Tag Archives: Meg Pokrass

double-leg rotel dip takedown

Why not make a story out of ordinary, found incidents, the way some artists make sculptures out of wrecked cars or fabricate fabulous images out of dirt, blood, and rust?

Gina Barreca


Why do authors abandon their books?


Review of new Jim Harrison poetry. Harrison is nests of wheat or sand or Rilke  magnesium and the bones of magnesium, fluorescent bird bones, Pop Tarts I feel 33 X 33 cents. Sometimes I glow orange to handful of Pringles orange as I read him. From a Harrison poem:

We are parts. What part are you now?
The shit of the world has to be taken
care of every day. You have to choose
your part after you take care of the shit.
I’ve chosen birds and fish, the creatures
whose logic I wish to learn and live.


Ben Marcus goes all:

In my first novel, just published and probably soon to go out of print, since it is miserably bad, I fail to live up to the promise, however weak, suggested by my last book, if you could even call it a book, which has a regrettable title and almost no memorable scenes at all.


Concept: Internet as form/function tool. Tool for creating fiction. Artifice scaffolding of hurry-skurry words.

Facebook stories (flash) by Lou Beach:

I KEEP MY FRIENDS IN A BOX under the bed, categorized and separated, secured by blue rubber bands that originally held broccoli. One day I removed the lid and saw that they had all turned into little bones. I strung them together into a long strand that I looped around and around my neck.

Facebook stories (flash) by David Backer:

My love looks at me and my heart breaks out of my chest. It jumps on the table and salsa dances with our salsa, mash-potatoes with our mashed potatoes, and cuts a rug with our butter knife. Joy is ours. Then my heart gets greedy: opens its veiny mouth, eats my love, and leaves us both for dead in the diner, dancing its eating dance out the door.

What you want to do is add layering, as in echoes or nachos. The form allows for boiled eggs hidden within the driftwood, maybe all of this in an abandoned cave or stomach of pizza delivery boy, below a shopping mall, on Mars. Layering. Why do we Facebook? What is status? What is like? To like or to be liked? Our culture will happily discard things, but for eons we keep telling stories. Isn’t a Facebook post always a story? What was the author’s intent? Friends, that’s a good term, too, especially in the Facebook usage of the word. Who? What do we say and why?


What a non-word. Similar to freedom or nice or Cracker Barrel. A nothing.

You go and teach workshop students to do a lot more than “like” something and then Facebook comes along…


Flash fiction is still/still/still here, folks. So? Sew. Quilts. Notebooks, scribble within them.


Chaco types furiously on her cell phone keypad, stopping only to take an occasional puff of her Seven Stars menthol cigarette. But she’s not sending a text message. She’s writing a novel.

Chaco is becoming one of the most popular mobile phone novelists in Japan.


A story as an online Alzheimer’s forum.

Posts: 529

Posted September 19, 2008 8:06 p.m.
One more time, folks. Does anyone know about the cage thing Molly mentioned?”The first quality that is needed is audacity.”  —Winston Churchill

Posts: 111

Posted September 19, 2008 8:43 p.m.
I believe it’s called a tent bed. My father had one in the hospital after he fell and broke his hip. It zips around the bed frame (zippers on the outside so the AD patient can open it). He was always trying to get out of bed to wander and other restraints aren’t legal. At first I thought it seemed inhumane but the other option was to put his bed a few inches off the floor and I didn’t want him catching a draft and the germs off people’s feet. And in the end, it calmed him. The option to wander was taken away and that helped him to relax more, surprisingly.

Posts: 530

Posted September 19, 2008 8:45 p.m.
Do you know if you can buy them commercially? That might just work for my dad.

Posts: 13

Posted September 19, 2008 9:02 p.m.
Sorry it’s taken me a while to respond. I’ve been trying to think of a connection between moon (Moonie) and the bird’s name, and I’m fairly certain they’re nightingales.

Posts: 46

Posted September 19, 2008 9:19 p.m.
Ooh, that would make sense and sounds about right. Way to go, NatureNut. Molly, you have your answer!

