Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Story recs; How to talk to people in email

Modern Haiku's new issue is a wonder. I was floored by the first one, and fell in love with two others. They're haikus -- they take seconds to read, and will fill your mind with gorgeous images. At least one will make you smile (it's got a goat!).

And these are the winners of the annual Robert Spiess award. I enjoyed them, and especially appreciated the judges' analysis below each entry. It was also a reminder that what I may like best is not always what others feel is "best," and that bit of insight is something I need to keep in mind on a nearly daily basis.


Russell Strier has two clever pieces at sleep.snort.fuck: Letter to Yang Chu and Letter From Greasy Grass. Clever, original, fresh, sharp, and possibly hallucinatory.


When you first start communicating with someone via email, it always begins so politely. "Katherine, I extend my compliments on your heaving bosoms, so large. Might I also add..." and you sign, "Best, Fogarty," or "Regards, Juliette." "Cheers! Aubrey." "Yours in titillation, Bob." And so on. Down the road, you begin leaving off the address. Surely they know this email is for them and that you know their name. How novel. Perhaps you still leave off with Cheers! Or TTFN! Or "When are you gonna let me fuck your tits? I mean, seriously." Later on, the carefully composed emails devolve into slang and run-on sentences and a variety of swear words. "God damn it. I had the day from hell. Luckily, you were wearing that tight baby pink sweater that I can almost see your bra through. If you ever take to wearing them little nipple daisies, I'll kill myself. When are you gonna let me fuck them? I mean, come on. I told you I'd lick it up afterwards." When manners erode into stalking, you know you've got something special. Now you are beyond "Dear Layla," and far into PPO territory. And that is how you know you have a special relationship.


I am too lazy to do a drawing for this, but you can imagine what a piece of art it would've been.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Two fic recs and a piece of me

Roxane Gay continues the Zombie Summer dance of undeath, her hand a bass drum on your carotid artery: There Is No "E" in Zombi

If this is not one of the most gorgeous zombie stories you have ever read, you can eat my brains.


I wish Dawn West hadn't included her birthdate in her bio. I am depressed at how young and how fucking good she is: My Mojo Rises While Watching National Geographic.

Very, very short. Very, very good.


Fic: Threshing

The dog eats a slice of an apple, then another, gently taking each one. Out in the yard, a man is slinging a scythe with awkwardness, a giant praying mantis decapitating the rows of young sumac and golden brush. Any moment, the rusted scythe is going to slice his leg, and the red blood of men so far removed from their ancestors as to be a new species altogether will soak into the ground. The sumac will win, and the brush will grow ever closer to the house.

I turn to the refrigerator door, where I’d been carefully arranging magnets of the states to make a new country. Oklahoma falls. The dog sniffs and decides to wait for more apple, but it’s gone. Ever hopeful, the dog thinks that maybe a new apple will appear, or a handful of kibble, or an ice cube from the dispenser. But the dispenser is disabled, and though I can fix a running toilet or a squeak in the floor, I’m not good with electrical things. That dog can stare at the dispenser all it likes, and not a single cube will fall.

The screen door slams shut behind me, but he doesn’t hear. Swish, swish, the scythe should say, but instead, its phonetics are corrupted, the man behind the tongue unused to speaking with it. He is concentrating, sweating, and he doesn’t notice, knee-deep in tick-infested weeds, the dog come running at him, bounding with dog love, glad to see you, glad to see you!

At the last moment, the blighted Cain over his shoulder, poised to strike, he sees the blur of brown, and the entire afternoon is saved. Slowly, he wades out of the overgrowth, dog at his side, scythe at his side, and maybe it’s the late-August heat, but he looks just as rusted as his blade.

When he kisses me, it tastes like sun and a hundred years ago. We’re already losing the battle; the corrosion happening isn’t beneath our feet, it’s us, we’re corroding. Up the stairs to the house – There’s iced tea in the fridge – the flakes fall into dust, and the frame of our existence bends beneath the weight of millennia of natural law. Tomorrow, we’ll be gone. Tonight, we celebrate. And now, I stand on the concrete steps and lift my face to the sun, hoping an ice cube will fall, a sliver of apple into my hungry mouth.

The refrigerator door shuts; glasses clink on the counter.

Let the threshing begin, he’d said early this morning. I kick the scythe over and send a curse towards the sumac. Notched leaves sway on brown branches, Let the threshing begin.


