Tag Archives: Vouched Books

nachos run all flatmancrooked slim volume of contemporary poetics 14

Barely noon-thirty but it’s been a day. I woke at 5:00 a.m. and drove out to cold, vast, sweeping forest of valleys and ridges. The snow was all thought-provoking. The whisper glow. Moon off the snow is actually blue. I went up, down. I hiked squeaky boots. On the way out I saw a man standing near my car parked alongside the road. He looked like a weathered birdhouse with a snake inside all full of eggs. His eyes had a circus.

(via)

He said, “You better not park round here they been throwing glass bottles!”

I looked around. No glass. Just snow. A few shrubs and my car. Overhead a Canada (not Canadian, a common mistake) goose honked.

He said, “Some dude stole my tree stand out the back of my truck two days ago, I know who it is. Drives a maroon van! He and his wife. If I catch that dude I’m going strip off his clothes and throw him off in these woods naked, I will.”

“Well,” I said. I tried a half smile. The air felt like it was trying to cackle or maybe shrug. I got into my car and drove off and in the rear window watched the man just standing there, side of the road, snow. His head was sort of clicking away.

(mommy, when do we eat junior mints and nachos?!)

Home I shucked off layers of clothes, drank a stupendous coffee, got into my boxers, and ran a brutal 9 mile fartlek on the treadmill. Oh god. I mean brutal. I feel all floaty right now. My knees are red. Taste of metal in my mouth. Lungs like wonderful Mylar. My insides feel hollow and happy. If I had a beer I’d down it, I might, but I don’t have a beer.

Well.

I don’t know what to do. I have work-work to do, but why ruin my glow? I am going to review an anthology of poetry, I will. OK, this is a large anthology. Wait. In a minute I will read and review the first 14 poems of flatmancrooked slim volume of contemporary poetics. I said in a minute.


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metazen has a Christmas book for charity. I shit you not. They asked if I would write a Christmas thing. I stood and sat down. I said I don’t know, Christmas? I stood, fidgeted, sat down and wrote a Christmas list (well, the first 100) to give to Santa. Here is a sample so you will go buy the book (actually buy it for the other authors, who are glow) and help orphans. 28-38 on my want list:

28. Something to carry in my mouth.
29. Nick, are you lonely up there?
30. Nick, you owe me 14 pink Zippo lighters, as you well know.
31. A device for breaking memory.
32. What kind of name is Gary? I want a spray canister that removes names. Gary as
_________.
33. I will keep the hotel room above my studio apartment and I will go out the window here,
climb up to the roof, and use my swipe card to enter my hotel room. I’ll be needing cable, but
would prefer no internet service. Oh, and a bathtub. I want a bathtub.
34. Teeth contact.
35. Reindeer loin.
36. Shelia, you know Sheila. Fuck, you know everybody. Bring me her gall bladder in a glass
banana. Sort of modern sculpture I can set out and ignore.
37. I pledge the possible Chlamydia to the jet lag….
38. My own contractors. Make the walls bend. Make four taps, I want four silver taps installed
above my toilet, the little toady toilet in my little toady cave in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with
the medi-vac helicopter thumping overhead my hangover-skull, wires of transmission—You,
in the helicopter, oh fucked one, fucked broken stranger, I am sorry to ignore you now (as you
will ignore me later in my time of need)—just four silver flowing taps: codeine cough syrup,
coffee, Pepto Bismol, white wine.

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Rose Metal Press is having a fund drive. Please give. Seriously. Years ago I stumbled into this whole indie/alt community lit thing and it was refreshing as a snowfall of golden ballet shoes. Different than other aspects of the lit/book/author world. Why? Because we look out for each other. It is actually a community. I notice. All of these authors/publishers/amazing artists of all sort–they always shout and wink and glow about others first. It’s what pleased me about this little world, when I first explored lit-blogs, publishers, authors online. They had balance. It wasn’t just, “Read my book!” It was a little “read my book” and a whale of “Holy shit, read her book! And check out this reading! This interview. And look how this publisher just made a book out of a fishing tackle box. ” It was a medication to me, a good one. To give back. It is the oil of the movement, the windmill, the energy, the horse and wagon, the force that through the green fuse drives the flower, the metal of the rose, I feel.

so give

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By Lindsay Hunter

“Each tiny, diamond story—precise, comic, poised at the edge of surreal—contains one brutal life force tearing itself off the page. You can hold Daddy’s in your hands and feel it breathing.” —Deb Olin Unferth, author of Vacation

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BOOM chapbook contest, folks.