Posts: 22

Posted September 19, 2008 9:46 p.m.
Molly, I’ve been following your story and was so hoping you’d discover the name of the bird. My grandma has AD and doesn’t recognize me, which is bad enough. I can’t imagine a spouse doing that. Anyway, I’m so happy you found what you were looking for. I hope it offers some comfort.

A story as an online time traveler forum.

At 02:21:30, SneakyPete wrote:
Vienna, 1907: after numerous attempts, have infiltrated the Academy of Fine Arts and facilitated Adolf Hitler’s admission to that institution. Goodbye, Hitler the dictator; hello, Hitler the modestly successful landscape artist! Brought back a few of his paintings as well, any buyers?

At 02:29:17, SilverFox316 wrote:
All right; that’s it. Having just returned from 1907 Vienna where I secured the expulsion of Hitler from the Academy by means of an elaborate prank involving the Prefect, a goat, and a substantial quantity of olive oil, I now turn my attention to our newer brethren, who, despite rules to the contrary, seem to have no intention of reading Bulletin 1147 (nor its Addendum, Alternate Means of Subverting the Hitlerian Destiny, and here I’m looking at you, SneakyPete). Permit me to sum it up and save you the trouble: no Hitler means no Third Reich, no World War II, no rocketry programs, no electronics, no computers, no time travel. Get the picture?

At 02:29:49, SilverFox316 wrote:
PS to SneakyPete: your Hitler paintings aren’t worth anything, schmuck, since you probably brought them directly here from 1907, which means the paint’s still fresh. Freaking n00b.

At 07:55:03, BarracksRoomLawyer wrote:
Amen, SilverFox316. Although, point of order, issues relating to early 1900s Vienna should really go in that forum, not here. This has been a recurring problem on this forum.


The one where Christopher Hitchens allows himself to be water-boarded.


Form and formulas and fakes.


Ken Baumann with best photo of the week. A post at that rag HTML DWARF. Not sure its origin. I was thinking Iceland then Photoshop or maybe a lunar obligation? Who knows, but still very effective.

Poem thing kinetic by Keith Nathan Brown. Pop and slash. Well glow.


Ever received one of those stupid-ass emails that say FAILURE NOTICE, meaning your email bounced back, most likely due to some error on your part or the recipient’s. (With me, it’s usually my mailbox is full.) Anyway, Failure Notice can be a fictional structure, too. does not like recipient.
Remote host said: Do you want your copy of The English Patient?
Unresolvable address: alexj@hottype.com.
Giving up on:

Hi alexj@hottype.com. This is the automated qmail-send program [], at yahoo.com. Okay, so maybe I haven’t been completely upfront with you here. It isn’t just your address that is unresolvable. If only it were that simple. It’s just that joan@pja.com is looking for somebody with certain core attributes. A job, for example. Someone whose bed has made it off the floor. Someone whose life ambition is not just to own a crepe truck. Please try to understand. It’s not you, it’s joan@pja.com.  I was unable to deliver your message. This is a permanent error. Sorry it didn’t work out. And no, she doesn’t want her goddamn copy of The English Patient.


I am stoked to be in the new Stoked. I write about Velveeta. Because I like it.


And we all remember The Crystal Gavel, a literary magazine you can find at Amazon’s comments section. (As an editor of the magazine, I encourage you to submit. We are really in need of flash fiction and/or any really long poem you might have around the house or office. We love long poetry.)

Or a story might be an Ebay auction. Selling water sipped by Michael Martone. Well worth click. Go ahead.

(I’ve done the Ebay thing in the pastly)

Again, layers. How we bid and sell and buy, the words. The auction of our very lives. Etc.


XTX goes all Neti Pot

WARNING: Neti Pots will kill you.


What happens when a book doesn’t sell?

Books sell?


Midwestern Gothic interviews me.


Christmas present: E-book versus Book-book.

“I contend that even if people have e-readers, they want to give a physical book, because it’s so impersonal giving e-books. And this was actually proven with several customers I’ve helped.”


I bet this book is damn good. Need to buy.


A fucking amazing Gary Lutz interview at The Paris Review.

To what degree does your personal experience influence your stories?

