Sunday, December 16, 2012

Dear Webspace,

Hello!

I am pretty irregular about blogging, so I have decided to STOP APOLOGIZING.

Let's get down to it. New things since last time:

I have a story called "Allies" in the latest issue of NANO Fiction, but there is also a story about MARS by A. Werner and a story about astronauts by Benjamin King, and if for no other reason you should buy this issue purely because of the MARS story by A. Werner and the astronauts story by Benjamin King. I like the tone of the stories in this journal.

S    P    A   C      E    (S)

I got an internship at Farrar, Straus & Giroux, which means I'm going to be moving to New York City in January. What a thing! If you live there you should tell me because I need all the advice I can get and I would love to come and SEEK YOU OUT. I am just a country boy.


I graduated college.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

That Season


It’s been a while. Perhaps an inexcusable while. But it is close to Halloween, which is far and away my favorite holiday, because of decorations and scaring people and pumpkins and fall and etc.

I love to scare people.

A couple weekends ago I went to this haunted cave in Lewisburg, Ohio. It was AMAZING. The longest walk-through haunted attraction I’ve ever been to (the longest in the world, apparently), and one of the scariest. So many cool effects going on in this place:

  1. My favorite portion was probably the simulation of a marsh—a room full of waist-level, giant inflatable things you had to slog through, plus dark cut only with laser-light, thick fog, plus ghouls leaping out at you from the pressurey inflatable stuff. This was BRILLIANCE.
  2. Bridges! With monsters underneath to grab at your legs.
  3. Cave = perfect dark. They exploited this possibility in several scenarios, allowing you to fumble around and disorient yourself a little. Gets the adrenaline going, adding to that particular panic that makes you the easiest to scare. Used a little too much for my taste, but always effective.
  4. Alternate pathways! In a haunted house! Like I’ve never seen before. Lots of standard tableaux (hospital, slaughterhouse, graveyard, hell), but with passages labeled like “Damnation,” “Hate,” “Absolution,” and stuff that didn’t necessarily lead you anywhere. Replay value!
  5. Folks in ghillie suits, hiding along the walls. Most of the time it was just dark enough that you couldn’t distinguish what was prop foliage vs. what was a small person in a costume waiting to jump out and seize you.
  6. Cave muck.
except in a cave


So, needless to say, if you live in this general geographic region you should make a visit this place, the Haunted Cave at Lewisburg. So good, so scary. And you’re running out of weekends, so GO.

Additionally, I do have some cool news to report to you (here listed with letters, for variety’s sake):

  1. First, I have a poem in PANK’s third annual Queer Issue, called “JUST TRY.” It’s a massive, tumescent thing. Basically it describes how human bodies are built. You can also hear me yell it at you.
  2.  Second, I had a story recently featured at Necessary Fiction, called “Intruders.” Thanks to Stefanie Freele—this month’s writer-in-residence at NF—for presenting the story.
  3. Finally, my first comic ever was published in Rocksalt’s fifth issue, put together by the amazing Jeanne Thornton. It features some gob-smacking cover artwork by Zach Taylor (of Bear Quest fame) and with a dime-sized piece from me on p. 12, from a saga called “Adventures of a Yak in a Flying Teacup,” which will follow in future issues (hopefully).
Letters! What fun!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Warm Hello from the Man Who Never Talks At All

OH HELLO.

I have some big news. I'm one of the new Interviews Editors for PANK Magazine! WAOW! Which means I'll be one of the guys from now on asking the good writers in PANK all the tough questions. There are already a couple of interviews up that I've done, such as one where I talk about weird creatures and burnouts with Cameron Witbeck and one in which I pretend to know about science with Benjamin Landry. So many more in the works for this week and the next and many weeks to come.

The new issue of NANO Fiction is recently up for preorder (available in November!) and I have a story in it that has girls, guns, tattoos, sand and future (in)tense. Everything you need, really, all in less than 300 words. What a deal! You should order one for yourself! YES CHAMP YOU SHOULD.

Also, David Greenspan continues to be awesome over on his blog, where he says some really awesome things about the SPR and about, well, me. Heheh. He has things to tell you. He has a new chapbook out from Turtleneck called THEN and I got it in the mail this week and it has an isbn number and everything. I read a poem from it over the radio with some Cricketbows and it all turned out pretty great because there were birds and just a little self-harm.

Speaking of which.

Also, if you click the "continues to be awesome" link and read what it entails, you'll see that I finished putting together a small collection called "Partners." Yup. So that's going around. Keep your fingers crossed with me!

Other than that I'm basically writing my thesis and looking forward to the end of school FOREVER. Anticipate with me!

!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

7 VALUABLE PIECES OF NEWS

Hey. So. I've been reading Amelia Gray's THREATS lately and it is so sinister and yet really kind of sweet and I entirely recommend it. Although I imagine that the people who fall onto this blog are probably the kind of people who already know about THREATS and have probably read it before me. But.

