Pepé Le Pew was a French skunk (Looney Tunes, Warner Bros., 1945) who falls in love with a black cat whose backside and tail are accidentally painted white from a spilled bucket of paint. Thinking the cat is a skunk, “la belle femme skunk fatale,” Pepé courts her with obtuse conviction, the unwitting cat too docile to even meow. I’ve always found this cartoon bleaker than the rest, its lonely protagonist even more deluded than shotgun brandishing Elmer Fudd. Many earlier cartoons operate as grim allegories about futile pursuit (i.e. Woody Woodpecker, Tom and Jerry, etc.), as if already apologizing for adulthood. The false white stripe, then, may represent steadfast projection, however ingrown. This has little to do with Susan Sontag, other than, inversely, her admitting to dying her hair black once it went grey, save the streak of white for which she was known. Caused by Waardenburg syndrome — a rare genetic disorder characterized by pigmentation anomalies in minor cases, and deafness in more acute ones — the white streak became a signature of premature maturity, wisps that hinted, or rather could not contain, great wisdom. I use “admitted” in parallel to “disclosing,” which were Carl Edmund Rollyson and Lisa Olson Paddock’s word in Susan Sontag: The Making of an Icon (2000), as the implication is that the dyeing of one’s hair falls into the camp of cosmetic vanity, that she should have just “greyed out” the old fashioned way, to let the formidable stripe become unnoticeable with age. She is to die of cancer in 2004, which cynically brings to mind a statement of hers in the Paris Review (1967) that “the white race is the cancer of human history,” whose subsequently brilliant sarcastic recantation was that “it slandered cancer patients.” A great writer always wins on paper; as for real life, the loss is immeasurable. It’s endearing how bad white people feel, how you’ve turned your neutral description into a pejorative. I’ve decided to love her, regardless of her hair, on my behalf. It’s easier this way. If life is a game of leaving quotes behind, the dead always win. Now all of us have something to look forward to.
THAT THEY DROWNED, that was a surprise. You fashion a raft by binding their bodies together in a tangle and set off down the riviera. Piles of burning furniture fanned by the wings of big moths diving between scraps of fabric trailing sparks as they dance up out from the bonfires lined along the city’s banks. You feel tan. There’s a breeze. Again you inspect the map, the schematics. Eyes closed you rehearse in mind the soundings, trace with your fingertip their signs in the air.
By the time you arrive in front of the theater your necrotic gondola has bloated, rotted apart. Ready? asks Blanchot on the radio. Ready responds Blanchot. Your grappling gun finds its hooks around a gargoyle’s neck near the southwest spire. You scale the wall, climb in through an unpatched hole in the roof.
Crawling in the dark you tear your knees, your palms. Splinters long as splints. Your blood mixes thick dust blanketing the scarred wooden floor. Now you’re blind in a corner you can’t get out of, down low under an angle impossibly wide and breathing. Here this is, you figure, and resign yourself.
In the TRAVELOGUE OF AN IMMOBILE NOMAD our pilgrim speaks of the nomad’s vision with the tape recorder. This during that time he’d given up speech, saw himself seen as a lack, a man-shaped recess in space, an outline receding in an obsidian hallway carved by his being’s flinging backward away from the things of this world, of encounters. What had been his blindspot (the body) became a door he turned to passing through, drawn into that emptiness as by a great wind. The edges carved to what had been his edges in the world of persons and things tightened the deeper in he shuttled. He felt himself contracted, reduced unto his vanishing point –
– [ and there he was floating, outside of space and time and all made things, a tape recorder in his hand and he was speaking, his-speech-the-recorder umbilical, symbiotic, generative of something prior even to potentiality, creator of the deep on the face of which the light would one day move. ]
Splash. Water in the face.
Soft focus sharpening.
Here’s Blanchot. Thought we lost you. Your wounds, you notice, have been bandaged. How long was I out? Don’t ask such inane fucking questions.
We’re in the projection room. The lead detective, you notice, is bound to a chair, his throat cut. The hostages are piled sleeping at his feet. Oh, you say, you found them. I was almost certain they’d drowned.
