Tag Archives: Velveeta

Starbucks I Say is Writing or Writhing

Well, I’m sitting at a Starbucks in Downstate New York but it might be Upstate, I’m not sure actually. The gorgeous are gorges, etc. I glow all modernist, all Perec or Baudelaire (though I couldn’t feel less French except for current scraggly ‘beard’ [cough, cough] and my tendency to glow Woody Allen and Bill Clinton and ceramic dachshunds and walks along most any river), just capturing notes of life and motes of life and all that is cardboard anti-hot device or caffeine or California roll-colored North Face jacket or archery bangs. Words are meant to capture, like poetry, or the cough of fresh fish, or a certain way of flash fiction. Snagging a scene, for example. This could be a great exercise if you teach. Sit and capture. Or if you don’t teach: sit and capture. At Starbucks, I capture two giant photos of waving, green fields on the wall and that makes no damn sense. They might be acres of corn or maybe wine or just Photoshop. I can hear everyone’s order because the only seat is astill the ordering stall/slaughtering chute. I have no Internet and I need Internet so here I perch, sun-off-snow sort of bathing in passing as intensification suggesting hoarding words, a leaping (sloth!) on itself the kitchen drawer of that sky separating us from the hemline or nearly touching features (stop that metaphor!), Velveeta, no less THINGS than drawn splashes of processed cheese across that sky. Messy writing, that previous sentence. The Starbucks is very busy and very Starbucks. It has a line of 8 but the line NEVER ENDS. It is always 8 people, replaced by 8 people, replaced by 8 people. Back-n-day, I actually used to be a registered nurse and the company gave me Starbucks stock and so I used to own Starbucks stock but I let it go because I loved it. I now regret that decision.

Yo. I wrote a text about frogs.

Yo. I wrote a new chapbook with frogs in the title but really it’s all about Velveeta. If you like Velveeta, give it a whirl.

How is Starbucks? It looks exactly like this:

huff nachos 2

They are hiring. They ask two questions on a chalkboard:



But I warn you: these people are working HARD. (Though, in some jobs, working hard is better than working slow. Is Starbucks that way? I do not know. I had a job once where all I did all day was watch a train tanker unload. Hook up the suction. Sit. On chair. Upon gravel. All. Day. Good job for reading books. Forgot what I read, but most likely that was the summer of racing forms and Richard Brautigan. The company I worked for was a chemical company, if you must know. It took chaff and wheat or whatnot and mixed it with acid (arriving by train)  and other things and made a polymer. That very polymer makes Olympic running tracks and tennis shoe bottoms and missiles and yawns between the glass in your car windshield so the windshield will not shatter, if you must know, as you drive it into a tree or someone’s forehead or whatnot. I ate my first fried bologna sandwich on that hot Memphis summer. What else? Watched people steal things. Watched a guy get a 14 CENT check, which he tacked to the wall of the break room to make a point about “The Man.” (Stealing was also to subvert The Man.) Worked with a guy named Maxine. And Chester. Watched my friend fall into a vat of chemicals. (His body turned an eerie red, like glazed.) Was laid off during one of the depressions, the George Bush one, the one where the cars weren’t made so they didn’t need any fancy polymer in the windshields and we went to war with some country who bought our missiles so couldn’t sell for obvious patriotic reasons and who buys fancy tennis shoes when you can’t pay rent ? so well so go home Sean Lovelace, go home. I did so.)

Here is me eating a bologna sandwich:

denver disc 1

Everyone is polite in this Starbucks. wow, it’s busy. I’d take a photo right now but don’t want to be that guy. No one is buying mugs or beans or Cohen Brothers movie CDs or really much fru-fru food at all, but the liquids are moving. Moving. Moving. A river.

Here, let’s go live: I’ll describe everyone in line, but it will have to be quick impressions because this place is vibrating like a lobbyist.

