Even Though I Don’t Miss You
by Chelsea Martin
Short Flight/Long Drive Books, 2013
1. In this book, Chelsea Martin reminds me of my girlfriend. She reminds of all my ex-girlfriends, she reminds me of everybody’s girlfriend. It’s hard to pinpoint why. Is she the essence of contemporary girlfriendness?
2. It provides an insight sometimes into particular shades of emotion that I don’t necessarily seem to understand (not that I want to get all ‘Men are from Mars, etc ’ or some such popular-silliness about this point).
3. Other times, it’s nice to know that I’m not entirely wrong in my assumptions about ‘What might be wrong?’, ‘When something might be wrong?’
4. I have to declare an interest and that is that I’m not really in a relationship with Chelsea Martin but this book feels so much like being in a relationship as much from a male as from a female perspective that I can’t help but think that I am and that this qualifies it as a great success in that department.
5. “There is a piece of clothing thrown on the floor in the shape of what I look like to myself”. This is a beautiful, economical image; an everyday occurrence raised to something just v profound. I imagine it to be a denim skirt for some reason.
6. It reminds me of a line from an e-book, by someone, an old free e-book by someone, possibly Richard Brammer that I can’t find at the moment (maybe I imagined it) about ‘Your bra will fade on the radiator just like the rest.’ Any ideas?
7. The sentence that many reviewers have picked from this book is worth repeating in full:
“Being in a relationship for a very long time feels just like being single except that I can’t remember the last time that I was alone for five hours.”
This has the same periphrastic quality as that which I discussed in relation to Spencer Madsen (elsewhere in a 25 Points Review for HTMLGIANT). It’s almost like a really good, lengthy title appended to a very successful piece of conceptual art. I can see why so many reviewers chose to pick it out.
8. The relationship theme is undercut throughout with the many conversations between the ‘I’ and the ‘You.’ Often humorous, sometimes sad, occasionally refreshingly absurd, like a transcription of direct speech really is. See – this is what I meant in points 1-4.
9. Again, and in relation to a Spencer Madsen review that I have just written and so which is fresh in my mind but which might as well be seen as a recurring theme, a necessarily recurring theme, of all contemporary literature, that of the wide-open spaces of potential for metaphor, analogy, etc., when it comes to everyday technological digital life, a relatively fresh opportunity ripe for figuration, Chelsea’s line: “I feel like everything I write could be mistaken for theory about Adobe Photoshop’s Clone Stamp Tool” takes some beating. Apologies, that was an awful sentence, I wrote it backwards.
10. I don’t think I’m going to apologise for mentioned other writers in these reviews. Everything has a context, right.
July 15th, 2014 / 1:50 pm
Wrote about Tao Lin for Hobart.
Exchanged emails with Tao about what I wrote.
Tao cut and pasted part I’d written about Zac Zellers and Marie Calloway and wrote beneath it “this seems funny to me.”
Replied with a paragraph in which I described Zac Zellers as the “Where’s Waldo” of Ann Arbor.
19 mins later got email from Tao saying “you should write something about this and send it to me.”
I love Chelsea Martin.
Somebody had said to me, What does Chelsea Martin smell like? & I said, she smells like Chelsea M.
I haven’t met her, but I know.
For real, I have an extra copy of her book Everything Was Fine Until Whatever. I want to give it to someone.
Post a comment in this thread, somehow involving the word ‘Chelsea’ and I will enter you into a drawing for the book. This will go on until whatever.
If you don’t know love, here’s how to find out: I $ You. I have employed some of the ideas here and they have vastly altered the trajectory of my life.
You can also purchase the book with your own $ here: Future Tense Books
The next night, see a variation of this in Seattle. Add this person with the glasses to the line up. Subtract the pidgeon guy.
PAY NOTHING FOR BOTH events! Except maybe if you buy books.
Also, BUY BOOKS. This top book, maybe.
This post simply brings to your attention things worthy of attention, with extremely light commentary from me.
- Ellen Kennedy’s new book Sometimes my heart pushes my ribs is available from Muumuu house. This is probably widely known, but I wanted to officially note it here. Ellen Kennedy feels like a Dorothy Parker who doesn’t have enough energy to rhyme.
- Chelsea Martin’s new book Everything was fine until whatever will be released March 2009 by Future Tense Books. Watch her read this piece. The ingrown logic and breath-taking/sigh-inducing excess of each subsequent line reminds me of Tao Lin’s ‘the next night we ate whale,’ except each line is different.
- The prolific J.A. Tyler redesigned Mud Luscious archives and ML Press, and his entire site. He would scare me if he wasn’t so nice. His obscene publication list is prone to make one feel like a slacker.
- Juked No. 6 is out. Check out the contents and order. Juked is one of the oldest literary websites out there. It makes me feel good that they are so consistent and devoted.
- Robot Melon Issue Seven is live, including J.A. Tyler, Crispin Best, yours truly [gag], Ryan Manning’s ode to Sam Pink, and one of my personal favorite online writers, Krammer Abrahams. I really like the ‘head trauma at night in the woods’ design.
So those are my updates. I could not find a picture that embodied this post. [*UPDATE: Ryan Manning sent me a picture to post for this post. The 4 colors do not match the 5 updates. He was no doubt driven conceptually.] Thank you for supporting online literature.