On top of the projector, your dossier. Retrieved. Your gaze follows the flickering film passing thru the tiny window and into the auditorium. The backs of anonymous heads perfectly still, facing forward in the dark in a shared yet private immersion. You wave.
SOME WEATHER WE bring round with us, shepherded or clung dragging behind, intersecting cone-sphere-tetrahedrons, distortions birthed of the mirrors we’ve made ourselves, kept, tho burdensome, as pets. And if some innocent is drawn up into our cloud, their form as they’d known it seeming so much shrapnel returning to a source inconceivable? They’ll just gotta deal. More often than not, this is where that happens.
The flame does its thing reflected in our table’s drinking jars here at The Others Club. You imagine the flame at the heart of the beverage, and indeed the beverage believes itself a brother to the flame, does its best to burn. There are plenty things, yeah, you’ve learned to enjoy. A scuba dive like this one, your fellow patrons: hated, desired, both.
Desire, says Blanchot, his feet up on the table. Who in their right mind would want that..? Tho at times it’s unavoidable, getting swept into currents obscure, the pull of a body toward a body as tho against one’s will. Game of magnetic chess played in the backseat of a car you don’t remember climbing into, have no idea where it’s going. You’re under a blanket with a flashlight, murmuring. You move your pieces, having no notion of the rules, and are surprised when the white ones slide or repel in response. Why, it’s practically enough to give the illusion that you aren’t so absolutely alone.
Ah but Blanchot, says Blanchot, you forget what it is to have your center felled, the voluptuousness that strikes one unavoidably when given over to such vertigo. And why not trust, when all else is considered? There are certainly worse ways to be led to one’s death.
The waitress brings the check and winks. You emerge and invent the drizzling night. Blanchot is drunk, held up by Blanchot, his arm around his shoulder. They stumble off. You pop your collar and walk.
When you were a child, you’d slipstream easily into a dimension in which you were the only one. Nonetheless, evasive shadows, distant silhouettes. A coat’s edge darting around a corner. Maybe even yours. Could be, those days, you were following yourself. This one you are now, pacing late empty streets you’re unable, suddenly, to recognize.
YOU ARE STANDING in the garden forecourt. As you gaze at the flowers its molecules yawn. The closer at anything you’re looking, a dilation. Each clump of dirt with its mouth open moaning, the sound of hollows overtaking nature’s face.
Blanchot lights your cigarette. Nice compound, he says. Shouldn’t be too difficult to access its keep. Yes, responds Blanchot, but the coral currents of its sanctum-chambers, the situation of residing even so long to traverse. The smoke creeps into your eye. It stings. You squint as tho against the sun.
Consider, for example, the jumpsuited Italian as a plumber of depths, travelling thru worlds primordial but constant, the majority of life even now fungal and learning to walk, or else reptilian, leaping awkwardly, the hoist of their wings nothing against the weight of the shells they’ve not yet cast off.
and who can say if there’d be anything left?
The light by now has finished falling. You feel your shape blending with the shadows in the spaces between the leaves, as if to draw you in beyond the gates. You flick away the cigarette, take out a flask, swig, hand it to Blanchot. Still have a key to this place? you ask. Whiskey sprays from Blanchot’s nose, he guffawing, doubled-over choked.
BLANCHOT SKIS DOWN the mountain, stops and fires his rifle into the spine of the jewel thief. The movie is over. When the final customer has left the theater you lock up, take off your clothes, climb up on stage, and speak before ghosts. Those words suspended there still. The words themselves remembering, tugging like a magnet.
I am standing on the husk, says Blanchot to Blanchot. What are you doing now that we’ve ended, Blanchot? I feel like falling in love.
The planet tortures its whores under your heels. No one has seen you dance and lived to talk about it.
Your foot feels its tile. You lift the tile reach down and pull a carved box from the hiding space. You unroll the vellum found within. It says a sound. Blanchot intones.
We talk // about // the mixtape.
You spin around and chop your mistress in the neck. She falls, the floor falls with her. Blanchot and Blanchot plummeting in each other’s long arms. Their spinning bodies receding into the black leather folder of your dossier. Yours is a tough case, I admit. But I think we may be able to help you. Quick, mark this vellum.