* GRANDE NON FAT MOCHA: green cashmere sweater. Matching cashmere cardigan with imitation jade buttons that match her real jade choker. Has: Plumpish, snowing skin. Naturally pink-pink lips turned eggplant with MAX Factor lipstick. Nose that flares gently up and out. Valley black eyes. Wide-set. Excessively lashed. Smells like gasoline. Said something I missed about Christmas and a dog. Reads Diagram magazine.

Here’s a photo of her elbow:

nachos b

* LARGE ALL YOURS MY FRIEND: beanie hat, fluffy jacket brown, looks like he rifles medicine cabinets and picks up roadkill off the, well, road. Pops his neck like a knuckle and checks his fake-sincere smile in the heart of a Beyonce CD. Does not purchase the CD.

* VENTI PEPPERMINT NO-WHIP DECAF ICED COFFEE: WTF?? That’s quite the order. Possibly wearing black-n-white pajamas. This whole leggings thing has me confused, so I don’t know. (Get off my lawn!) Great legs. Legs of a panther, I’ll give her that. Gives off an odor of wet artificial grass, but possibly that’s the odor of Starbucks.

* SALTED GRANDE SOMETHING: You can salt shit here? Purse is huge and has green spikes. It looks like it’s fashioned of dinosaur. Wears UGGs the color of sand. Told the world to keep the change.

velveeta still life

* TALL WATER (ha ha ha ha): Wears tight black Lycra pants with huge red red red bag. What’s in that bag, Alaska? Who the fuck orders a cup of water at Starbucks, quit trying to out-do us with your minimalism. I’m being mean, possibly.

* DIDN’T HEAR HIS ORDER: Dressed as if heading to Everest. BRIGHT blue jacket shoes built for kicking ass at a show attended by four screaming teenagers flash-mobbing fail at the mall. Stomach appears unsteady. Drinking a drink contemplatively.

* I WANT A SPRITE: Kid in crisp red and white soccer uniform. I’m suspicious how clean this uniform.

* VENTI UH DECAF ICED COFFEE: Penn State baseball cap jeans undistinguished black jacket. Seems pretty much normal whatever that means. No one is normal.

* GRANDE SOY SOMETHING: Wears sunglasses indoors black North Face jacket smiles too much. Crazy smile, skin flickering like a rest stop. Lycra pants show a lot of all.

phone cheese

* GRANDE NONFAT LATTE: Keeps mumbling “There are no tables…” (Correct) Lycra pants with running shoes her long brown hair is splattered friction all over her back (spaghetti) and if she could see that she wouldn’t care because she’s holding a kid in her arms and priorities, man, priorities, though she might still care a bit because parents try to be selfless but they are humans, too, man, humans. Her eyes are a stripe of lightning.

* VENTI SOMETHING MUMBLED COUPLE. She wears brown with black, he’s in inappropriate aged Converse low tops and they both sort of lean into each other, like touching all the time, which is a metaphor of how they are one and sort of touching or it pisses you off. Sickening or pretty sweet, your call.

* VANILLA GRANDE ICED SOMETHING. Beauty does not go out of style, so it’s irrelevant what she is wearing. Her breasts are ringing hammers on anvils, I’m sorry to be so crass. Loud.

* VENTI UNSWEETENED GREEN TEA: Mom in metallic sunglasses and Lycra over-laugher keeps saying “We’re going driving in a little bit!’ and “We’re going to eat lunch in a little bit!” Then says, “Wow, you have really good hands!” to the someone nearby and then she laughs and laughs and laughs. She’s wearing gray socks that go up to her knees, not sure why. Little kid sits on counter sucking on an apple juice box. Our bones are the same, but she wears her flesh without the wrongness of my flesh.

TRIPLE SHOT SURPRISE LATTE: Guy all morning has been over-eager and WAY too loud for Starbucks and talks WAY too much and he’s wearing a hat with a fake brown beard and he’s VERY talkative about the beard and the hat and after his order (a latte with a triple shot and he wouldn’t name the flavors of the shot–instead he yelled out, THROW WHATEVER IN THERE MAKE IT A TRIPLE SHOT SURPRISE!!! After he yelled people sort of shifted around and move further from away, you know).