You might think I posted the above to illuminate exactly how bad I am in comparison to the above two writers. That's possible. ;) But really, it's posting here because it is now a thrice-rejected piece: one contest loss, two rejections. While I can see just why it's rejected, and I understand that, it was the second piece of original fiction I wrote last fall, when I started this crazy endeavor. So I feel somewhat emotional about it. But it's time to release it from the cycle of submission-rejection-submit again, and so here it is. Its final resting place.

JS, who usually looks my stuff over for me before I send it out, told me she liked it even though she didn't know what I was trying to say. I'm still not answering that question, but feel free to draw your own conclusions.


Just received a copy of Bruce Harris's chapbook, The Man and the Mark. I love it. Get thee to Deadly Chaps and get your hands on your own copy. Bruce is a fantastic writer.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Lit Blog Links

I am absolutely exhausted, but the lit blogs have been on fire this week, and having read a few more, I'm here to bring you more links, more excerpts, more brains for food. Whoops. Zombie-thought infiltration. My apologies, my edible readers.

Over at Salon, Laura Miller discusses the upcoming "publishing revolution." Self-publishing is hotter than ever, and everybody and their brother has got a manuscript they can get out there for the right price. All of those potential authors are sneering at the editors and agents -- the gatekeepers of most general fiction -- and telling them that their days are numbered. But Laura asks, Are readers ready for their encounter with the slush pile? Because that's what they'll be getting: the rejected.

People who have never had the job of reading through the heaps of unsolicited manuscripts sent to anyone even remotely connected with publishing typically have no inkling of two awful facts: 1) just how much slush is out there, and 2) how really, really, really, really terrible the vast majority of it is.

Miller's take on this upcoming phenomenon is wry and intelligent. Read the entire article.

Slightly OT: I haven't read an agent or editor's blog yet that recommends self-publishing. In fact, they unequivocally say that you shouldn't, not if you want a deal with a publisher later. Passing that along, make of it what you will.

So, you don't want to self-publish, and you want your best chance at making out of the slush pile? Before you can query an agent, you've got to write the book. Upstart Crow literary blog offers up a technique that's been around for a long time: the Rule of Twenty. Basically, your most original ideas start around twenty. Find out why in this short but very intriguing article (which has a JKR mention).

And last, I must credit Nathan Bransford, lit agent extraordinaire and fairly witty fellow himself, for the above links, which came from his This Week In Publishing round-up. For an out-loud laugh, scroll down to Comment! Of! The! Week!

I'm not sure if I ever want a reply to a query like that or not. It is amusing.

Back to the land of exhaustion and iced tea. Oh, I did get an acceptance today for an October issue of a fantasy zine. Excellent. Now to fix one of my other stories, which has holes the size of the potholes in Detroit.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Review: "Horns" by Joe Hill

From the blog of literary agent Rachel Gardner:

Q:Do you think agents are more likely to take on work that has a great plot with writing that needs work, or great writing with a plot that needs work?

A: Great writing with a weak plot - for sure. I can help a good writer improve their plot. But teaching an average writer to be a good writer is not my job.


Just finished Joe Hill's Horns. In his author's notes at the end, he says that the book went through five drafts.


Review of Horns:

Ignatius Perrish wakes one morning to find he's grown horns overnight on his head. The previous night was the one year anniversary of his girlfriend's gruesome rape and murder, and he's not quite sure what he might've done. He's hungover as hell, and there's some other really freaky shit going on as well.

The opening chapter, brief as it was: best opener ever. Wish I'd written it, which is my usual highest praise.

But then the book sort of meandered, and while I would've been fine with following Ig around as he attempted, gracelessly, to understand what's happened and what is happening, I found it difficult to connect or like Ig. He's classic slacker, and his personality resembles most a wet sock on a gym room floor.

But still, Hill's pacing and wit kept me reading. I was enjoying it. Not loving it, but enjoying it.

And then, halfway through the book, a lot of pieces came together, and I realized we'd been standing with Ig at the top of the Evil Knievel hill (read it -- you'll get it), and we were about to go flying down it in a grocery cart.

And what a fucking ride it was.

I stayed up into the wee hours to finish this one, and I got that familiar feeling of dread about 2/3 of the way through. You know the feeling -- there's not a lot of book left, and it's got to come to an end, and you don't want it to.