Here's something you might not know about: my mother, Martha Moody, has her fourth novel coming out in October, and I've been reading that as well (because I have privileges), and it is something devilish. Sharp and Dangerous Virtues. DYSTOPIA. WAR. THE MIDWEST. You don't want to miss out on this business. Put that on your radar and smoke it.

There has been newses on my front. Here are some links that I've neglected to give you over the past few weeks:

1. My story "Partners" was in SmokeLong last week. You should probably watch this one.

2. The new print issue of PANK is out and about, and I have a hefty story inside. As you know.

3. The latest issue of elimae is floating around, and I have a poem in it called "DUDES."

4. I wrote a thing about "why I write" for Stymie. It's because lizards.

5. Over at the Safety Pin Review site, we announce the 2012 Best of the Net nominees. Congratulations, magicians! And if you missed Brandi Wells' issue (such as if you rely entirely on this blog for SPR updates, probably a mistake) you should read it.

6. For the bulk of the kill, the third issue of Flywheel was unearthed and put online this past week, and it's my first as flash fiction editor. There's great stuff in that section from Lydia Ship, Mel Bosworth, Kristine Ong Muslim, Richard Thomas, 'n Chris Lee (like Saruman). And that's just the flash. Go read it all, you won't be sorry in the least.

7. In utterly inconsequential news, look! --> I've reorganized my linkies on the side of this blog! OOOOOOOH.

Monday, August 27, 2012

THINGS I'VE BEEN USING TO CALM ME DOWN


1. This video. (courtesy of David James Keaton)

2. Mel Bosworth’s chapbook “Every Laundromat in the World.” You should get this poetry. I like how the lines come up and swallow each other.

3. Joshua Young. I’ve been re-reading his To the Chapel of Light. It is so gritty.

4. Etgar Keret.

5. Gilmore Girls (lots).

6. This poem by David Greenspan in New Dead Families. It reminds me of Haruki Murakami and makes me want to be buried in the ground.

7. This poem by Russ Woods in jmww, because it makes me hungry and that font.

8. The fact that at this school there are multiple people referred to as “Tits McGee.” There was also once a “Fisty McGee,” but I think she might have graduated.

*

Please go see the Safety Pin Review's 35th issue. It has Steve Roggenbuck. 

There's less than a week left to pre-order the new issue of PANK, in which I have a story. Don't you want to be there when it happens?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Metazoid

Less than two weeks until I'll be back in school.

God help me.

I had a new story in Metazen last week. Frank Hinton did an excellent job choosing that picture up top.

I think that's everything new.

I was thinking about getting rid of this blog but then I realized that it provides me with interesting insights such as the fact that the most hits it's ever got (by a factor of 4) is from the bisexual punkrock-esque erotica I got published on Clean Sheets last November. So I guess we know what people are reading.

Doing more writing than I thought, because time is running out. That chapbook didn't happen, but a few stories did, so.

Setting my sights pretty high with my submissions lately, which means longer waiting times and times.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

32 AND PREGNANT WITH GENE SLICE BABY


hello dren


Since I last wrote to you, I’ve returned from Israel, undergone a remarkable negative change in hairstyle and gotten a few things published/accepted. Let’s go over them real quick. I won’t keep you long here. First there was a nonfiction thingy on Thought Catalog called “Where to Put Your Next Tattoo.” That decision has since been made.

Next, Word Riot put up my hybrid poems, complete with illustrations. I think you’ll like them.

Then PANK published a review that I wrote of David James Keaton’s novella Zee Bee & Bee on their blog (you may have read the original review here on the blog; it’s since been revisioned).

This summer has been extremely productive for writing and of course makes me dread returning to school all the more. Yesterday, I finished a 6,000 word story, the longest and most enjoyable thing I’ve written in a year. I think I have decided in the last minute or so that I probably have to write a chapbook before I go back or I’ll probably die. God that place. I can’t stop.

I’ve been writing more poetry lately, too, which feels strange, and this feeling is justified because no one has wanted any of them yet. I have high hopes though. I think I do.

This has been a particularly rife rejection season because I’ve been submitting so much (two more since I composed this post/posted it), but a few days ago Fractured West said yes and I was pretty over the moon because I love Kirsty Logan and the work that she puts out.

I am also laying plans to write a novella, which should be crazy and might actually never happen because I am sort of afraid of it.

The Safety Pin Review hit its thirty-second issue this week, starring David Greenspan, who is a king.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

I AM SCREAMING RIGHT NOW CAN'T YOU TELL ALL CAPS BABY


I like that you can knock the ghostface killer over. I like that he responds to questiona and runs around and hides in bushes. I like that you can see him running., that he doesn’t just appear places but has to run there. and his run is not very glamorous. he always seems to be running to try and avoid detection, which is just kind of funny to see. that he is so thwarted by locked doors. it’s a very human problem. that he makes human sounds when you hit him or when he gets hit with something. of course, he is human, we know that, but it’s comforting to see in a genre of movies where, physically, killers are often so inhuman and monumental.