To no degree at all, practically. I suffer from E.D.—Experience Deficit. Not much has ever happened to me, and I have never had much luck in making anything happen myself. Anyway, my personal life seems off limits, even to me at the center of it. Somebody should sell pocket-size lifetime diaries with just a quarter-page for each entire year—I could surely get my money’s worth out of one of those.


Have you read this lottery essay? Wow.


Hi, Timmy, I’m Tom. I’m what they call a quarterback.

Back in the dark days I taught composition classes. I know quite a bit about composition, so I will now pass on 13 and one half tips. Consider this an early Christmas present:

1.)   Golden coins. Do not offer students golden coins of praise. Once, as a child, Jeff Goldblum thought of herding. To begin, the village gave him one yearling lamb, as is the way. He met an Englishman out exploring in the glens near Posk. The man offered a golden coin for the lamb. On the walk home the coin melted in Goldblum’s pocket; it was chocolate. Jeff was never allowed a sheep again. Is this the way to face an empty sheet of paper?

2.)   Do not strive to get a student’s goat. A goat is a great thing, like the wind. If the wind is in the house—flickering, whispering, singing above the stove—then do not fall asleep. Now is the time to compose! If the wind kneels at the doorway and stares at you, let the wind outside. Just let it go.

3.)   An empty sheet of paper is like a watched pot in its boiling. Do not eat a soup of green potatoes. Do not eat a soup that will float rocks the size of a man’s fist. If you question a soup, and the soup itself answers—do not eat that soup.

4.)   There are some roads not to follow.

5.)   The tortoise gets a haircut but no one notices. Sad.

6.)   Jeff Goldblum stands in the center of The Swinging Bridge. He is shivering in his shorts and sandals. Why? I can’t say. He kneels and stuffs his mouth with old snow. Why? I can’t say. He sways to and fro, fro and to. Why? The wind of Lon. Do not eat old snow.

7.)   Hot tea will make them babble. They will speak of Composition as the raven speaks of rhinestones. Glitter, glitter. Why smash your own cooking pot? You ever tried to mix red wine with hot tea? Don’t, unless it is New Year’s Eve, a big party, you feel sleepy, and Mia Farrow is in attendance. To please the others, at midnight, you might leap from Confucius’ front porch, twirl in the air, and land sideways on your heel. It is broken. It still haunts you today. In the cold it throbs like an ember. A heavy clay textbook. This is what I mean of hot tea—serve in moderation.

8.)   The tortoise asks his students: What change have I made in your life? Silence, but then front row girl raises her hand. “Well, I don’t try semi-colons anymore.”

9.)   Why avoid quaffing clichés? Composition is a walk in the park. Yet Confucius says many parks have sand kept in cages, and dark secluded corners of shrubbery where unspeakable acts are the common way. Then as easy as pie. Yet legions are they who can not bake a pie worthy of eating.

10.)                    The tortoise knocked on Confucius’s door. His heart jolted; no one likes a sudden visitor. He grabbed a pitching wedge, and peeped out the window. “What do you want?” he asked. “A recipe,” the tortoise said. “A structure. A simple arrangement.” “Simple?” Confucius said. “Theconstellations are simply arranged, yet infinite.”

11.)                    Some teach the import of purpose. But who can say the function of another? Does the lemur know the microwave? What of popcorn? The bee makes a perfect hexagon of wax, yet requires no abacus or ruler. Why is my mouth so dry? My eyes glassy? I wish knew the correct technique for pushups, but I don’t. And never will. You ever seen a green blackboard? Even the raven wonders: When, exactly, is the best time to caw?

12.)                    An essay surrounded by block quotes with low-lying white space in the centre is called “Heavenly Well.” When an essay paragraphs through drafting and the Works Cited resembles a covered cage it is a “Heavenly Prison.” Sections where students can be entrapped in mountain gorges and cut off are called “Heavenly Nets.” Where the margin is sunken, the font grotesque, the corner dog-eared, it is called a “Heavenly Trap.” Dust spurting upward in high straight columns indicates concentration, revision of language, or possibly the approach of chariots.

13.)                    Much of this will not be understood. But that’s ok.


And Brian Oliu might write essays that are Craigslist posts.


‘Why is hip-hop stagnant right now, why is rock dead, why is the conventional novel moribund? Because they’re ignoring the culture around them, where new, more exciting forms of narration and presentation and representation are being found (or rediscovered).’

