“My momma always said I got a head shaped like a heart. Not like them cartoon hearts bitch girls draw about other boys in their notebooks. Like the real thing. A pumping chambered ugly of a muscle not meant for no light of day. Guess that means instead of brains I’m all blood. Guess that’s why I ain’t ever been scared of blood. It’s warm like I’m warm. It pools thick and gorgeous and don’t step in it less you want to make a painting of what you done for any passing bitch to start hollering about.” — from “Heart,” a great new Lindsay Hunter short in Burrow Press’s “15 Views of Orlando” project
1. The IRS is accusing NANO fiction of being pornography (sort of a new take on the term flash).
5. This is the best fish/beer/existential ramblings blog I believe you will find. You’re welcome.
I’m probably going to people the world with robot birds.
4. Patrick Somerville & Lindsay Hunter converse with one another over at Hobart.
First thing: I am suspicious of all writers and human beings who are not sick of themselves.
33. Roy Kesey interview at Bookslut.
It would be great if having climbed a given mountain meant that climbing some other similar-shaped mountain would be easier, but I don’t think that’s quite the way it works — at least not for me.
4. Everyone needs discussions/lessons on plot. Here are some, couched in a review of Tana French at The Millions.
Lesson: What Gary Lutzcalls “page-hugging” prose isn’t necessarily anathema to plot.
yo, veridical dat.
1. Shya Scanlon’s Forecast has been launched at Flatmancrooked. “The year is 2212, the weather is out of control, and Seattle is being rebuilt with electricity generated from negative human emotion.”
2. Lindsay Hunter has a rad new freakstory at 52 Stories: Three Things You Should Know About Peggy Paula.
3. At Comics Alliance, “The Monsters of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulu Mythos, As Drawn by Children”
4. New issue of Notnostrums.
This Fall saw the release of the debut collection from one Lindsay Hunter, aptly and majestically titled Daddy’s. If you’ve ever seen Lindsay read in person you probably were hiding in your closet with your head between your legs covering your junk quivering about this monster, a collection of short texts trapped inside a tackle box. Lindsay’s language is somehow both frightening, gut-bunching, weirdo, home, cover your face, open your mouth, transcendent, and of heaving sound. At times like if Gummo turned into words and date-raped Mary Gaitskill’s language then went to the gas station to buy tissues to clean up the messies and bought you a snack of discount heat lamp chicken. Underneath it all, this weird American convulsive heart that sounds like someone if we haven’t been, at least we remember getting beaten up in middle school.
Over email, so as to not get bit, I traded q’s with Ms. Hunter re: the book, humor, music, inspiration, fear, performance, and all the rest.
BB: I love how Daddy’s operates in reading almost as a series of rotations in a brain of what some would call trash life: each of the stories in the collection often concerns sex, food, and body fluids. The sky is referred to in turns from piece to piece as if it is shifting through a section of a place that does not change: and yet each story feels so singular. Was this variation something you were super aware of while you were writing the stories, or did the voices just keep coming out? By what means was this book written?
LH: I don’t know that I was aware of this as I was writing each story, but looking at the book as a whole, it definitely feels like there is a town in which these people live and it is the same town. I generally start with the first line of something and then see where that leads me. I’ll have first lines in my head for days, or sometimes I’ll get one and I’ll need to sit down and just fucking follow it. Every now and again I’ll have an idea for a story, like some kind of situation or glimpse–like in “That Baby” I wanted to write about the jealousy of babies–and I’ll wedge my way in and try to write what I see.
I think these stories are what they are because I tend to go sentence by sentence and edit as I’m writing–I can’t move on until each sentence is just right, and if I’m bored by a line it feels wonderful just to delete it and start over. That’s my main thing–I hate boredom and being bored and boring writing and cliches and puns and double entendres and cleverness. So I try to eviscerate all of that. But watch, I’ll open up my book and see the phrase “and that was the end of that” or “new lease on life” or “make love” and I’ll have to face some pretty ugly truths about my inner life.
The live reading is over but you can play back my live reading of recent and upcoming new books I am excited about here:
Featuring excerpts from:
Today marks the release of a book I’ve been waiting for itchingly for a good long while now: Lindsay Hunter’s could-not-be-better-titled collection Daddy’s, new from Featherproof. If you’ve ever seen Lindsay read live, you already are probably pressing buy: she slams heads. The book is shaped like a tackle box and guaranteed to be stuffed full of more freak than you might be able to handle in one read. She kind of makes Harry Crews and Angela Carter look like Jerry Seinfeld.
“In Daddy’s, babies mean blood, and nipples are like “lit match heads.” Lindsay Hunter transgresses where others fear to tread.” —Terese Svoboda, author of Pirate Talk or Mermalade
“Each tiny, diamond story—precise, comic, poised at the edge of surreal—contains one brutal life force tearing itself off the page. You can hold Daddy’s in your hands and feel it breathing.” —Deb Olin Unferth, author of Vacation
“Lindsay Hunter won’t be caught lie-telling in the name of nice. The miniature stories in Daddy’s are fierce and unapologetic. When the We’s she voices say the axblade was bloody with dirt, what they mean is the neighbor’s swingset creaked and moaned next door and we heard a child’s voice say Never ever. When I’m looking again for my next undoing, I’ll crack open Daddy’s, and get the true news they tell us we’d be better off not hearing.”—Kyle Minor, author of In the Devil’s Territory
For a taste, here’s one of the stories from the book, about a messed up baby: That One.
Get a further peek inside and place your order here.
Today, at Community Thrift on 17th and Valencia, I bought these books for $2.50. The first page of Dear Mr. Capote says “Ed Seifert” in pencil. Wonder if he’s related to George, who won the Super Bowl. Jaroslav won the Nobel Prize. My family farmed the rim of the Dust Bowl and nearly made it stinking rich off a bunch of black sand but didn’t. It seems “Seifert” comes from “cipher.” Encoding words is a form of mathematics. “Mathematics is the supreme nostalgia of our time.” – Michael Marcus
Tomorrow I’m reading at Amnesia, at nine o’clock, with Lindsay Hunter, Amelia Gray, and Aaron Burch. Wearing a coonskin cap and a corduroy suit, I will read from my novel for the very first time. The novel is called A Dog On Onondaga. I vow to never finish writing it, but to self-publish new handbound editions whenever I feel like it. Maybe you think that’s vain. Sometimes I stare in the mirror for oceans of time, for no reason. Your opinion of me is so much sand on the beach of yesterday. Three days ago part of me did something immoral; the rest of me has only begun to feel bad. Another part of me wants desperately to be lost in the desert with a backpack full of books; but that can probably wait until the winter of my content. I plan to go to the community pool tomorrow, so that my body will remember what it was like when it was a word. Continue reading ““Every word was once an animal. – Emerson” – Marcus”