‘0’ ‘0’ ‘0'

this face is in your story
So there a couple of exciting happenings lately that I’ve neglected to mention here. First and biggest, I have a story called “The Theatre of the Floating World” in the latest print issue of PANK, which can now be pre-ordered and drops September 1. You can read it online at PANK’s site, too. It’s about kabuki, among other things. It’s my longest story so far and probably the best. But really, you should get the thing in print because it looks BEAUTIFUL.

Next next, some geniuses at My Audio Universe have turned my short “The Spirits of Imaginary Animals”—published in Bluestem back in March—into a professional audio recoding, replete with music and stuff. It’s pretty awesome, give it a listen (and compare it with my own reading on the Bluestem website, if you’re into disparities).


I also put "A LOVE POEM FOR 2 PLAYERS" on Let People Poems, if you are into poems and letters and hugging.

Hey people, tell me if you're out there.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

THAT IS ONE BIG FISH

ok, so there’s a movie called Mega Piranha.

well duh.

I watched it on syfy the other day. I kept falling asleep, but there were some piranhas (duh) who grew to unfathomable sizes through the magicks of science & protein. as shown in the picture, they could leap out of the water and snatch helicopters out of the sky. they ended up in florida, thrashing around on the beach and eating all the swimmers and beachgoers and knocking down houses, etc. this was one of the worst movies I’ve seen in a very, very long time. it made me really, really angry like bad movies sometimes do.

it was a logistical problem. they tried to kill the piranhas in so many ways. they nuked them, via underwater submarine/torpedo, without visible effect. then they sent a special team of divers to shoot at the piranhas with underwater guns, trying to “make them bleed” so that the other piranhas’ bloodlust would all be focused on the wounded piranha, and then all the piranhas would attack each other and the day would be saved. so they fired blindly and poorly underwater for a while, until I guess one of them succeeded, at which point EVERY SINGLE PIRANHA swam over to cuddle with the wounded one, aka, circle around the wounded one rapidly while a lot of bluish smoky substance (piranha blood?) billowed forth. one piranha spinning, all the others circling him. and circling. without apparent touching. just circling. and then all of mankind erupts in celebration. first kisses are exchanged, the piranha threat has been neutralized.

except WHAT are the piranhas gonna do once they’ve finished circling/eating the wounded one? continue attacking each other? nah, I don’t think so, probably just TURN AND EAT FLORIDA. this is NOT a solution, I was not convinced by this movie.

also then yesterday I saw a guy with an arm tattoo that I SWEAR was a piranhaconda.

o - o - o

in other news, two stories of mine have recently hit the bricks online (as it were). The first was called “Manual into Grind,” and is over at Used Furniture Review. It was in-progress for a long, long time before it got to be where it is now. I’m glad that it finally found a home. It’s basically about, well, you know. Thanks to David Cotrone for making the magic happen over there.

The second is in NAP, where I have a piece called “Moments That I Haven’t Run Away,” which is basically the opposite. It’s a sad and squirmy one. Actually, both of these are sort of sad and squirmy. That’s the best way to be. That Chad Redden what rules NAP is quite a ship, I’m telling you.

I had a very special item accepted at Word Riot too, just a few days ago, which feels like pretty big news. I think you’ll all like it a lot when it shows up. I certainly do.

and… the Safety Pin Review’s got its 29th issue, which is pretty fantastic, work from Rachel Swirsky (whoa!), so CHECK IT OUT.

Anyway, happy mid-week post-humpday to you all. Big things next month, for me.

Anyone who reads this blog, I love you. Tell me you read it and I’ll tell you I love you. It’s so nice to have readers.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

bring on the moon spiders (first movie thing)


so from now on, or basically whenever I feel like it, I’ll be posting reflections/’critiques’ on the movies I watch as I’m watching them. because for one, this blog needs to be a home for something other than these boring-ass writing updates. gives people a reason to check back every so often.

plus, I’d like to DO something productive with all of my movie-watching binging beyond filing them onto the life-list and talking about them to myself, so I’ll start documenting them here, more or less just thoughts as I have them, probably without much reason or substance, in REAL TRUE BLOG STYLE (yay). maybe (hopefully) they will be

also I love movies so much I feel like I should dedicate a higher percentage of my time to writing about them. or writing them.

there will be spoilers, almost always probably, so if those kinda things bother you then please feel free to ignore these posts.

so today it’s last year’s Apollo 18, one of those horror faux documentaries that have become so popular in the wake of paranormal activity. this one’s about the moon mission in the 70’s that NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT BECAUSE EVERYONE DIED. tagline: “there’s a reason we’ve never gone back to the moon.” (all of the astronauts have boring astronaut names like walker and Anderson and scott and were not distinguishable to me, so forgive me for not referring to them by name.)

the only spoiler here is that the monsters are moonrock spiders.

pg-13 horror convention: “what the hell was that?”
r horror convention: “what the FUCK?”

astronaut says bring it/'what the hell was that?'