I won't spoil it for you, but I will say that it was worth the set-up, and it's got enough quirky references and inside jokes that you'll be rolling your eyes and laughing for most of the way. That's a talent that Hill's got: he makes you feel like you're in on the joke with him. He's not a writer who's showing off how witty he is, how intelligent, what a fabulous writer he is. Nope. He's just telling stories to his friend, and that's you.

I also get the distinct impression that Hill sits at his keyboard, laughing his ass off and banging the keys like a monkey as he rips out these stories. I hope he's having as damned good of a time as I think he is.

Sure, this isn't the great horror story that Heart-Shaped Box is. And I didn't fall for Ig like I fell for Jude (unf). But it's clever and fun and comes together reasonably well. Something else it's got? An original story. I can't think of anything to compare this to.

It does have its weak points. I never cared all too much for Merrin, the dead girlfriend, even though I could see why Ig did. And the hints and clues were a bit obvious, but since you never have a lot of time to dwell on them, it doesn't seem to matter much. And Hill seemed like he tried to cram every reference to the devil, good and evil, the Bible, theology, you got it, he tried to cram it all in there. And maybe the ending was a bit too tidy, but then, who can really complain about that?

Read it. It's a helluva ride, one you won't regret. I actually look forward to reading this again, which tells you something.

Last thing: Ig's the son of a fairly wealthy, well-known person. Joe Hill... Yeah, you get where I'm going with this. I did wonder if Hill was drawing on actual experience when I read the parts where Ig talks to people and they confess what they think of him, and inevitably say something about his rich daddy, etc. Or do people really keep that to themselves, and Hill thinks that everyone is thinking that? Either way, it's got me thinking.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Nothing Says Love Like Massive Skull Injury

I'm 2/3 of the way through Joe Hill's Horns. I fucking love it. Review probably at the weekend.


Here is what we know about love: it is like hippopottamuses in the dirty river. Or like their skulls. It is on occasion like their feet stamping in the mud below. When I was 23, I sucked mud down there, felt my own skull crack. The bottom of the river with fifty horny angry delirious hippopottamuses above me said home, and I believed. You should too. You should take a deep breath, like when you were twelve and at your friend's above-ground pool and going to go under for the quarter her dad threw in just to see your butt flash above the water for a second. You should take that deep breath, hold your nose, and dive. Thrash around, fight your way down down down. And when you find that quarter, when you've got someone standing on your head and you're sucking fire, just stay there. Stay there. That's love.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Story Recs; Chuck Pahlahniuk Writing Tips; Minor Complaints

xTx's Zombie Summer starts off with a riff and a tear:

Queer Zombie Disco by Kirsty Logan.

A love story in three gruesome parts? Rocker chic with undead glam? Fucking zombies? All of the above, friends and enemies. Remember, we're all edible.


Richard Godwin provides a bit of art history over at the NOT: The Iconoclast.

A short, hard beast of a piece, with ripping claws and teeth. Caravaggio? I can't look at his work the same way now. I feel slashed. What is a reader but a canvas?


Just refreshed myself on Chuck Pahlahniuk's writing tips.

This one, in particular, caught my attention:

Number Two: Your audience is smarter than you imagine. Don't be afraid to experiment with story forms and time shifts. My personal theory is that younger readers distain most books - not because those readers are dumber than past readers, but because today's reader is smarter. Movies have made us very sophisticated about storytelling. And your audience is much harder to shock than you can ever imagine.

I repeatedly experiment, and I expect that my reader will get it -- or not. It can only be either of those things, and if they don't get what I'm doing, don't care for it, I'm not much bothered by it.

As a reader, I love when the author has done just that -- expect that I'll get it. Because whether I do or not, it's going to make me think. I want to go places that perhaps the author never even intended. I want to make connections that may or may not be there. That's part of the thrill of interpreting art.

But then, I'm a huge fan of modern art; the more abstract and difficult to grasp, the better.


On a thicker, harder note: Total Cock Worship. What is up (heh) with all the monstrous cocks? I'm not aroused, I'm scared. I love a gorgeous cock as much as the next man or woman, but do they have to look as though they'd be more in scale if they were attached to a bull?

And also, the cheese I bought two days ago and which has an expiration date of later this week, which I was going to use for my fabulous homemade macaroni and cheese, is all moldy.

The two above items are not related. I'm sick of asterisks.

Sam Adams Light, save me.

Write porn!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Deadly Chaps; Katamari

In October, my first chapbook is being published by Deadly Chaps.