We are drinking scotch and chocolate in the Lodge. Here it’s possible to seduce anyone. Blanchot has traded in his suit, a more distinguished shade of charcoal. The waiters bring cigarettes on little silver trays. There’s electronic jazz coming from the speakers at our table. The second dessert arrives.
Is this your first ending? asks Blanchot.
You slowly nod.
Leave me out of it, he says.
An old spy film is playing on the TV above the bar. You’ve seen this one before, tho in this version the actors’ conversations between takes are shown. The globe opens in the boss’s office and out comes the booze. Advice about grappling hooks. Discussions of last night’s season finale.
I heard there’s going to be a movie, the actor turns and says to Blanchot. I’d pay to see it, he says. The actor smiles // and for a moment // his mouth hangs there // as the bartender changes the channel.
On the night every attorney in the hotel was murdered, you say you were at home, in your room, making an animated film, is that correct?
Nod for me. Yes that’s good.
And in no way did you intend to enslave the human race is that right …?
In front of you Blanchot pours a glass of water.
I suggest you drink that.
An unimaginable thing suddenly possible:
He could see the whole world from the height of space orbit. The newly made islands off Dubai and Abu Dhabi, archipelagoes in the shapes of palm trees or the seven continents. All of Paris at once, every arrondissement. The five boroughs of Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. The darkness of North Korea at night against the spider webs of cobalt that lighted the rest of Asia. In daylight he could zoom to helicopter height and see the prison camps where three generations there lived and died.
Some magic of silicon and rocketry and a worldwide network of optical fibers of silica glass had made it possible for voice or fingers to command images and they would instantly appear: Stonehenge, Machu Picchu, the Great Wall of China. Aurora Borealis, the Nebula Crab, the moons of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn . . .
All the mysteries of time and space, and yet he aimed his cameras again and again at a patch of ground near the airport in West Palm Beach, Florida, not far from the dog track where he’d sometimes made a few extra dollars by slipping numbers to the drunken bettors who always tipped when they won. That was the kind of thing that would have got him kicked out of school, but the school was gone now. The evidence from the sky was conclusive. Most of the buildings were now a squares of dirt, and the old football field was a big square of dirt, and they’d knocked down the paper trees and the Banyan trees and the starfruit trees and the giant Australian pines that so grandly lined the entrance that greeted his mother’s school bus every morning.
All the important things were gone, and though he’d hated it while he was in it, now he searched for traces of it all the time in the pixelated grass and dirt.
It is odd how someone so sly online can be so shy in real life. That the former must compensate for the latter is something many of us may relate to. As Amanda Bynes slowly goes insane, we have a new disaster to follow, eyeing the eye of the hurricane from the safe distance of a meteorologist in front of a green screen. I hadn’t even heard of her until some of her witty, curious, but ultimately desperate tweets (wanting Drake to “murder [her] vagina”; calling other female celebrities “ugly”; posting increasingly explicit selfies). I imagine a small stake through her cheek piercings, like shish-kebab, disrupting the flow of her tongue. As standard news outlets address this as “bizarre behavior” and “cries for help,” we enjoy the heightened narrative of non-fiction, though Bynes is as much a masterful creation as Madame Bovary herself. In what has now become #bynesing, Amanda shields her face in modesty, or horror, an eerie nod to the Islamic Burqa (or Niqāb, with a slit) featuring a little window through which women, in public and/or in front of adult males, can navigate their world with truncated periphery. This requirement, called “Hijab,” unsurprisingly stems from the Qur’an, a place of deep sexual paranoia, or subverted fantasies, regarding incest. It’s a mess, but basically, the hood somehow keeps slutty daughters from fucking their fathers or brothers. As one-fourth of the world’s population prays at five appointed times a day towards Mecca, it’s hard not to see such circadian devotion as a kind of ultimate militia come the apocalypse, whose semi-finals will likely be between Allah, Jesus, China, and Walmart.