Apollo 18 subscribes to the ghosthunting-style pg-13 convention. one figures, that, when dealing with a movie that supplies so little blood and gore, it’s best to just play it safe and keep with the pg-13 rating, because why bother? you’ll get more, younger crowds this way. if you’re gonna go for the r and you’re funded by the Weinstein bros, you’d sure as fuck better be going all out.

I saw this dvd in the library and picked it up because I’d never heard of it and was curious to know what kind of evil lurked on the moon. as it turns out, it’s tiny little rock spiders with mysterious infective powers. at first this kind of disappointed me. insects and giant bugs and the like are just about the least inventive of all monsters. I was hoping for colossal moonmen or gods. instead: rock spiders. oh well.

if you’re an astronaut and get questionably infected then you basically just turn into a zombie.

there’s one scene that got me: when one astronaut (Anderson, I think, he was one of the important ones) is checking out the infected one sleeping in his bunk, looking at the state of his infection, when the sleeping guy suddenly grabbed his arm all crazy-eyed. I knew enough to know that that was going to happen, but it still got me.

next scene, the tables are turned, and its our uninfected astronaut who’s being watched. apparently, just about the scariest thing in horror convention ever is standing over someone else while they’re sleeping. we saw it in time-lapse in paranormal activity, now we’re seeing it in Apollo 18. after which the infected guy claims that they’re “everywhere” (classic insane-person claim) and starts bashing out the cameras in their spacepod.

oh! another cool scene was when Anderson (?) was trying to escape in the dead cosmonaut’s ship, and he entered orbit, and all of the little rock monsters previously on the floor of his shuttle rose around his chair via lack of gravity and attacked him. screams over the radio. lost ‘em.

communications are incredibly unreliable in space. think about it this way: you are communicating with someone who is actually hundreds of thousands of miles away. how can you even possibly believe that it’s even reliable? it’s not. it’s not reliable. and whoever’s on the other end, you know they’re lying to you. you know.

apparently, whenst exploring in space astronauts are equipped with these flashbulb thingies that provide a bright burst of light that lasts for about half a second and illuminates about three feet in front of the wielder and have a ~1.5 second recharge time. great for suspense building: [soundtrack of breathing] rocks, then rocks, then rocks, then rocks, then rocks, then GAUNT DEAD COSMONAUT. but. WHAT A USELESS TOOL. these are about a hundred times less useful than a flashlight and if this film is to be believed than nasa is doing an exceptionally poor job at preparing our astronauts to face the unknowns of the moon. scold.

as I said, the monsters in this movie are tiny little rock spiders who live at the bottom of craters. one of the coolest scenes in the movie is when we see these spiders (via flashbulb thingies, of course, low-budget) coming up from the bottom of a crater; it looks like the ground is bubbling.

also impressive were the numbers of camera filters that apparently come pre-installed on the moon and in the spacecraft for observation of the astronauts. so many different grains and colors and staticky effects, framerates, etc. technology must have been so inconsistent back in those days. we can go from grainy hyper close-up to about 14 fps view of astronauts walking moonsurface in the same scene. and yet there is a question in the faq’s on imdb asking if this movie is irl for real.

remember this is supposed to be film circa 1974.  they’re clearly trying to get away with as much as possible in order to keep our modern audience entertained while also staying moderately faithful (or so I imagine) to the film ‘quality’ around in the 70’s.  the really brief pre-space part of the movie was pretty good at doing that, but then it just sorta gave up.

I liked that Yes was in the soundtrack, ‘closer to the edge’ era (how timely!). they often sing of moons and would probably see this movie as pure fact. also a lot of times in creature horror movies there’s the tiny, generative specimen (here, the lil rock spider guys) that we see early, and then later on there’s the huge, fully-developed version that comes chasing after us. here, it’s just the small ones crawling around. they don’t grow into anything; there is no uber-rockguy, and I appreciated that.

“we’ll let your family know you died a hero,” says the department of defense. fairly stupid, to tell one of their own that they wouldn’t be bringing him back to earth, that he was a security risk for being “infected.” at least lie and tell the guy you’re coming for him, give him some comfort as he goes.

and there’s the question, “do you think you can pilot that thing?”

the answer: not if you’re being attacked by rock spiders. collision.

their bodies were never recovered.

(there were definitely ten minutes of credits, too much for a faux documentary.)

(let me know what you think about this kind of thing; I’ll know whether to pursue or give up the ghost.)

- - -

Check out the 28th issue of the Safety Pin Review, rippled around South Korea.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

**BLOG TITLE REDACTED**


Because it’s summer and I have too many things to do, I’ve gone back to my obsessive movie-watching habits. So pardon any future submergences.

I have several new things writing-wise and life-wise out and about, but for brevity’s sake (always for brevity’s sake), we’ll restrict this post to the writing ones:

1. I have seven dedications in the June issue of decomP magazine. You can listen to them too, which seems more personal or like I’m talking to you or whatever.

2. The eighth installment of Red Lightbulbs holds a story of mine, “Things That Gary Says,” which I think is pretty creepy. Maybe you will too. Mebbe.

