1. It is very early. My dog has decided to ignore her bad hips, and she’s jumped into bed with me. My coffee’s lukewarm. My head is swimming. I’m definitely skipping capoeira practice this morning. BUT last night’s reading at New College (thank you Mr. Niedenthal) featuring Chloé Cooper Jones and Megan Boyle was fantastic! The crowd was so receptive! I’m pretty amazed when people can be downright funny in their writing. Right? Someone once said my first chapbook was playful–that’s as close as I’ve come. I think I have a pretty good sense of humor when it comes to appreciating funny, but it sure doesn’t come naturally to write funny. I’m always way more concerned with the way the words are bumping up against each other, maybe? I don’t know. So, anyway, I have these lovely and talented writers at my house for the weekend; maybe I’ll pick their brains. How can I be funny, Chloé? What’s your secret, Megan? They’ll be polite about it and secretly roll their eyes.
2. There are WAY MORE sections of The Equalizer available for download. I have some poems in 1.10, and I mention this because I went back and rewrote one of those poems backwards in revision a few weeks ago. Have you ever written something backwards? I learned this in a workshop with Sarah Maclay. She wrote one of my poems backwards for me and BAM! it was a fucking great poem. I do this with select poems from my students all the time. I think it has something to do with the finding the poem as you’re writing–sometimes that doesn’t happen until the end, but the early stuff has the perfect seeds of working-up-to-ness. So, I did this with a poem that Michael published in The Equalizer. Does that mean the old version is null and void because I say so? Does it mean there are two poems with the same title? How many of you revise after publication?
Here are more Equalizers: [share ’em with your friends]
October 23rd, 2010 / 9:07 am
1. Our own Adam Robinson has just been announced as Guest Editor for the next edition of Dzanc’s Best of the Web. If anyone can up the game they set with the latest edition, Adam is it. Editor nominations are now open.
2. @ Jacket Copy, they compare the voice of Allen Ginsberg reading “Howl” to the voice of James Franco reading “Howl.” I was too ehh to listen, but you can if you want.
3. Saw Catfish, or “the other Facebook movie that is a documentary instead of a stupid drama by a washed up director,” the other night, it was refreshing.
4. If you are in NYC, I am reading Tuesday night at 7:30 at the excellent Word Bookstore in Greenpoint for Indie Press Night with Jon Cotner & Andy Fitch (for Ugly Duckling), Rachel B. Glaser (for Publishing Genius), and Timothy Donnelly (for Wave Books). Should be real awesome, would be real awesome to see you out.
As Jonathan Franzen solemnly graces the cover of TIME magazine, we got to thinking who of his peers were also deserving of a cover on other magazines, and what those magazines might be. Here are our top picks:
August 17th, 2010 / 4:17 pm
[The Tyrant Giancarlo Ditrapano sent us this and we couldn’t help ourselves. With all due respect to the Esquire fiction camp and the creator. Read both, see what you think? – BB]
I just read the James Franco story in Esquire and thought it was great. There were just a couple of things that needed tweaking in my opinion so I started messing with it. You’ve written a good, funny story, Mr. Franco. But now it’s even better. Remember, it never matters who writes it, it only matters that it gets written. Or something like that. Some good stuff in here though. I’d love to work on something with you for my meager little journal. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s talk it out.
N.B. This was done with entirely good intention and I meant no harm, as I never have meant harm. Just having some fun and don’t want anyone to get in trouble or angry over this. Who knows? I may have ruined the thing.
Two from Dennis Cooper: Yesterday was “Neon Angel Day”, celebrating Cherie Currie of The Runaways and her new book Neon Angel: The Story of a Runaway, which is co-authored by one of our main men, Mr. Tony “O” O’Neill. the day before that, one of Dennis’s regular readers/community-members presented a list of 10 Graphic Novels “chosen…as recommendations to Mr. Cooper and his brilliant flock.” The list includes Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie’s Lost Girls, Derf’s My Friend Dahmer, and eight other fine titles besides, all with descriptions and excerpts. Also, Dennis, if you’re reading this, you were right about Return of the Grievous Angel–duh.
They’re talking about the James Franco Esquire story on Gawker, but here’s the interesting part- instead of burning the story themselves, they make light fun of it and then leave the real burning to us!
The litblog HMTLGIANT says of the story: “If it weren’t by James Franco, this 100% would not be in Esquire… Seems like a pretty typical ‘MFA story,’ if that’s even a type of story.” Burn? We are not literary critics, so let us just say this: James Franco is such a good actor!
Adrian Chen, if you are reading this, thanks for the link! I don’t know whether this is the first time we’ve been Gawker-linked, but it’s the first one I know of, and it made me feel great, even though that wasn’t even my post. According to the Tao Lin/Marty McFly reality-index, my hands are not see-through anymore, and I am allowed to make one facial expression of my own choosing–though obviously I’ll choose not to make one. But seriously, Adrian, I miss Foster Kamer. Also, from all of us to Nick Denton–feel free to start picking us off whenever. Imagine if instead of Ann Coulter, Peaches (naked) Geldof and Steve Jobs, the top stories on Gawker were about Harold Bloom, Natalie Lyalin, and probably Harold Bloom again. WHAT IF?
Lastly, the guy whose doppelganger I am, the other Justin Taylor (or JTO as I like to call him) has a short post called “On Scary Stories and the Moral Imagination.” It’s kind of the same argument Stephen King makes in Danse Macabre about horror as a fundamentally conservative genre, because it is founded on a fear of the other, except made by a believing Christian with a much narrower and more specific definition of “moral,” plus also it’s really short, and just quotes some other things, and so is not really very much like that at all. JTO, if you are reading this, sorry to have put words in your mouth kind of. It’s a big bridge between us, but I’m really committed to building it. What slowed me down, see, is that I can’t get my pdf copy of The Axioms of Religion by EY Mullins to print out properly–I’m trying to do it two-book-pages-to-the-printed-page–and so I haven’t been able to read it yet. But I WILL get there, and then we’ll have that to talk about. Anyway, my favorite part of your post was the Chesterton-opener, the note on which I will end-
Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist.
Children already know that dragons exist.
Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.
The Dave Eggers directed short film with James Franco on the new Wholphin is some of the best video art I’ve seen in a while. Dude goes at it for almost thirty minutes.
Carl Wilson is an adorably nervous Canadian music critic who lives in Toronto and he came to do a little Q & A with some students here yesterday. Carl wrote a great book in the 33 1/3 series about Celine Dion and we read it in Jonathan Lethem’s masterclass a few weeks ago. That would have been the end of the story if it hadn’t been for James Franco mentioning the book while at the Oscars and a bunch of blogs (Pitchfork, Idolator, The Village Voice, etc.) making a ruckus about it. Then he got invited to be on The Colbert Report, thus leading him to Columbia’s Writing department to say hello and presumably thank James for the name dropping.
-Autobiographies of taste
-Remembering that Celine Dion is a human being
More notes after the jump…