Seven days ago HTMLGIANT received an anonymous review submission for Fun Camp by Gabe Durham. An anonymous review went live today around noon. However, the review had to be taken down today a little after five. Sometimes you get an email at 8:04 AM and then another at 8:08 AM and you just read the one from 8:04 AM and then that causes a blooper. This is perhaps irrelevant to the following:
One wonders if the staff of Dunder Mifflin ever saw the late Monet waterlilies painting, a print at least, framed in the conference room as a kind of covert bourgeois window through which one might mentally escape to softer times, whose chubby mascot was a man slowly taken by cataracts, whose artistic vision was no doubt clearer than his literal one. French impressionist (and, to a degree, Pop Art and Abstract Expressionist) prints are mainly used in corporate settings to placate the employee, condescendingly, as if all they needed to be happy was something pretty to stare at, when in fact it only implicates the dissonance between surrendered office life and the more vigorous ideals of artistic inquiry. I’ve always found the late Monet print an odd, yet provocative, choice. Perhaps the set designers wanted something deep behind the shallowness of Michael Scott. As The Office plays out its final season, we may be left with some more inadvertent metaphors: the casting politics of who would play the boss, and the legacy of an unstable company, who in a realist market would have been eaten alive by more faceless competitors Office Depot and Office Max; the sweet courtship and eventual nuptials of Jim and Pam, whose subsequent boredom of each other seemed to ooze from the actors without acting; the rogue zen of Stanley Hudson, who solved 10,000 crossword puzzles in what were likely out-of-body experiences; the increasingly comical scenarios less probable, obsolete after the novelty of the ironic “fourth wall nod” wore thin. Most compelling were the accurate personnel departments (e.g. Accounting, Office Relations, Sales, Human Resources, Executive, Warehouse, Production) ascribed to each character, whose demeanor and actions held consistent with them. Such vocational intricacy had, in the past with other shows, been simply consolidated as an abstract “job” to which someone went when they weren’t on the main stage, that is, home. The Office took the family away from home, into their own personal world of laughter and resent. Monet, the more successful of the French impressionists, built Giverny garden for the sole purpose of having a final chronic subject to paint until his death; he painted around two-hundred-and-fifty waterlilies, whose muddled canvases, thick and opaque, wore the transparent mask of a lake’s surface barely there. At its best, art is the profound realization of the invisible. Imagine a half-blind man — who famously declined ophthalmological help in aid of his abstractions — squeezing out more and more purple like an inside bruise finally surfacing, each work darker and darker, as if to trace the slow yet unwavering arc of an hourhand as it approaches night.
The Spectral Lens & Apparition of a distance, however near it may be by Paul Soulellis
I met & discovered the work of Paul Soulellis at the recent LA Art Book Fair and got super excited right away.
As taken from his website (as are the photos above):
The Spectral Lens (Twenty-Six Stories from the Book Machine) (2012) is a visual poem featuring images photographed by Google book scanners through tissue paper. The scanner treats the tissue paper as a “valid” page in the book and scans it as it would any page, capturing the image (or text) behind it. The images are degraded in various ways, depending on the texture and opacity of the vellum. Rips or folds in the tissue are sometimes captured.
The images are “mistakes”—visual information that might normally be corrected or removed by bots. Instead, the errors remain as permanent additions to the Google Books library, forever altering the viewer’s perception of the work.
I search for these mistakes and treat them as found photography. My screencaptures expose deviations in the algorithms hiding deep within the archive.
The Spectral Lens is at once the glass eye of the book machine and its faceless human operator; it is also the lens-less “camera” of my computer.
I was immediately struck by the haunting simplicity of these images, that such a strange and technological process could aid in creating such immediate & subtle emotional works.
His other project, though similar in technological source looks at a different sort of glitch. Also from his website:
Apparition of a distance, however near it may be (2013) is a collection of found images portraying Google Books employees physically interacting with books inside the digital space of the book scanner, gathered into a 42-page print-on-demand publication.
As accidental recordings, the images mistakenly add human physicality, movement and distortion to the experience of consuming the static book in a browser window. These anomalies are usually corrected or removed by bots, but sometimes the errors remain, becoming spectral additions to the Google Books library and permanently altering the viewer’s perception of the content.
Here the images aren’t haunting, but slightly unsettling and creepy. Something about the lingering, partially-gloved hand that adds a strange layer to the usually austere realm of Google Books.