David Shields


I love Meg Pokrass pretty much all the glow. She is the roar. Check out Holiday beers.


Here is a review of watching golf on TV. OK.


This Pumpkin Farmer flash at elimae is mojo glow. Well done, Rhoads Stevens. Screaming horses, indeed.


Tao Lin continues his drug-related Photoshop art. People dismiss Tao Lin because he is, well, Tao Lin. But I think this Photoshop/drug thing is often mildly funny to very funny. Well done.


EE be glow like vertebrae of diamonds and cumin.

The woman, who is Diane Williams or a Diane Williams wannabe – why pretend otherwise? – is talking to a person or being talked to by a person.


And Jim goes:

I want to bother you with some recent nonsense; a classmate dropped
dead, his heart was attacked at thirty-three. At the crematory
they lowered his body by fire-resistant titanium cables reminding
one of the steak on a neglected barbecue grill, only more so. We’re
not supposed to believe that the vase of ashes is the real him.
You can imagine the mighty roar of the gas jets, a train coming
closer, the soul of thunder. But this is only old hat, or old death,
whichever. “Pause here, son of sorrow, remember death,” someone once
said. “We can’t have all things here to please us, our little Sue Ann
is gone to Jesus,” reads an Alabama gravestone. But maybe even Robert
Frost or Charles Olson don’t know they are dead. That would include
you of course. It is no quantity, absolute zero, the air in a hole
minus its airiness, the vacuum from the passing bird or bullet, the
end of the stem where the peach was, the place above the ground
where the barn burned with such energy we plugged our ears. If not,
show yourself in ten minutes. Let’s settle this issue because I feel
badly today: a sense that my teeth and body are rotting on the hoof.
I could avoid the whole thing with a few drinks—it’s been over
eight hours—but I want to face it like Simon Magus or poor Faustus.
Nothing, however, presents itself other than that fading picture of
my sister with an engine in her lap, not a very encouraging item
to be sure. I took Anna who is two for her first swim today. We didn’t
know we were going swimming so she wore a pink dress, standing in
the lake up to her waist in wonderment. The gaucheries of children,
the way they love birds and neon lights, kill snakes and eat sand.
But I decided I wanted to go swimming for the first time and wanted
to make love for the first time again. These thoughts can make you
unhappy. Perhaps if your old dog had been in the apartment that night
you wouldn’t have done it. Everything’s so fragile except ropes.


free oxygen: feckless, fuckless and a dime short.


…when one abandons plot, one realizes that the structure of plot is simply an arbitrary collection of rules, suggestions, protocol. So you just find another set of arbitrary armature. Number. I often use numbers–the hours in the day, the weeks in a year. The number of planets. I am writing a whole book of short fiction now based on the number four. Fictions employing the four seasons, the four winds, the four corners, the four chambers of the heart, the four humors, the 4H Club, the Fab Four, the Fantastic Four, the four railroads on the Monopoly Board, Four Calling Birds.


Drugs? Someone tried to sneak crystal meth over the boarder. How? In their NACHOS.


5 great texts (that could have been greater with a tiny edit) and 9 thunks I glow.

1. The Dead By James Joyce.

Poor Gabriel. Dude’s all up in his party galoshes and doesn’t even realize he’s not the Master of Ceremonies–he’s the clown. Poor little corn syrup of a man. And holy fucking rising action! Longest rising action in the megaverse. Dude’s heart goes to the guillotine in SLOOOWWWWWW motion. It rises, rises…then chop! But there’s a missed opportunity. Here we have the mondo holiday feast:

A fat brown goose lay at one end of the table and at the other end, on a bed of creased paper strewn with sprigs of parsley, lay a great ham, stripped of its outer skin and peppered over with crust crumbs, a neat paper frill round its shin and beside this was a round of spiced beef. Between these rival ends ran parallel lines of side-dishes: two little minsters of jelly, red and yellow; a shallow dish full of blocks of blancmange and red jam, a large green leaf-shaped dish with a stalk-shaped handle, on which lay bunches of purple raisins and peeled almonds, a companion dish on which lay a solid rectangle of Smyrna figs…