I can’t do this anymore, the pace is amazing. Jesus, I’m starting to respect journalists who take notes or stenographers or anyone who writes on demand, period. My toes are exploding.

COFFEE, MEDIUM: still trying the ponytail at his age? Wow. He’s sitting there writing notes on a laptop. Unstable, nosy, eavesdropping?? Black hat, camouflage jacket, a freaking Hunger Games pin (his daughter probably bought it for him at Secret Santa so he wore it, but now he sort of likes it). Black Puma shoes, no socks.

He is. Hunched over, right by the cashier.


Sean fish

Well, it takes all kinds.

The pity of it is we are free

Account of working in the Breadloaf Writing Retreat kitchen.

It kills me that people still ban Vonnegut, but Vonnegut is striking back!

I of course remember the first time I met Vonnegut, off near that GM plant in Fort Wayne, on that state land, well we were deer hunting,  a reduction hunt, shotgun only, and Vonnegut and I both clueless, hadn’t scouted besides a quick glimpse at a topo map and asking some lady Vonnegut knew at the plant, her name was Sheila and she had these very largy yet remarkably firm breasts and she just said, “I seen a big ol’ deer out there, size of a sandwich” and anyway Vonnegut goes and shoots a button buck, you know them teenager bucks, little buttons on top, dumb as boiled gravel, and Vonnegut just sort of gut-shoots it and it humps all up and then jumps over the fence, off into that GM land, clearly off-limits, and Vonnegut just unsnaps a little folding knife, maybe a Gerber or whatnot, off his belt and scurries up the fence and leaps off and onto that button buck and they’re all rolling and thrashing about and leaves flying and finally Vonnegut rares up and slits that deer’s throat! Damn, man. And then he just, I guess adrenaline and all, just heaves that deer right over the fence and climbs back up and over and Vonnegut all heavy heaving red-faced, all blood on his hands and arms and specks on his mustache whatnot and sort of panting and laughing and I go, “Damn, man, that was something” and he starts maybe laughing I don’t know and sticks his knife in the ground, wipes it clean on his pants leg, snaps it right back onto his belt, grabs the hind legs of the little button buck and says, “Yeh, it was something. How about giving me a hand here?”

And so we drug that deer out is what I remember and ate some of it over fire that night with cold cans of beer and a touch of hot sauce.


He enters a clearing with a small blue tent and a poodle tied to a picnic table.


Kraft sells off Velveeta, the sons-a-bitches. You dare doubt Velveeta!! I would like to introduce you, Kraft, to your brethren and their wise words. Your brothers are:

Variety Magazine, 1955. Here is their opinion on rock-n-roll:

It will be gone by June.

I also introduce you to another one of your mealy, doughy, half-baked brothers, Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943:

I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.

And so on…Oh, you will rue this day, Kraft. I will write documents so analytical, so bereft of emotion (seemingly), so rhetorically sound as to raise the hair on the backs of the necks of statues of grandmothers. I will raise an army against you…etc, etc. Hold up, my dog just ran out the door. And guess what? My dog does not react to verbal commands. Ha, ha! What a dog! What a jolly animal. Running among the jolly streets, the jolly screeching of tires, random curses, potential lawsuits, oh ha, ha, ha, living the dream of Man’s Best Friend…Listen: Velveeta is formless. Tabula rasa. A friend with cheese is a friend indeed. Something.


Yes, this book stumbles through itself, in search of itself, learning to bend and snap, discovering the depths and directions of its voice and at the end pops out this layered clump, like a rubberband ball with a pulse, that bounces around us and stretches thoughtshapes in and out and back again and we get all smiley, not really knowing what to say or think.


Hey, all you communist bastards, you fish-forgetters, you fruit fly fuckers who bang on Flash Fiction, check out these snow globes by Walter Martin and Palamo Munoz.

