Sunday, March 30, 2008

Two inventions of mine, including a cleaned-up version of an invention from my last post, have been accepted for the 2009 issue of Indefinite Space.

This early afternoon. I went to laundry mat and read Toby Barlow's Sharp Teeth, which is really entertaining. food shopping. I bought ingredients for my favorite salad. Here are the ingredients -

Lettuce, properly chopped
Red pepper, chopped
Green pepper, also finely chopped
Sweet Italian peppers, chopped
Pepperjack cheese, chopped into pieces, not shaved
Tomato, chopped

It also includes long sliced pieces of breaded chicken, but i forgot that. I may substitute with something else.

It is nice outside. I'm going to eat a hot dog. I will probably go running. Then I will maybe write, or maybe watch some baseball.

I bowled a lot this weekend, in real life, and in virtual life. Both times, I killed.

Also, I have a title from my manuscript. I was waiting for a month for the serendipity to find me. Then it hit this week, in a blog post from Blake who is picking up the pieces after the tornado that hit his home. It read like this -

The tornado fucked up my ERASERHEAD and THE SHORT FILMS OF DAVID LYNCH dvd sets, which were $50 each and came in these really amazing box packages. My other DVDs were all okay. The tornado had discerning taste as to what it would destroy. The tornado was not a surrealist. I will shit in the tornado's lunchsack.

Soon, The Tornado is not a Surrealist will come out on the Greying Ghost Press. It will be small, but the party, I promise, will be big.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Zygote in my Coffee has published a poem of mine in their March issue. The poem had already been published elsewhere at the time of they accepted it a few months ago. I informed them of this, gave them some substitutes, and never heard back from them. I guess they decided to publish it anyway. Odd, but cool.

Simultaneous submissions have been giving me some troubles lately. I don't blanket the internet with my work, but I do send out to a few journals I think it'd be appropriate for. Literary journals, even electronic ones, still take an incredibly long time to respond. (I just got a nice rejection letter from a place I submitted to over a year ago last week!) It seems to be the only part of the artistic world that has not moved forward with technology. This may seem unfair considering the heavy loads editors have to sift through to get to something decent, and all, usually, out of the goodness of their own hearts. Still, 3-6 months for a response seems like a long time to me. How long does it take to decide something is for you or not.
My impatience is one of the reasons I like dealing with E-journals so much more (not to mention they more often than not have the most inventive work). I've had some good luck recently with acceptances. And each time I get one I try to send out a notification to each place I have submitted. But the longer a person must wait for any sort of notification, the more you want to send more submissions out. There are a lot of publications out there. Does this mean I am being selfish and taking an individual journal for granted? I don't think so.
What it means is that being a writer is lonely. It means that waiting is like staring off into an abysmal ocean for a fortune cookie in a Coke bottle to reach your shores while you're stuck for life on your own personal island. Like Tom Hanks in that movie. At least he had the volleyball with a face painted in blood. But I dont have that. I just have a lot of journals I deeply respect that I would like to be a part of.

Here is something I'm working on. It's not finished.

The Sight

The phone caught him in its rings. He conceded, congratulated the voice on the other end for catching him and hung up. He went outside. They were having a party on their neighbors’ front lawn. As he approached to rejoin the party he noticed a change in mood, a stillness. He got closer everything erupted into applause. He bowed, then realized the applause was not for him. Did you see that? said his wife, her arms shaking. He told her he had no idea what she was talking about. It was the most magnificent, most beautiful.... She was at a loss. Over her shoulder he could see his brother was crying into his wife's sweater, who was also crying but laughing at the same time. He demanded to know what happened. His neighbor said, it just appeared. It was like a big ladle of cream light.... but he had to stop to catch his breath. By now his wife was drooling into her wine glass, overcome. She was far away, in some other place, possibly Florida. He had never seen such a look of pleasure on her face and her euphoria frightened him. He could hear the phone ringing again. He knew he would never make it in time. It was yet another thing he would have to miss.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Derek White, the editor of Sleeping Fish who i wrote about yesterday, is interviewed over at Bookslut, and it's really good. The man is certainly busy. He also runs Calimari Press and has a good blog called 5 cense. Calamari has some really interesting looking releases, particularly this new one called Tortoise by James Lewelling. Blake Butler had a really good review of it the other month.