April 26th, 2013 / 2:46 pm
“The Stud Book is a dreamy, druggy, sexy concoction — no surprise coming from the author of Clown Girl. I was instantly consumed by its evocative exploration of motherhood in the Pacific Northwest. Monica Drake’s vision of the world is like no other.” - Jami Attenberg, author of The Middlesteins and The Melting Season
“I haven’t had this much fun since Flannery O’Connor or Kathryn Dunn. FINALLY a book for our times, of our times, emerging from the minds and bodies of real–as opposed to fake-o imagined–women. Hilarious, heart-wrenching, and stylistically brilliant, The Stud Book is about who we are and why we matter–about our stubborn, beautiful drive to make a life, love, a world inhabitable for those who come after us. If women carry whole worlds into unknown futures, Monica Drake is the mapmaker of the human condition. I love this book out of my mind. I will read it and pass it on to everyone, ever. Proof that women writers have arrived–that they can not only make it to the show, they can intellectually and creatively steal it.” - Lidia Yuknavitch, author of Chronology of Water and Dora: A Headcase.
“Take the architecture of Calvino’s The Castle of Crossed Destinies and marry it to the wide-open childhood receptivity of McCullers’s The Member of the Wedding, and you might achieve something like the effect of LOTERIA.” - Kevin Brockmeier, author of The Brief History of the Dead
“LOTERIA is constructed as a beautiful, gripping, and lyrical set of riddles (asked and solved) about life—and—death matters in one family. Like the novels of Cortazar, its form is intricate and beautiful. ” – Charles Baxter, author of Gryphon: New and Selected Stories
“A sensual and haunting story of sexual awakening, Pamela Erens’s exquisitely written The Virgins vividly captures the thrill of youthful innocence and the crushing pain of its loss. This is a profound—and profoundly moving—novel. I couldn’t put it down, and I didn’t want it to end.” - Will Allison, author of Long Drive Home
“Suspenseful and swift and well made, The Virgins, Pamela Erens’s exciting new fiction, rachets up the heat on the boarding school novel with ferociously sensual descriptions of frustrated love—of love imagined and love experienced with youth’s long kisses and all the touching that goes on. Easy to fall for this book and fall hard.” - Christine Schutt, author of Prosperous Friends
“Herein find fiction full of whimsy, wit, hurt and terror. Wicked, as in wickedly funny, is in the mix, too, along with a prose style both seductive and sly. Any one of Doug Watson’s first collection of stories, The Era of Not Quite, can mend a broken world.” – Christine Schutt, author of Prosperous Friends
“Once upon a time, an acquaintance of Kurt Vonnegut, having read all of the writer’s books, accused Vonnegut of putting bitter coatings on very sweet pills, and I am here to level the same charge against Douglas Watson. Yes, this collection is a relentless catalogue of frailty, folly, and mortal misery, but if you look beyond the cholera, the neck wounds, the burning feet, the bleached bones, the voids, the caves, the deaths at sea, the stillborn babes, the senseless yearnings of the heart, the grief and despair and profound loneliness, then what you will find, reader, is a tender, lovely, elegant celebration of the very idea of life, of living. These are vital and exceptional tales.” – Chris Bachelder, author of Abbott Awaits
“Bennett Sims is a writer fearsomely equipped with an intellectual and linguistic range to rival a young Nabokov’s, Nicholson Baker’s gift for miniaturistic intaglio, and an arsenal of virtuosities entirely his own. A Questionable Shape announces a literary talent of genre-wrecking brilliance.”
“In A Questionable Shape everything is questioned – love, family, memory, the way we lead our lives. Even loss itself seems obsolete in these worn out Zombified days. And yet, out beyond the margins of genre, two young men embark on a search as worthy as Walker Percy’s in The Moviegoer, taking us into a fascinating textual netherworld of footnotes full of Heidegger and haiku, leading us on a journey as ancient and true as a son’s desperate search for a father whose undead life may not be worse than the broken existence he left behind. Bennett Sims brings an allusive genius energy to everything from YouTube to Euripides in this inquiry into what survives the onslaught, in a world—our world, we come to recognize—suffering a major case of apocalypse fatigue.”
1. “These Nachos will help El Capitan—soon he will forget his troubles for nachos make one romantic.” A Taste of Texas, 1949.