3. Mike Meginnis has an utterly brilliant project going on in collaboration with Artifice Magazine, a literary text adventure of sorts called Exits Are, and my game, “Journey to Makeout Point,” just went up this week. You’ll like it if you’re like me.

4. Finally, I had a small piece about ghosts and me andghosts and me in mensah demary’s little side project, The Narcissist Magazine.

5. Since I last wrote, the Safety Pin Review has gone to Turkey and back. Our latest issue—the twenty-seventh—is making rounds in Dubuque, Iowa.

I guess I do it for the Facebook likes and a vague sense of community.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Object #2



|| two 
 tiny bits 
   
                    
            for y
                 ou
                  (and her) ||

Monday, May 14, 2012

Object #1

///////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///////////
//\\\\(two recent///////////\\\\\\\///\\\\\
\\\\\\\\\\\\/////\\////////////\\\\\\\/////
////\\\\\\\\///////\\\\\\\\\\/////////\\\\\
\/////////\\\\\\stories/////\\\\\\\/\/\\\\/
\\///////\\////\\\\\\\\\\\///////\\\\\\\//\
////\\\\\\\////////\\\\\\\\\//////////\\\\/
///\\\\\\\\\/////\//////////\\\\\\\\\///\\\
\\\\\\\\//////////\\\\\\\\\\\\\/////\\\////
\\\\\\///////////\\\\\\\\\/////\\\\/////\\\
/////////\\\\\\\\\\and an interview)\\\\\\/
\\\\\\\\\\\////////\\\\\\\\\\////////\\\\\\

Monday, April 16, 2012

"Smear Yourself on the Webcam"

Now, let’s see, what can I tell you? We will move chronologically forward from the last time I wrote. A few things I may have forgotten. Let’s see:

1. I did my first reading in Indianapolis, which went great and made me hanker for more. Big thanks to Chad Redden for making it all happen (NAP NAP NAP nyan nyan nyan), and to my fellow readers.

2. Several weeks ago I received two books in the mail that I had a hand in (more like two or three fingers) bringing to fruition: The Story of A People: An Anthology of Palestinian Poets Within the Green-Lines, and Ibrahim Malik: The Man and His Selected Works. You probably don’t want to buy them, since it’s academic-press stuff and runs pretty high, but, look, there’s my name right there on the cover.


3. Duotrope posted an interview with me on their listing for the Safety Pin Review, where we’re currently in the rankings for both the top 25 “Swiftest” and “Most Personable” markets.

4. And then, last week, perhaps most amazing of all, the Safety Pin Review got a write-up in the Los Angeles Times, which has resulted in a glut of new submissions, friends, followers, retweets, and website traffic. This is huge. It feels like we’ve made it. I get the sense that this is a very formative moment for the SPR, so you should check this article out at your earliest convenience to say you knew ‘em when.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Things I've Been Keeping from You: Dispatches from the Most Boring Man on Earth (#1)

Today, the most boring man on earth checks his instruments. They read normal, as always.

First! I have a short piece, “The Spirits of Imaginary Animals,” in the March 2012 edition of Bluestem Magazine. Read it, tell me what you think. I would like to know.

Second! I actually, really, truly got invited to participate in a reading (!) with NAP Magazine in Indianapolis this Friday, March 23. It’s called NAP SLUMBER PARTY ONE, takes place at a book-recycling warehouse, and includes five (!) readers: Joshua Young, Meg Forajter, Davee Craine, Sarah Tarkany, and myself. WOW. It’s all been put together by Chad Redden, mayor of NAP, who deserves many raves.

Beforehand, there’s a reading at Butler by Roxane Gay (!!) and BJ Hollars to celebrate the release of Pressgang’s first book, Monsters: A Collection of Literary Sightings, which promises to be awesome. So if you’re in Indy this weekend, you should attend one/both of these events, meet me, hear some great words out loud. Up close, and personal. Because I will be IN YOUR FACE. Actually not. I’m pretty nice.

Third! This has been news on the Safety Pin Review site for a few weeks, BUT, there are now SPR buttons available, and they are beautiful. There’s a spiffy new “Support!” page on the SPR site as well, where you can make donations ($1.00 gets you a button, or hell, you could just ask me and I’ll send you one) and see exactly what the SPR runs on. In the spirit of openness and the DIY ethic, I’ve posted approximately how much the SPR has cost me (it’s pretty modest) and where the money goes. Iluminating, maybe? Probably not.

Other than my taste, there’s nothing inscrutable or mysterious about the way the Safety Pin Review works. No secrets here. I want to be as down-to-earth as possible, maybe debunk some of the pretension that exists around so-called “literary magazines,” which, in many cases, are just a guy with a blog. (I am a guy with a blog, for example.) Long live the editorial we!

I just got back to school from an exhausting spring break, and I’ve decided not to sleep tonight, so it’s time to write some letters. Catch you later.

Friday, March 16, 2012

"It's on My Blog": Vouched Presents in Indy


Basically, all I had to do was go west.

