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David Fishkind

http://davidfishkind.com/

David Fishkind was born in Worcester, MA in 1990. In 2008 he spent ten days in Nova Scotia. He lives and works in New York.

The Density at the Center of Everything: A Conversation with Erik Stinson

Erik Stinson is a writer of short fiction and poetry, an essayist, web artist and associate copywriter. I first met him outside a bar in Williamsburg in summer 2010. We skated that night and, later, both, separately, with Miles Ross. I asked him some questions about his life and forthcoming collection of stories, Tropic Midtown, which, like all of his books, he self-published and distributes.

HTMLGiant: You’re sitting at a desk, am I right?

Erik Stinson: Yeah.

HG: How’s the view from your desk right now?

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ES: I can see out the window behind me, to a courtyard on the 5th floor, some light from 23rd street via a low building. Air rights etc.

HG: Okay, so you wrote a book called Tropic Midtown. It’s stories. What made you want to write these stories?

ES: I wanted to make certain memories, and unmake others. I guess I wanted to destroy some and shape others.

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Author Spotlight / No Comments
April 9th, 2013 / 10:29 am

Remembering AWP 2013 (Through Embedded Photos)

I took the Lucky Star bus to Boston with Andrew. A week or so earlier the Fung Wah bus, the bus I’d taken between Boston and New York for five years, had terminated operation by demand of federal government? (Did I read that wrong?) After a long, and delayed, transport, we made it to my parents’ house in Westborough, where we awoke the following morning to what would become 18 inches of snow.

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We helped my parents shovel (my father worked the snowblower).

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I’d had no intention of paying the registration fee, but things were kind of lax anyways? This is what the inside of the conference looked like.

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Events / 7 Comments
March 13th, 2013 / 4:04 pm

I Like __ A Lot & Reviews

A lot of little excerpts from and a little critical review of Tomaž Šalamun’s excellent On the Tracks of Wild Game

on_the_tracks_of_wild_game-promo_2On the Tracks of Wild Game
Tomaž Šalamun (Translated by Sonja Kravanja)
Ugly Duckling Presse, 1979/2012
108 pages / $14.00 buy from Ugly Duckling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s fairly disarming to think of the poetry in Tomaž Šalamun’s On the Tracks of Wild Game as over thirty years old. The poet’s approach to and manipulation of language is frequently unexpected, exciting. Fresh. He sets the bar, here, not only as we look back retrospectively on what the poetry world was approaching at the end of the twentieth century, but also as we ourselves presently work to create and maintain unique, innovative voices. I can imagine this book would generate about as much enthusiasm and dialogue, if published tomorrow, as it has as a translation. The work marks a pivotal appreciation for the Slovenian writer, but more importantly to literature outside the Western canon in general.

The brevity of the majority of the poems is particularly exciting. Šalamun strikes hard with the saying as much with as little as one is able. To me, the untitled poems, fleeting yet devastatingly moving in their images and volatile turns of language, reminded me of Bashō and other Japanese poetry I’ve read translated by Kenneth Rexroth.

The simplicity drives the purpose behind the works. Šalamun is able to transform the direction and force of these moments usually in one or two words. Notably it is the function of the ending, which takes a good poem and makes it an awesome poem. “When will I be captured / by the breadth of this honey?” (8) and “where did your women hide / as you fled to this tree?” (9) are early examples of how powerful a tiny image, a markedly heretofore unestablished or dramatically appearing image is responsible for the weight and reaction of the poem. Ending, here, on a question, is complex: it operates as a turn from writer to speaker to reader, an introspection on the speaker’s part, and an endowment of agency and participation from the literary context to the reader.

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1 Comment
February 13th, 2013 / 2:41 pm

Behind the Scenes & Reviews

Gaddis and J R: Life With, By and Before

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J R
William Gaddis
Alfred A. Knopf, 1975
726 pages / $15.16 buy from Dalkey Archive or Amazon
 

 

 

 

 

 

By July I’d completed my yearlong ramble through DeLillo’s oeuvre. It was not one of the hottest summers I remember. I had a room in Crown Heights with a window that faced out to an alley, across which lived a Barbadian family, whom I was awoken by most mornings before biking the six miles, across Brooklyn, over the Manhattan Bridge, through Chinatown, to the parking lot behind the business school next to the library, where I rode the elevator to the tenth floor and worked for eight hours Monday to Friday. I had little idea or direction of what to do next.

I read Wittgenstein’s Mistress in about two sittings, during which I came to vaguely understand the significance of the name William Gaddis. All I knew when I dropped down to the eighth floor one afternoon to pick up the massive copy of The Recognitions was that it included a character who wore a clock as a necklace. The image appeared throughout Markson’s insane novel and recalled Flavor Flav, the refurbished and culturally derided figure of the preceding decade, which seemed enough for me.

