Tag Archives: sub-lit

Shotguns. Erika Lopez is not Porn. Sub-Lit. People Getting Drunk at Cemeteries.

I am about to go all Heart of Darkness on your ass…deep, deep into the TN woods.


A while back one of my students opined that Erika Lopez’s novel, Flaming Iguanas, “was porn.”

It is not porn. I do not teach porn. I don’t find that porn really even has much theme, or is so much interesting, except for the irony and incongruity of two (or more!) people having sex while they clearly detest each other.

But Flaming Iguanas has a ton of theme!

Today my CW class had a lively conversation about the book, and I thank them for that. They talked about similes and voice and sympathetic character and tone and verisimilitude and point of view and had all kinds of quality questions. Here are six:

1.) Why a novel and not nonfiction (Lopez actually did buy a motorcycle and ride it cross country)?

2.) Why does the American “Road” novel let men say obscene things and treat women like some new drug, but when Lopez does the same she’s “vulgar”?

3.) Why is a motorcycle a better vehicle for a quest narrative than a car?

4.) Why aren’t more women riding motorcycles with men on the back?

5.) How many times can one author use the word vagina?

6.) Doesn’t Erika Lopez seem like she could kick your ass?

yes, she do.


I entered the Rose Metal Press flash fiction contest today. You should, too. Please stop slicing your life into pieces small enough to feed a crow and just enter this contest. Stop gift wrapping on Dwayne’s bed. Stop drinking in the afternoons like a Smiths song.

Here’s are my favorite Smiths lyrics:

What she said :
“I smoke ‘cos I’m hoping for an
Early death

Now that makes me want to paint my nails black and hang out at the local psychiatric hospital where they fry everything and last time I gained seven pounds.


This zombie poem by Jesse Dunstan is very good, and almost great. It does use the word mellifluous, so obviousy this hurt any chances of true greatness. Still, I do admire.

Sub-Lit is nasty. One time I sent them a poem and they responded by firebombing every Christmas guest I have ever had, or will ever have.

Hell, let’s just have a Jesse Dunstan day, ok? This one at Juked is better. None of that mellifluous bullshit. This one makes me crucify my marriage counselor.

Why don’t you read Repair Man by Kathy Fish?

It takes as long as an average person to smoke an average cigarette to read this piece, thus the name of the magazine, folks.


Here is a photo of my friend getting drunk at a cemetery. Why does he do that?

poor guy.


Here is Kendra Grant Malone’s 8th best poem. She thought of it in March while in a taxi and wrote it in August on a napkin at Vini E Ollii Locanda, so that might explain why it is stellar like mirrored guts/pomegranate whatevers.

My Father’s Friends

my father has many
interesting friends
i met this one who
survived for many months
on a life raft
he wrote a book about it
but doesn’t like to
discuss it much
once he was a bit
and he told me
some strange things
one of them being
that while adrift
he developed romantic feelings
about spaghetti and meatballs

another person
my father is friends with
is a woman who drowned
and was legally dead
before she was resuscitated
at dinner she once
told me that
if you can avoid dying
she would recommend
drowning to anyone
she said the pain and
fear were unbearable
until the moment her body
took water into her lungs
she said she stayed like
that for a while before
she died
and that it was
the calmest, greatest moment
of her life
honestly, i look forward to dying again