What’s my point? My point is take note. Click the link. The snow globes ARE flash fiction. Megadecahedron on your ass. Hey you: Stop eating pretentious lunches, like olives and shit, you flash haters, you Neanderthals of the long leg Daddy variety, you flashcists. Punks.

Oh, I bet you suck olives.

I bet you eat multiple varieties of olives.

Pretentious ass! (Lover of silver SUV with Jesus fish; long walks on the cooling bodies of superstars died early; wearer of black ski masks with mouths outlined in yellow; etc.)


I don’t know Casey Hannan’s work, but I am going to get to know it. This flash (over at wigleaf is one of the best I’ve seen over there, and I have seen plenty of glow over at the leaf. It catches a moment, then collects the prisms of the moment, the multiple angles of split light. Interior, exterior, the cigarette and the ash, the lips and lungs (and heart). See, flash is light, a flashlight. It illuminates, captures a beaming moment, lets you listen to the scurrying right outside the beam, in the dark.

You love wordplay, so you howl until it transforms into a scissored cough, like your breath is caught in a rock tumbler. I realize this will be your last cigarette ever. You bleed your coughs onto the shoulder of your t-shirt in big, tacky blotches, and you say, “This is it, Case, my only chance to do something like this before I die. I’m dyeing, God, how I’m dyeing this shirt right in front of you.”


My lunch was all European, all junque cosmopolitan, olives and blue cheese olives and hummus and brick-bread and almonds (king of the nuts), and a little Fat Tire, Fat Tire, a beer on the cusp, the little shimmering cusp, of obnoxiousness. I see one more semi truck plastered in FAT TIRE and I’m going to get off my feed, going to chuck a lug, going to pour grape juice marinade on the cuticles of my…something. OK, we had people by last night and I now eat leftovers. This lunch made me feel like a normal human being.  Or like the value of my house dropped yet another 10 grand or that Boeing launched a 787 Dreamliner


–I wanted you to actually hear what I’m saying.

–What was that?

–the wind picked up…

–There’s only one thing really wrong with him.



More and more often I don’t ‘understand’ Blake Butler’s blog.

One time I was in Chicago and this woman approached me and I was all feeling inside like “wow I like when women approach me” and she got really close, sort of like artist-in-the-anticipation-of-needs close or like swans in a floral arrangements close (anyway), and she said in this sort of haltingly with an accent voice: “Do. You. Know this. Blake Boootttleerr?”

And I said, “Blake Butler? Yeh I know him.”

And she said, “Can youse. Show him. To me.”

So I walked her over to see Blake Butler and we both stared at the back of his head, from a distance. And she said, “Tank. You.”


Steve Stringer has a wonderful touch over at Juked, with Seaplanes. It’s a little Carver and certainly a shake of Denis Johnson, but he avoids the derivative, with crisp scene-setting, with an occasional jarring transition, and an oft memorable line. Don’t know much about Stringer myself, but will keep my antennae up.

He says he shoplifted gospel cassettes, says he filched from the collection plate, says sometimes he prayed to basketball players instead of God. He says when he worked in the morgue he was coming off a morphine addiction. When no one was around, he’d peel back the fentanyl patches off the bodies, prick a hole in the patch with a pin, and lick the gel. He says he’s sorry.

He just sits there frozen and dry like astronaut food.


At decomP I enjoyed this by Robert Laughlin:

The parade moved on, but not the elephant that collapsed in the city’s busiest intersection. People in their stalled cars watched a city truck arrive. The city men planted a sign in the asphalt: ASIAN ELEPHANT/ELEPHAS MAXIMUS


Fog gets a big ol’ review here at Faster Times.

What? You want me to answer even more questions about Fog? That type of thing fascinates you, along with cockroaches and snorting Dexedrine off the top of church pews? Ok, then, I answer questions about Fog for NANO Fiction.