On Tuesday I drove over to Indianapolis to this Vouched Presents event, my first, a poetry reading by Tyler Gobble, Ben Hersey and Heather Christle. I got to meet Christopher Newgent, founder of Vouched Books, ultimate booster of indie press in Indy, and see the Vouched table up close and personal.

It was something to see all of the books I’ve read about online laid out before me in real life array. I have a bunch of Tiny Hardcore books that I stroke every so often for aesthetic comfort, but this was something else. Every time I thumbed through Blake Butler’s Scorch Atlas, I kept thinking that my fingers would come away smudged with black ink. This, set alongside slim little shrink-wrapped Annalemma’s. Lidia Yuknavitch’s The Chronology of Water, with its censorious cover-flap to hide the nudity. Christopher let me stud the table with Safety Pin Review buttons.

I’ve made my way through The Fullness of Everything, the Tiny Hardcore anthology by Christopher Newgent, Tyler Gobble, and Brian Oliu (macho, macho, and macho), and, as per norm, it cannot disappoint. Christopher’s stories are little diamonds, Tyler is exuberprime, and Brian’s New Jersey is a marvelous textual landscape. (They are all going on tour next month, and will arm-wrestle you to death if you let them.)

Now I’ve met him and heard him read, it’s safe to say that Tyler Gobble is one of the most pumped individuals this side of the Pump Kingdom (which is somewhere to the east, if it exists at all). He read one poem from Fullness whilst enveloped in an oversized Hooters t-shirt. It actually made perfect sense. When I read through Fullness now, I hear all the poems in Tyler’s voice. It helps. It is not a bad voice to have in one’s head.

Ben Hersey’s set was disconcertingly awesome, a wash of mumbled accents, ambient noise, masticated lettuce, and expressive, salty poetry. Heather Christle (pronounced like the jewel) had us all scoot our chairs closer to the podium, creating an intimate context for her smiling poems of almost brutal whimsy, a series of shy, bubbly punches to the gut.

After the reading, Ashley Ford showed me all manner of handshakes, tried to explain where the wind comes from.

And I met Chad Redden, NAP’s current mayor. I must say, NAP Magazine is doing such beautiful and elegant things. There are so many reasons to read NAP. NAP has its own pronoun, an entity in and of NAPself. NAP has a new issue up, 2.4, which you should bounce on over to post-haste (I think Joshua Young’s piece is my favorite).

All in all, it was like a micro-AWP for young Simon. So here’s to meeting a bunch of awesome people, with high hopes that it happens again very soon (it will).

Thank you, Internet, for making this happen. Chad and I eagerly await your revamped, second iteration, with full, sideways-scrolling capabilities.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Reading Steve Roggenbuck in a Tornado


I got Steve Roggenbuck’s book Crunk Juice in the mail last Friday and I still haven’t gotten over it.

A kind of dreadful wave of tornadoes hit the midwest last weekend. We avoided it for the most part in Richmond, but some folks to the south got hit pretty hard. I heard about one guy whose sister and her husband were killed; the tornado picked up their trailer and spun it around and around and around. Some say it never came down.

I was in the campus coffee shop with my friend Tyler and I was reading aloud from Steve’s book, and Tyler was taking to it something awful. Eventually, we started reading it aloud to each other, alternating, in different tones of voices, different accents. We, too, may have been slightly carried away.

four hours of rain in the corn
i kis you and i dream that i am a raccoon

When Tyler was young, he wanted to be a rainbow chaser. Looking outside after a thunderstorm, he’d see a rainbow forming and think, “I could chase that.” He would imagine leaping into the car and driving towards it, trying to get closer, trying to find where it would end.

This weekend, I imagine there were lots of rainbows. Carpe dime. It hurts to get fucked by god.

When the storm got really bad they made us all vacate the coffee shop and go to the basement of the student center, where we huddled on couches with everyone else who’d been forced from their pursuits to hide from the wind. This did not stop us. Tyler read aloud from Crunk Juice; we had a reading there in the basement. There were several people who tried to avoid eye contact.

Tyler spoke of a time when he was sitting in the living room of his house, alone except for one other person, Joey, and he said, out of the blue, “Let’s go to California.”

They didn’t, not that day. But they could have. I think a part of Tyler might still regret that, although I cannot speak to Tyler’s regrets with any sort of authority.

Tyler is in London now, for spring break. I am fairly jealous of this. He may actually find those two English women I met in Jordan. At last.


Go get Steve Roggenbuck's book. There's no excuse not to. You don't even have to pay (you should though, you want the print version).

Monday, February 27, 2012

…And With These Hats We Shall Fly (Extra Superspecial Review of Zee Bee & Bee)

(This review removed to make way for its forthcoming iteration in PANK. The section headings and photos remain, as artifacts, for posterity.)

1. "Shiver Moments"


2. "Thbbtpthbb" 


3. "DJK is Lorelai Fucking Gilmore of the Zombies"

Saturday, February 25, 2012

We Are Trying to Fix Ourselves


In the week and a half since I last wrote, my good place was thwarted (as per norm) and I turned twenty-one. As of right now, as of this moment, I am wondering how vigorously one would have to scrub one’s face to make all of his recognizable features disappear. But I am actually sitting in the campus coffee shop instead and writing this blog post. Huh. INTERESTING.