What is Deadly Chaps? In an interview with Keri of WriteTurnHere, editor and senior instigator of Deadly Chaps and (you already figured it out, right?) Short, Fast and Deadly, JQ explains:

Can you tell us a little about the forthcoming “Deadly Chaps?”

Deadly Chaps is a print series of art-quality wood-bound chapbooks slated for monthly release beginning 19 June 2010. Most of the material will be available through the web but the books are beautiful, something that you'll hold lingeringly, page through reverently. The authors were selected by invitation. They've all contributed to Short, Fast, and Deadly at least once. They're as eclectic as the magazine itself tends to be and I think that's a very good thing. You can read more about them here:

I'm the fifth and, for now, final author, and my date is October 19th. I'm like the sexy autumn caboose on the lit train.


So go check it out. Bruce Harris is up first, today, and he's got samples for you to read. Dry Ice is especially groovy. I've read it three times this morning.


Prince Holds Katamari on His Shoulders

This bronze sculpture by everfalling was done for an art class and stands 8" tall. I'm still waiting to hear if he'll do more. Sure, it'd be expensive, but worth every penny. And yes, if you're wondering, I was a huge Katamari fan for several years. I've played them all, repeatedly, and I'm hoping that the afterlife consists of your own planet and stars to roll up. Minus the King, of course. Tight pants or no, he's a pain in the arse.

Roll on, little Prince. Roll on.

Returned; xTx does not rhyme; What I Want You To Tell Me (and also, not tell me)

I'm back. Bet you didn't know I was gone.

But I was! We went up north for a few days.

That second pic was taken at a viewing station at Fish Point, a wildlife refuge. For me, it was the highlight of the trip. We forgot our bird identification book and binoculars, but that was fine -- we were surrounded by dozens of different types of birds, including some magnificent white cranes. Also, just down that trail lie the remains of some large-ish creature. Weasel? I only had two legs to posit that guess. Certainly wasn't a squirrel. I can't help it; I'm fascinated by the remains of dead animals. Also found bullfrogs and a variety of small toads and frogs, turquoise blue dragonflies, some gorgeous little honeybees feeding on what we'd call marsh rose back home, deer -- lots of deer -- but no snakes. Bit disappointed we didn't find any snakes.

This particular area is 3700 acres, and honestly, I think we had it to ourselves. I can't believe that people live within an hour of this, two if you live in Detroit, and they're not out there, taking advantage of this amazing place. I was overwhelmed by the amount of wildlife. We couldn't go five feet without seeing some extraordinary sight. We found nests and watched mommas and daddies taking care of little ones, watched swallows grab insects out of the air, saw birds in just about every color, watched the white cranes apparently having a meeting at a small island a little ways off (they came from every direction, circling and landing -- probably about half a dozen -- what were they doing???), chased butterflies, chased birds (if I saw a crane land somewhere close, I took off with my camera), and just generally had a fantastic time. And this is free! What an awesome experience.

We went to the beach, and yes, I've got a jacket on. Always cold, I am. We toured areas marked "Residents and Guests Only," just to see how the other half lives (um... brilliantly well, despite the economic downturn) and picked out the houses we'd buy if we won the lottery. We ate lunch on a deck overlooking a waterway that led to the lake, and watched boats come in and out while we had lunch. We went antiquing, and we did buy one item. That will be in another post. Suffice to say, it's fucking brilliant. And we spent several hours, at least, in our hotel's indoor heated pool. We brought our own Power Rangers, Mystic Force ball. I haven't laughed that much in ages.

So that's it. Incredible few days away, much needed, and they did the trick. I don't usually do this, go away for a few days. I'm glad I did, and we'll be doing it more.

Maybe the best part was doing it all with my best friend. We're coming up on 12 years this August, and I love him more than ever. FYI -- this little getaway was his birthday present. It could be an annual tradition.


I haven't written nor read anything in two weeks. I go through these times. Now that I'm feeling refreshed and finally in a good state of mind, I'm ready to start again. But I feel as if I need practice. Like I'm an athlete who's out of shape. So, I'll be catching up on my reading -- online zines and Joe Hill's Horns -- and writing a little bit every day. I did read the first three chapters of Horns this morning, and it's got promise. Hill writes his protagonists with such a solid voice. I thought HSB grabbed me more right out of the box, and from reviews, it seems that this one suffers a bit from sophomore slump, but we'll see. Chapter One is one of the most brilliant openings I've read in... forever.