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Glow Luke Hawley at Hobart:

“I don’t know how you run marathons on sugar and diet soda.”

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FLASH! Mary Hamilton interview at The Short Review.

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I have a flash/prose poem about babysitters and a postcard about living on a houseboat at wigleaf. (If you are reading this months from now, go to wigleaf archives.)

Look under L, you slaw-cheeks.

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Ok, here we go: flatmancrooked slim volume of contemporary poetics. The first 14 poems.

1: “Aftermath” by Brian Adeloye is a cut-to-the-bone poem, so I’ll let you just read the thing and brain your own sandwich:

Whether noticeable

Or negligible

It probably

Was measurable

2: Justin Alvarez made me look up the word, alsacienne. It a term referring to a cooking style, origin “Alsace,” a province of northeastern France. Usually it means braised meat, some sausage, big-ass taters. A heavy meal. I could see someone eating in the alsacienne style and then belching before walking out to the woodpile and sprawling on the woodpile in the warming sun, wood sort of poking your back, legs all angled falling out, and maybe a few ants tickling your legs and next thing you know you’re asleep.

3: I don’t know why Joseph Atkins needs a period in the title of the poem, “Rain or Shine.” Could be something, or nothing. He does it here, too, at Shampoo. “Rain or Shine.” takes a stab at bored and medicated we. A good fork-ful stab, shiny sharpened tines of words:

Choking was the sound of progress.

Choking was the sign of progress.

What pleased me was the spin into another, apparently found over the internet, another soul drifting on the flotsam of split pills and television. He took this and made it that. This may be why they put Atkins name in big-ass letters on the back of this anthology.

4,5,6: Three prose poems appear. All by Mr. Atkins. He seems already a “presence” in this anthology. The prose poems are printed sideways on two pages. Atkins as interested in form. As interesting. I preferred the first one, “Plastic Vines Sparking in the Sunlight.” (though I sort of hate the title. It sounds like a Roadiohead song title)

A wash of “I” sentences, but it is the exhaustive “I” being examined, analyzed, alienated, sharded into nothing. It works:

I like things clean but I don’t like to clean.

I enjoy traffic jams for the homogenized goals of the mobile citizen & the unidirectional lack of insight they reveal.

7: Another Joseph Atkins poem, another period: “Photo Op.”

Odd poem here. A series of linguistic phrases, similar in structure and state, similar in diction, but then attributed to various personalities, DFW to Obama to Bernie Mac. It is a tri-level juxtaposition, with more depth than a photo op, and possibly one thesis: The systematization of celebrity culture transparent in its intent to transport the underlying assumptions of capitalistic society, AKA: they are puppets, but insidious puppets, and even worse, we love them and have no idea why.

8: James Benton made me go and look up amaryllis. It is a lily. It’s nickname is “the naked lady.” Hey now.

9: I’m getting a little Matthew Arnold feel off “Oceanus Pacificus”

Read both poems yourself.

10: Diego Baez doesn’t waste words. Tight as a thoroughbred, no fat. The title is a bit obvious, so off-putting, but I love how he takes me out with an image, a horse grazing in the bowl of our skulls, a diorama of our days.

11: Baez glows in the line, but continues a pattern of “Thanks for making it clear to me” titles. I wish I was his close friend and he would say, “Would you read my poems?” I would say, “No, I’m fucking busy, but maybe in the summer.” Then he would be patient, and I would read them in the summer. And I would say, “Damn, these are poems. I don’t have much to say, except thank you for writing these, and please, please, please change your titles.”

12: Finally, we have a female poet! That opening was front-loaded with male poets.