In Derek's interview he mentions being incredulous at the thought of people studying writing. Derek is by trade a field geologist, which is awesome, but look at the amount of publishing work he does (he is also a talented writer). In the past year I've spent hours mulling over the idea of graduate school. Since I blew off most of my undergraduate years, waves academic nostalgia have been pulsing through my veins. This may be part of buying into the writerly phenomena of further education, or the fact I house so many teachers/writers each night.
Truthfully, I don't know if I much care to go back and "workshop" stories. In previous experiences I've found I had no interest in what most of my peers were producing. I imagine they felt the same way. You could chalk this up to youthful, self driven ignorance, however I am a lover of words and books and ideas and I get fired up when I find something I like. I spend my days promoting other people's work and don't find myself too filled with jealousy (occasionally though you have to be incredulous about some of the shit that floats its way to the top).
So I am inclined to agree with Derek that it is kind of odd to study writing as a profession. One can always find the time to produce work outside of their 9-5 without having to be absorbed in its clutches. As much as I hate that reality, it is possible, and I've at least proven this to myself in the past year, and I have people like Derek to thank for. My problem, which I feel may be a generational symptom, is an interest in too many venues & ventures. I would not mind finding a focus elsewhere, like Wallace Stevens and produce work on the side or to dictate to my secretary, but I'm not sure what that focus may be. Maybe I should read a biography of Wallace Stevens.
This, of course, is the New England pragmatic side of myself talking. I also feel one should study what they love. Ideally, I would write all day if possible (which a teaching degree at a college level earned through graduate school certainly affords more than most other profession I can think of), but I find myself worried by monetary needs. I have anxiety. It can be bad. This may be why I can only write short short stories, because I am worrying about what will come next. But who knows. I might have a dick in me (the Moby kind). But I do respect the well rounded individual, however they may come. It will only take the ability in convincing myself that to write on the side is not totally a waste of my time or effort.

I had a thought this morning. I was envisioning boring crass scenarios, where you imagine small, awkward moments of social situations. Do you do this? When you imagine getting into bite sized skirmishes with your boss or co workers or people on the street. I thought about how these are all parts of my imagination, and this is what my imagination does now for a living (this is why I think people listen to music on headphones so much, to replace their minds).
I used to imagine dragon rides and war stories and situations that would make me run full speed like a ostrich around in a yard. I am talking about being a kid.
As we get older our imaginations turn into something so mundane and boring, it is no wonder I make weird scenarios on a page. I don't know why more people don't do this. It should be a part of therapy, or an daily act to keep good humor. When I find myself walking down the street and thinking about the guy I jut past who grazed my shoulder with his fucking elbow, I will do as I did this morning and think about riding a dragon. You should try it. It helps.

Monday, March 24, 2008

I will have two new stories in the upcoming Sleeping Fish, which is great. Sleeping Fish is great.

Last Thursday's event with Dean Wareham was great. I don't know how he got his reputation as a prickly pear, because he's a lot of fun. The next night he read and played with Britta at the Lizard Lounge. He played "Blue Thunder" and "Don't Let Our Youth Go To Waste." That was really something, to finally see him sing those songs I've been listening to for 15 years. I celebrated by getting very very drunk. No fear.

I finally wrote something on Sunday. Its been a month. But I need to because I have nothing else to submit to magazine and I like submitting to magazines. It makes me feel like I'm doing something, though I am doing very little.

William Walsh sent me a copy of his new book, Without Wax. I want to read it soon, but I have a huge huge pile of books to get through for work. But everything I've read of it so far has made it seem very promising.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tonight I will stare into they eyes of Dean Wareham.

On June 8th, I will stare into the eyes of Zach Schomburg as he reads from something. Carl will also be reading and staring. I will take the left, he, the right.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pinch Pinch Press has accepted one of my inventions for their next issue. Their current issue has writers like Mike Young, Sean Kilpatrick and Tao Lin.