2. Started as obsession, to blog, to book. I often enjoy when blogs spawn books. You sometimes retain that energy, the flux of, and I think the book strives for this–it wants to be fun. One aspect of nachos is that spontaneity. Homage to the history of nachos is not just the oral or written record. Nachos transcend that accounting. We must also bring forth the culture, the aura, the thing behind the thing.
3. I preordered the book, as is my way, and it was delivered yesterday as the rain ran little horses across my roof. I ate nachos for lunch and dinner and then opened the book, read it all, typed about it here (following breakfast nachos? No. I don’t eat breakfast). The book is refined. The book is a bit of a creed, clearly an attempt to elevate nachos. This is a good and bad thing, me feels. (See above concerning the cultivation of nacho mythos, silliness/solemnity, direction, soar and science and folklore and seasoning.)
4. Nacho Vidal, the porn actor, is known for his extremely large penis. Especially its girth. (16.5 centimeters in circumference!) But I digress.
6. There are rules. Rule # 1: Nachos are not tortilla chips. #4: Nachos are not served on apple slices. # 9: Get down and dirty. Mostly I agreed with the rules, and found some helpful clarifications concerning nachos, though a few of these guidelines were a bit elitist. They argue against a “mountain of nachos” and once they say, “Nachos are not an excuse to clean your refrigerator. That’s plain old gross.” No, actually it isn’t. Let’s not forget that nachos have a simmering of scoundrel within their essence. While I’m all for super fresh homemade bon vivant nachos, I also feel it’s OK to go janky, to dump whatever—jalapenos, old, crusty black beans, leftover taco sauce—on top and crack open an Icehouse and watch some helicopter crash videos on YouTube.
6.5. The book pays rightful respect by including the original (1943) recipe. Well done.
April 24th, 2013 / 12:36 pm
While it may seem relevant that Chechnya is auspiciously sandwiched between Russia and the Middle East — exhuming the dormant winds of the Cold War, and the current conflict with Islamic extremism — the Tsarnaev brothers, regardless of how perceived their exile was, acted as Americans; that is, with a kind of free volition this country violently preserves. To simply call them assholes is somehow to dishonor their victims, many of them now amputees whose incomplete image in the mirror every morning will remind them forever of the blast, whose unexplained birth out of nowhere does well to implicate the universe itself. Time will tell how politically motivated this act was — though one doesn’t imagine our young Dzhokhar being the most cooperative, or coherent — hence categorized into either the ideological camp of Ted Kaczynski/Tim McVeigh, or the, sadly, more senseless camp of Columbine/Sandyhook, whose executors are getting younger and younger, and better armed.
David Remnick’s piece (from which this illustration and title is unabashedly taken) in the New Yorker is vulnerably sympathetic to the Tsarnaev family, a liberal impulse which is needed, should one brave the harsher waters of the more “patriotic” sentiment i.e. that we should just bomb “them,” whoever they are (just when you thought the postmodern “Other” was dead). That a white male has taken the throne of the Other may launch us into a new era. Not colored, or queer, or part of some thesis, mush less exotic, he is simply another one of the ever expanding “us” lost in the fold of America, whose race is ostensibly raceless, and whose nationality is a slow and steady reduction of endless immigrations. The idea is rather genius. A country for all, though it often seems like we’ve stopped earning this.
Not since the Revolutionary War — with the exception of Pearl Harbor and 9/11, both quickly mythologized, as if to eagerly render them irrelevant — has foreign conflict breached American soil. Truman’s Hiroshima and Bush’s Afghanistan were respective responses, the former’s flattening sadly more effective. War for us is cordoned off as an abstraction of what happens “over there,” bestowing the general populace a bloodless, though vehement, discourse about its many possible meaning(s) from behind televisions and computers. The Boston explosions simultaneously remind us of two somewhat contradictory things: that there will always be insane, strangely entitled, people (usually white men, or boys) who kill for no reason at all, pointing at in inward pathos; or, more formidably, that a spreading global war, whose disenfranchised have less and less to live for, can always permeate our borders. The easy allusions to Syria or Gaza, frankly, scare the shit out of me, and I think all of us. As for the Tsarnaev brothers (one notes the eerie invocation of the Karamozov brothers), their patricide may be indirectly directed at our founding fathers: brave, violent, and tired men, who likewise came to America to escape a troublesome place.
