Tag Archives: Matt Mullins

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

Lobster Video Game Sedaris Smallmouth Hobart decomP

Life is oddly. You dream about car accidents and dappled nachos. You rub the eyes from your sleep. Stumble into a clutter and hate yourself. For a moment. Bills and printer ink and some cartoon where blue frog-people scream green things. Hi son. It is Sunday and I need to trim the shrubbery–would you like to go bowling? Shoes have wheels now. You go bowling and go to get a bowling alley beer (little plastic cups) and tumble right into a Lobster Zone game. A game with live lobsters. A bowling alley game with live lobsters.

Really, What-the-fuck?

Here is what we know:

1. It costs two bucks to play. You can use your charge card.

2. You use a claw to snag the live lobster. Or: “Unlike any other crane machine, we use a pneumatic system that allows the claw to close beneath the water surface in the tank – not before the claw meets the water. Electrical systems in other machines run directly into the water, risking electrocution of the lobsters.”

3. Here is that damn DFW lobster essay.

4. You catch the lobster and they cook it right there, in this bowling alley type of place most likely known for fries and toasted cheeses and chicken fingers. Possibly they deep fat fry the lobster? I ponder. Little crinkly cups of beer. Four strikes, four spares. There is a lady in here looks like a pumpernickel. Hi lady, my back hurts a lot lately. Hi, she replies, I’m about to smoke a cigarette because I am a fan of The Smiths. On the TV a man pushes another man down. Ok, bye.

5. Here is a video of a successful catch in Las Vegas:

6. There’s something creepy and wrong about this idea and machine, but who am I to say? As a reward for teaching CTY all semester, The Johns Hopkins folks use to throw us all a big-ass seafood party in Rhode Island. Clam cakes, clam rolls, clam chowda (red and white), lobsters. I once ate six lobsters for dinner. Six. I’m not sure the appropriate amount of lobsters you should eat, but it is not six. Don’t do that. OK? Pain. Echoes of. I wouldn’t do it again. I’m actually not sure I would eat another lobster, but I might. I eat some seafood. No other meat, naturally, unless I myself kill the animal, but I digress.

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New August decomP.

I glow The Mysteries by Alexandra Isacson:

She tried to keep herself from blurring into watercolors. Lucent, her blue-violet eyes fixed on a powdered Tarot.

“Yeah, I cut lines with that card,” he said.

Jennifer Moore with Vegas poem. Great title, momentum, flow. You caught a shard there, Jennifer, and you held it to the neon light and it became a prism. We thank you.

Ambivalence is a mumbling groom, focusing his gaze on the bridesmaids;

none of these women are fathomable. Leave the open bar, the pool
tables, the girls willing to do everything.

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I ran 12 miles at an incline yesterday, but who gives a shit?

This dude ran a half marathon (13.1 miles) and drank a beer for every mile! Whoa. Why didn’t I think of this? Yes, he vomited, blacked-out, was nearly run down by traffic, but no pain, no malt liquor or whatever. He says:

Perhaps even more problematic are the goddamned do-gooders and paramedics onhand in case of medical emergencies. They will take your swerving, stumbling, and vomiting as signs of delirium or fatigue, and then get all interventionny and try to take away your beer. That can not happen.

This guy is no “goddamned do-gooder” and you got to like him.

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Lopped a Sedaris book yesterday. Engulfed in Flames. That’s a yell/hell of a title (and skull on the cover) but the book doesn’t really come across as dark and desperate as its possible aim. Sedaris isn’t so glow at titles anyway. The New Yorker often changes the titles of his essays, from book to magazine (or the other way?). The excellent (and truly funny, as in awkward and angry) “Turbulence” appears as “Solution to Saturday’s Puzzle,” a limp and obvious title at best. “Turbulence” has more metaphorical punch, more Clear Winner, and doesn’t force itself on us like a Barbed Bird.

The book took a day to read. This while busy. There were dark and funny pieces, and there was fluff. As usual, the pieces read cleanly–Sedaris obviously edits hard (over-edits at times, some essays so intent on wrapping up in a neat little bow). Sedaris, at his current age, works best when he gets deeper into the bone, into the gristle–his reflections on a skeleton that continually says, “You are going to die.” A sort of Bartleby riff. The cigarette/addiction essay. Or even better when he addresses homosexual issues, and his obvious anger on the subject, a real, earned, valid anger. I wish we could see more of it. I actually wish he would go blue more; he does at readings. He really does. He is in the a-reading-is-different-than-a-book camp. He’s more a stand-up comedian at readings. More a careful writer in his books.

Sometimes Sedaris loses that sympathetic narrator he has always controlled. In earlier books, Sedaris makes fun of everyone, but always includes himself. That’s his trick. Sometimes, in Flames, he comes across as too wealthy, too cosmopolitan, too, well, what he probably is: successful. It’s a tough line to walk. People laugh at fat comedians, etc. People like a narrator who is a bit down, especially in mini-essays. But Sedaris knows this. This genre is Sedaris, so he adds health problems and ineptitude and pratfalls and social errors and whatever mix to make himself a sympathetic buffoon. A smart buffoon. Yes. And I’ll read the words of a smart buffoon.

Sometimes the pieces have a whiff of bullshit, and Sedaris now claims in interviews, “They are 9o something percent true.” If you read enough Sedaris, you’ll respect him for how much is NOT bullshit, but you’ll also see how transparent he is when trying to fake something, an inconceivable coincidence (probably while he’s trying to tie aforementioned bow) or a forced stretchy of lengthy, perfect dialogue.

In the end, you respect the man. He do glow. He’s a bit of a magpie genius. He lives everyday taking little notes, writing them up, editing, then we get these little essays. And he does it again and again. Mostly they are worth reading. Sometimes even truly funny, as in humor laced with roiling clouds, anger, frustration–the real stuff of life, and literature. Sometimes you go: how did he do that? None of this is easy. As we know.

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New Hobart bringing it all tongue of cigarette, hacking cough.

I glow Kristine Ong Muslim.

We figure the leaves will find a way back into the house, where they take more than their share of furniture. The smell of ruin and the lack of rain outside has not permeated the house yet. That must be what draws them to us, draws them indoors where we multiply when faced by extinction.

You take a thing, it expands. You freeze a thing, inspect closely, it expands. One purpose of writing. To see what falls.

I glow Matt Mullins.

Mutiny is the last I remember.  being pitched over.  only to awaken here.   drowning in an Aeron chair.  typing my own ransom memo for the corporate pirates who pay me in somnambulistic days.  unsure how I was fished out and tanked.

The man shreds some sentences here in a fascinating way. As I told him over D golf, “You let the sentences heighten the claustrophobia of the situation. Good job.”

*

I went cross-training. What does that mean? I took my brother fishing. We drank weak beer and caught strong fish. My brother kept catching sucker fish. Nasty. Suckers fight like submerged Cheetos. You just drag them in…

I reeled in the giant sporting fish, the smallmouth bass. It fought like a parking lot. A screeching tire. RAINBOW, RAINBOW, RAINBOW!!!

Then I let the fish go.

word.

S