Speaking of catching up on my reading: I come back and find out that xTx has got two poems in the new issue of Pank. And that the first one makes me crawl on my hands and knees and drool. And that it makes me want to bite her. And leave bloody bite marks all over her. Because that is love. See? She says so.


And that also, BookEnds is again talking about social networking and your online presence. I reined myself in last time I mentioned this discussion. Actually, I just mentioned it and hoped that people would go and read. This time, I'm putting in my two cents. Social Networking and Your Online Presence, Part Two.

This time, Jessica is asking what you want to see from an author, online. Blog? Twitter? FB? And what should they post about or not post about?

Me? I want you to entertain me, make me curious, inform me.

I don't want you to talk about your personal life, unless it fits into the above categories. I would, however, care if you wrote something that made me want to bite you all over. I care if you write something that makes my heart hurt. I care if you tell me where I can find something that will make me go crazy and run out into the yard and eat handfuls of clover. I want to know if you went crazy last night and climbed your neighbor's apple tree naked. Or if you fucked your husband for the first time in a year and found it was like fucking a stranger. And then did you have some homemade ice cream? Go ahead and embellish. Real life can be simultaneously the most mundane event ever to occur and nearly supernatural. Walk that line, rip it up, show me that line.

If your writing sucks, maybe I won't care if it's about how you heard the ice cream truck and you chased it down the street and then realized that you're 42 and out of breath and you left your wallet in the house. That would actually make me laugh my ass off. So please, go chase some ice cream trucks. Just to entertain me.

And also, octopus videos and essays and haikus and porn and sculpture (did I say porn???) and art.

Also, if you're one of those authors who enjoys talking in-depth, ad nauseum about your writing process and your characters and your "muse" and on and on and on about stuff you wrote previously -- no, thank you.

Entertain, inform, provoke my curiosity. It should be provoked. It's been lazily sunning itself in a corner of its cage lately. Yes, I used an adverb! Fuck off! I like it! I like it muchly!


Long post is long. RSB is back from mini-vacation with a mini-hard-on for words again. Yay. No more ED. Now, another margarita for me and I've got some belligerence left that still needs spilling.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Review: "Ilium" by Dan Simmons; Ice Cream

Rage. Sing, O Muse, of the rage...

The intelligent opening to Dan Simmons' Ilium, an "elegant monster of an epic" (PW) that is literary sci-fi at its... almost best. You'll probably find nothing but praise for this work, and I agree, it's something that should be read, whether you like sci-fi, Greek mythology, adventure, Shakespeare, or just a very literate, intelligent read. But unlike some, I'll argue it's not perfect. More on that in a moment.

Three storylines. Earth, Jupiter, and Mars. Humans, meta-humans, sentient robots. All coming together as a mystery unravels, surging towards an epic battle. On earth, the remaining population of humans is much like the Eloi of Wells' creation: soft in body and mind. But some have begun to question the world around them. On Jupiter, four sentient robots prepare to undertake a journey to Mars; two of them do not know what their mission is about, but they are necessary components. On Mars, a race of meta-humans calling themselves "gods" is re-creating the Trojan War using actual ancient Greek humans (or are they...?). It's the massive terraforming and quantum power that has drawn the attention of the robots. And in the middle of this, a lone scholic from the 20th/21st century (he's not sure exactly when he used to exist) is about to change history -- literally.

Engaging, fast-paced, exciting twists, superbly creative -- what more could you want?


I could want more 3-D characters, for starters. The single character who stands out, head and shoulders above the rest, is Mahnmut, a moravec (sentient robot) who studies the sonnets of Shakespeare and who has spent most of his existence in his own submersible, far below the Europan seas. Mahmnut is diligent, loyal and thoughtful. It's his loyalty that won my heart, as he and his friend, Orphu of Io, are the only two remaining robots after the "gods" blast them out of the Mars atmosphere. He's courageous and intelligent, gently funny, and he's got a set of his own problems to overcome. He does with grace, and I could not have loved him anymore.

As for the actual humans, well, that's another story. Here we go again. Male sci-fi writer, female characters divided into three groups: whore, bitch, or child(like). It is permissible, of course, to combine these. Helen of Troy, for instance, slots neatly into whore/bitch. But beyond this, the female characters are little more than window dressing. Sure, they've got their parts to play. It's just too bad that they weren't endowed with any of the same endearing characteristics of the robot.