Time may be a sedative, for it’s always harder to know who exactly the bad people were, yet so easy to tell — in the incessant now from which we cannot run — who the bad people are. Either moral clarity diminishes with time, or we simply stop caring, the euphemism being humility. Prisoner of war Lt. Col. Robert L. Stirm is greeted by his family at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California on March 17, 1973, about a year after Phan Thi Kim Phuc, aged 9, was photographed running from a South Vietnamese napalm attack on their own land after it had been occupied by the North. Richard Nixon, in his earnest paranoia loop, wondered to his Chief of Staff “if that was fixed,” upon seeing the iconic photo. Denial may be war’s greatest offense. The Strim girlfriend (wife, or sister) will come to know, understand, and to be forced to love, the dark PTSD crevices welled with ink inside Strim’s newly wired brain, as Phuc will be free to recount — with whatever pre-juvenile coping mechanisms she can employ — the senseless events of that day (June 8, 1972), its morning feigning repetition, on her little village road during her 14 month hospitalization slash 17 surgical procedures which returned her skin to human. Both enemy and kin run away from their personal and global hauntings, towards the idea of freedom, to a kind of endless finish line whose ribbons have already been broken by faster folks. And so, it’s not really a finish line, but a place to run away from something by running towards something else. Everyday we show ourselves how ugly and beautiful we can be, the shinny red inside us spilled out, touching others.
The Parable of David Shields’s How Literature Saved My Life
by Greg Gerke
My Mississippi writer friend gave me David Shields’s new book. Interesting, I said. I wasn’t sure I would read David’s new book—I looked at it askance, then I put it back in its wrapping paper. I was surprised they still made hardcover books.
@adjameson @alecniedenthal @AlissaNutting @amysmcd @Benmirov @blakebutler @brookssterritt @camerainsecura @CatherineLazer @chen_village @david_fishkind @diddioz @esotika @higgschrishiggs @imposedabsence @kenbaumann @kmartsurrealism @KristenIsk @kyle_minor @lispservice @markleidner @matthewjsimmons @melissabroder @mikeayoung @mmkaufman @nickantosca @pompadoured @pubgen @rgay @ryancall @theblogpoetic @weeatherhead @adjameson @alecniedenthal @AlissaNutting @amysmcd @Benmirov @blakebutler @brookssterritt @camerainsecura @CatherineLazer @chen_village @david_fishkind @diddioz @esotika @higgschrishiggs @imposedabsence @kenbaumann @kmartsurrealism @KristenIsk @kyle_minor @lispservice @markleidner @matthewjsimmons @melissabroder @mikeayoung @mmkaufman @nickantosca @pompadoured @pubgen @rgay @ryancall @theblogpoetic @weeatherhead @adjameson @alecniedenthal @AlissaNutting @amysmcd @Benmirov @blakebutler @brookssterritt @camerainsecura @CatherineLazer @chen_village @david_fishkind @diddioz @esotika @higgschrishiggs @imposedabsence @kenbaumann @kmartsurrealism @KristenIsk @kyle_minor @lispservice @markleidner @matthewjsimmons @melissabroder @mikeayoung @mmkaufman @nickantosca @pompadoured @pubgen @rgay @ryancall @theblogpoetic @weeatherhead @adjameson @alecniedenthal @AlissaNutting @amysmcd @Benmirov @blakebutler @brookssterritt @camerainsecura @CatherineLazer @chen_village @david_fishkind @diddioz @esotika @higgschrishiggs @imposedabsence @kenbaumann @kmartsurrealism @KristenIsk @kyle_minor @lispservice @markleidner @matthewjsimmons @melissabroder @mikeayoung @mmkaufman @nickantosca @pompadoured @pubgen @rgay @ryancall @theblogpoetic @weeatherhead @adjameson @alecniedenthal @AlissaNutting @amysmcd @Benmirov @blakebutler @brookssterritt @camerainsecura @CatherineLazer @chen_village @david_fishkind @diddioz @esotika READ MORE >