13: Amy Bleu has an excellent name. She sings. And writes a poem named “Akimbo.”

I don’t like what you stand for

But I like the way you stand there

Arms akimbo

Dominating

Every space you inhabit

Confident enough to conquer

Every Creature

Who extends a tender arm

Tentative as a tendril

In the vain hope

Of reaching

You.

14: Wow, to the “Fistulated Cow.” Glow words, Katie Cappello. (Here is a review of her book)

Aside: A fistulated cow is a cow with an intentional hole in it for scientific research. In 1822, a Canadian suffered a wound that refused to heal, but the man otherwise was in fine health. His doctor discovered that the digestive process could be observed directly through the hole. The discovery spread, and for over 150 years, fistulation has been used to observe digestive processes in living animals, with the first recorded scientific use on animals dating to 1833.

But back to the poem…

What is the cow thinking? I’m glad that’s asked? And isn’t love the wet undigested grass yanked from the cow’s first, second, third, or fourth stomach?

Indeed.

15. BONUS POEM! BONUS POEM!

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Everybody slap their grandmother! BONUS POEM!

Anna Clarke brings it with “How I never Wanted to Have Coffee with You.”

I’m reading, I suppose, and I notice

Capturing the coffee shop idyll, hardly reading at all, watching, thinking, we as book, sometimes faking, watching…Look, an elderly couple. Talking about silence, the weather, nothing, nothing

nothing but baked goods between them

Love fades. And is ordinary? As a leaf or a chip of paint. Or cold coffee. And the speaker is that couple. And we are that couple. And it is terrifying. And we must thank Anna Clarke for showing us so.

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How to Have a Good Reading

Went to a good reading on Wednesday. A good reading: How do?

1. Employ a hip space.

The Irving Theater was exposed wood beam ceiling/dark corners/suicide/chandeliers drooping like mid-70s/various colors of paint I associate with dust cobras or deep scratches in vinyl cars or the time I jumped over a tall fence and wrestled a deer to the ground, cut its throat with a knife, etc. My head did the whoosh whoosh. I felt like maybe my house could have hardwood floors and a furtive cat, if I so wished. Naked woman painting!!!! I am so cool people wait in line to eat me. I think it’s funny when people say pass the time. Pass the gravy, pass gas, pass the time. There were rows of seats and maybe church pews someone stole from a church. The ceiling was tall as a tall ceiling. The lighting was dark. I felt a level 5 hipness factor, like maybe an ironic T-shirt or The Hipster Olympics.

3. The new summer JMWW is fucking nuts. Wow. I mean it is loaded like a pepper gun. A gun that shoots peppers.

I seriously want to thank the editors. Good work.

I glow Kim Chinquee. I said Kim Chinquee. I said Kim Chinquee. (Click on the links, dumbass. If you aren’t going to read Kim Chinquee, I can’t imagine why you are here at all.)

I glow Brian Evenson flash.

I glow Robert Coover.

I glow Terese Svoboda.

I think it’s funny when people discuss a magazine or whatever and they are actually in the magazine but pretend they sorta aren’t or something I don’t know. I don’t think that’s appropriate. Ha, ha. I’d like to ask myself to be my friend and tell myself to go to hell or just ignore the friend request altogether. Maybe when I get older I’ll call an ambulance to my house–like chest pain or maybe I’ll say my ears are made of Styrofoam–and none of that will be true, I’m just calling the ambulance to have someone to talk to, someone to visit me, another expensive friend.

Here you go, fucker.

Here you go!

Fucker.

Fuck.

Did I mention I love Ken Sparling and he is in the new JMWW? The more I publish in venues with Ken Sparling the happier I feel.

14. Have beer at the reading. Always have beer. I can’t tell you the amount of situations in my life that have improved just by the presence of beer.

[Sex in hot tubs is uncomfortable]

[I got a telemarketer calling me from Florida]

[Two bucks and a coffee mug]

[Salad I pretend to enjoy]

[Awkward greeting your dad]

[Accidents happen now and again]

[Tiny trees grow out my house gutter]

[A bunch of wasps just fucked me up]

[blar me]

Thank you Sun King Brewery.

