, as in sociological evidence–Mary Miller writing of a man, not Man (the writer’s way of whispering).

“She likes wine coolers, she likes daiquiris…” (Aunt Jemima’s Old-Fashioned Pancakes)

Single cold can of beer sold in gas stations.

(Sex again.. This time we just go oral because of monthly practical considerations. My jaw hurting. I have a quickening technique. You can watch the news and do this. Look at the news. Another kid thrown off a bridge, drowned in a bathtub. Jennifer way pissed at Jolie, at Brad, etc.)

“I drink a beer and then another…” (Temp)

Happy hours not so happy.

“I’ve had a few, he said, cocky now.” (Big World)

The best beer is free beer, followed by stolen beer, followed by cold, followed by cheap, followed by sex-for-beer. Followed by beer where someone finally shoots you (more on this later).

“…until he gets up and uncorks another bottle.” (Full)

(on and on, and on, which is how drinking really is, on and on)

“‘We won’t drink this week,’ he said, which was what he always said…” (Animal Bite)


Like a Tuesday returning every week. Like that.

Alcohol as a way to pause, shove away things.

“Tonight I’d like to talk to someone who doesn’t have a story.” p. 78

To look away.

“Fuck your sandwich.” p. 86

There’s so much crazy pain in these pages. I am talking night sweats, real pain. Fingers lopped off like excuses, etc.

“I can’ t think of anywhere I want to go less.” p. 150

So much to avoid, decline, to blur.

“…that if he ripped me open I’d look like the inside of a wall…” p. 198

To slam, to shotgun, to kill–to piss away.

Like that.



I am really pleased how many reviews mention the size of this book.

You douche bags.

Let’s see:

Average size of a Shakespearean Sonnet: 114 words.

Sonnets written in Shakespeare’s Lifetime: 154.

Total words in sonnets: 17556 words.

Cujo, lame-ass novel by Stephen King: 80,000 words.

Fuck + Off, I beg you.

I am done with this issue. I am done. Shut the hell up.



Big World has a religion, a code and cult. Like poetry, look to the last line, read backwards to unearth the core.


“I watch my hands pretend they’re birds and then I take a sip of my coffee, and he takes a sip of his and we’re sort of pleased with ourselves, with what feels like a revelation isn’t.” (Not All Who Wander Are Lost)

(falseness of sustaining suddenness–reality of everything fades. Hegel, final words before death: “Only one man understood me. And he didn’t understand me.”)

“He piled it all high on his bed, and I thought of the things I’d pile on ours, how I would keep going and going until the bed finally gave way under the weight.” (Animal Bite)

(I will call the narrator, SHE. SHE would get a lemon, make it into lemonade, then mix it with gasoline and pour it into her eye socket, her eyes (hoping to fill her skull). Ignite with Zippo trick. SHE fears good. Or feeling good. You offer your hand, she wants it, to twist, disconnect from the hand, for kindling on a memory, funeral pyre.)

{much of this metaphorical. There is no gore, only true existential horror.}

SHE would not use the word pyre.

Sometimes I wanted the narrator to take her life out back, to offer to the creek, the forest, to do something Native American, to accept the life and death and struggle of who we are. To hug meaningless. To pray to flux, to death, to the nothingness of dead leaves. To just break away into flakiness/realness, as some form of exercise…


(Offering of respect. This book is so detached it may be brilliant. I can’t say. But God, you might find this book clogging your sink, artery, the hollow cavity of your next Wal-Mart chicken, the shrunken rat inside your clam chowder (You bought clam chowder this far inland?? Well, you are  a fool.), the thing you contact CNN and sue over.

It is a presence.

It is a presence.