Here, I slap a canoe rack of my glow Outback:

Placing a canoe rack feels glow because I know I have done something. When I write, I am not sure I have done a damn thing. And it goes on and on and to thread one’s way unseen through the world must feel wonderful, so to speak…something.


I am now reading Today and Tomorrow by Ofelia Hunt.

Bill Murray’s face is on the cover, always a very good sign.

“R2D2 was a great guy and a fine actor.”

-Bill Murray


Would everyone please shut the fuck up about Shark Week?


Hill workouts. Are they effective?

1. East Africans have been traipsing up and down the steep slopes of the Great Rift Valley for millennia.

2. Hill muscles and sprint muscles are almost exactly the same.

3. While every other runner dreads hills, why not make them your specialty? Then you approach the hill and think, “I’ve got them now.”

4. Hills develops coordination, encouraging the proper use of arm action.

5. Hills are a grind. Every runner must grind. Must fuck grind, love grind, sweet milk of grind embrace grind. Know grind. Lick grind. Grind. I can’t even tell you how much of my running career has been built on grind, or as one coach told me way, way, way back in high school:

“Sean, you’re strength is your strength.”

Meaning I don’t stop. I grind.

6. Running hills make you better at…running hills.

Just did 9 minutes at 2% grade, 9 at 3%, 9 at 4%, 9 at 5%, 9 at 6%, 3 at 7%. I am now sweat-slicked and legs all undressed and winnowed Tree and sigh, sigh muscles and I need a beer.


I kind of dig this photo of Jesus.I ripped it from Vouched. Who knows where they ripped it from.


You people who hate flash are still here?You damn kite stranglers! You Shrunken Strunks & Whites. You baa, baa, baa haters. You postnasal lopper-gangers! You fountain pens filled with troll heavens. You mes! You memory hazers. You slap boxes! You TVs! You slow, slow cult. You Sheriffs! You tornado Sheriffs! You posh costumes of baleful asthma. You curds. Well.

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.


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?


I’m sort of into the work of Laurel Nakadate (two pics above)


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Amie Barrodale story at The Paris Review. It has sex AND drugs. I mean what do you want?


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.



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.


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.


[I swear to gods my book is cheesy. Order it here. ]


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,

The Velveeta Continues

1. Velveeta Review.

227. Velveeta Balcony.

KORA. Running Scared Thru a Zoo. Wicked-ass Turkey Nachos.

I will be in Nash-Vegas this weekend.

I will run a race through a zoo.

Through a zoo, a 5K. Jesus, please, let a lion, an angry Pizza Hut manager lion,  hunt me down, maul me, I pray (new PR!). I’m at the age where I admire, advise to, will urge (thought not yet will pay for) a mauling.

Don’t expect fast times in the 5K.

I’m old, out of shape. And I am training for Boston. This 5k is a yawner and a way for me to get outdoors. But I’ll run a little fast because of genetics. I don’t take races off, I’m too neurotic. I have fast running genes, but not sure why (I don’t actually know my biological father). I just know I often run faster than I should run.

Also in Nash-Vegas I will disc golf. Maybe pics, but often I forget to bring a camera.

(Bringing a camera when you have fun is a disease.)


Been there (and why i don’t cheer for Georgia)


ME got some new groove at KORA.

It’s a lam-ish prose poem but I happy to see it pixel. I am happy to see the first issue because later the first issue will sell like a comic book first issue. Or whatever I am trying to say. Why won’t you dance? (Carver title–frack him.) Sometimes I think we all dance to a music we don’t understand, or maybe even hear that well, but yet we dance.

gee that’s profound. Fuck off.