OC Press is trying to hype themselves and their authors, right now by giving away free PDF copies of Five Days to basically anyone who visits their website. All you have to do is click the pop-up and put in your email address, and then boom, erotic novella, yours. At the absolute best price. Huh. INTERESTING MARKETING. Take one, I guess? While you can.

It looks like I’ll have a small piece in the online spring edition of Bluestem Magazine, so, super-psyched about that.

I recently had a break from school during which I recorded the audio for two of my upcoming stories, and it was really cool to do. My personal vow is to go and do some kind of reading at AWP next year, or just do a reading somewhere period. I’m getting there.

On Monday I angst-ordered a bunch of books, including Tiny Hardcore's Shut Up/Look Pretty and The Fullness of Everything, Ayiti, and Steve Roggenbuck's Crunk Juice. Cheers.

Issue Twenty-Two of the Safety Pin Review.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Flea Circus




Exciting news in the land of editorial! It’s official: I am now the Flash Fiction Editor of Flywheel Magazine. This is such an exciting honor, I can’t tell you. Not only because of the incredible quality of work they’ve published in just two issues, or that someone other than myself believes in my editorial skillz (spelled with a ‘z’ or not at all), but because it’s run by David James Keaton, whose writing mania I’ve been infected with ever since he sent in what turned out to be the Safety Pin Review’s sixth issue back in September.

David was one of the very first hands on deck with the SPR, and following him around has introduced me to dark corners of alternative lit that I’d previously been totally ignorant of. Plus, he’s seen basically every movie on the planet, which, I mean, come on. How can you not want a bossman with those creds? In any case, see me on the staff page, doing my best cthulhu impression.

Also, it was reported by David James Keaton last night that the Flywheel Twitter feed has gained sentience and is rampaging around the interwebs. See if you can help tether this beast by adding yourself as a follower. Bring yer harnesses.

In other news, J. Bradley makes his second contribution to the Safety Pin Review in its twenty-first issue, currently double-teaming around New York on the backs of Jack Cazir and @NoSexCity. Go look now at the Action Shots from last week’s issue, just to see some evidence of a solitarily awe-inspiring Valentine’s Day.

Speaking of which, Jack Cazir has crafted another great (and strangely optimistic) Thought Catalog piece, “104 Ways to Break the Ice,” to which I contributed two lines. You might be able to pick out which ones are mine, but only if you know me in person (or are just really perceptive). Yes. You.

I am in a pretty good place right now.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tiny Fucking Hearts


There’s a Valentine’s Day sale at OC Press all throughout this week. 50% off all of their books, including our novella. All you have to do is enter "7DaysValentines" at checkout to apply the discount. And look, here’s a link: BUY THIS HOT STUFF RIGHT HERE.

If you’ve been procrastinating, now is the chance to buy. $0.99. Less than the price of an iTunes song. One mediocre song, or an entire erotic novella, written by two people with very tall mohawks. I know which I’d choose.

I get little slivers of royalties, too, so if you like my writing, this is one way of showing it. Get it and then send it to someone you have a crush on. There’s so much sex they won’t know what to think. SO MUCH.

We have peculiar ways of putting ourselves out into the open.

J. Bradley—a two-time Safety Pin Review contributor and one of the coolest and most prolific presences on the interwebs—is doing this thing over at his blog where if you Paypal him some drinking money for AWP he’ll write you a poem and send you a bunch of his chapbooks. It was payday last Friday, so I did that. He wrote me the most wonderful poem. I’m going to paint it on my wall this weekend. Eventually, I’ll post it here.

And, Issue Twenty of the Safety Pin Review is up. You should read it, or, hell, send us a story.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Receiving End


My blog tour comes to an end, with this piece about Twitter and the word “almost,” at the Write Café, “How I Killed Writing.” There is no violence in this piece. It was a quiet death.

Exciting orchestrations happening over at the Safety Pin Review, which I’m not going to spoil here, but rest assured we should have a special treat for you come Valentine’s Day.

Also, Jesse Bradley is really, really making me want to write poetry. And go to AWP. Thank God it’s finally the weekend.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Saddest Joke


What are you supposed to do with all the stories you’ve collected when the donor is distant but still at hand? Can you sell them? Do they move into the public domain? What am I supposed to do with all of this fucked up shit I’ve been given?

My fourth and most confessional post on this brief blog tour is now up at 4-Letter Words, called “Making Faces in the Dark.” The photo of the attractive man that crowns the post is not actually me, despite his furrowed brow and pen. He is actually a stock male. I, too, am a stock male, but not that kind. I am a different brand.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My Publications Are All Stock Photos


My third guest post is up at Getting Naughty Between the Stacks, a fabricated interview with a high school janitor who makes a tangential appearance in Five Days. He didn’t exist until the fourth draft. The more the universe of this novella is fleshed out, the more I realize how utterly insular it was to begin with.