Blah, blah, blah. When the piece should have read:

A fat brown goose lay at one end of the table and at the other end, on a bed of creased paper strewn with sprigs of parsley, lay a big-ass pile of nachos, striped with a Wisconsin pepper jack/sharp cheddar blend, and garnished with refried black beans, Renfroe’s Salsa, and slivers of pickled Yatsafusa pepper, a neat paper frill round its shin and beside this was a round of spiced beef. Between these rival ends ran parallel lines of side-dishes…

Waaa, waaa, but nachos were invented in 1943, as we all know. So WTF? Joyce can go from forced realist epiphany to stream-of consciousness flow to Finnegans Wake, a book that is either full of shit or multi-level madness/brilliant punnage and word lollygag. Hello. A man who can write Ulysses can easily introduce nachos 25 years before they are invented. It’s called creative writing.

[Solemnly he came forward and mounted the Formica. He faced about and blessed gravely thrice the tower, the surrounding country and the awaking mountains. Then, catching sight of Stephen Velveeta, he bent towards him and made rapid crosses in the air, gurgling in his throat and shaking his head. Stephen Velveeta, displeased and sleepy, leaned his arms on the top of the staircase and looked coldly at the shaking gurgling face that blessed him, equine in its length, and at the light untonsured hair, grained and hued like corn tortilla. Oh, fuck, it’s snowing again outside! Are you kidding? Blar me.]

2. On “Patience” by Tyler Gobble (over at decomP)

An interesting meditation, this poem. We certainly all know patience. How many of us wish our ovens would pre-heat more quickly? That our lettuce would grow up through the snow? That a statue of a yellow beam of iron (modern art?) at the university would sink into the ground and then into dust (as it must eventually)? And that young lady over there, the one with cheekbones like a crop-duster, what day will she hand me a five dollar bill or at least ask me for two beers on the roof of her basement? But this line:

The dog sits waiting with the treat on its nose while its owner stuffs himself with Ding-Dongs and Cheetos.

There is really no reason to mention Cheetos here, Tyler. A cheese-flavored cornmeal snack, here, in this poem? No, no, no. And question: why does Cheetos suddenly replace the interpunct? For decades, it was Chee-tos. Then now Cheetos? Who does that? Imagine if we all went around replacing our interpuncts? It’s chaos.

What the fuck? Sara screamed. Where is your interpunct?

I threw it away, Tom said. Mother said she could smell it in my room, so I…I threw it away.

Sara gave him a look like maybe he was chicken broth. Well, she said. Then we’re done.

Etc, etc. Fuck Cheetos, uh, Cheet-os, uh Fake-os with milk. Dog biscuits with neon below deck orange stains. Blar me. Or:

The dog sits waiting with the treat on its nose while its owner stuffs himself with Ding-Dongs and Nachos.

Same syllabic glow. Better food.

[I just saw Tyler last week at a restaurant. Did he eat nachos? He did not. Did I eat nachos. Yes, I did.]

3. Mary Jones, “One of us Wanted it More.” (elimae)

Kids going all wild, all clutch and grippy. Then:

“What can I give you that would make you be good?”

“It would have to be big.”

I didn’t have money for big.

Might I suggest something BIG for not very big money? Like:

[Kids, this little gnome has been all around the world! And now he’s here! Can you kids name the capital of Djibouti? It’s Djibouti! Ha, ha, don’t you know the world is diabolical and we’re all headed down the same swirling drain? So eat nachos–they are true to you.]


[Kids, your dad’s friend and I are going to take a “nap.” Here’s a silver dollar. Here is a copy of printed instructions on how to make nachos. Follow each step, carefully. Now go down to the gas station and get some chips and cheese and a can of salsa and maybe a Fosters Oil Can for mom. ]


[Oh, you’re one of those kids? Need hand-crafted toys, huh? Your dad drives a Subaru, right? Here, here’s your damn hand-crafted nachos. No owls were killed for their blubber in the making of this shampoo, etc etc. Go play. Hurry up! The earth is catching on fire!!]