(I remember once this company tried to bulldoze the tiny woodlot behind my childhood home, to build more houses. So my neighbor, Walter, and I, in the wonderful fog of night and distracted parents, pulled up all of their survey stakes and spray-painted the Big-Machine tires (sorry, god) and even placed nickels in all the light sockets of their cheap-ass manager trailers (flip the light switch on–BAM! Fuses blow). Youngish kids were we, yes, but we HAD TO. Even then, the woodlot was sacred, an obvious moral vision, though we would never have said it that way. It was just where we built forts and trapped crawdads and discovered bee hives in hollow logs and waded through flowing streams. We had to pull stakes three times, surprising even then, as they (Destructors of Megaverse?)  had a tendency to replace survey sticks, bright pink flags in the breeze. But they went away, finally. Gave up, somehow, someway. The woodlot survived. A creek runs through now, as then. Maybe even tomorrow. Our veins and arteries are creeks (rivers flowing, both). 75% of the planet Earth, water. 75% of our human bodies, water. But I don’t want to get flaky, don’t feel the need. And I’m sure they quit trying to flatten the earth for whatever financial concern. It wasn’t two rangy kids. But listen now: that creek in Memphis is real,  so full of bluegill, bullfrogs, water turtles, oil filters, memories, bottled water bottles, condoms, a vibrant green mallard drake, a paddling drake, a quivering wake  in my synapses today. I said Today.)


ja “steven” Tyler is there in KORA.

Dude publishes the way I send rounds downrange, a-many. I have a new stock on my 10/22. What does that mean?

Why Molly would ever take the JA man on in a publishing contest is still a mystery today.

Dude is a locust, Molly. Scorched earth is his middle name. I toast (pun) him.

My fav in this issue was by Brandi Wells.

This: dream to eat

I have this recurring dream where I am teaching a kid to ride his bicycle and his legs get tangled in the bike chain and his foot gets cut off. When I wake up, I’m hungry.


“Television won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.”

Darryl Zanuck, executive at 20th Century Fox, 1946
Ok, this reader (crazy-ass project/blog) submit pic of nachos raises the bar. Damnation! I will include the attached message.
“These nachos were actually made and eaten and photographed with the intent of sending you the picture the day ryan call submitted the first nacho photo.  I believe the picture does not do these nachos justice.  They were three days in the making.  Monday we had turkey loaf.  Tuesday the turkey loaf became burrito mix.  Wednesday the burrito mix became the second and third layers of the nachos.  All you can see is the top layer (4th).  Bottom layer refried beans, etc…”
Dam (holder back of great water, great pain, energy)
1.) How many layers are there? This is a very traditional Mexican style (though sans turkey), but with a strong Indian influence (long story–the layering, but India has surged in the modern nacho world) and I am glad to see nachorotics, nachosexuals, nachocans aware and utilizing the form. The layered nachos usually makes a cyclical statement, like short skirts, or cocaine (1920s big, 1940s pretty big, 1980s HUGE..we’re still awaiting the comeback in America–2010?).
2.) Turkey? A time honored philosophy of turkey is one word, the word we all know if ever fired from a job, or left by an Other, or not-picked in a game of bocce, or had a beautiful person at a grocery store look us not in the eye, but in a spot about 7 inches above eye contact–LEFTOVER. Now that’s a whale of a lot better than white bread sandwich with mustard (though those maybe are actually good–I remember, from years ago, when I ate turkey.) We can only hope crushed garlic and cumin were added to the beans. We can only hope. Hope.
There is type of thrush that migrates across N America, thousands of miles, and it stops once on the journey, pauses once to nap–for 9 seconds. Exactly that, 9 seconds. That is some kind of Blake Bulter crazy shit Ever insomnia nonsense.
But I like it. It gets shit done.

Murakami Birthday Velveeta Fictionaut to the Brain!

* I refuse to believe the Golden Globes are truly Golden.

* I refuse to believe in any god who can one day part a sea and the next cannot stop a tsunami.

* I refuse to believe in the Irish Channel section of New Orleans. That didn’t happen to your aquarium, Sarah, and if it did, I wasn’t there! Stop calling me!

* I refuse to believe in all-Velveeta weekends. Or that clothes make the man. Or that anyone who drinks Zima can be taken seriously in a game of bocce.