9. Have Christopher Nugent show up. He is doing awesome Vouched Books. Good to see you, Chris!

11. Take shitty, blurry iPhone photos:

10. You could have nachos. Why don’t you people put rice on your nachos? Do I have to tell you how? Everyone goes beans, beans, beans, but think about rice. Think about rice. Think about it. Rice.

Or maybe you go to lunch by yourself and read the papers and feel like you are in a novel.

[Seeing the smoke rise]

[I am French today. I am action but thought, like mixed]

Weekend Nachos interview.

Nacho’s blog is confusing as all get-out. What the fuck does this even mean? It’s like some odd poem:

5. Fiction Daily interviews me. Interview me.

6. DC with an amazing Sad Keanu post.

2. Keep it short. I said keep it short. KEEP IT SHORT. Jesus Christ, you people that blather on and on at readings–you have lost us, your audience. Our minds are thinking about cleavage and the exposed wood and dust whorls and credit card debt and orange crows and man this fucking IPA is tight, light yet succulent and Old Spice who’s wearing Old Spice? and coffee shop down the block and sake, sake tastes like candy corn and are you supposed to drink it cold or hot, like maybe the tourists drink it hot but actual Japanese drink it cold it’s like in Mexico all the restaurants have two menus–one for the stupid gringos, one of real Mexican food–and I’d love to break some windows right now and a dark mass of blackbirds or maybe starlings in the sky, European imports and that dude is hot/that chick is hot/I’m hungry/need a promotion too and why is there a hole in my shoe are my toes too long is that the problem, are you saying my toes are like Appalachian or something?

So, you know, keep it short….

Andrew Scott (of Freight Stories, etc) read first. He did a persona screen-play/script type piece, and you know I glow any persona fiction. Then he read his Esquire flash. He kept it lively and short. Good work.

Donald Ray Pollock read next. Wow. He glowed it. You have heard of KNOCKEMSTIFF, right? He read about murder and huffing Bactine (!) and Kmart realism if Kmart was a fucking alleyway full of Appalachian whores and homeless killers and beer cans, etc.

I almost bought Pollock’s book but I needed to purchase more beer and I have too many books to read right now.

7. Persona piece Paul Bowles I wrote getting good run at Fictionaut.

77. OMG hole 5 is right up against the creek on R and that’s a headwind 90 % of the time–you are all fucked.

11. Or a pepper in the shape of a gun?

44. No joke, I was on the roof today and wasps fucked me up. I nailed down a shingle and this wasps jumps out and stings/stings/stings me. 3 times on the left side of my knee. I screamed, hopped, but I was on a roof. Calm down, Sean. OK. OK. But why is my right side knee swelling up like a balloon? Anyone had this happen? Fucking wasps.

2. I swerved to miss a squirrel and hit the damn squirrel–tha-thump. Well, fuck me. That’s philosophical and shit. I made a purposeful act to avoid harm and caused harm.

2.

At some future time, meet Lady Gaga for drinks at a bass pond. The idea is BYOB + fishing rods + some Hank Williams Jr. songs on your IPhone + whipping persimmons in the air with sticks + later frying the largemouth tails over a low fire + they taste like some form of potato chips + you have this summer heat/beer buzz pelvic stirring + you and Gaga wading into the pond, holding hands + frog thrum in the air + she says what did I just step on, it was like a smooth football made of marble and you say it’s only turtles, you stepped on a turtle’s back + both of your underwears sprawled out on the bank + warm currents and eddies and toe-sucks of mud + 14 geese over in a honking V + you and Lady Gaga slipping away into the torn tops/swaying reeds of the cattails…I don’t know how you’re going to achieve this but make an actual date. This is going to take some effort, some persistence, now that Gaga’s all famous and etc, but we are a tenacious people. I mean look what Nick Nolte did with his looks and talent. Check out Mandy Moore. So. So? Make the appointment with Lady Gaga. Do it. Today. Write down the actual time and date.

Now just wait.

This is the best formula I know to avoid depression.

8. you want me to shoot arrows at Blake Butler’s book, huh?