Big World is a nihilist text. Are we allowed to say that anymore? Hell, half the reviews I’ve read of this book haven’t even mentioned a central thesis–alcohol, in all its manifestations; that this narrator is walking dead and empty, waking to drink (a form of shooting yourself in the head, though the bullet takes years to travel, one novelist says {I have noted this elsewhere, so those that notice, uh, no shit}), but still alive somehow, still watching (this word said again for emphasis, repetition a poetic tool)–so aware, aware–the core of HER pain–and no one says it, so I figure it’s all good now, I can say what the hell I want. To miss the alcohol?? There are other excellent themes here. But to skip our national hypocrisy, love, adultery, peace, wrestle, hate with alcohol. Who is zooming who, folks? Fuck it, that’s not even the core.

I want to say Big World is the first Nihilist text (and I have read many–they used to be in vogue [not so much now, and BTW, do not misconstrue: this isn’t Mary Miller’s purpose, to write a nihilist text]) since The Stranger (sweet and sad  Meursault, our narrator, who smokes cigarettes and feels up women at the theater the day of his mom’s funeral) that I have felt an interest, attachment to the narrator. This is Mary Miller’s art here. What separates this book. For some damn reason, I care–in varying degrees, but always care–for HER. I mean the HER of these stories.


1.) SHE (narrator, not writer–don’t make that simple, easy mistake) is female. Not sure if anyone’s noticed, but 89% of the shit we talk/blog/teach/ shall I go so far as “like”  is male-centered writing, voice, even author (though not as relevant to my point, the author). I might have initially had a Lorrie Moore response to this book. Finally a full collection of female narrators, in 1st POV (though Moore is 2nd, obviously). I look/need female narrators, as weird as that might sound. It deepened, my feel, my attachment as I read  (I don’t blog a book this hard unless it deepens, for example).

2.) The nihilism is a result, not an origin. A result of acute observation. Ignorance is bliss, they might say, but these women are too perceptive to sustain ignorance. They watch. The core of their pain is that they do NOT turn away. They keep absorbing. So where do they turn? The abyss. I mean this, not being pretentious. They embrace the abyss. Finally, we return to out birthright now. And the abyss has no footholds, no bars, handholds. It is, by definition, deep, as in inescapable. These characters aren’t getting out, and they are not so interested in the process. What is out? No. What is?



Good answer.

3.) In some alternate world, I wanted to date the HER. I bet this book is going to get this a lot. And then I hope the book slaps me (and all readers seduced by the nihilism), and says, “Fuck you!! I mean, really fuck your longings for outward appearance versus inward significance, the PAIN of these pages–FUCK YOU!!!” Who wouldn’t want a bourbon with this HER? Who? I hope this seduction is addressed in other reviews, by smarter individuals, to engage the larger context I am aware and somewhat ignorant of, I do. There’ something…

4.) Sometimes I wanted SHE to barbaric yawp. To kick some ass. To break kneecap. I hate to be naive to a complete book but I took this photo in my office today and I wished it for the book (this may be a sign of insanity). This isn’t a criticism, obviously. More a longing. Any book that gives me a longing, cool. I’m actually wanting a sequel.


I wanted the SHE to run over someone in the book, honestly. But hand them flowers an instant before.



In “Fast Train” SHE is shot, and is so relieved (in many ways). SHE wants to be shot. She has wanted to be shot her whole life. This story I will call flower, the mystical, the microcosm. Wow. These character want to be shot, to be wounded, but in the back of their drifting (ETOH) minds: Do I even deserve the cost of the bullet?


End Thing:

I’d like to end this review by saying I have bought several copies of this book. I handed them out the way I hand out hallway “What’s up??” comments and/or Lorcets to close friends with “stomach pain” (a nebulous term–usually means the person is lonely and want to just take Lorcet, a break up, or cable went fritzy that night, etc.). Either way, at least 19% of the people who have started this book have returned it, shuddered, and said, “Wow. I couldn’t go there.”

I translate: They saw themselves in this book.

That is a compliment, Mary Miller.

Rock on.

People, buy her book HERE.


It worth. Or why? I just said why.

So fuck

fuck off