4. This next text could not be better. It’s what we call an outlier.

Would you like to be a best selling author? Huh? I mean what are you doing? Would you like to be Brett Easton Ellis? Make some paper? Do some blow off the ass of a parrot? Have your books protested? Wear those wool-collar coats that sort of look cool and affected and maybe then cool again, if the air is right, like if your breath is roiling. Drive a big house? Get all meta and use your name in your own books? (Now that is clever!) Meet Charlie Sheen in a bathroom? Hunt down any poet who uses the word corn silk? Get laid, though you are neither gay or straight? The answer is yes here, the answer is yes. So how do you do it? Really? You’re asking me this, really.

Me yawning me flipping slowly though a copy of Lunar Park [or any other Easton Ellis book] me slightly annoyed…I give you a look, I say, “Here, read this, page 41:”

The three of us, out in the hallway, were suddenly approached by a very tall and sexy cat holding a tray of nachos.

or later:

“Terby’s mad,” Sarah whined again.

“Well, calm him down,” I said, glancing around. “Bring him up some nachos.”

5. For many backyards I’ve read the poetry of Trey Jordan Harris. It calms me. Often my stomach will think of fullness or richness, or both. He has a poet’s touch for image, for float, he can make the world drift and often it does drift and so I feel OK.

Example here (elimae)

Trey writes poems about marriage. I pretty much dislike literature about marriage, but his poems are often an exception.

Three here:

But this Diagram piece is too much. He’s keeps his idyll, his reflection he glows so well, that captured moment. But might I make one small edit? I feel it will charge the poem and turn this very good aspirin of yole into a mighty, mighty cop a couple of sea-born cleavage blasters!


Plant the flowers eat
them for dinner. Cut
the lawn gather the clippings

eat them all for dinner.
Buy the house own
the house. Look at the
lilacs the hand-shaped

lilacs. Ask if they are supposed
to be shaped like hands
and eat them for dinner.

Turn the ceiling fan on
low slow your breathing
or metabolism. Later we will go
to the fair and everything will
be still

until we eat nachos.


9. I glow this essay and I don’t care how old it is. So, if you comment, that is old, I’m going to say, I know. French kissing is old, as is water. The earth is old, the earth is really just bunch of dirt and dust, and it’s old, yet still we enjoy the earth at times except for those times we do not enjoy the earth.

9. I glow hats made of corn that you can actually fill with salsa.

9. I glow the words of Sarah Levine. Read this flash at Smokelong. It will take you as long to read this story as it will to smoke a cigarette–thus the term, and title of the magazine, Smokelong.

Did you read the flash? It is conceptual. An idea is presented and carried along–possibly here, it’s liberal guilt (admitting it while satirizing it) and it builds, see the structure there, and then turn. If you are going to write flash, please understand the turn. You don’t have to use it, but know it. It comes right after the climax, here:

I jumped onto the kitchen chair and said, “Have you lost your mind? Are you threatening me over a fucking cheese slicer?”

Turns can be wonderful. They can make the entire flash. Here look at this Eggers turn. Yes, yes, it is Eggers but relax. He’s not going to come slap you in the Converse. It’s just his words. Read the whole thing, please. Then check that last line:

In her kitchen, she saw many things she would like to eat. On the counter, there was a bunch of new bananas, yellow as a Van Gogh chair, and two apples, pristine. The cabinet was open and she saw a box of crackers, a new box of cereal, a tube of curved chips. She felt overwhelmed, seeing all of the food there, that it was all hers. And there was more in the refrigerator! There were juices, half a melon, a dozen bagels, salmon, a steak, yogurt in a dozen colors. It would take her a week to eat all of this food. She does not deserve this, she thought. It really isn’t fair, she thought. You’re correct, God said, and then struck dead 65,000 Malaysians.

Levine drives the turn like the sea drives a salt-plank. Glow. And wonder what they’re going to use that cheese for? Huh, huh? Don’t make me knock your ass out.

9. “The Serious Writer and Her Pussy” by Meg Pokrass.

As a serious writer, in mid-life, she must master speaking the word “pussy” with confidence and authority. She practices doing so out loud for her next book store reading. The serious writer is starting a book tour to promote her new novel which is bursting with ‘pussy’.

Indeed. And I’ve been reading Damn Sure Right. And you should, too. Meg Pokrass brings the flash. She eats away my shins, my underwear, and my taxidermy. She’ll eat yours too. Buy the book, freak-os!

