I briefly studied poetry with William “Bill” Matthews eons ago. I liked him very much. I was a bad poet. He made us write sonnets. I wrote one that narrates a mother teaching her daughter how to masturbate in the shower. He didn’t like it. He didn’t like much of my work, and yet, we liked each other. After the jump is my sonnet. Feel free to share your bad sonnets in the comment section.
I accidentally ordered two copies of Amelia Gray’s AM/PM from Featherproof . Write a vilanelle about your htmlgiant contributor of choice and I’ll send my extra copy and some other books to my favorite entry. Post your entries in the comments section.
I feel like a piece of shit today. Self hatred is an interesting thing in that it allows oneself to feel a sort of disproportionate amount of self importance and partake in self involvement, albeit one of loathing. From this thought, I’ll segue into the issue of liking or not liking, hating or loving, characters in stories. READ MORE >
August 4th, 2009 / 5:59 pm
However, I can tell you this with complete certainty: Had I had any bright editorial ideas, Lish would have summarily rejected them. His control-freak obsessiveness redoubled itself when it came to his own work. He demanded that he get to pick the art director for the cover. We strategized over the sending out of galleys like Ike planning D-Day—”Howard, I have enemies everywhere,” he said ominously, and he was right. And no author I have ever worked with concentrated more compulsively on the precise way each line of type fell on the page, driving me and the production department almost nuts. (This is a pattern of behavior, I have learned, that he’s repeated with his other editors.) He wanted what he wanted, and that was that. He was a living no-editing zone. Except, of course, when it came to his author’s work; then out came the pick and the shovel and the scalpel and the drill.
I fucking hate the Atlantic because of articles like this one linked here and the many other similiar, hyperbolic crap they publish with far too great regularity. I truly think they try to find the most mentally disturbed, prozacked, never-properly -fucked-in-their-entire-liives journalists they can and ask them to write the most insensible social commentary they can muster. Indeed, I rarely read them anymore because it’s bad for my gallbladder. But, I bought their fiction issue that comes out yearly. And I read all of the fiction in it. Here’s a brief discussion of the first four of seven stories: READ MORE >
August 3rd, 2009 / 6:22 pm
I’m still in the Dominican Republic, recuperating after climbing Pico Duarte, with a giddy love of modern plumbing dominating my emotional core. Earlier last week, I read the entire Electric Literature, No. 1 which consists of only five short stories. At first, the green smoke of envy blew out my nostrils because every single one of the f ive authors- EVERY SINGLE ONE- has had multiple books published. I mean, couldn’t they publish just one up and comer? Pretend they care about new talent? Hm. Guess not.
Anyway, the cover of Electric Literature is a tripped out, fantastic portrait of a woman with multiple eyes and ears, blood dripping on her face, muscle tissue showing and weird space-age shit going on, done by Fred Tomaselli. So, I expect something unconventional inside, from both the coverart and the title, something truly “electric”. What instead I found, were five, solidly good short stories. And this is no small feat. In fact, it was one of the most satisfying journal reading experiences I’ve had in a while. READ MORE >
July 28th, 2009 / 10:49 am
I’m leaving at 4:30 am tomorrow for the Dominican Republic. I’ll be gone for two weeks and although I will not be reading much while climbing Pico Duarte, I will be spending some of that time sitting around and reading. Here is a list of the books I am contemplating bringing:
I’m going to see if I can start a book club with Early Man. You know, go to their house, talk about books we read. That’s right! My own book club, with Early Man! Because those bitches from the PTA wouldn’t talk to me because I wasn’t “PTA” enough and wouldn’t invite me to their book club! (It was cool- I hung out with this Jamaican drug dealer named Ray whilst picking up our kids. Much more pleasant than talking to Cynthia/Satan, PTA President from the Devil’s Anus.) And you know what? After we talk about books, we’re gonna get really fucked up and screw! Wait, that just slipped out. Anyway, here’s some excellent recommendations from Early Man- The 12th Planet by Zecharia Sitchin, anyone?
July 14th, 2009 / 5:37 pm
Keith Nathan Brown shared this poem with me. He had some opinions on its meaning as did I. After the jump, I’ll share his and my ideas. READ MORE >
I have no weed. I like the video (after the jump)- the “Thrash Version of Dopesmoker”. I do like the original version of Dopesmoker better. But art that inspires art, appropriates it, smokes it, humps it, mocks it, loves it, picks its nose– maybe it doesn’t quite make it as special of a thing as the original– but it can still be of interest in its own right. (See threads on Flannery O’Connor and Tim Gautreaux and read about Salinger suing people.) Also, after the jump, are the lyrics to Dopesmoker, or some of them. (And granted, I will listen to the original waay more than the thrash version.) My husband sent the lyrics via email. I have not fact checked them. Is it possible he transcribed them himself, whilst listening to Dopesmoker, over and over again? I don’t know. (I think it could be so- I need to teach him about lyricsmania and all those other sites.) I haven’t seen him in days. Hm. READ MORE >
Hi! This is a picture from Summoning’s website. They are metal. Some really nice person (here on the Giant!) told me I should write about their Tolkien fetish, in regard to literature, so I tried to get my husband to do it (I have never read Tolkien and he recites that shit in his sleep), but he told me to fuck off. Also, he hit tennis balls at me as hard as he could today after I beat him 7/6 in the third in a almost 3 hour match we played. I was embarrassed for him being a bad sport- he’s normally a good sport. But I fucking WON MOTHERFUCKA! Anyway, there is a FANTASTIC inteview with them at the wonderful anus.com. In it, is this great quote from Kant: READ MORE >
I’m a clingy mom. I’m feeling all barfy about driving my son to camp tomorrow. READ MORE >
A new issue of Front Porch is live. Check out (from the front page) ” fiction by Katherine Conner and Aaron Gilbreath; poetry by Rachel Contreni Flynn, Brian Foley and Laura M. Dixon; nonfiction by Karen Eileen Sikola and Elaine Chiew; videos of Rosemarie Waldrop, John Dufresne, and Marjorie Perloff; and more!”
I am watching tennis. People lose. They seem crushed. Matthew Simmons just wrote about, among other things, an article that wrote about an abortion. Which is funny, because I was thinking about the removal of things (which is different than a crushing of things, but I am super digressing here non-stop), from reading a short story called “Mirrorball” by Mary Gaitskill, (quote after the jump), where she discusses the removal of the soul. Which led me to think of “Love Removal Machine” by The Cult, (I always misheard the lyrics to say, “soul stealer” but it is actually “soul shaker”. Oops. Also, I know the 80s shit is hard to deal with unironically, but I love that song.) Which led me to think of how I also always thought that this song, “Naked Cousin” contained the lyrics, “He’s Ronny”, like that was his name, the name of PJ’s cousin, but no, it’s “He’s running”. Oops again. READ MORE >
I have now discovered Livingston Press and like this short story “Real Creamy Ice Cream” from this book called Literature by Catfish Karkowsky. I found out about them from checking out this story “Z and Q” by Krista Madsen at Fiction Circus. (Anyone go to that party last night?)