~ Wednesday, October 15 ~
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Recent Reads

Two essays that I like very much:

That There Would Be Better Pornography" by Barbara Duffey at The Collagist

My Private Property" by Mary Ruefle at The Kenyon Review

Tags: barbara duffey mary ruefle the collagist the kenyon review essays lit
~ Thursday, October 9 ~
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"Anamnesis" at Wigleaf

I have a short short story at Wigleaf. It’s called “Anamnesis.” Read it here.

(Did I mention that it’s short?)

Tags: anamnesis wigleaf fiction lit
~ Monday, October 6 ~
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"Rejection Notes #7: Cormac McCarthy"

New rejection note at BULL Men’s Fiction (long gap between #6 and #7):

The prose is, as always, richly textured and painstakingly precise, but I can’t get past the gratuitous use of product placement in the manuscript.

For example, in chapter six the narrator is warming up a Tombstone pizza, even though the story takes place in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Tags: bull men's fiction rejection notes cormac mccarthy humor lit
~ Saturday, October 4 ~
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Jo Baer

We all have an understanding of things that are alive in our time, that speak to people in our time, and for time to come. Good art will always have this peculiar quality that it carries through the ages. It really does change people, their mindsets, their emotional sets; it speaks in very complicated ways. But please don’t ask me to explain it.

- Jo Baer

Tags: jo baer quotes art
~ Monday, September 29 ~
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Teju Cole

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More images from Cole’s visit to East Jerusalem at The White Review

Tags: teju cole the white review palestine photography
1 note
~ Thursday, September 25 ~
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"The Ancestor of Hearts" by Christine Schutt and Diane Williams

Once shed of her fur, she looked skinned as a rabbit. “I don’t know how I got across the country.”

“Maybe you swam?”

“Possible,” she said.

“What would warm you up?”

Shivering was her response.

- “The Ancestor of Hearts” by Christine Schutt and Diane Williams at The Brooklyn Rail

Tags: the ancestors of hearts christine schutt diane williams fiction lit
1 note
~ Monday, September 22 ~
Permalink Tags: david buckland cape farewell art
1 note
~ Sunday, September 14 ~
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Hey, Why’d You Do That?

I have a short craft interview up at Great Writers Steal (an excellent literary blog).

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Tags: great writers steal tin house flash fiction interview lit
1 note
~ Thursday, September 11 ~
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Eileen Myles

I want to be challenged as a human being in terms of how many kinds of people I can be, how many ways I can be open, how many adjustments I can make. You have to, just to exist in the day. Everyday is this crazy little jungle gym of adjustments just to keep your sanity and keep functioning, and keep receiving messages and sending messages. I love the idea that a poem can do that. So it’s a little map of consciousness that says: this is what it is like to be alive.

- Eileen Myles

Tags: eileen myles poetry quote
30 notes
~ Friday, September 5 ~
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Selection from Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

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Selection from Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino (A Condensed Fiction)

Tags: invisible cities italo calvino condensed fictions art
~ Tuesday, September 2 ~
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Understudies Reviewed at HFR

Merridawn Duckler reviews Understudies for the Heavy Feather Review:

The disconnected vignettes seem like they could go on forever. Each episode, two hundred in all, covers a few paragraphs or, at most, a couple of pages. Some of them reminded me of Jack Handey’s “Deep Thoughts.” I wondered if this was just another collection of bro-mantic observations reminiscent of all those movies where not-quite-as-young-as-they-think men alternate between bravado and cowering, and often just go back home.

But something else tugs at the periphery of the form, and I think it turns Understudies into a little slice of genius. For, as it happens, these deadpan observations accumulate not temporally but morally. They define a world, and that is the world of suburbia. Urban and rural landscapes grip most of the contemporary fictional imagination, and at least since Cheever and Updike, suburban locales have been deeply site-specific. But Mangla’s town could be anywhere that contains a yard, a high school, a dry-cleaner and a hardware store. His locales are iconic, composed of places to run errands, take unsatisfying jobs, get buzzed and form relationships based on proximity and assumed values. The drifting form of this book is complicit and brilliant.

Tags: understudies review heavy feather review lit
6 notes
~ Tuesday, August 26 ~
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Art

by Joe Brainard

Looking through a book of drawings by Holbein I realize several moments of truth. A nose (a line) so nose-like. So line-like. And then I think to myself “so what?” It’s not going to solve any of my problems. And then I realize that at the very moment of appreciation I had no problems. Then I decide that this is a pretty profound thought. And that I ought to write it down. This is what I have just done. But it doesn’t sound so profound anymore. That’s art for you.

Tags: art joe brainard collected writings lit
1 note
~ Monday, August 25 ~
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~ Wednesday, August 20 ~
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Joan Didion

Grammar is a piano I play by ear, since I seem to have been out of school the year the rules were mentioned. All I know about grammar is its infinite power. To shift the structure of a sentence alters the meaning of that sentence, as definitely and inflexibly as the position of a camera alters the meaning of the object photographed. Many people know about camera angles now, but not so many know about sentences. The arrangement of the words matters, and the arrangement you want can be found in the picture in your mind. The picture dictates the arrangement. The picture dictates whether this will be a sentence with or without clauses, a sentence that ends hard or a dying-fall sentence, long or short, active or passive. The picture tells you how to arrange the words and the arrangement of the words tells you, or tells me, what’s going on in the picture. Nota bene.

It tells you.

You don’t tell it.

- Joan Didion

Tags: joan didion quote lit
9 notes
~ Tuesday, August 19 ~
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"Kew Gardens" by Virginia Woolf

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"Kew Gardens" by Virginia Woolf (1919)

Tags: virginia woolf kew gardens condensed fictions
1 note