As for the human males, the most vacuous of them all, Daeman, is probably Simmons' triumph. He's the only one who made realistic, believable progress without veering into cliche (though he certainly starts out that way). No other character makes nearly as much progress, and I'd argue that this book is, indeed, Daeman's story. The Hero, unlikely as he is. He whines, he cries, he's petulant, spoiled and soft -- hell, he's pudgy! He never wants anything to change, he isn't curious... And yet, the Daeman at the end is a remarkable human being, unlike any other I've come across in a book yet, and I am rooting for him.

Great book, but the characters fell flat. I can't even begin to describe how paper-thin the Greeks are. I had hope for Zeus, but he seems like just a cariacture of a god. If, however, you're a sci-fi fan, get this. It's brilliant, it's literary, it's clever.


I also had high hopes for last night's ice cream: Lemon.

The recipe is simple: kefir (a sort of thin, drinkable yogurt, unsweetened, tangy), honey, lemon zest, lemon juice, a splash of Limoncello. Whisk, put it in your ice cream maker, and in 45 minutes, a snowy mound of very tart, very lemony ice cream.

It's perhaps too tart. As B said, you can't eat a big spoonful of this. Small bites, almost as if it was a palate cleanser. In the heat and humidity we've been experiencing, this is a gorgeously refreshing ice cream. Again, you just can't eat a lot of it, nor in big bites. :)

I'm going to try again with another lemon ice cream recipe. I want something a bit more subtle. I should mention that, at the link above, they do say that the recipe is so simple, you could easily substitute a variety of citrus. So, lime or grapefruit. Very intriguing!


Weird zombie fic progresses. I need 200 more words.

And I wrote three pieces for the chapbook.

The above mentioned writing may not be spectacular, but at least I'm getting back into it. My head's finally starting to clear. It does feel like that, as if I've been in a fog for a week. Hopefully, the uphill climb is beginning. I like the work.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Flash fic rec -- "Gluteus", minor ramblings

Gluteus by Dawn West.

It'll take you a minute to read.

And there's a line that made me say, "Holy shit!" out loud. If a story's got one of those, I give mad props to the writer. Because I live in 1995, yo. Wassup.


I actually don't. I live in the future. Head in the clouds, all that.

So this past week, I haven't been feeling well, and each day was worse than the one before. I've managed to keep working, take care of the zoo, etc, but today I woke up feeling better and I thought, This weekend, I'm getting my mojo back. Cuz it's been gone. And I've felt really strange. No writing for a week -- well, there was the 24 hrs spent suffering over an opening line, which is unlike me. And then last night, exhausted and emotionally drained from two episodes of Whale Wars, I decided to rewrite my zombie fic for xTx's zombie summer, and I got this new thing, it's a bag of shit, but it's freaky, so maybe she'll like it. I wish it was elephant summer again. If you haven't already, hit her blog and download elephant summer. Sure, there's a ton of stories about enormous elephant cock, but there's some fucking brilliant stuff too. Okay, some of the elephant cock stuff is pretty awesome. I'm too lazy to find the link. Find it yourself! Jesus, do I have to do everything around here?

My point is, I'm gonna write. I also got up at 7:30, threw some clothes on and pulled my hair back, and took the dogs for a walk. Excellent, even though it's humid as hell already and we'll need the AC on soon. Oh, and these people got a puppy, and since they got it, it's been living outside. With no shelter, no bowls of food or water. It looks healthy, but I was shocked when, at 7:40, I walked past their yard and this little thing uncurled and yawned and then barked at us. From where it was sleeping on its filthy, cracked bit of patio. This? Not right. Something will be done. The old rescuer in me is dying to just reach over and nab the pup, send it on to a rescue group an hour or more away (I still have contacts), but I think we need to get the city involved. Maybe the owners can be educated. Or maybe they can't, and they'll have the dog removed. But if I just steal the pup, they'll just go and get another one. So. City. There's a plan.

I haven't walked the dogs in weeks. Too hot, then I didn't feel well this week. They were ecstatic. Lucy actually looked like a proper German Shepherd out for a walk.

Boring post! Come back tomorrow for: book review, review of new homemade ice cream, and maybe something else...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010



The sea's not wide but it is full.
I have my castle and my load of gold.
See how the chest flips up to show
its plastic pennies and its bouldered hearts
with each great current, while in droves
we follow close the circular turret --

The sea's not wide but it is full.