I am beginning to notice my favorite flash writers are female. Elizabeth Ellen, Kim Chinquee, Amelia Gray, Nicolle Elizabeth, Kathy Fish, Lydia Davis, Diane Williams, Lindsay Hunter….I could go on. And on. Might be just me. Might be women are better at writing flash? Don’t know, but I’ll keep thinking on it.

[BTW, every time I type the words Amelia Gray I misspell some aspect of her name. I bet she has dealt with this her entire life.]

9. I like to write about Velveeta:

Velveeta Thuds on the Roof

In the dark. It shimmers in its wobble. Nothing between them but the cooling itch of shingle. It likes any angle or gravity suck. To embrace sway. It wants to push against itself—much like we. (Yesterday, sober, I dropped a wine glass of Cheetos and laughed at my own sudden blood. Under sink/in trunk of car/beneath futon—I have no hand towels.) On the back of its neck, thoughts gleam. It boasts its mind is a butterfly ashtray. As for doubt or nocturnal chills of the head, it claims to know very little. Yet it corrects me: shooting stars are not stars, you ask for shotgun slugs never bullets, to fall over is indeed a form of exercise. Oh, the type to wear an orange shirt. To perch above my Sunday sweating back and say cryptic, unhelpful words like, “If you are really going to dig that hole, dig two.” Or maybe: “Look at you, whipjack! Gargling coins again.” Packages arrive. Days of rain like fingernail taps. It sees me on my knees, vomiting in the tall, wet grass and says, “You are an empty tomato shack.” I think its mind is an ashtray full of butterflies. (Ah, so drunk now. Just to carry my head like a damn fiddler. A marble spinning round the rim of shattered glass, waxy hot pepper bits, charred People magazine—I mean to say the kitchen sink. What is a tomato shack?) A meteor claws the fleshy sky. In the dark. Velveeta thuds off the roof.

9. Funny words at PANK. Thank you, Jospeh Cassarra.You made me spill my coffee. I spilt my coffee. Spilt is not a word. You made me spill my coffee. You made me move.

9. Jason Ockert won the Dzanc Books Short Story collection contest.

Woot, woot. Here is an interview with the man.

Here is a story so you can bite his knuckles.

Good glow, Jason. Looking forward to the read.

9. Justin Bieber eating nachos.

Whoa, whoa. Hold up. OK. Did you see that? I could care less if this kid’s career is chomped by a murder of dead crows, but he does one thing correctly: HE MAKES HIS OWN SERVING of nachos.

9. My publisher and I have been working hard this week on the cover of my upcoming book, Fog Gorgeous Stag. The process has been glow. I enjoy the process. It’s a give/take/idea thing. It is indeed creative energy. I hope you will like the cover. I do. I will not give you hints about the cover. OK, I will give you one hint about the cover: yellow.



10k All Eating the Singing Corn Dogs

I caterwhomped at 5:30. The air was blue. Like the blue of juxtaposition. Outside no crickets did _______. I might have sensed a bird but is this a Murakami story? No. What if I threw in a talking monkey? No. Juxtaposition. What is that? Clive, tell us.

Clive: “You throe one thing than another you end up with a third lose thing that is different that the first two things once the right time passes. Like when I make beer at the house.”

Thank you, Clive.

Mark picked me up to go try the 10k. We drove to Indy.

I said, “Mark, you used to always get lost but now you have GPS and never get lost.”

(Mark’s GPS voice is this sexy Australian. It made me want to meet her and play Scrabble in some cafe in Guam.)

I said, “We are going to run this motherfucking 10k.” Or something like that. Something from the throat and heart and left foot.

The day dawned sunny/cold, little wind. I would say the day was like a bleeding fish.

Why did the Indiana State Museum charge us for parking? You don’t charge runners for parking. I felt bad since I didn’t have any money and so Mark had to pay $4. That breaks a driving etiquette rule, folks. The person NOT DRIVING pays for parking. That’s obvious. So I felt badly about that one.


I tucked into some fast ones, dropped hammer at 3-5, reeled in some folks. Finished arms pumping like a goat.