I stayed up far too late last night.

Tonight I host Mark Doty. I have never read anything by Mark Doty.

Last night I hosted Nicholson Baker, who was great. He brought his daughter, Alie, who was also great. The reviews for it have been terrible. Only Mark Kurlansky got it right. He reviewed it for the L.A. Times. I don't know why people take the New York Times reviews so seriously. The L.A. Times is consistently more on point and progressive with their assessments.

This is my 100th post. I don't know what I feel about that.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Some fucking asshole keeps stealing my girlfriends artwork off the walls of her bookstore. She's lost two framed paintings now that were for sale in her children's bookstore. Who the fuck does that? They could not pay for the pretty little lamb or the harmless dainty violet? Do they think she is making a bundle off these, that they're just cheap product? She has the lowest asking prices I've ever seen, yet this was someone's good idea. Who the fuck steals framed lambs? Is this thief a child with well honed aesthetic? I need to know this. I'll choke slam them, child or not.

Listen. Go to her website and consider buying something. It's not much. And you can bargain with because she's nice. If you buy something I will write an invention for you that will only be for you and no one else and I won't even half ass it. I'll give you the goods, the full effort. If you won't do it for me, and you won't do it for Emily, just go to her website and take a gander of that cute little lamb, probably now hanging above some crack baby's crib, and do it for that guy.

Wandering Army has accepted a piece of mine called, A Sudden Island.

I love that most editors do their work on Sundays, so you usually get their notifications on Monday mornings. That makes the beginning of a bad week much better.

Though this week is busy, it shouldn't be that bad. I'll be seeing Nicholson Baker, Mark Doty and Dean Wareham from Luna/Galaxie 500, who I''ll be interviewing.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I'm supposed to be writing an introduction for another book about the incoming microwaves, but instead I read this. It belongs to Carl. Its awesome. I'm posting it here. Watch Carl sue me and win.

"The Search Party"

I once worked as a clerk at a car rental agency. The owner piped in light jazz. There was a dog by the name of Darius kept on a leash tied to a chair. His purpose was to keep thieves at bay. We were never robbed. One of my duties was to make sure the dog had enough food in its dish. Darius was an Irish setter. It ate and smelled like a pig. On humid days it sported a painters hat and slurped up water from the employee toilet. Darius could have been greatly excited or suicidal; it was tough to tell with those dogs. Its too-precious bark had a tinge of Irish brogue. One day it just wandered off. Never came back. After it’d been missing for nearly a week, Ray, the owner, decided a search party would scour the local woods and hang up flyers. Not for his missing dog, but for his band. They were playing a benefit to help raise money for a benefit being held the following weekend for the search party. I ran into him after the first benefit and offered my services. He said, “For the search party or for the benefit next week for the search party?” “For the search party.” I Said.

from notebook 3/5/08

Monday, March 10, 2008

I just decided to make the pilgrimage to Washington DC this May to see one of my favorite bands ever, Polvo, in their reunited form. Right now, they're playing two shows in the US. I never got to see them when they were around and it's something I sorely regret. Now I have my tickets/time machine and am set to be stunned.

Listen to this live version of Fractured, Like Chandeliers from 1994. It slays.

Pindeldyboz, the story website with the name I can't spell correctly, now hosts a story of mine called Swallowed. It's about a heinous voodoo bird that casts an evil black shadow over the world. How about that?

I haven't been writing, here or anywhere else. Well that's not entirely true. But the reason has been I bought a television. And a subscribed to cable. And I'm proud, dammit. I needed a breather. I am still in that need. Also I have been spending more time listening to music lately, eating the comforts of the nineties. I've spent a lot of money on vinyl lately. I repurchased every Archers of Loaf record. I've made Polvo mix cd's for my girlfriend. I spent three hours huffing dust out of the bins of a local record graveyard to come away with a handful of Grifters and Unwound 45's. The end product can never attain the level of golden minded nostalgia i have for my past impressions of what my life would one day be like while listening to Guv'ner in my bedroom. Why all the worry?

Needless to say, I didn't get into graduate school.