-- from "The Striped World" by Emma Jones

52 Poems by Faber


I should post a pic of Bob with that poem, but I'm far too lazy. Please picture a happy, chubby-cheeked Parrot swimming on his back just above the gravel, thinking bubbly thoughts. Or flaky thoughts, as he's perpetually hungry.


I am in perpetual hunger. At the bottom of the castle gates, I am hungry. Peeking through an archer's notch, I am hungry. I am hunger, I am in hunger, I am in need, where is the dragon that I must slay so that his reptilian blood colors the moat and the fish swim happy, happy, no longer hungry for today? Here is my silver bow, borrowed and thin, here is my lance, here is the letter you wrote yesterday in dragon blood, here are the words that fall in my courtyard like dogwood blossoms. Here is hunger. Perhaps now I know why you left.

Monday, June 7, 2010

"Snakeskin," new piece up at A Minor

Snakeskin, a new piece up at A Minor. Sheesh, isn't that what the title says? Nothing like being depleted of all creativity on a Monday afternoon.


I'm fresh out of happy, fucked up, mouth-slappin' words. A poem will have to do -- by someone else.

Traces, Fine Bird Prints

traces, fine bird prints
above the tide line

do the grains of sand recall
compressing tight to make that shape

or loosening in the new arrangement?

even after waves, somewhere,
my cells remember how it was

your track etching

-- Lilian Mohin

Friday, June 4, 2010

xTx sharply, Random + fic

Sometimes, xTx pierces me through with a tiny sword: I would like this too much


Surreal grunge wallpapers by Vintage Retro Grunge, an amazing site for textures, fonts, and wallpapers that have a "vintage retro grunge" look. Which appears to mean steampunk, Victorian, retro, grunge and a host of other very cool things. Thanks, Propnomicon.


I now have a harmonica. Be glad you don't live next door to me.

My other half works at a music store and brought it home last night. It's ridiculously easy to make music on, and the animals are enthralled (read: ears flattened, slinking out of room while giving me a dirty look over their shoulder). I need a book so I can actually learn to play this.

Or I can continue composing my own songs. *g* "Ode to Bob" was especially moving, I thought.


Meteor Equals

There are numbers, numbers everywhere I turn. I gave you a number, but you used it against me. Still, every time I see your number, I get the chills, I get the urge to divide. You do this to me, you make me want more complicated equations. Once we were x and y, now there are bottles in the grass from last night's meteor watch and you in my kitchen talking about real coffee, good coffee, and how this all came about is physics and I want to quantum puke when you say you've got to go, you've got someplace to be, you'll text me. Nine. You say nine, and I fall all over again. And watch your small car rev out of my parking spot.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ants, Razors, and Rick Araluce's miniatures

Sometimes I get tired of looking at words. Words and words. They begin to make no sense. Or they do, but then I look at someone else's words and then my words look meaningless and stupid. Now my words are just random words. Now they're just consonants and vowels. Now they're not even that. Now they're ants on the page. antsantsantsantsantsants ants ants antsantsants ants ants antsantsantsantsantsants ants ants antsantsants ants ants antsantsantsantsantsants ants ants antsantsants ants ants antsantsantsantsantsants ants ants antsantsants ants ants ants ants ants antsantsantsantsantsantsants ants ants antsantsants ants ants crawling all over the fucking page.

I should stop using cheap razors. Or I should pay more attention in the shower. Or I should throw them away after a few uses instead of thinking I can use them one more time. Or I should just stop cutting myself. It all seems so easy.

Come now, children. You can do this. Break open my soul. Tell me I am here and you are not, and what that means. Do you know what that means? If you don't, tell me that. Tell me something with your words, and maybe your words will crawl all over me and make me freak out and I will yell ANTS and then we can be friends. Or maybe we were friends once but you forgot about the words we licked up or maybe I forgot but you can take out your razor now and tell me again.

Or maybe you are tired of looking at words too.


The Predator by Rick Araluce

If you're in CA, check out his show. More of his pieces here. I had a hard time choosing one. I think JS, if she is reading this, will like A Bad Plan best. I want all of them, one for each room in my house, and maybe people (who am I kidding, I never have anyone over) who come for a tour of my house will wonder if each room is somehow represented by these miniatures. And then they will be scared and wonder if they should make a polite goodbye. They probably should.