* I refuse to believe people regulate themselves very well (or want to, really).

* I refuse to believe bottled water isn’t from some tap, somewhere.

* I refuse to believe anything can happen to anyone at anytime. But I certainly understand the hope for.

* I refuse to believe in collecting butterflies (sorry Nabokov).

That’s about it for now. I think. My head goes whoosh-whoosh. My sinuses are stuffed with snow, and misgivings. Look outside, gray sky flattened out like antique watches in a case. I saw opossum tracks in the snow this morning. Right on my front porch. A dead thing skulking.


I really like this new Jimmy Chen work at Diagram. I am getting into the straight forward statements kind of work, the juxtapositions. This might be the influence of Ken Sparling. After I devoured his book in December, I wrote three Ken Sparling type pieces. (I usually write new ideas in series of three. This works, for me; and often does not work, for me.)

I write like a cow standing in the sleet.

Here is a great article about Ken. Check out how he produces his books:

“Consider his second book, Hush Up and Listen Stinky Poo Butt, which he began self-publishing on a made-to-order basis in 2000. Sparling printed the pages at home, had his wife sew the signatures, and then duct-taped it all together inside of the bindings of retired library books whose pages he’d removed. For a cover, he used pictures his two children had drawn. So far, he’s sold about 70 copies at $30 each. It’s been a while since he’s received an order, but Sparling says he’s ready to go at any time if one should come in.”

I love that last line, BTW, a little dry humor by the journalist. I miss dry humor. I’ve pretty much had enough of wet humor. Wet humor is loud. Wet humor is looking to see if we “got it.” Wet humor hangs pictures of itself all over its own apartment. Wet humor thinks Michelob is a microbrew.

One time I was out running on a Sunday and I passed an abortion clinic and sitting in the empty lot was an old green pickup dented truck, and Wet Humor at the wheel, all crazy-eyed and revving the engine–WHIREIRRIRI!!–all loud and blue coiling smoke and just sitting there in neutral and revving, revving, screaming engine; and I glanced over before crossing the road and made eye contact (stupid!) with Wet Humor and he busted open his door, jumped out toward me, stumbled through some landscaped bushes, his arms all grabby-clutch and face red, redder, twisted with spittle, some freak-o monster; and I ran like hell!

That was scary, people. My gods.

Ok, my heart is trippin’ down now…


I think my next literary match might involve Jimmy Chen. I have to think on the challenger. Might be Sexton, Yeats, or Mattie Stepanak.



1.) This guy killed an author to steal his identity. He wanted to steal a writer’s identity. A writer. He wanted to “be” a writer. Um, ok.

2.) This man writes about loneliness. Do you know why we are all lonely (person reading this who wants to make really, really clear they are in fact not lonely, go comment on some other blog)? Because we do not “connect with our true selves.” I think I’ve read a few French novels on this subject…

3.) Writers still have no idea what to call the toilet.



An AWP POKER GAME IS BREWING! Come to Chicago. Bring canned beer, a round table, some shiny Euros.


Fictionaut is getting tighter.

Some wicked stuff dropping in now. All kinds of fine reads. If you want an invite for the Beta version, gimme a yell.


Folks, today is Jack London’s birthday. That man told us not wait for inspiration but rather to club it, like a seal (his words).

Folks, today is Haruki Murakami’s birthday. I want you to stop by a coffee shop on the way home and order a beer.

Listen to the jazz.

Pick up a young girl who has the most perfect ankles in the world. She has to wear long, long pants–if anyone sees these ankles, they go into a swoon, then a seizure, then they leave their loved ones, their job, and all adult responsibilities forever for the young girl.

Once home, make clinical love. Do pushups. Drink another beer. Have miso soup.

Discover a tunnel below your washing machine. Grab the girl’s hand and enter the tunnel. Listen to the humming of the walls. The flex of machinery.

Insert talking cat.



Feel like this today…