It took me three attempts to get through the first ten pages. I’d decided with a friend that we would tackle it simultaneously, but he gave up a quarter way through the first chapter. He explained that he didn’t have any interest in dedicating his respite to a man baptized by Jonathan Franzen as “Mr. Difficult.” As a matter of contention or cultural superiority, or, more likely, personal superiority, I committed to reading the novel to completion and full understanding.

I did so, along the way reveling in what I referred to as the most conscious and hilarious diatribe on art ever penned. I was indoctrinated; by what I read, I found myself deeply shaken and moved.

A month passed. I signed a lease on an apartment with my girlfriend in a neighborhood that used to be a part of Flatbush but is now called Prospect-Lefferts Gardens and enrolled in my penultimate semester of college. I reread Hamlet and Heart of Darkness and The Waste Land. I read for the first time A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses and “Ulysses” and “Prufrock” and Castle Rackrent. I had few conversations about Gaddis. I went out constantly for a few weeks and stopped. There was the hurricane and I walked across the Manhattan Bridge through a city without electricity to Madison Square Garden. I read Ben Gocker’s absurdly funny Content publication The Pisces on a bus from Philadelphia on three hours of sleep. I felt tired of writing. The insanity of the world seemed more sane. I was bored, watched hours of television. I still do. I’m still bored. And I thought, I think about The Recognitions regularly as this masterpiece of social and artistic criticism, the most effort ever poured into something’s message, which stands to say: It’s not worth it.

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8 Comments
January 16th, 2013 / 1:11 pm

Is content of what writer writes as important as how writer writes it?

Is image of who writer is as important as notion of what writer writes?

Hmph

The moon is bright in this part of Massachusetts.

There is pie downstairs but nobody is eating it.

I was very drunk at one point. Now I don’t know.

People kept talking about money.

I can’t tell how much conversation about things I incited or what I might have said.

People kept talking about politics.

Everything seems fat and watery. I was in my dad’s shed in the backyard.

The Lions really fucked up, but it will have an asterisk if you think about it.

There’s always more to drink in the garage.

I walked to the high school and kicked four field goals. Some coaches came out of the locker room and looked at me. I looked at them and missed badly.

In the bed in my childhood room this morning I read the “Nausicaa” chapter.

I can’t tell if anyone fell asleep or got sick.

I downloaded five CDs of guitar music.

This isn’t what I planned to do while I was sitting on the toilet a few minutes ago.

Some people were walking around the track then drove home.

The pavement looks white from over here.

I remember I thought this morning I smelled.

Craft Notes / 10 Comments
November 22nd, 2012 / 9:41 pm

Shitty Youth has been released

Last night Adam Humphreys released Shitty Youth, a 36 minute film following Zachary German, who most of you are likely familiar with, on Vimeo through the film’s Facebook page. The film follows Zachary for two years following the release of his first novel Eat When You Feel Sad and features interviews with Tao Lin, Brandon Gorrell, Steve Roggenbuck and myself.

Now we can all die.

Author Spotlight & Film / 6 Comments
November 5th, 2012 / 9:39 am

Kendrick Lamar good kid, m.A.A.d city Listening Party

Music by Kendrick Lamar. Commentary by David Fishkind, Adam Humphreys. Beer by Coors Brewing Company.

Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d city – <<Find Yourself>>

Music / 5 Comments
October 23rd, 2012 / 11:14 pm

How Not to Think: A Few Words

A year ago I was in Germany, alone and growing a beard—the only beard I’d ever had or since—for questionable and seemingly unironic reasons. I felt some prejudice, especially at the doors of clubs, of which I saw several facades but never an interior. I experienced some new forms of illness, peed on myself in a cab and bought an €11 plane ticket to Norway. I felt lost and rarely thought of death, and now my life has leveled out a bit. I live with my girlfriend and signed my first official lease on part of the second floor of a two-story house. I cook and drink American beers, plan my weeks around the presidential debates. Compulsive paranoia regarding the suspect preparation of cappuccinos has been replaced with making sure my clothes are off the couch and bills are paid. New fixations, too, have arisen: to map the narratives of my amaranthine nightmares, to parse the patterns of diffuse images of terror and decay that drift throughout my consciousness, to grapple with religion, God, the transmutation of the body and the limits of the human mind, the actual capacity of the thing and the shape of its components. Lately a vague sensation of erosion has begun to worm its way into my cognizant perception—a knowledge of mental illness, colors swaying into a kind of one color, that which contains every color and/or imageable, magmatic structure.

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Random / 7 Comments
October 9th, 2012 / 3:45 pm