After I finished I cheered Mark home. I yelled, “Come on, Mark!” He finished strong. I like to see a runner finish strong, that attitude, like, “Not only I am going to finish this race, but I OWN this race!”

You can look up results here if you are just bored.

Mark ran his first 10k. He finished 235 out of 1700. I am/was proud of Mark. He ran the race in 50:40.

I ran my many-teenth 10k. I finished 11th out of 1700. I am/was proud of me. I ran the race in 38: 07.

After the race we played Disc Golf.

Then I went with some friends and ate a metric ton of Japanese food and drank a metric ton of sake. Here the debris. I like photos of debris. Wait, the debris photos were lame like dog collars. Ok, what about during the glutton?

I look at this and think:

1.) I need a haircut. I look scruffy and/or freakish.

2.) My two year old is on an iphone. At two years old!!!


(Hi, I’m two and cannot interact with humans, la-de-la….)

Cute kid though…


Today’s mail!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my. Disc nerd alert.

(Holy shit check out this Crystal Z Buzz!!!!!)

Crystal Z Buzz

Crystal Z Buzz

Crystal Z Buzz

I’ll throw one like Tim Donaghy. I mean throw it FAR.

[My favorite sushi was the yellow tuna. I can’t explain that color of yellow. Uh, Clive…

Clive: “Mee maws hands. They shake like that the sky this man painted. I remember the highway said they would buy so much of maws land for the big Dysberg out there to the airport and needed dirt would make her a pretty pond but she said go strait to hell. Then they just come back anyway. Grandpa said they had domane. They never built that pond neither.”

Thank you, Clive.]


I need to go run 20 miles today.


Ever year I try to win this flash fiction contest where you get a case of beer. For two years I have been a finalist. This year? Finalist again, but no suds.

Cellstories featured my Elvis/cocaine story. Thanks.

The Red Room is out. I am in there. It be sweet like Book Fairs and muddy shoes.

Red Room full of Bill Kushner, Jayne Pupek, Maurice Oliver, Lewis Warsh, Changming Yuan, Ruth Altmann, Stephanie Gray, Nicole Cartwright Denison, Leonard Gontarek, Andrew Mossin, Lydia Cortes, Lynn Levin, Meg Pokrass, Elizabeth Thorpe, Miriam Kotzin, John Grey, John Vick, others.


Odd little story by S.H. Gall over at decomp. Good work with tone, with wistful thought, with brick lodged in the head. Also S.H. Gall is a cool name.

Memphis story! Alex Pollack at Hobart. Sweetness. Ah, Libertyland, the memories…

The man references the Zippin Pippin! Well done, sir. (Alex blog here)

“You’ll buy a funnel cake,” Jessica says, “take two bites, say it’s too sweet like you always say, and throw it away like you always do.” She’s mad about last night, when I microwaved a hot dog wrapped in tinfoil; it left a blur of electric blue and a trail of flames.


I have these business ideas. Like today, I was thinking, “Singing corn dog.” A singing corn dog. People like corn dogs and they certainly like music. It would be like a corn dog ipod or something. You would carry it proudly like a torch, all the while your favorite song drifting on the air like corn dog essence, like fried oil or fried pig or fried corn flour tunes of glow. I think it’s a winner idea.


Late at night I watched Amy Winehouse London 2008 in HD. Never do that. She was drinking beer and slurring songs and picking her nose and wrecked out her wonderful mind. I couldn’t imagine being in that audience. Most interesting were the looks of all the professionals dancing and playing instruments behind her. It was like the loud kid in class who sits on the front row and shouts out all these crazy answers and the kid never gets that EVERYONE BEHIND YOU IS STARING AT YOUR HEAD IN A WEIRD WAY.

The musicians has this look like, “Play your instrument, smile, don’t notice the slurring, stumbling singer. Don’t notice. I need this paycheck.”

You want some of me?


Clive, what do you think of farming?

Clive: “He says a farmer gets it bad both ways. A farmer sells the beans and corn for what people say . The farmer buy the seed for what the people say. Thats how he means both ways. Aint  no reply my grandpa says. A man can’t punch a big system. Grab it down to normal size.”

OK, Clive, getting all political!

Love you, man.