In Five Days, there are only two named characters: Sam and Alicia. There is no one else. They interact exclusively with each other. These two lovers are the extent of their world. Reflecting on this now, I find it almost heartbreaking. How desperate was I?

Today I spent a surprising amount of time anthropomorphizing sock widows. They prefer narrow, hidden spaces where they can drape themselves in darkness and seclusion. More than that, they love it when you find them years later.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

We Only Travel In Parallel Universes



The second of the week’s guest blogs are up, this time at Erotica for All. This is a story that happened just out of sight of the central narrative of Five Days. Helping to populate Sam and Alicia’s insular little fuckiverse, as it were.

Wow, I am tired.

Monday, January 30, 2012

My Body Is My Temple


Several bits of news since my last post. My first of the week’s guest blogging appearances is up at Erotic Flashes—a look at a snippet of the novella in its second draft, to compare with how it ended up after Amanda took the reins—alongside a fairly tepid review.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned them here yet, but there are at least two other reviews of Five Days floating around in cyberspace, one at the Oysters and Chocolate website, and another by Kay Jaybee, a fellow OC Press author. No biases there whatsoever.

Yesterday provided a nice surprise in the form of a very quick acceptance from NAP Magazine. Jesse Bradley actually called my phone to let me know. It’s a fantastic way to get an acceptance, so much more satisfying than an email. So NAP gets extra major props for that. We talked about AWP a little—dude’s booked for like a dozen readings or something—and it really made me want to go, but sadly I don’t think it’s feasible at this point. Hopefully, the Safety Pin Review will be represented with a story there.

Issue Nineteen of the Safety Pin Review is up, featuring none other than Casey Hannan, one of my favorites. I’ve also decided to take more of a focus on the weekly radio show, and made a festive digital poster for the occasion. Things move fast over there, much faster than they do here.

Well.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Meanwhile: Our Friends Must Choose Who They Will Favor, Who They Will Lose


This week has been an emotional whipsaw. First, last Sunday, came an acceptance from PANK, a personal benchmark since forever. I am so, so excited about this. So much so, I even told Facebook. Where there are people who actually know me in real life. I don’t know about you, but to me this feels a little like the bigtime.

Then, in stark opposition, on Friday, after caterwauling through the working week, I found myself in the midst of some unexpected and severe emotional fallout that I don’t care to comment on here.

My head approximated great, orchestral swells, approximately these. I cried and hit inanimate things. Bad off.

I’ve overbooked myself this semester, but so be it.

Monkeybicycle published my one-sentence story “The Death of Grunge” last week. I wrote this one during the heat, in a car ride to the Jersey shore. I just sat with my sweaty notebook in the backseat, trying to make these thirty-odd words come.



At the Safety Pin Review, David Sklar wore Berit Ellingsen’s story to a sci-fi convention and then wrote about it in “Your Message Here: SPR at an SF Con.” And mensah demary’s “Depression’s Saturday” marks the SPR’s eighteenth issue.

I have my weekly radio show back at the college station, where I read SPR stories and play music. You should listen. More details here.

In the erotic world, this coming week I’m guest-blogging at a bunch of erotica-themed sites to boost Five Days. I’ve tried to do this in at least a semi-interesting way, and have written a couple new fictions and personal bits for the occasion. Should be exciting.

Here’s the schedule for where I’ll be found:

Monday, January 30: Erotic Flashes.
Tuesday, January 31: 4-Letter Words.
Wednesday, February 1: Getting Naughty Between the Stacks.
Thursday, February 2: Erotica For All.
Friday, February 3: the Write Café.

I’ll post links as they go live throughout the week. A blast.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fashion Disasters


The latest issue of the Safety Pin Review is up—Issue Sixteen, by Berit Ellingsen—and intermingled along with its first batch of Action Shots is an essay which is basically me finally coming to terms with how the SPR is supposed to work.

If you’ve been following the development of this project with any kind of interest, then it is probably of some importance that you head over to the Safety Pin Review site to read the ruminations posted there. It seems as if I’m finally catching up with what some other people have thought about the Review since the beginning. It’s okay, I’m always two or three steps behind. (Additional responses from Berit Ellingsen, David Sklar, my mother and myself can be found in the comments section.)

Coincidentally, based on current circumstances, it looks like I’ll be donning a story myself next week for the first time in a few months. Like many SPR stories, this next one is in first person, its content deeply personal and traumatized. Now, I think I’ll know how to wear it.

Solemnity coming up.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Slushing Through the Winter Months


I have an approximately 140-character piece up at the Twitterzine 7x20 today, thanks to editor Joanne Merriam. Let’s call it “Shaved Head.” It’s a little awkward aesthetically because it ends with the word “mohawk” and then has my Twitter ID “@mohawko” right next to it, but that’s okay. Maybe no one will notice.

You should all read Issue Fifteen of the Safety Pin Review, because it’s short and is worth substantially more time than this blog post.

Writerly New Year’s resolutions: none.